History and Citizenship Education (Cycle One)

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European expansion in the world

The cultural and economic context of the Renaissance led to a vast exploration and colonization movement. The trade networks established between European mother countries and their colonies constituted an initial form of world economy. The territories and societies colonized in Africa and Asia were deeply affected by the arrival of Europeans. The study of colonization and its political and economic consequences allow students to understand the scope of economic relations at a global level.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a social phenomenon that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: colonization, trade, culture, world economy, empire, stakes, slavery, Great Discoveries, technology and territory.

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

1 2
  1. Commercial colonialism today
    1. Names major economic powers (e.g. The United States, China, Japan, the European Union, India, Brazil)
    1. Indicates some effects of the globalized economy (e.g. consumption of goods from many different countries, relocation of companies)
  1. European expansion in the world and the effects of an initial form of world economy on the societies of the American continent
  • 2.1.   Location in space and time
    1. Locates on a map the major European exploration routes
    1. Locates on a map the colonial empires
    1. Locates on a time line the great European explorations
  • 2.2.   Great explorations
    1. Names the territories that were known to Europeans at the end of the 14th century: North Africa, the Near East and Europe
    1. Indicates some motivations for the great European explorations of the Renaissance (e.g. to find new trade routes to circumvent Constantinople; to look for spices, exotic products and precious metals)
    1. Indicates the advantages of certain navigation instruments used by Europeans (e.g. the compass made it possible to find one’s way without visual reference points; the astrolabe was used to determine latitude)
    1. Indicates a consequence of the Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal in the 15th century (e.g. the line of demarcation established by the treaty gave Spain all of America except Brazil)
  • 2.3.   Colonial trade
    1. Names the three legs of the triangular trade established by European colonial powers: Europe, Africa, American colonies
    1. Indicates the main goods traded in the triangular trade: manufactured products, slaves, raw materials
    1. Explains the consequences of the triangular trade for the colonies (e.g. it slowed the colonies’ economic development because their role was limited to exporting unprocessed resources)
  • 2.4.   Native populations
    1. Names Native populations living in America at the time of the first contact with the Europeans (e.g. the Incas, Aztecs, Iroquois, Algonquians)
    1. Indicates resources or products imported by Europeans (e.g. gold, tobacco, fur, plants)
    1. Describes the consequences of European expansion in America for Native populations (e.g. certain nations were exterminated by war and disease; the culture and way of life of Native populations were profoundly changed)
  1. Economic and cultural relationships between societies today
    1. Names a country on each continent that has a European language as its official language (e.g. French in Senegal; English in India; Portuguese in Brazil)
    1. Indicates the role of the World Trade Organization: it deals with the rules of trade between nations

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