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Finding a Trade Route to Asia
Why did Europeans decide to try and find
a trade route West to Asia?
 What advancements lead to increased
navigation of the world?
 How was math vital to the European
Explorers during the 15th and 16th
The Age of Discovery
Two major directions:
– Europeans subjugated most of Americas
politically, socially, and economically
– In Asia, economic control was more common
with the Asiatic empires left untouched
Competition resulted in war and worldwide
 A sense of global economy
Voyages of Exploration
Technological Advancements
Travelers from China returned with the
 New ruddereasier steering
 More accurate maps
 Printing pressmaps and travel guides
 Visitors from China brought gunpowder to
Europeused to suppress Indians
 Astrolabelatitude and longitude
New Maritime Technologies
Better Maps
Hartman Astrolabe
Mariner’s Compass
New Weapons Technology
A Map of the Known World,
pre- 1492
Motives for European Exploration
1. Renaissance  curiosity about other lands
and peoples.
2. Reformation  spread Christianity.
3. Monarchs seeking new sources of revenue.
4. Fame and fortune.
The Portuguese Go First!
Prince Henry “the
Navigator” explored
Africa’s coast in search of
gold, slaves, and route to
 Portugal swapped goods
with African tribal chiefs
for slaves
 Portuguese: exploration
of African coast, leading
to sea-route around
Africa to Asian spice
markets; African slave
Museum of Navigation
in Lisbon
Portuguese Maritime Empire
Bartolomeo Dias, 1487-88
Reached Cape of Good Hope
Vasco da Gama, 1498.
Established Portuguese in Calicutta,
Pedro Cabral, 1500
Touched Brazil
Amerigo Vespucci, 1499
Sailed along the coast of South
Spanish Voyages of Columbus
On Oct. 12, 1492 Columbus landed
in the Bahamas and believed he
was in Japan based upon a map by
Marco Polo
 Columbus, 1492: thought Cuba was
Japan & South America--China
 On third trip in 1498, Columbus
realized he was not in Asia when
greeted by the Taino Indians
 Believing he was in the East Indies
he called them “indians” and the
name stuck
Columbus’ Four Voyages
Spanish Maritime Empire
Vasco de Balboa, 1513
– Discovered Pacific Ocean
Hernando Cortes, 1519
– Gathered wealth from
Ferdinand Magellan,
– His ships sailed around the
Francisco Pizarro, 1528
– Captured wealth from the
Incas of Peru
Ferdinand Magellan & the First Circumnavigation
of the World:
Early 16c
Atlantic Explorations
Looking for “El Dorado”
The Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494 &
The Pope’s Line of Demarcation
Spanish Empire in the New World
Aztec Empire(Mexico)
and Incan Empire
(Peru) dominated
central and South
 Cortes defeated
Montezuma II and
Pizzaro defeated
Montezuma II
Mexico Surrenders to Cortez
Impact on Europe
Mining for gold and silver and agriculture led to
revenue for Spain
 New ideas on civilization and religion spread
 New industries and inventions flourished due to
profits from the New World
 consequences: 300+ years of overseas Spanish
empire; Europe’s largest and longest-lived
trading bloc; biological impact of exchanging
plant & animal species, diseases; Native
American devastation
The Church in Spanish America
the conquerors wanted to convert the captured
native people to Christianity and to accept
European culture
 some religious leaders felt the natives were
being treated poorly such as Bartolome de Las
 despite the opposition the Roman Catholic
Church becomes one of the most powerful
conservative forces in Latin America
Father Bartolome de Las Casas
New Laws  1542
The Influence of the Colonial Catholic
Spanish Mission
Our Lady of
Latin America Exploitation
mining – the Spanish conquistadores or
conquerors mined gold and silver with forced
 agriculture – on haciendas, large land estates
owned by the peninsulares (people born in
Spain) and creoles (people of Spanish descent
born in America) used forced labor for mining,
farming and ranching
 plantations in the West Indies used slaves to get
 economic activity in government offices, the
legal profession, and shipping
labor servitude in order of appearance
– encomienda – a formal grant of the right to
the labor of a specific number of Indians
– repartimiento – required adult male Indians
to devote a certain number of days of labor
annually to Spanish economic enterprises
– debt peonage – Indian laborers required to
purchase goods from the landowner to who
they were forever indebted
– black slavery
European Empires in the Americas
Impact in Europe
at first condemned for the treatments of the
native populations, Columbus and other
explorers are hailed 300 years later for opening
up the world to new civilizations
 influx of spices and precious metals increases
inflation in Europe
 new wealth however increased the expansion of
printing, shipping, mining, textile, and weapons
What was the social, religious, and
economical impact of Columbus’ and
others exploration?
Impact of European Expansion
1. Native populations ravaged by
2. Influx of gold, and especially
silver, into Europe created an
inflationary economic climate.
[“Price Revolution”]
3. New products introduced across
the continents [“Columbian
4. Deepened colonial rivalries.
New Colonial Rivals