All around the earth there are differences in people through race, color, ethnicity, religion, and culture. In the span between 1500 and 1900, Europe was the most powerful entity on Earth. Led by Great Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal; Europe was at the forefront of advancements in virtually every aspect of human life. However, they managed to straggle behind in regards to cultural and racial differences. The reason behind this leads back to the fact that during this time period, European nations were scrambling to get land and resources by any means necessary. This included violating basic human rights of other cultures and peoples. .
During the Age of Exploration, Europeans went everywhere in search of resources, and land. When they would stop and find a certain area, at first they would develop trade relationships with the inhabitants. They would trade cheap, common things for expensive things (i.e. trade beads to get ivory). Then after months to years of exploitation they would claim it as their own try to convert the native people to their religion and/or political structure if not enslaving them. Often they would put the new captives in their army to go take over the next group of people. Other nations were seen as savages by European nations, and they felt that they were "civilizing" them. This was called the European civilizing mission. It was actually simply imperialism for profit but they sugar coated it to attempt to justify it. Rudyard Kipling also wrote a poem called "White Man's Burden" which basically stated that it was the obligation of Europe to "assist" other nations and groups in civilizing. This basically made Kipling the unofficial poet of imperialism. Ferdinand Magellan was over half way around the world when he stopped at an island in the Philippines. He tried to convert the people there to his language and culture and was killed by the chief of the tribe for trying to do so.