Europeans Explore the East
Chapter 3 Section 1
Main Ideas Economics fueled the age of exploration, and the consequences included worldwide interaction among people of many cultures. The voyages of Columbus prompted a worldwide exchange of everything from religious and political ideas to new foods and plants.
For “God, Glory & Gold” Prior to 1400:
Exploration was rare. Most Europeans did not have much interest or the technology to explore. Due to Renaissance ideas, Europeans felt a desire to explore the world. Main reasons for exploration after 1400: the desire to find new sources of wealth and spread Christianity. Sailing advancements also played a role.
Europeans Seek New Trade Routes
After being introduced to spices and luxuries from Asia, Europeans kept demanding more. Supply and demand: What do you think happened to the prices?
Eliminating the Middle Man
Muslims & Italians controlled trade area from East to West. Muslims sold goods to Italians. Italians controlled area around the Mediterranean Sea. Italians sold goods to merchants at high prices. → decreased merchants’ profits. Solution? Find a sea route directly to Asia to bypass Italian merchants.
Technology Makes Exploration Possible
Before the 1400s, European ships could not sail against the wind. Problems? Solution: Development of a caravel with triangular sails. Navigational techniques improved. Astrolabe – allowed captains to calculate latitude. Magnetic compass – track direction.
The Portuguese Explore Africa
Portugal was the leader in development and application of sailing innovations. Prince Henry helped conquer Muslim cities. Founded a navigation school. Established trade posts along western shore of Africa. Why? Eventually traded for African slaves. Next move? Trade route to Asia.
Portuguese Sailors Reach Asia
To reach Asia, Portuguese would have to go around the southern tip of Africa. 1488, Bartolomeu Dias rounded tip (Cape of Good Hope) and explored the southeast coast. Food supply low – turned around.
Vasco da Gama 1497, Vasco da Gama began exploring the east coast.
1498, reached India (27,000 miles away). Spices, rare silks, precious gems. Returned to Portugal with pepper & cinnamon. Their cargo was worth 60 times the cost of the voyage! Significance? Direct sea route to India.
Spain Also Makes Claims
Spain was getting envious of Portugal. 1492, Christopher Columbus’ idea? Reach Asia by sailing west across Atlantic. What actually happened? Spain financed his plan. Reached a Caribbean island but thought it was the East Indies. Was he a complete failure?
Columbus His mistake would lead to the colonization of the Americas.
Portuguese believed Columbus had reached Asia. Ever wondered why Native Americans were called Indians? Portuguese also felt that Columbus claimed land for Spain that was already Portugal’s.
1493, Pope Alexander, IV suggested: Line of Demarcation – imaginary line drawn from north to south across the Atlantic Purpose? – Everything west of line would be Spain’s; everything east of line would be Portugal’s. Line shifted to give modern-day Brazil to Portugal. Signed the Treaty of Tordesillas – agreeing to honor the line. Helped decrease conflict over the claiming of new lands.
Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean
Da Gama’s voyage led to: Direct sea trade with Asia Violent conflict with the East Europeans scrambled to establish trade routes along coasts of Africa. Battling region’s inhabitants and each other.
The Dutch By 1600, they owned 20,000 vessels (the most in the world).
The Dutch and English pushed out Portugal as a leader in the Asian region. Then they battled each other. They both had formed an East India Company to establish a direct trade throughout Asia. Minted money, made treaties and raised their own armies. Who won? The Dutch
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