An Age of Explorations 14001800Motivated by Christian faith and a desire for profit, Europeans explore distant lands, while Japanese and Chinese rulers isolate their societies from Europeans.
Caravela small, light shipwith triangular sails.
Europeans Explore the East
For God, Glory, and Gold See Factors Behind 15th-Century European Exploration
Europeans Seek New Trade Routes Main reason for exploration is to gain wealth Crusades had created demand for Asian goods Muslims and Italians control trade from East to West Other European nations want to bypass these powers
The Spread of Christianity
Desire to spread Christianity also motivates exploration
Technology Makes Exploration PossibleIn 1400s, the caravel makes it possible to sail against windAstrolabe makes navigation easierMagnetic compass improves tracking of direction Astrolabe, used to determine altitude of stars, with planispheres, or adjustable overlays. Georg Hartmann (1532). Many navigation techniques had been developed by the Arabs and Chinese
Portugal Leads the Way The Portuguese Explore AfricaPrince Henry, the son of Portugals king, supports explorationIn 1419, he founds navigation school on coast of PortugalBy 1460, Portuguese have trading posts along west coast of Africa
Henry the Navigator, Portuguese prince noted for patronage of voyages of discovery. Panel detail (about 1465).
Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias wants to serve God and kingFirst to sail around the southern tip of Africa in 1488.
Explores southeastern coast of Africa.
Did not make it further east.
Portuguese Sailors Reach AsiaIn 1498, Vasco da Gama sails to IndiaIn 1499, returns to Portugal with valuable cargo
I gave Portugal a direct sea route to Asia!
Spain Also Makes ClaimsA Rival Power In 1492, Christopher Columbus sails for Spain Convinces Spanish to support plan to reach Asia by sailing west Reaches the Americas instead Opens Americas to exploration and colonization
More on him later . . .
Columbus returns, and meets with Spanish rulers Ferdinand and Isabella. Eugene Delacroix (1839).
Zheng He's treasure ship compared in size with Christopher Columbus's smallerSanta Maria.
Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean Portugals Trading EmpireIn 1509, Portugal defeats Muslims, takes over Indian Ocean trade
Ends Muslim-Italian hold on Asian trade
Portuguese explorer sailing for Spain
His expedition of 15191522 completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth.
Magellan did not complete the entire voyage. He was killed in battle.
Other Nations Challenge the Portuguese English and Dutch begin moving into Asia in 17th century Dutch and English weaken Portuguese control of Asian trade
Form Dutch East India Company for Asian trade
Spain Builds an American Empire
The voyages of Columbus prompt the Spanish to establish colonies in the Americas.
Christopher Columbus, Spanish explorer, as young man.
The Voyages of ColumbusFirst EncountersGenoese sea captain Christopher Columbus reaches Americas (1492)Thinks he is in East Indies, calls natives los indiosIndiansActually lands on an island, probably in the BahamasUnable to find gold, he claims many islands for SpainSee Point/Counterpoint: Legacy of Columbus
See Interhemispherical Exchange of Plants & Animals;One of the most significant events in the history of world ecology, agriculture, and culture that permanently changed Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
ConquistadorsIn 1519, Hernando CortsSpanish adventurerlands in Mexico He and others become known as conquistadorsSpanish conquerors
Corts Conquers the AztecsCorts and 600 men reach Aztec capital of TenochtitlnBy 1521, they conquer Aztec empireConquest aided by superior weapons, Native American alliesEuropean diseases wipe out large numbers of Aztecs
Hernando Corts, Spanish conquistador, received by Montezuma, Aztec emperor.
A few words on Economics . . . The economic theory behind the Age of Exploration was Mercantilism Mercantilism was a precursor to Capitalism See Mercantislism v. Free Market 1500-1776