Foundations of European Exploration

Are you planning on moving away once you are an
adult? Where would you like to go? Why?
List and describe
the foundations
of European
Commercial Revolution
joint stock company
• Mapmaking improved due the goal of pictorial accuracy.
• New maps emphasized that the world was round and Africa and
Asia were added with increased detail.
• Inspired by new maps, daring sea captains began to set out to
new areas across the Atlantic.
• The goal was to find a quicker route from Europe to Asia.
• Compass and Astrolabe
• Improvements also made to ships to make them sail against the
wind, to travel quickly and to be steered more accurately.
• Improved ways of doing business- using money and
increased banking services.
• During the 1400s a standardization of money occurred,
coins were given fixed values.
• New shipments of gold and silver from the New World
increased supplies needed by European monarchs.
• Joint-stock companies created . Owners would sell
shares to investors, thus making them co-owners.
• New exploration was often spurred on by rivalries
between competing countries.
• Gaining riches and colonies = POWER
• Mercantilism= a country’s gov. must make as much
money as possible.
• Favorable balance of trade = selling more goods than
what was imported in.
• Get colonies- metals, raw materials, manufactured
• Population increased after 1500. Harsh living conditions
prompted some to want to live a better life.
• Adventure, possible wealth, fame served as a catalyst.
• Escape religious or political persecution.
Motives for European Exploration
1. Crusades  by-pass intermediaries to
get to Asia. Muslim Control Routes.
2. Renaissance  curiosity about other
lands and peoples.
3. Reformation  refugees & missionaries.
4. Monarchs seeking new sources of
5. Technological advances.
6. Fame and fortune.
Foundations of Exploration
Review Questions:
1. Describe the improvements in navigational aids & ship
construction that made long range exploration possible?
2. What role did colonies play in mercantilism?
3. How would Mercantilism cause international tension to
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