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Chapter 15 - The Maritime Revolution, to 1550


The following questions roughly outline Chapter 15 from your textbook. Each question is directly
linked to other questions. You must be able to discuss all the information presented in your
chapterNOT just what is on the study guidewithin the AP concepts that we discuss in class.
Be aware that while the questions are basically in order, there is overlapping information.
Some later sections may deal with previous questions.
Global Maritime Expansion Before 1450
The Pacific Ocean (KC: 2.3; 4.1.3e)
1. Explain why the voyages of Polynesian peoples over vast distances across the Pacific Ocean
were some of the most impressive feats in maritime history before 1450.
2. Using Map 15.1, trace the colonization of the eastern Pacific dating from 400 CE to 1300 CE.
3. What evidence is there that the Polynesians have originated from Malaysia?
The Indian Ocean
4. What settlement activity makes Madagascar unique?
5. What makes Indian Ocean sailing easier than any other area? (KC 3.1.1a)
6. Give examples of how medieval Islam gave the Indian Ocean trade a boost.
7. Summarize Zheng Hes Expeditions in the Indian Ocean between 1405 and 1433 (purpose,
means, results) (KC 4.1.3a)
8. Using the drawing Chinese junk on p. 406: How does the Chinese treasure ship compare to
the European caravel in its efficiency? (KC 4.1.2)
The Atlantic Ocean
9. How were the Viking mariners in the North Atlantic similar to their Pacific counterparts?
10. What areas were colonized by Vikings in the North Atlantic? Why were these areas later
11. What resulted from the African voyages in the 14th century commissioned by Mansa
12. Using map 15.2 describe Amerindian maritime activity into the early 16th century.
European Expansion 1450-1550
13. How did expeditions of the Iberian kingdoms begin a maritime revolution that profoundly
altered the course of world history?
Motives for Exploration
14. Why did the Iberian kingdoms sponsor voyages of exploration I the 15th century?
15. How did the centuries of warfare with Muslim kingdoms give the Iberian kingdoms an edge
over the Italians?
Portuguese Voyages (KC: 4.1.3b)
16. How did the capture of Ceuta in 1415 give the Portuguese a lead in the Age of Exploration?
17. What was the curriculum of Prince Henrys School of Navigation? What improvements to
navigation did the student-explorers make?
18. As a result of Prince Henrys efforts what forms of trade did Portugal enter into? Which proved
to be the most profitable?
19. Identify the importance of the following Portuguese explorers:
Fernao Gomes
Bartolemeu Dias
Vasco da Gama
Pedro Cabral

Environment + Technology: Vasco da Gamas Fleet

20. Describe how the Portuguese ensured that the ships in da Gamas fleet would make it to
India and back.
Spanish voyages (KC: 4.1.3c)
21. What delayed Spains entrance into the Age of Discovery?
22. Describe Columbuss journey west.
23. Why was the New World named for Amerigo Vespucci instead of Columbus?
24. What was the agreement between Spain and Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas?
25. Describe Magellans circumnavigation of the globe as well as its importance.
26. Why were the consequences of Columbuss voyages momentous for European expansion?
Encounters with Europe, 1450-1550 (KC 4.3.2a, c)
27. Why were Europeans more successful in colonizing the New World compared to Africa or Asia
in the
15-16th centuries?
Western Africa
28. Why were West Africans eager to open up commercial relations with Portugal?
29. How did the Africans keep an upper hand over Portugal, at least early on?
30. Discuss the commercial relationship between the Portuguese and Benin.
31. What was the African reaction to guns, the demand for slaves, and Christianity/Catholicism?
Compare Benins reaction to Kongos.
Eastern Africa
32. What was the Muslim reaction to Portuguese encroachment on their trade centers along the
Swahili Coast?
33. Discuss the unique relationship shared between Ethiopia and Portugal.
Indian Ocean States
34. What was the initial reaction to da Gamas attempts to open trade with the Indian states?
35. What advantage did Portugal have in making the Indian Ocean a Portuguese sea? Results?
36. How did the Portuguese maintain a commercial monopoly in the Indian Oceanstretching to
37. Why did the Mughals and Chinese ignore the Portuguese? Why did the Ottomans resist?
38. Why did Portugal have little impact on the mainland of Africa and Asia?
Diversity + Dominance: Kongos Christian King
Read Afonsos letters and answer the questions for analysis on p. 418
39. What sorts of things does King Afonso desire from the Portuguese?
40. What is he willing to do/not do in return?
41. What problem with his own people has the slave trade created, and what has King Afonso
done about it?
42. Does King Afonso see himself as an equal to King John or his subordinate? Do you agree with
that analysis?
The Americas (KC: 4.1.5a)
43. How did the Spanish influence on the Americas differ from Portugals influence on Africa and
44. Describe the conquests of the Aztecs by Cortez and the Inca by Pizarro. What enabled these
smaller forces to conquer the larger empires?
Issues in World HistoryClimate and Population to 1500 (KC: 3.1.4b) pp. 430-431
45. How did climate and disease affect the population of Europe and Asia during the period from
1100- 1500?