European Imperialism European expansion was almost a certainty. The continent was relatively poor place for agriculture, which pushed Europeans outside of Europe in search of new soil. Different countries sent explorers, like Columbus and Magellan, to find unknown trade routes to India and Asia. They stumbled onto new sources for raw materials and goods and Europe was suddenly substantially profiting. The exploration of Africa, Asia, and South America provided new wealth. It increased the standard of living for Europeans, introduced them to spices, luxurious goods, silver, and gold (class notes). Later revolutions and reformers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries transformed European society and continually provided the continent with new interests, experiences, and ideas. As a result, Europeans developed new technology, which enabled them to explore unknown territory and expand their influence overseas. European imperialism began in the 14th and 15th centuries. There were a variety of factors that allowed for expansion. First of all, because the population of Europe was low there was a potential for rapid population growth. Secondly, Europe was relatively small which made it venerable to invasion and provoked the need for strong armies. The fact that it was divided into states provoked the need for strong governments and because there was no one power that could change things in Europe they obtained a relatively strong freedom of thought. This solidarity gave Europe the power to send voyages and explorations around the globe to help find new resources. Futhermore, Europe sent explorers to find different and needed trade routes to Asia and India because the land routes were extremely long (class notes). Also, public opinion played an important role in the support of imperialism. Many people who weren't pleased with their economic and political status could migrate to new regions to find other opportunities.