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WHILE COLONIALISM can date from the ancient world, and Rome's final vanquishing of its old rival Carthage in the Punic Wars, modern colonialism could be measured from the first voyage of Christopher Columbus for Spain in 1492. Columbus's voyage was intended to find a less expensive route to find the riches of the Orient after the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 had made the cost of overland commerce prohibitive. In 1493, the 15th pope, Alexander VI, arbitrarily drew a line at the Treaty of Tordesillas to divide the world between Spain and Portugal. Immediately, the other European countries denounced this compact and began a heated competition for the riches of the world.

From this time on, there would be no European wars that would ...

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