AROUND THE WORLD IN NOT QUITE EIGHTY DAYS Exploration and Consequences BEFORE THE LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY Exploration before the late fifteenth century was largely limited to land travel Ships were used on the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean trade routes for centuries, but they were linked up to
land routes through Persia, Arabia, northern Africa, or central Asia on the Silk Road Eager to eliminate Muslim middlemen and discover more efficient trade routes to Asia, the Portuguese and their Iberian rivals, the Spanish, set out to sea FLOATING EMPIRES OF THE WIND Advances in navigation, ship-building,
and the development of gunpowder weapons allowed for increased sea travel These floating empires of the wind soon controlled major shipping routes in the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and the Atlantic Ocean PORTUGAL LEADS THE WAY The increase in European trade encouraged by the Hanseatic League and the Crusades spawned a search for new,
efficient trade routes on the seas Portugal led the way because it was strategically situated near the coast of Africa, had longstanding trade relations with Muslim nations, and most important of all, was led by a royal family that supported exploration (the head of the royal family was known as Prince In 1488, Portugal financed a voyage by Bartholomew Dias who rounded the tip of Africa (which became known as the Cape of Good Hope)
In 1497, Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, explored the east African kingdoms, and then went all the way to India, where he established trade relations SPAIN Shortly thereafter, Spain, which had recently been unified under Isabella and Ferdinand, wanted in on the action In 1492, Christopher Columbus
convinced them to finance a voyage to the east by going west While those who were educated understood that the Earth was a sphere, few people understood how large it was Despite the fact that some scholars had accurately estimated the Earths size, most people, including Columbus, thought it was smaller As a result, Columbus thought that India
and China were located where the American continents were Columbus sailed, found Cuba and the islands that came to be known as the West Indies, and the exploration of the Americas was underway TREATY OF TORDESILLAS By 1494, Portugal and Spain were already fighting over land in the newly found Americas To resolve their differences, the two
countries drew up the Treaty of Tordesillas, which established a line of demarcation on a longitudinal (northsouth) line that runs through the western Atlantic Ocean Everything to the east = Portugal To the west = Spain ENGLAND, THE NETHERLANDS, AND FRANCE Soon, England, the Netherlands, and France launched their own expeditions They competed with each other by
rapidly acquiring colonies and conquering new lands The cost and risk associated with these expeditions made it necessary for explorers to rely on the backing of strong and wealthy states THE RISE OF NATIONALISM Merchants also wanted protection for their trade routes, which could also be acquired through allegiance to a particular sovereignty Colonialism and the expansion of trade
routes contributed to the rise of nationalism and the development of strong monarchies OTHER EXPLORERS Amerigo Vespucci explored South America on several trips around 1500, realized that the continent was huge and not part of Asia; Americas named for him Ponce de Leon In 1513, explored Florida for Spain in search of the
fountain of youth Vasco de Balboa In 1513, explored much of Central America for Spain; laid sight on the Pacific Ocean Ferdinand Magellan In 1519, sailed around the tip of South America to the Pacific Ocean for Portugalmade it as far as Philippines, where he died; his crew continued, however, and became the first to circumnavigate the globe
Giovanni di Verrazano In 1524, he explored the North American coast for France Sir Francis Drake In 1578, became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe John Cabot In 1597, explored the coast of North America for England Henry Hudson In 1609, sailed for the Dutch looking for a northwest passage to Asia; explored the Hudson River and made claims to the area for the Dutch THE POWER OF
INNOVATION In the late fifteenth century, innovation was combined with determination to apply new technologies to political and economic goals THE TECHNOLOGIES
Advanced mapmaking techniques Sternpost rudder (invented in China during the Han Dynasty) Lateen Sails (allowed ships to sail in any direction regardless of wind) Astrolabe (portable navigation device by measuring the distance of the sun and stars above the horizon helped determine latitude) Magnetic Compass (borrowed from Chinese, through trade with Arabs allowed sailors to determine direction without staying in the sight of land)
Three-Masted Caravels large ships employed significantly larger sails could hold provisions for longer journeys in their larger cargo rooms By the late fifteenth century, these inventions had converged on one continent largely through trade This continent (Europe) was fiercely competitive about trade routes, newly wealthy, increasingly organized under strong leaders, and racing with the innovation and imagination of the
CONFLICT ON THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT With explorations, commercial exploitation, and wealth of the New World came further conflict on the European continent as well as in the colonies At first, the Dutch were the most successful in the competition with the Iberian peninsula for overseas control, for they had an efficient merchant ship (the flyboat) that was able to challenge Portuguese control in the East Indies to
establish Dutch interests in the New World The Netherlands monopolized whaling in the Arctic and trade in the Baltic Temporarily (until 1664) they controlled New Amsterdam (New York), the northeast coast of Brazil (until 1654), and the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa But the Netherlands became entangled in a series of wars with France and
England, and lacked the manpower and resources necessary to compete with mightier neighbors ENGLAND AND FRANCE England and France became supreme in the commercial rivalry of the eighteenth century, in part because of their high industrial production and in part because of the fact that their governments were organized on a national scale Over half of Englands trade became transoceanic, whereas only one-third of
Frances trade was involved overseas the other two-thirds were in Europe and the Near East The eventual decline of the Netherlands and the Iberian powers left England and France to fight for the mastery of the New World and to maintain a balance of power on the European continent Conflicts for control for North America, India, and eventually Africa, as well as for supremacy at home, were fought in 1679
1689 (King Williams War) and 1701- 1713 (The War of the Spanish Succession or Queen Annes War) The Peace of Utrecht in 1713 partitioned the Spanish empire: Belgium, Naples, Sicily, and Milan went to the Austrian Hapsburgs, Sardinia to the Duke of Savoy and Minorca and Gibraltar to England England also acquired Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Hudson Bay area from France Then followed the War of the Austrian Succession (King Georges War) in 17401748 and the Seven Years War in 17561763 Although there were eight years
between them, they were essentially the same war, for their causes were the same: 1. A struggle between Britain and France for colonies, trade and mastery of the seas 2. A duel between Prussia and Austria for power in Central Europe THE SEVEN YEARS WAR
The Seven Years War began in America but soon spread to Europe On the continent, it was merely another war of partition The Marquis of Montcalm was finally defeated by General James Wolfe at Quebec, and Joseph Dupleix was defeated by Robert Clive in India The deciding factor in the colonies was the superior strength of the British navy
After the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763, England was in control of North America and India, supreme on the seas, and, hence, the most powerful nation in the world France surrendered the St. Lawrence Valley and all territory east of the Mississippi in America Spain lost Florida to the British, and France lost all her fortifications in India IN SUMMARY
The fifteenth century was a dynamic century, which saw many radical changes New political, economic, religious and dynastic forces were at work throughout western Europe, and all of these challenged feudal society sealing the fate of the landed aristocracy and, to some degree, that of the Church in Rome Changes affected all classes of society, but none so profoundly as
It was during the 15th century that a new class of merchants, ship-builders, tradesmen and others appeared - living in and around Europe's old medieval towns This class was to ally itself with the monarchs of Europe, and nothing illustrates this merchant-monarch alliance better than the career of Christopher Columbus A son of Genoa and a member of the new aspiring class, Columbus' ultimate success came as a direct result of having forged an unparalleled alliance with Isabella and Ferdinand, the Catholic monarchs of Spain
Although there were some attempts on the part of China to extend its influence westward around India before the 15th century, almost all subsequent efforts at discovery of far-away lands and seas have been made by western explorers This is why there has been such an overwhelming European bias to the traditional commemoration of the Age of Discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries The explorations of this time led to a worldwide expansion of European power in many waysAs always, it was the victor
who wrote the history of the age, and the people and countries that made the discoveries were the main beneficiaries of the new wealth and glory Clearly, Europeans were not the only people to initiate voyages of discovery The peoples of North Africa and Asia, long before the 15th century, had sailed into unknown seas and explored distant
lands These discoveries, however, for the most part, either were kept secret to protect lucrative trade routes or resulted in only small additions to a larger picture And before the time of the printing press, which led to the great expansion of learning at the time of the European Renaissance (roughly 1400 to 1550), the discoveries were known only within
Exploration on a grand scale can only occur when great changes in technology or in political power make new ways of travelling possible It was the rise of the European national monarchies, with their profound political and dynastic influence, that most helped to encourage the new spirit of adventure To a 15th-century explorer, royal sponsorship was a necessity, not a luxury Who else but a monarch could conduct diplomatic relations, colonize land and create an ultramarine government? It was no coincidence that the Age of Discovery occurred at the same time as the appearance
of the first truly national governments in western Europe
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