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During the 18th century, Britain became the dominant European power in Asian trade. France also established trading companies in Asia in the 17th century, but it had little success with them.
Conflict over American Colonies Based on the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, Spain and Portugal tried to avoid conflicts by dividing their colonizing efforts. Each wanted to monopolize trade and colonize based on explorations in their assigned regions. However, other European states such as England, France, and the Netherlands did not consider themselves bound by the treaty. They soon began their own explorations that led to the establishment of trading companies and colonies in the early 17th century.
Wars in Europe and the Americas Rivalries over land in the Americas led to conflicts later in the 17th and 18th centuries. When the Spanish king Charles II died childless, the War of the Spanish Succession erupted. From 1701 until 1714, rival claimants to the throne fought bitterly. Fighting spilled over to the North American colonies. In the end, Britain gained the most in the New World, while Spain and France were weakened. (See Topic 3.6.)
Great Britain and France fought a series of wars in the 18th century that included battles over North American colonies. One of those wars, the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), resulted in France giving up claims to large amounts of land east of the Mississippi River and in Canada. (See Topic 5.3.) After this war and others, France controlled very little land on the North American continent.
Essential Question: How and why did trading networks and colonial expansion affect relations among European states?
    European Power
  Actions That Influenced Relations with Other Powers
       KEY TERMS
Christopher Columbus West Indies
Treaty of Tordesillas Amerigo Vespucci New World conquistadors
Hernán Cortés Aztec Empire New Spain
Bartolomé de las Casas asiento
Vasco Nuñez de Balboa Francisco Pizarro
Inca Empire
Ferdinand Magellan Spice Islands
New Amsterdam
New York
John Cabot Jamestown
Giovanni de Verrazano Jacques Cartier Samuel de Champlain New France
War of the Spanish
Succession Seven Years’ War

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