Content Overview

Unit 4: c. 1450-1750

Exploration

Causes of Exploration

List of Causes of Exploration 

Maritime Tech

New maritime technologies (compass, astrolabe, etc.) gave explorers more confidence in venturing into the open sea

Environmental Knowledge

Explorers acquired more accurate maps & also learned about the ocean's wind patterns → Used the wind to move faster

State Sponsorship

European states sponsored the journeys of explorers by providing ships & crew

Christianity

Europeans sought to spread Christianity throughout the world → Explored more places to spread Christianity there

Gold

Europeans believed in mercantilism, the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world (measured in gold) → Europeans wanted more gold

Glory

European states wanted more glory, which they get by conquering more land

Trade

Europeans wanted to trade directly with Asia (without Ottoman intermediaries)

Events of Exploration

Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) 

Created a vertical line in the Atlantic Ocean: Allowed Portugal to have all lands east & Spain to have all lands west of the line. This is why Spain controlled most of the Americas, while Portugal had many Afro-Eurasian ports

Portuguese Explorers 

Bartholomew Dias

Rounded Cape of Good Hope (South Africa)

1488

Vasco da Gama

Went to India via Cape of Good Hope

1497

Pedro Alvares Cabral

Went to Brazil & claimed it for Portugal

1500

Spanish Explorers 

Christopher Columbus

Sailed Westward, landed in Americas

1492

Ferdinand Magellan

Circumnavigated the world; Claimed Philippines for Spain

1519-22

English Explorers 

John Cabot

Discovered Newfoundland: 1st English discovery

1497

French Explorers 

Jacques Cartier

Discovered Quebec for France

1534

Dutch Explorers 

Henry Hudson

Claimed New Amsterdam (today's NY) for the Dutch 

1609