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4 Age of European Exploration

The expanding economics of European states stimulated increased trade with markets in Asia. With the loss of
Constantinople in 1453, European nations fronting the Atlantic sought new maritime routes for trade. Europeans
migrated to new colonies in the Americas, creating new cultural and social patterns. Europeans established trading
posts and colonies in Africa and Asia.
Factors contributing to the European discovery of lands in the Western Hemisphere
The demand for gold, spices, and natural resources in Europe led to increased exploration and colonization. Many
Europeans wanted to spread their Christian beliefs and supported the diffusion of Christianity into other cultures.
Political and economic competition between European empires motivated them to establish new colonies in the world.
Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, which established a line of demarcation dividing the
newly discovered lands outside of Europe between the two nations. New innovations by European and Islamic origins
in navigational arts aided in exploration and discovery of new lands, including new, more accurate maps of the world,
lighter, faster ships like the caravel by the Portuguese, and the dry compass, developed in Europe and adapted from the
original Chinese compass. Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal played a pioneering role in promoting exploration,
as he worked to develop new maps, design new ships and train young sailors for land voyages. Prince henry sponsored
voyages into the Atlantic, and to the southern tip of Africa.
Establishment of overseas empires and decimation of indigenous populations
Portugal - Bartholomeu Dias was the first European known to sail around the Cape of Good Hope at the Southern tip
of Africa. Vasco da Gama, continued Dias path, being the first to sail directly from Europe to India around the Cape
of Good Hope, and establishing control over trading ports around the Indian Ocean.
Spain - Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic looking for Asia. Columbus landed in Caribbean,
believing he had reached the Indies, and claimed the land for Spain, establishing early European colonies in the
western hemisphere. Hernando Cortez, a Spanish conquistador, explored much of Central America and allied himself
with Aztec enemies to conquer the Aztec empire by 1521. Francisco Pizarro, a conquistador who explored in South
America, conquered Incan Empire in 1533 which led to Spanish control over much of South America. Ferdinand
Magellan led expedition for a more direct sea route to Asia. Magellan was killed in the Philippines, but his ships were
the first to circumnavigate the globe.
England - Sir Francis Drake was the first English explorer to circumnavigate the globe.
France - Jacques Cartier led French expeditions across the Atlantic in search of a Northwest Passage. Though a
direct water route through North America to Asia was never discovered, Cartier claimed land in North America for
Violent conflict and exposure to European diseases such as small pox led to the decimation of Native Americans,
eliminating approximately 90% of the Native American population within 100 years of European settlement.
The Influence of Religion on Exploration
One motive for exploration was to spread the Christian religion. There were several different means for the diffusion
of Christianity into other cultures. This included the migration of colonists to new lands, the influence of Catholic and
Protestant colonists, who carried their faith, language, and cultures to new lands, and the conversion of indigenous
peoples to new territories.
Impact of Exploration on the Americas
European exploration led to the expansion of overseas territorial claims and European emigration to North and South
America as permanent colonies were established by the English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Dutch. Settlement
led to the demise of Aztec and Incan Empires, as well as many other Native American cultures. European exploration
left the legacy of a rigid class system and dictatorial rule in Latin America that lasted for more than three centuries.
European settlement led to the expansion of slavery to the new world, and the forced migration of Africans who had
been enslaved. New colonies began to imitate the culture and social patterns of their parent countries, including
religion, political structures, and social customs.
Impact of Exploration on Africa
European explorers established trading posts along the coast of Africa, and traded with the major African empires,
included the Songhai. They traded in slaves, gold, and other resources.
Impact of Exploration on Asia

Asia was colonized primarily by small groups of merchants, including India, the Indies, and China. Trading
companies established by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British influenced the development of cultures in colonized
The Columbian Exchange and Triangular Trade
The discovery of the Americas by Europeans resulted in an exchange of products and resources between the Eastern
and Western Hemispheres. The Columbian Exchange changed the lifestyles of Europeans as well as Native
Americans as new food, animals, and diseases were introduced into both cultures.
Western Hemisphere agricultural products, such as corn, potatoes, and tobacco, changed European lifestyles.
European horses and cattle changed the lifestyles of American Indians.
European diseases, such as smallpox, killed many American Indians.
The Columbian Exchange aided in the growing system of slavery in the Western hemisphere. The development of the
plantation system in the Caribbean and the Americas destroyed indigenous economies and damaged the environment.
The shortage of labor to grow cash crops led to the use of African slaves.
European nations established a trade pattern known as the triangular trade and exported precious metals from the
Americas. Triangular trade linked Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Slaves, sugar, and rum were traded.
Export of precious metals

Gold and silver exported to Europe and Asia

Impact on indigenous empires of the Americas

Impact on Spain and international trade

WHII.5Major World Empires

The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire emerged as a political and economic power following the conquest of Constantinople. The
Ottomans brought much of Muslim territory in Southwest Asia and North Africa under their rule.
The Ottoman Empire was originally located on Asia Minor. And extended to include parts of Southwest Asia,
Southeastern Europe, the Balkan Peninsula and North Africa.
The capital at Constantinople was renamed Istanbul, and the Islamic religion became a unifying force in the Ottoman
Empire, although it did accept other religions. The Ottoman Empire became known for trade in coffee and ceramics.

The Mughal Empire

The Muslim Mughal (Mogul) Empire was made up of descendants of the Mongols, and established an empire in
northern India, though much of southern India remained independent and continued international trade.
The Mughal Empire traded with European nation, and helped contribute to the spread of Islam in India.
Establishment of European trading outposts increased
trade, and eventually led to the end of the Mughal
Indian textiles became a major influence on the
British textile industry.
Art and architecture of the Mughal Empire included
the Taj Mahal, built between 1632-1648 as a
mausoleum for the wife of Mughal Ruler Shah Jahan.
Portugal, England, and the Netherlands competed for
the Indian Ocean trade by establishing coastal ports on
the Indian sub-continent
Southern India traded silks, spices, and gems.
The Taj Mahal

China sought to limit the influence and activities of European merchants.
America and European powers created foreign enclaves to control trade. These spheres of influence were part of
imperial policies of controlling foreign influences and trade. Trade brought about an increase in European demand for
Chinese goods like tea, and porcelain.
Japan was characterized by the powerless emperor controlled by a military leader, a shogun. Japan adopted policy of
isolation to limit foreign influences in Japan.
The exportation of slaves and demand for imported goods began to alter traditional economic patterns in Africa. African
exports included slaves as part of the triangular trade routes with Europe and the Americas, and raw materials like ivory
and gold. African imports included manufactured goods from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and new food products
such as corn and peanuts.
The impact of trade on the growth of European nations, including the Commercial Revolution and mercantilism.
European maritime nations competed for overseas markets, colonies, and resources, creating new economic practices,
such as mercantilism, linking European nations with their colonies. Mercantilism is an economic practice adopted by
European colonial powers in an effort to become self-sufficient; based on the theory that colonies existed for the benefit of
the mother country.
The Commercial Revolution was a period during which European maritime nations competed for overseas markets,
colonies, and resources, and a new economic system emerged. This led to the creation of new money and banking
systems, economic practices such as mercantilism evolved, and colonial economies became limited by the economic
needs of the mother country.