Explorers are the reason that we, the American people, are able to live in this beautiful land from coast to coast and enjoy personal freedoms. However that was not the reason for the first expedition set out for America. Christopher Columbus landed in America in 1492. He was sent by Queen Isabella of Spain on a mission to find wealth in this foreign land. Columbus was not the only explorer to come to America in search of wealth. John Smith was another explorer sent by the Queen of England to travel to America in search of all the riches he could find. William Bradford came to America not in search for wealth, but for religious freedom. He wanted to create a pure society, and there is no better place to start one then on a pure new land. As Colonialism came to an end in 1650, so did the idea of using America as a piggy bank.
As the Enlightenment period began in 1651, a new breed of explorers began to express and explore their scientific knowledge. Benjamin Franklin was not an explorer of the land but an explorer of the mind. Franklin was constantly looking for ways to make things work a little better or more efficiently. He invented many important inventions, such as: bifocal eyeglasses, a type of harmonica, and an open heating stove. His most important discovery was that of electricity. Franklin was devoted to exploring ways of improving himself and the society around him. .
The Romanticism period began in 1803. Soon after it began, two explorers by the name of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, were sent on a mission by Thomas Jefferson to explore the uncharted lands of the West, in 1804. Jefferson had just purchased this land from France, and wanted to know what it was like in the West. Jefferson had filled in the missing places on the maps with rumors that they had heard from Indians, but he needed Lewis and Clark to create the real map. The main purpose of the expedition was to explore the rivers, and try and find the most direct course across the continent for the purpose of commerce.