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The Age of Exploration
What was the Age of Exploration?
• A time period when Europeans began to
explore the rest of the world.
• Improvements in mapmaking, shipbuilding,
rigging, and navigation made this possible.
• Blue water sailing, not just coastal boats.
• Policy of mercantilism drives the
What was mercantilism?
• Dominant economic policy during this
– Policy that said there was a limited
amount of money in the world. Each
country needs to grab what they can
before it is gone.
• Export more than you import…more
money in your pocket.
• Colonies and markets were needed to
keep everything in the system.
A Major Concept during the
Age of Exploration
• Colonialism: the control or
governing influence of a nation over a
dependent country, territory, or
• Imperialism: the policy of extending
the rule or authority of an empire or
nation over foreign countries, or of
acquiring and holding colonies and
Why did Colonialism Begin
• Population growth in Europe
• More land needed for
natural resources.
• Higher demand for goods.
• Competition between
countries for land.
How did Colonialism Begin?
• 1400’s: Explorers such as Columbus find
new lands.
• 1500’s: Countries become rich from goods
from new lands.
• Portugal and Spain gain a monopoly over
trade in Americas and East Indies because of
strong fleet of ships.
• 1588: Spanish Armada is Defeated. England,
France, and Denmark begin competing for
The Explorers:
Bartolomeu Dias
• Sailed around Cape
of Good Hope at
southern tip of
• Found route to
Indian Ocean
• Trade can go from
Europe to Asia by
– Major stop is the
Southern part of
West Africa: THE
Vasco da Gama
• Landed in India in
• Important trade
route from Europe to
India and East
Ferdinand Magellan
• His crew made first
• Proved for certain
that the world was
• Magellan was killed
in the Phillippines,
did not make it
The Explorers:
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
• Believed a shorter
route to Asia could be
found by sailing
westward instead of
around Africa.
• Found the Americas
instead. Oops.
What was the Colombian Exchange?
• Massive exchange of plants, animals and
• These things moved between the New and
Old Worlds.
• Started with Columbus.
• To the Americas: cows, horses, wheat,
smallpox, plus much more.
• To Europe: potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco,
corn, plus much more.
What was the Triangular Trade?
• System of trade between Europe, Africa,
and the Americas.
• Stage 1: Raw materials to Europe
(tobacco, rum, sugar)
• Stage 2: Manufactured goods to Africa
(guns, cloth, rum)
• Stage 3: Slaves to the Americas to make
raw materials. Also called: The Middle
The Slave Trade
• Europeans began to use slave labor in
their colonies on sugarcane plantations,
later on additional crops.
• Native Americans used for a while, but
Africans began to be brought to the
• The slave trade then became the main
focus of Europe’s relations with Africa.
• IMPACT: Warfare and complete culture
change for the African people
The Triangular