Ch 15 Exploration

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European Exploration &
Conquest 1450-1650
Chapter 15
Key Concepts
 From ancient to medieval times, there was a
widespread and thriving network of global trade
among East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean,
the Middle East and Africa. This network was
transformed by the intrusion of new groups of
Europeans. The Portuguese and the Dutch competed
first with Muslim merchants and then with each other
in Asia. They joined the British and French in the
exploration and colonization of the Americas.
Key Concepts
 Europeans had a variety of motives as well as certain
technological advantages that prompted the
expansion of their trade in Asia and their exploration
of the New World. “Gold, God and Glory” were not
only motivators of exploration, but also led
Europeans to colonize in ways that fostered
economic development and Christianization.
Key Concepts
Among the consequences of the encounter of the Old World with the
New was:
 a rapid and thorough decimation of the native population,
 the transformation of their economic and religious lives,
 an enormous expansion of the already existing African slave trade.
The Columbian exchange
 people, crops and animals led to radical changes in agriculture and
diets, as well as in values and technology
 gold and silver infused the European economy,
 inflation benefited the middle classes while hurting the poor and
those on fixed incomes.
 The increasing wealth of the middle class was an important change in
the social structure.
 Intellectual life saw the introduction of new ideas like skepticism and
cultural relativism as well as new forms of racism.
AP Tip
 For those of you interested in world history, the first
section of this chapter is very rich with a detailed
exploration of centers of wealth and trade around the
globe. Although most of this material would not
appear on an AP European history exam, it is
important to understand it for background and the
long-term legacy of colonialism. Pay particular
attention to those sections that deal with Europe.
Setting the Stage for the New Age
I. The Commercial Revolution (c. 1500-1700)
A. Causes
1. Roots in the Middle Ages (e.g. Hanseatic League)
2. Population growth: 70 million in 1500; 90 million in 1600; thus, more
consumers existed
3. “Price revolution”: (long slow upward trend in prices)
a. Increased food prices, increased volume of money, and the influx of
gold & silver
b. Increased prices meant increase in supply of goods
4. States and emerging empires sought to increase their economic power
5. Rise in capitalism (laissez-faire): entrepreneurs invested money in their
own businesses or other business ventures.
 The middle class (bourgeoisie) led the way.
The Rise of Capitalism
 Banking
 The Fuggers in Germany and the Medicis in Italy were among the leading
bankers in Europe.
 Funded countless economic activities
 Antwerp in Flanders became the banking and commercial center of Europe in
the 16th century.
 The Hanseatic League evolved from within the German states in the Middle Ages
that eventually controlled trade in much of northern Europe well into the 16th
century.
 The League was a mercantile association of numerous cities and towns.
 Chartered companies: state provided monopolies in certain areas (e.g. British
East India Co. and the Dutch East India Co.)
 These chartered companies became, in effect, a state within a state with
large fleets of ships and military power.
 Joint-stock companies: investors pooled resources for a common purpose
(forerunner of the modern corporation).
 One of the early prime examples of capitalism.
 Stock markets emerged: e.g., the bourse in Antwerp
 Investors financed a company by purchasing shares of stock; as the value of
the company grew so did the value of the stock, and thus the investors’
profit.
The Transititon
 Slow transition from a European society that was
almost completely rural and isolated, to a society that
was more developed with the emergence of towns.
 Many serfs, mostly in Western Europe, improved their
social position as a result.
 Wealth could be taxed
 The age of exploration developed as competing
nations sought to create new empires overseas
 Rise of nation states (“New Monarchs”) resulted in
competition for empires and trade
 Portugal and Spain sought to break the Italian monopoly on
trade with Asia.
World Trade Before
the Age of Exploration
 Global economic network
 Silk Road – China
 Silk & porcelains
 Indian Ocean – Roman Empire
 Indian jewels; peppers, cloves, textiles, African slaves, gold,
ivory
 Malacca – Malaysia
 connected Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean
 Multinational/Multicultural
 Euro contribution minimal until mid 1500s
 China, India, Ottoman Turkey, Safavid Persia and Egypt
held dominant roles
World Trade Before
the Age of Exploration
 Venice & Genoa
 During the Medieval period Venice became very
wealthy/powerful
 Excellent navy
 Dominated the Mediterranean and Asian trade
 Slaves
 Luxury goods
 silks
 Spices
 Played important role in exploration of the New World
 Management of commercial enterprises – Sugar Plantations
 Decline of dominance
 Ottomans overtook trade markets
 Portuguese & Dutch challenges on the other side
 Atlantic rather than the Mediterranean routes
Causes of European Exploration
 Mid-15thC
 Recuperation
 Black Death
 Population growth
 Gold
 Demand for spices & luxury goods
 More gold/silver sources to pay for goods
 New routes – bypass Ottoman held Istanbul
 Direct access to Asia
 Christian Fervor
 Victory over last Muslim kingdom in Spain 1492
 Convert non-Christians – Asia & Americas
 Glory
 Conquest/adventure
 Renaissance curiosity
 Thirst for knowledge
 Natural history
 Geography
 cosmology
Impact of the Renaissance
 “God, glory and gold” were the primary motives
 Christian Crusaders in the 11th & 14th centuries created
European interest in Asia and the Middle East
 Rise of nation states (“New Monarchs”) resulted in
competition for empires and trade
 Portugal and Spain sought to break the Italian monopoly
on trade with Asia.
 Impact of Renaissance: search for knowledge
 Revival of Platonic studies, especially mathematics
 Awareness of living “at dawn of a new age”
 Invention of the printed book: resulted in the spread of
accurate texts and maps
Causes of European Exploration
 Technology
 Advances borrowed from the East
 Caravel – replaced the galley ship
 Navigational tools
 Astrolabe
 Magnetic compass
 Military weapons
 Cannons – made exploration & conquest possible
 Ptolemy’s Geography
 Inaccurate
 Encouraged the idea that sailing west from Eur. to Asia was
possible
Technology
 Technological advances facilitated sea travel
 Advances in astronomy helped in charting locations at sea
 Instruments
 Magnetic compass (ca. 1300): pointed to the magnetic north making it
easier to determine direction.
 A number of instruments were used to determine latitude by
measuring the altitude of celestial bodies.
 Quadrant (ca. 1450): used to determine latitude by measuring the altitude
of celestial bodies
 Mariner’s astrolabe (ca. 1480): used to determine latitude by measuring the
altitude of celestial bodies
 Cross staff (ca. 1550): used to find the latitude by measuring the altitude of
the Pole Star above the horizon
Ships
 Portuguese caravel (ca. 1450)
 Lighter, faster ships than the Spanish Galleons and much better
suited for exploration along the African Coast
 Could sail into the wind
 Lateen sail and rope riggings
 Enabled sails to be quickly and efficiently maneuvered to take
advantage of wind power
 Axial rudder (side rudder)
 Provided for improved change of direction
 Gunpowder and cannons
 Provided protection against hostile ships and facilitated the
domination of indigenous peoples in lands explored
Empires
 Portugal
 Prince Henry - The Navigator
 Early voyages of the west coast of Africa
 Conquered the Arab city of Ceuta – Morocco
 Initiated Eur. exploration & colonization
 Madeira
 Azores Mauritania – NW Africa
 Cape of Good Hope
 Bartholomew Diaz 1487
 Vasco da Gama 1497
 Continued on to Calicut – India

Returned laden with spices & textiles
 Trading Posts estab.
 India
 Violent conflicts with rulers
 Alfonso de Albuquerque defeated Malacca, Goa, and other trading centers – laid foundation of
Portuguese empire in Asia
 Brazil
 Pedro Alvares Cabral

Sighted Brazil - 1500


Rich mineral resources & lucrative sugar plantations
 2 million African slaves
Most important Portuguese colony
Portuguese in India
Portuguese in India
In the sixteenth century Portuguese men moved to the Indian Ocean basin to
work as administrators and traders. This Indo-Portuguese drawing shows a
Portuguese man speaking to an Indian woman, perhaps making a proposal of
marriage. (Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome)
Copyright ©Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Empires
 Spain
 Christopher Columbus
 Genoese – sailed for Spain, Ferdinand & Isabella
 Hero or villain
 Experienced in seafaring
 Trade and circumventing other countries
 Devote Christian
 Missionary vision
 Report to Spain
 Conversion of natives
 Gold & silver
 Believed he reached Asia (until dying day)
 Contribution had extraordinary impact on world history
 Conquest and colonization
 2nd voyage
 Enslaved the people of Hispaniola
 Forerunner of Encomienda system
 Inept at governing – led to royal control of his conquered areas
Empires
 Spain cont.
 The Treaty of Tordesillas 1494
 Made by Pope Alexander VI
 Divided New World
 Spain – everything west
 Portugal – everything east
 Imaginary line 370 leagues west of the Cape Verdes Islands
 Ferdinand Magellan
 Commissioned by Charles V – further voyages when no gold/silver
found in Caribbean
 Magellan 1st to circumnavigate the globe
 Route to Asia via the Atlantic
 Horrific 3 yr voyage




Disasters at sea
Starvation
Mutinies
Death of Magellan in the Philippines
 Demonstrated the vastness of the Pacific
 Led Spain to abandon its competition win Portugal for the Asian spice
trade
Empires

Spain cont.
 Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1517): Discovered the Pacific Ocean after crossing the Isthmus of
Panama in 1513.

Spanish Conquistadores: began creating empires by conquering Indians
 Hernando Cortès (1485-1547): conquered the Aztecs in Mesoamerica by 1521.
 Francisco Pizarro (1478-1541): conquered the Inca Empire along the Andes mountains in
modern-day Peru in 1532
Empires
 Spain cont.
 Hernando Cortes’
 Conqueror - Mexico
 Few men – horses & cannons
 Fortuitous elements beyond his control
 Dissention w/n the Aztec empire
 Demoralized population
 Weakened leadership
 Aztec Empire – large/wealthy/sophisticated
 Montezuma & advisors made decisions logical for their culture – paved the
way for Spanish victory
 Francisco Pizarro
 Incan conquest – Peru 1531
 Incans known for engineering & construction
 Facing internal dissention
 Executed leader Atahualpa
 Took until 1570 to gain control
Empires
 Spain cont.
 New World colonies
 200,000 Spaniards immigrated in the 16thC




soldiers & drifters
Estab large agricultural/ranching estates
Sugar plantations
Silver mines – Bolivia & Mexico
 Encomienda system - forced labor
 Rapid decline of native pop
 Brutal exploitation
 Led to the death of 1000s
 Exposure to Eur disease
 Land converted from subsistence to cash crops
 Bartolome’ de Las Casas
 Empathized with natives – lamented cruelty
 Argued for the rights of natives
 Charles V responded by abolishing the worst abuses
Empires
 Holland – Dutch
 Dominated world maritime trade – 2nd ½ of 17thC
 Financial center since 16thC
 1602 estab Dutch East India Company
 Expanded their spice markets
 Ceylon
 Indonesian archipelago

Monopoly – highly profitable Asian spice trade
 New World trade
 Briefly held a colony - New York
 France & England
 Less dramatic
 Jon Cabot
 Genoese
 Explored Newfoundland & New England for British
 Jacques Cartier
 Explored Quebec for France
 1st permanent settlement for France in New World
Portuguese in India
Portuguese in India
In the sixteenth century Portuguese men moved to the Indian Ocean basin to
work as administrators and traders. This Indo-Portuguese drawing shows a
Portuguese man speaking to an Indian woman, perhaps making a proposal of
marriage. (Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome)
Copyright ©Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Philip II
Philip II
Alonso Sanchez Coello (1531-1588), a
Spanish court painter, portrays Philip II
in an unflattering way. He tried to
combine truth with respect, showing
the king dressed in the austere black
that was in fashion at the Spanish
court, his hand fingering a rosary, and
wearing the Order of the Golden
Fleece (an order of knighthood)
around his neck. The son of Emperor
Charles V, Philip came to the throne at
the age of 29, and had control over all
Spanish colonial territories, the
Netherlands, and a large area of
Southern Italy. He was also a force to
be reckoned with in England. (Museo
del Prado)
Copyright ©Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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