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Age of discovery

age of discovery

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Age of discovery -

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First, toward the end of the 14th century, the vast empire of the Mongols was breaking up; thus, Western merchants could no longer be assured of safe-conduct along the land routes.

Second, the Ottoman Turks and the Venetians controlled commercial access to the Mediterranean and the ancient sea routes from the East.

Third, new nations on the Atlantic shores of Europe were now ready to seek overseas trade and adventure. Henry the Navigator , prince of Portugal , initiated the first great enterprise of the Age of Discovery—the search for a sea route east by south to Cathay.

His motives were mixed. He was curious about the world; he was interested in new navigational aids and better ship design and was eager to test them; he was also a Crusader and hoped that, by sailing south and then east along the coast of Africa, Arab power in North Africa could be attacked from the rear.

The promotion of profitable trade was yet another motive; he aimed to divert the Guinea trade in gold and ivory away from its routes across the Sahara to the Moors of Barbary North Africa and instead channel it via the sea route to Portugal.

Expedition after expedition was sent forth throughout the 15th century to explore the coast of Africa. Prince Henry died in after a career that had brought the colonization of the Madeira Islands and the Azores and the traversal of the African coast to Sierra Leone.

All seemed promising; trade was good with the riverine peoples, and the coast was trending hopefully eastward. Then the disappointing fact was realized: King John II sought to establish two routes: In he rounded the Cape of Storms in such bad weather that he did not see it, but he satisfied himself that the coast was now trending northeastward; before turning back, he reached the Great Fish River, in what is now South Africa.

On the return voyage, he sighted the Cape and set up a pillar upon it to mark its discovery. The seaway was now open, but eight years were to elapse before it was exploited.

In Columbus had apparently reached the East by a much easier route. Interest was therefore renewed in establishing the sea route south by east to the known riches of India.

This he did after a magnificent voyage around the Cape of Storms which he renamed the Cape of Good Hope and along the unknown coast of East Africa.

Soon trading depots, known as factories, were built along the African coast, at the strategic entrances to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf , and along the shores of the Indian peninsula.

In the Portuguese established a base at Malacca now Melaka, Malaysia , commanding the straits into the China Sea; in and , the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, and Java were reached; in the trading port of Macau was founded at the mouth of the Canton River.

Europe had arrived in the East. But Portugal was soon overextended; it was therefore the Dutch, the English, and the French who in the long run reaped the harvest of Portuguese enterprise.

Some idea of the knowledge that these trading explorers brought to the common store may be gained by a study of contemporary maps.

The delineation of the west coast of southern Africa from the Guinea Gulf to the Cape suggests a knowledge of the charts of the expedition of Bartolomeu Dias.

The coastlines of the Indian Ocean are largely Ptolemaic with two exceptions: The Contarini map of shows further advances; the shape of Africa is generally accurate, and there is new knowledge of the Indian Ocean, although it is curiously treated.

Peninsular India on which Cananor and Calicut are named is shown; although too small, it is, however, recognizable.

There is even an indication to the east of it of the Bay of Bengal , with a great river running into it.

East again, as on the map of Henricus Martellus, the Malay Peninsula appears twice. It is not known when the idea originated of sailing westward in order to reach Cathay.

Many sailors set forth searching for islands in the west; and it was a commonplace among scientists that the east could be reached by sailing west, but to believe this a practicable voyage was an entirely different matter.

Christopher Columbus , a Genoese who had settled in Lisbon about , argued that Cipango lay a mere 2, nautical miles west of the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic.

He could not convince the Portuguese scientists nor the merchants of Lisbon that his idea was worth backing; but eventually he obtained the support of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

The sovereigns probably argued that the cost of equipping the expedition would not be very great; the loss, if it failed, could be borne; the gain, should it succeed, was incalculable—indeed, it might divert to Spain all the wealth of Asia.

From the Canaries he sailed westward, for, on the evidence of the globes and maps in which he had faith, Japan was on the same latitude.

If Japan should be missed, Columbus thought that the route adopted would land him, only a little further on, on the coast of China itself.

With the help of the local Indians, the ships reached Cuba and then Haiti. Although there was no sign of the wealth of the lands of Kublai Khan , Columbus nevertheless seemed convinced that he had reached China, since, according to his reckoning, he was beyond Japan.

At the time, however, his efforts must have seemed ill-rewarded: He died at Valladolid in Did he believe to the end that he indeed had reached Cathay, or did he, however dimly, perceive that he had found a New World?

Whatever Columbus thought, it was clear to others that there was much to be investigated, and probably much to be gained, by exploration westward.

In England , Bristol , with its western outlook and Icelandic trade, was the port best placed to nurture adventurous seamen.

In the latter part of the 15th century, John Cabot , with his wife and three sons, came to Bristol from Genoa or Venice. His project to sail west gained support, and with one small ship, the Matthew , he set out in May , taking a course due west from Dursey Head, Ireland.

His landfall on the other side of the ocean was probably on the northern peninsula of what is now known as Newfoundland.

From there, Cabot explored southward, perhaps encouraged to do so, even if seeking a westward passage, by ice in the Strait of Belle Isle.

The coasts between the landfalls of Columbus and of John Cabot were charted in the first quarter of the 16th century by Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese sailors.

Sebastian Cabot , son of John, gained a great reputation as a navigator and promoter of Atlantic exploration, but whether this was based primarily on his own experience or on the achievements of his father is uncertain.

His lively and embellished description of these lands became popular, and Waldseemüller , on his map of , gave the name America to the southern part of the continent.

The map of Contarini represented a brave attempt to collate the mass of new information, true and false, that accrued from these western voyages.

The land explored by Columbus on his third voyage and by Vespucci and de Ojeda in is shown at the bottom left of the map as a promontory of a great northern bulge of a continent extending far to the south.

In the wide sea that separates these northern lands from South America, the West Indies are shown. Halfway between the Indies and the coast of Asia, Japan is drawn.

A legend placed between Japan and China reveals the state of opinion among at least some contemporary geographers; it presumably refers to the fourth voyage of Columbus in and may be an addition to the map.

Christopher Columbus, Viceroy of Spain, sailing westwards, reached the Spanish islands after many hardships and dangers. Weighing anchor thence he sailed to the province called Ciambra [a province which then adjoined Cochinchina].

To more and more people it was becoming plain that a New World had been found, although for a long time there was little inclination to explore it but instead a great determination to find a way past it to the wealth of Asia.

The voyage of the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan , from to , dispelled two long-cherished illusions: Ferdinand Magellan had served in the East Indies as a young man.

Familiar with the long sea route to Asia eastward from Europe via the Cape of Good Hope, he was convinced that there must be an easier sea route westward.

His plan was in accord with Spanish hopes; five Spanish ships were fitted out in Sevilla, and in August they sailed under his command first to the Cape Verde Islands and thence to Brazil.

The Gulf of St. In September a southward course was set once more, until, finally, on October 21, Magellan found a strait leading westward.

It proved to be an extremely difficult one: The Protestant population was given two years to settle affairs before leaving the city.

Those were mainly skilled craftsmen, rich merchants of the port cities and refugees that fled religious persecution, particularly Sephardi Jews from Portugal and Spain and, later, the Huguenots from France.

The Pilgrim Fathers also spent time there before going to the New World. This mass immigration was an important driving force: After the defeat of the Spanish Armada in there was a huge expansion of maritime trade even though the defeat of the English Armada would confirm the naval supremacy of the Spanish navy over the emergent competitors.

The emergence of Dutch maritime power was swift and remarkable: In , Cornelis de Houtman was sent by Dutch merchants to Lisbon, to gather as much information as he could about the Spice Islands.

In , merchant and explorer Jan Huyghen van Linschoten , having travelled widely in the Indian Ocean at the service of the Portuguese, published a travel report in Amsterdam, the "Reys-gheschrift vande navigatien der Portugaloysers in Orienten" "Report of a journey through the navigations of the Portuguese in the East".

That same year Houtman followed this directions in the Dutch first exploratory travel that discovered a new sea route, sailing directly from Madagascar to Sunda Strait in Indonesia and signing a treaty with the Banten Sultan.

Dutch and British interest, fed on new information, led to a movement of commercial expansion, and the foundation of English , and Dutch chartered companies.

Dutch, French, and English sent ships which flouted the Portuguese monopoly, concentrated mostly on the coastal areas, which proved unable to defend against such a vast and dispersed venture.

Spain put limited efforts into exploring the northern part of the Americas, as its resources were concentrated in Central and South America where more wealth had been found.

In , Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed at the behest of Francis I of France , who was motivated by indignation over the division of the world between Portuguese and Spanish.

As a result of his expedition, the Diogo Ribeiro world map outlines the East coast of North America almost perfectly. Europeans explored the Pacific Coast beginning in the midth century.

Francisco de Ulloa explored the Pacific coast of present-day Mexico including the Gulf of California , proving that Baja California was a peninsula.

His account provided the first recorded use of the name "California". After his death the crew continued exploring as far north as Oregon.

The English naval commander Francis Drake sailed along the coast in somewhere north of Cabrillo's landing site—the actual location of Drake's landing was secret and is still undetermined [] [] —and claimed the land for England, [] calling it Nova Albion.

The term "Nova Albion" was therefore used on many European maps to designate territory north of the Spanish settlements.

He explored the Hudson River and laid the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region. Hudson's final expedition ranged farther north in search of the Northwest Passage , leading to his discovery of the Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay.

After wintering in the James Bay , Hudson tried to press on with his voyage in the spring of , but his crew mutinied and they cast him adrift.

When it became apparent that there was no route through the heart of the Americas, attention turned to the possibility of a passage through northern waters, which English called the Northwest Passage.

The desire to establish such a route motivated much of the European exploration of both coasts of North America and in Russia. In Russia the idea of a possible seaway connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific was first put forward by the diplomat Gerasimov in , although Russian settlers on the coast of the White Sea , the Pomors , had been exploring parts of the route as early as the 11th century.

During the voyage across the Barents Sea , Willoughby thought he saw islands to the north, and islands called Willoughby's Land were shown on maps published by Plancius and Mercator into the s.

His ships with the frozen crews, including Captain Willoughby and his journal, were found by Russian fishermen a year later.

They managed to bring it on board, but the bear rampaged and was killed. Barentsz reached the west coast of Novaya Zemlya and followed it northward, before being forced to turn back in the face of large icebergs.

The following year, Prince Maurice of Orange named him chief pilot of a new expedition of six ships, loaded with merchant wares that the Dutch hoped to trade with China.

In , the States-General offered a high reward for anybody who successfully navigated the Northeast Passage. The Town Council of Amsterdam purchased and outfitted two small ships, captained by Jan Rijp and Jacob van Heemskerk , to search for the elusive channel, under the command of Barents.

They set off on May, and on June discovered Bear Island and Spitsbergen , sighting its northwest coast. They saw a large bay, later called Raudfjorden and entered Magdalenefjorden , which they named Tusk Bay , sailing into the northern entrance of Forlandsundet , which they called Keerwyck , but were forced to turn back because of a shoal.

On 28 June they rounded the northern point of Prins Karls Forland , which they named Vogelhoek , on account of the large number of birds, and sailed south, passing Isfjorden and Bellsund , which were labelled on Barentsz's chart as Grooten Inwyck and Inwyck.

The ships once again reached Bear Island on 1 July, which led to a disagreement. They parted ways, with Barentsz continuing northeast, while Rijp headed north.

Barentsz reached Novaya Zemlya and, to avoid becoming entrapped in ice, headed for the Vaigatch Strait but became stuck within the icebergs and floes.

Stranded, the man crew was forced to spend the winter on the ice. Dealing with extreme cold, they used the merchant fabrics to make additional blankets and clothing and caught Arctic foxes in primitive traps, as well as polar bears.

When June arrived, and the ice had still not loosened its grip on the ship, scurvy -ridden survivors took two small boats out into the sea.

Barentsz died at sea on 20 June , while studying charts. It took seven more weeks for the boats to reach Kola where they were rescued by a Russian merchant vessel.

Only 12 crewmen remained, reaching Amsterdam in November. Two of Barentsz' crewmembers later published their journals, Jan Huyghen van Linschoten , who had accompanied him on the first two voyages, and Gerrit de Veer who had acted as the ship's carpenter on the last.

In , Henry Hudson made a second attempt, trying to go across the top of Russia. He made it to Novaya Zemlya but was forced to turn back.

Terra Australis Ignota Latin, "the unknown land of the south" was a hypothetical continent appearing on European maps from the 15th to the 18th centuries, with roots in a notion introduced by Aristotle.

It was depicted on the midth-century Dieppe maps , where its coastline appeared just south of the islands of the East Indies; it was often elaborately charted, with a wealth of fictitious detail.

The discoveries reduced the area where the continent could be found; however, many cartographers held to Aristotle's opinion, like Gerardus Mercator and Alexander Dalrymple even so late as [] argued for its existence, with such arguments as that there should be a large landmass in the Southern Hemisphere as a counterweight to the known landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere.

As new lands were discovered, they were often assumed to be parts of this hypothetical continent. Juan Fernandez , sailing from Chile in , claimed he had discovered the Southern Continent.

He represented this to the King of Spain as the Terra Australis incognita. In fact, it was not Australia but an island in present-day Vanuatu.

Dutch navigator and colonial governor, Willem Janszoon sailed from the Netherlands for the East Indies for the third time on December 18, , as captain of the Duyfken or Duijfken , meaning "Little Dove" , one of twelve ships of the great fleet of Steven van der Hagen.

Janszoon then crossed the eastern end of the Arafura Sea , without seeing the Torres Strait , into the Gulf of Carpentaria. On February 26, , he made landfall at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York in Queensland, near the modern town of Weipa.

This is the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent. Janszoon proceeded to chart some kilometres miles of the coastline, which he thought was a southerly extension of New Guinea.

In — Abel Tasman , also a Dutch explorer and merchant in the service of the VOC, circumnavigated New Holland proving that Australia was not part of the mythical southern continent.

He was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land now Tasmania and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands, which he did in Tasman, his navigator Visscher, and his merchant Gilsemans also mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

In the midth century the Tsardom of Russia conquered the Tatar khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan , thus annexing the entire Volga Region and opening the way to the Ural Mountains.

The colonization of the new easternmost lands of Russia and further onslaught eastward was led by the rich merchants Stroganovs.

Tsar Ivan IV granted vast estates near the Urals as well as tax privileges to Anikey Stroganov , who organized large scale migration to these lands.

Stroganovs developed farming, hunting, saltworks, fishing, and ore mining on the Urals and established trade with Siberian tribes. By Stroganovs and Yermak came up with the idea of the military expedition to Siberia, in order to fight Kuchum in his own land.

In Yermak began his voyage into the depths of Siberia. After a few victories over the khan's army, Yermak's people defeated the main forces of Kuchum on Irtysh River in a 3-day Battle of Chuvash Cape in The remains of the khan's army retreated to the steppes , and thus Yermak captured the Siberia Khanate , including its capital Qashliq near modern Tobolsk.

Kuchum still was strong and suddenly attacked Yermak in in the dead of night, killing most of his people. Yermak was wounded and tried to swim across the Wagay River Irtysh 's tributary , but drowned under the weight of his own chain mail.

The Cossacks had to withdraw from Siberia completely, but thanks to Yermak's having explored all the main river routes in West Siberia, Russians successfully reclaimed all his conquests just several years later.

In the early 17th century the eastward movement of Russians was slowed by the internal problems in the country during the Time of Troubles.

However, very soon the exploration and colonization of the huge territories of Siberia was resumed, led mostly by Cossacks hunting for valuable furs and ivory.

These were Pomors from the Russian North , who already had been making fur trade with Mangazeya in the north of the Western Siberia for quite a long time.

In the settlement of Turukhansk was founded on the northern Yenisei River , near the mouth of Lower Tunguska , and in Yeniseysky ostrog was founded on the mid-Yenisei at the mouth of the Upper Tunguska.

Between and a group of fur hunters led by Demid Pyanda left Turukhansk and explored some 1, miles 2, kilometres of the Lower Tunguska, wintering in the proximity of the Vilyuy and Lena rivers.

According to later legendary accounts folktales collected a century after the fact , Pyanda discovered the Lena River. He allegedly explored some 1, miles 2, kilometres of its length, reaching as far as central Yakutia.

He returned up the Lena until it became too rocky and shallow, and portaged to the Angara River.

In this way, Pyanda may have become the first Russian to meet Yakuts and Buryats. He built new boats and explored some miles 1, kilometres of the Angara, finally reaching Yeniseysk and discovering that the Angara a Buryat name and Upper Tunguska Verkhnyaya Tunguska, as initially known by Russians are one and the same river.

In Pyotr Beketov was appointed Yenisei voevoda in Siberia. He successfully carried out the voyage to collect taxes from Zabaykalye Buryats, becoming the first Russian to step in Buryatia.

He founded the first Russian settlement there, Rybinsky ostrog. Beketov was sent to the Lena River in , where in he founded Yakutsk and sent his Cossacks to explore the Aldan and farther down the Lena, to found new fortresses, and to collect taxes.

Yakutsk soon turned into a major starting point for further Russian expeditions eastward, southward and northward. Maksim Perfilyev , who earlier had been one of the founders of Yeniseysk, founded Bratsky ostrog on the Angara in , and in he became the first Russian to step into Transbaikalia , travelling there from Yakutsk.

Later Ivanov made the first chart and description of Baikal. In a group of explorers led by Ivan Moskvitin became the first Russians to reach the Pacific Ocean and to discover the Sea of Okhotsk , having built a winter camp on its shore at the Ulya River mouth.

The Cossacks learned from the locals about the large Amur River far to the south. In they apparently sailed south, explored the south-eastern shores of the Okhotsk Sea, perhaps reaching the mouth of the Amur River and possibly discovering the Shantar Islands on their way back.

After wintering, in Poyarkov pushed down the Zeya and became the first Russian to reach the Amur River. He sailed down the Amur and finally discovered the mouth of that great river from land.

Since his Cossacks provoked the enmity of the locals behind, Poyarkov chose a different way back. They built boats and in sailed along the Sea of Okhotsk coast to the Ulya River and spent the next winter in the huts that had been built by Ivan Moskvitin six years earlier.

In they returned to Yakutsk. A merchant named Fedot Alekseyev Popov organized a further expedition eastward, and Semyon Dezhnyov became a captain of one of the kochi.

In they sailed from Srednekolymsk down to the Arctic and after some time they rounded Cape Dezhnyov , thus becoming the first explorers to pass through the Bering Strait and to discover Chukotka and the Bering Sea.

All their kochi and most of their men including Popov himself were lost in storms and clashes with the natives. A small group led by Dezhnyov reached the mouth of the Anadyr River and sailed up it in , having built new boats from the wreckage.

They founded Anadyrsk and were stranded there, until Stadukhin found them, coming from Kolyma by land. He also may have explored the western shores of Kamchatka.

This time he was met with armed resistance. He built winter quarters at Albazin , then sailed down Amur and found Achansk, which preceded the present-day Khabarovsk , defeating or evading large armies of Daurian Manchu Chinese and Koreans on his way.

He charted the Amur in his Draft of the Amur river. In he sailed from Anadyr Bay to Cape Dezhnyov. Atop his earlier pioneering charts, Ivanov is credited with creation of the early map of Chukotka and Bering Strait , which was the first to show on paper very schematically the yet undiscovered Wrangel Island , both Diomede Islands and Alaska, based on the data collected from the natives of Chukotka.

So, by the midth century, Russians established the borders of their country close to modern ones, and explored almost the whole of Siberia, except the eastern Kamchatka and some regions north of the Arctic Circle.

The conquest of Kamchatka later would be achieved in the early s by Vladimir Atlasov , while the discovery of the Arctic coastline and Alaska would be completed by the Great Northern Expedition in — European overseas expansion led to the contact between the Old and New Worlds producing the Columbian Exchange , [] named after Columbus.

It involved the transfer of goods unique to one hemisphere to another. Europeans brought cattle, horses, and sheep to the New World, and from the New World Europeans received tobacco, potatoes and maize.

Other items becoming important in global trade were the sugarcane and cotton crops of the Americas, and the gold and silver brought from the Americas not only to Europe but elsewhere in the Old World.

The new trans-oceanic links and their domination by the European powers led to the Age of Imperialism , where European colonial powers came to control most of the planet.

The European appetite for trade, commodities, empire and slaves greatly affected many other areas of the world.

Spain participated in the destruction of aggressive empires in the Americas, only to substitute its own, and forcibly replaced the original religions.

The pattern of territorial aggression was repeated by other European empires, most notably the Dutch, Russian, French and British.

Christianity replaced older "pagan" rituals, as were new languages, political and sexual cultures, and in some areas like North America, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina , the indigenous peoples were abused and driven off most of their lands, being reduced to small, dependent minorities.

Similarly, in coastal Africa, local states supplied the appetite of European slave traders , changing the complexion of coastal African states and fundamentally altering the nature of African slavery , causing impacts on societies and economies deep inland.

See Atlantic slave trade. Aboriginal peoples were living in North America at this time and still do today. There were many conflicts between Europeans and Natives.

The Europeans had many advantages over the natives. See Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas. Maize and manioc were introduced into Africa in the 16th century by the Portuguese.

Crosby speculated that increased production of maize, manioc, and other New World crops led to heavier concentrations of population in the areas from which slavers captured their victims.

In the 16th-century economy of China, the Ming Dynasty was stimulated by trade with the Portuguese , Spanish , and Dutch. China became involved in a new global trade of goods, plants, animals, and food crops known as the Columbian Exchange.

Trade with European powers and the Japanese brought in massive amounts of silver, which then replaced copper and paper banknotes as the common medium of exchange in China.

During the last decades of the Ming the flow of silver into China was greatly diminished, thereby undermining state revenues and indeed the entire Ming economy.

This damage to the economy was compounded by the effects on agriculture of the incipient Little Ice Age , natural calamities, crop failure, and sudden epidemics.

The ensuing breakdown of authority and people's livelihoods allowed rebel leaders such as Li Zicheng to challenge Ming authority.

New crops that had come to Asia from the Americas via the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century contributed to the Asia's population growth.

This included sweet potatoes , maize , and peanuts, foods that could be cultivated in lands where traditional Chinese staple crops—wheat, millet, and rice—could not grow, hence facilitating a rise in the population of China.

The arrival of the Portuguese to Japan in initiated the Nanban trade period , with the Japanese adopting several technologies and cultural practices, like the arquebus , European-style cuirasses, European ships, Christianity, decorative art, and language.

After the Chinese had banned direct trade by Chinese merchants with Japan, the Portuguese filled this commercial vacuum as intermediaries between China and Japan.

The Portuguese bought Chinese silk and sold it to the Japanese in return for Japanese-mined silver; since silver was more highly valued in China, the Portuguese could then use Japanese silver to buy even larger stocks of Chinese silk.

He taught the Chinese how to construct and play the spinet , translated Chinese texts into Latin and vice versa, and worked closely with his Chinese associate Xu Guangqi — on mathematical work.

As a wider variety of global luxury commodities entered the European markets by sea, previous European markets for luxury goods stagnated.

The Atlantic trade largely supplanted pre-existing Italian and German trading powers which had relied on their Baltic, Russian and Islamic trade links.

The new commodities also caused social change , as sugar, spices, silks and chinawares entered the luxury markets of Europe.

The European economic centre shifted from the Mediterranean to Western Europe. The city of Antwerp , part of the Duchy of Brabant , became "the centre of the entire international economy", [] and the richest city in Europe at this time.

Francesco Guicciardini , a Venetian envoy, stated that hundreds of ships would pass Antwerp in a day, and 2, carts entered the city each week.

Portuguese ships laden with pepper and cinnamon would unload their cargo. With many foreign merchants resident in the city and governed by an oligarchy of banker-aristocrats forbidden to engage in trade, the economy of Antwerp was foreigner-controlled, which made the city very international, with merchants and traders from Venice , Ragusa , Spain and Portugal and a policy of toleration, which attracted a large Orthodox Jewish community.

The city experienced three booms during its golden age, the first based on the pepper market, a second launched by New World silver coming from Seville ending with the bankruptcy of Spain in , and a third boom, after the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis , in , based on the textiles industry.

Despite initial hostilities, by the Portuguese were sending annual trade missions to Shangchuan Island in China. In they managed to convince the Ming court to agree on a legal port treaty that would establish Macau as an official Portuguese trade colony.

From China the major exports were silk and porcelain , adapted to meet European tastes. The Chinese export porcelains were held in such great esteem in Europe that, in English, china became a commonly—used synonym for porcelain.

Kraak porcelain believed to be named after the Portuguese carracks in which it was transported was among the first Chinese ware to arrive in Europe in mass quantities.

Only the richest could afford these early imports, and Kraak often featured in Dutch still life paintings. Between and Medici porcelain from Florence was the first successful attempt to imitate Chinese porcelain.

Although Dutch potters did not immediately imitate Chinese porcelain, they began to do it when the supply to Europe was interrupted, after the death of Wanli Emperor in Kraak, mainly the blue and white porcelain , was imitated all over the world by potters in Arita, Japan and Persia —where Dutch merchants turned when the fall of the Ming Dynasty rendered Chinese originals unavailable [] —and ultimately in Delftware.

Dutch and later English Delftware inspired by Chinese designs persisted from about to the midth century alongside European patterns. Antonio de Morga — , a Spanish official in Manila , listed an extensive inventory of goods that were traded by Ming China at the turn of the 16th to 17th century, noting there were "rarities which, did I refer to them all, I would never finish, nor have sufficient paper for it".

In one case a galleon to the Spanish territories in the New World carried over 50, pairs of silk stockings. In return China imported mostly silver from Peruvian and Mexican mines, transported via Manila.

Chinese merchants were active in these trading ventures, and many emigrated to such places as the Philippines and Borneo to take advantage of the new commercial opportunities.

The increase in gold and silver experienced by Spain coincided with a major inflationary cycle both within Spain and Europe, known as the price revolution.

Spain had amassed large quantities of gold and silver from the New World. Being the most powerful European monarch at a time full of war and religious conflicts, the Habsburg rulers spent the wealth in wars and arts across Europe.

Increasingly, Spain became dependent on the revenues flowing in from the mercantile empire in the Americas, leading to Spain's first bankruptcy in due to rising military costs.

The increase in prices as a result of currency circulation fuelled the growth of the commercial middle class in Europe, the bourgeoisie , which came to influence the politics and culture of many countries.

One effect of the inflation, particularly in Great Britain, was that tenant farmers who held long term leases from lords saw real decreases in rent.

Some lords opted to sell their leased land, giving rise to small land-owing farmers such as yeoman and gentlemen farmers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 2 November Period of European global exploration. For the games, see Glenn Drover's Empires: Early world maps and Chronology of European exploration of Asia.

Treasure voyages and Chinese exploration. Portuguese discoveries and European exploration of Africa. Voyages of Christopher Columbus and Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Major explorations after the Age of Discovery. Columbian Exchange , History of colonialism , and Globalization.

The School of Athens , Raphael , — The Genius That Was China: East and West in the Making of the Modern World.

Retrieved 29 May Winius, "Foundations of the Portuguese Empire, —", p. The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World. City of Fortune Main ed.

Fall of Constantinople and spurring "age of discovery " ". Retrieved 18 August Archived from the original on July 9, Trade and Civilization in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to The European Discovery of America: The Southern Voyages, — University of Minnesota Press, p.

UC Biblioteca Geral 1. How Trade Shaped the World. Records of Life on the Tantramar: Agricultural Revolution in England: The transformation of the agrarian economy — The conquest of New Spain.

Linschoten, Jan Huyghen van []. From Linschoten's Discourse of Voyages, in The Suma oriental of Tome Pires: Pilot-Major of the armada that discovered Banda and the Moluccas.

Travel narratives from the age of discovery: Oxford University Press US. Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.

Retrieved 17 June Anderson, James Maxwell The history of Portugal. Amerigo and the New World: Armesto, Felipe Fernandez A Global History of Exploration.

The Age of Discovery, —, Lancaster pamphlets. Boxer, Charles Ralph The Portuguese Seaborne Empire — The Dutch seaborne empire, — Braudel, Fernand [].

This edition includes the Empires: Builder Expansion along with its capital buildings; its National Advantage tiles have been built into the new player boards.

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Age Of Discovery Video

Age of Exploration

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The promotion of profitable trade was yet another motive; he aimed to divert the Guinea trade in gold and ivory away from its routes across the Sahara to the Moors of Barbary North Africa and instead channel it via the sea route to Portugal.

Expedition after expedition was sent forth throughout the 15th century to explore the coast of Africa. Prince Henry died in after a career that had brought the colonization of the Madeira Islands and the Azores and the traversal of the African coast to Sierra Leone.

All seemed promising; trade was good with the riverine peoples, and the coast was trending hopefully eastward. Then the disappointing fact was realized: King John II sought to establish two routes: In he rounded the Cape of Storms in such bad weather that he did not see it, but he satisfied himself that the coast was now trending northeastward; before turning back, he reached the Great Fish River, in what is now South Africa.

On the return voyage, he sighted the Cape and set up a pillar upon it to mark its discovery. The seaway was now open, but eight years were to elapse before it was exploited.

In Columbus had apparently reached the East by a much easier route. Interest was therefore renewed in establishing the sea route south by east to the known riches of India.

This he did after a magnificent voyage around the Cape of Storms which he renamed the Cape of Good Hope and along the unknown coast of East Africa.

Soon trading depots, known as factories, were built along the African coast, at the strategic entrances to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf , and along the shores of the Indian peninsula.

In the Portuguese established a base at Malacca now Melaka, Malaysia , commanding the straits into the China Sea; in and , the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, and Java were reached; in the trading port of Macau was founded at the mouth of the Canton River.

Europe had arrived in the East. But Portugal was soon overextended; it was therefore the Dutch, the English, and the French who in the long run reaped the harvest of Portuguese enterprise.

Some idea of the knowledge that these trading explorers brought to the common store may be gained by a study of contemporary maps.

The delineation of the west coast of southern Africa from the Guinea Gulf to the Cape suggests a knowledge of the charts of the expedition of Bartolomeu Dias.

The coastlines of the Indian Ocean are largely Ptolemaic with two exceptions: The Contarini map of shows further advances; the shape of Africa is generally accurate, and there is new knowledge of the Indian Ocean, although it is curiously treated.

Peninsular India on which Cananor and Calicut are named is shown; although too small, it is, however, recognizable.

There is even an indication to the east of it of the Bay of Bengal , with a great river running into it. East again, as on the map of Henricus Martellus, the Malay Peninsula appears twice.

It is not known when the idea originated of sailing westward in order to reach Cathay. Many sailors set forth searching for islands in the west; and it was a commonplace among scientists that the east could be reached by sailing west, but to believe this a practicable voyage was an entirely different matter.

Christopher Columbus , a Genoese who had settled in Lisbon about , argued that Cipango lay a mere 2, nautical miles west of the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic.

He could not convince the Portuguese scientists nor the merchants of Lisbon that his idea was worth backing; but eventually he obtained the support of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

The sovereigns probably argued that the cost of equipping the expedition would not be very great; the loss, if it failed, could be borne; the gain, should it succeed, was incalculable—indeed, it might divert to Spain all the wealth of Asia.

From the Canaries he sailed westward, for, on the evidence of the globes and maps in which he had faith, Japan was on the same latitude.

If Japan should be missed, Columbus thought that the route adopted would land him, only a little further on, on the coast of China itself.

With the help of the local Indians, the ships reached Cuba and then Haiti. Although there was no sign of the wealth of the lands of Kublai Khan , Columbus nevertheless seemed convinced that he had reached China, since, according to his reckoning, he was beyond Japan.

At the time, however, his efforts must have seemed ill-rewarded: He died at Valladolid in Did he believe to the end that he indeed had reached Cathay, or did he, however dimly, perceive that he had found a New World?

Whatever Columbus thought, it was clear to others that there was much to be investigated, and probably much to be gained, by exploration westward.

In England , Bristol , with its western outlook and Icelandic trade, was the port best placed to nurture adventurous seamen. In the latter part of the 15th century, John Cabot , with his wife and three sons, came to Bristol from Genoa or Venice.

His project to sail west gained support, and with one small ship, the Matthew , he set out in May , taking a course due west from Dursey Head, Ireland.

His landfall on the other side of the ocean was probably on the northern peninsula of what is now known as Newfoundland. From there, Cabot explored southward, perhaps encouraged to do so, even if seeking a westward passage, by ice in the Strait of Belle Isle.

The coasts between the landfalls of Columbus and of John Cabot were charted in the first quarter of the 16th century by Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese sailors.

Sebastian Cabot , son of John, gained a great reputation as a navigator and promoter of Atlantic exploration, but whether this was based primarily on his own experience or on the achievements of his father is uncertain.

His lively and embellished description of these lands became popular, and Waldseemüller , on his map of , gave the name America to the southern part of the continent.

The map of Contarini represented a brave attempt to collate the mass of new information, true and false, that accrued from these western voyages.

The land explored by Columbus on his third voyage and by Vespucci and de Ojeda in is shown at the bottom left of the map as a promontory of a great northern bulge of a continent extending far to the south.

In the wide sea that separates these northern lands from South America, the West Indies are shown. Halfway between the Indies and the coast of Asia, Japan is drawn.

A legend placed between Japan and China reveals the state of opinion among at least some contemporary geographers; it presumably refers to the fourth voyage of Columbus in and may be an addition to the map.

Christopher Columbus, Viceroy of Spain, sailing westwards, reached the Spanish islands after many hardships and dangers. Weighing anchor thence he sailed to the province called Ciambra [a province which then adjoined Cochinchina].

To more and more people it was becoming plain that a New World had been found, although for a long time there was little inclination to explore it but instead a great determination to find a way past it to the wealth of Asia.

The voyage of the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan , from to , dispelled two long-cherished illusions: Ferdinand Magellan had served in the East Indies as a young man.

Familiar with the long sea route to Asia eastward from Europe via the Cape of Good Hope, he was convinced that there must be an easier sea route westward.

His plan was in accord with Spanish hopes; five Spanish ships were fitted out in Sevilla, and in August they sailed under his command first to the Cape Verde Islands and thence to Brazil.

The Gulf of St. In September a southward course was set once more, until, finally, on October 21, Magellan found a strait leading westward.

It proved to be an extremely difficult one: It was a miracle that three of the five ships got through its mile km length.

After 38 days, they sailed out into the open ocean. Once away from land, the ocean seemed calm enough; Magellan consequently named it the Pacific.

The Pacific, however, proved to be of vast extent, and for 14 weeks the little ships sailed on a northwesterly course without encountering land.

At last, on March 6, , exhausted and scurvy-ridden, they landed at the island of Guam. Ten days later they reached the Philippines , where Magellan was killed in a local quarrel.

The survivors, in two ships, sailed on to the Moluccas; thus, sailing westward, they arrived at last in territory already known to the Portuguese sailing eastward.

One ship attempted, but failed, to return across the Pacific. Cano, not having allowed for the fact that his circumnavigation had caused him to lose a day, was greatly puzzled to find that his carefully kept log was one day out; he was, however, delighted to discover that the cargo that he had brought back more than paid for the expenses of the voyage.

It is fitting to consider this first circumnavigation as marking the close of the Age of Discovery. Not all the major problems of world geography were, however, now solved.

Two great questions still remained unanswered. The centuries that have elapsed since the Age of Discovery have seen the end of dreams of easy routes to the East by the north, the discovery of Australasia and Antarctica in place of Terra Australis Incognita , and the identification of the major features of the continental interiors.

While, as in earlier centuries, traders and missionaries often proved themselves also to be intrepid explorers, in this period of geographical discovery the seeker after knowledge for its own sake played a greater part than ever before.

The concept of a Northeast Passage was at first favoured by the English: In a trading company, later known as the Muscovy Company , was formed with Sebastian Cabot as its governor.

Under its auspices numerous expeditions were sent out. Soon, attempts to find a passage to Cathay were replaced by efforts to divert the trade of the ancient silk routes from their traditional outlets on the Black Sea to new northern outlets on the White Sea.

The Dutch next took up the search for the passage. The English navigator Henry Hudson , in the employ of the Dutch, discovered between and that ice blocked the way both east and west of Svalbard Spitsbergen.

Between and and from to , a series of expeditions inspired by the Danish-Russian explorer Vitus Bering attempted the passage from the eastern end, but it was not until —79 that Baron Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld , the Finnish-Swedish scientist and explorer, sailed through it.

The Northwest Passage , on the other hand, also had its strong supporters. In the English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher found the bay named after him.

Between and , three English voyagers—Robert Bylot, Sir Thomas Button , and William Baffin —thoroughly explored the bay, returning convinced that there was no strait out of it leading westward.

As in the quest for a Northeast Passage, interest turned from the search for a route leading to the riches of the East to the exploitation of local resources.

Lawrence estuary and Hudson Bay. Further search for the passage itself did not take place until the 19th century: It was left to the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen to be the first to sail through the passage, which he did in — It was the Dutch, trading on the fringes of the known world, who were the explorers.

Victualing their ships at the Cape, they soon learned that, by sailing east for some 3, miles 5, km before turning north, they would encounter favourable winds in setting a course toward the Spice Islands now the Moluccas.

In a farsighted governor general of the Dutch East India Company , Anthony van Diemen , sent out the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman for the immediate purpose of making an exploratory voyage, but with the ultimate aim of developing trade.

He sailed north without finding Cook Strait , and, making a sweeping arc on his voyage back to the Dutch port of Batavia now Jakarta , Indonesia , he discovered the Tonga and the Fiji Islands.

The earlier European explorers in the Pacific were primarily in search of trade or booty; the later ones were primarily in search of information.

The traders, for the most part Spaniards, established land portages from harbours on the Caribbean to harbours on the west coast of Central and South America; from the Pacific coast ports of the Americas, they then set a course westward to the Philippines.

Many of their ships crossed and recrossed the Pacific without making a landfall; many islands were found, named, and lost, only to be found again without recognition, renamed, and perhaps lost yet again.

In the days before longitude could be accurately fixed, such uncertainty was not surprising. In doing so, he coasted the south shore of New Guinea, sailing through Torres Strait, unaware that another continent lay on his left hand.

The English were rivals of the Spaniards in the search for wealth in unknown lands in the Pacific. Two English seamen, Sir Francis Drake and Thomas Cavendish , circumnavigated the world from west to east in to and to , respectively.

These were astronomical charts plotting the location of the stars over a distinct period of time. Published in by the Jewish astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician Abraham Zacuto , the Almanach Perpetuum included some of these tables for the movements of stars.

Exact longitude , however, remained elusive, and mariners struggled to determine it for centuries. In the fall of Constantinople to the hands of the Ottomans was a blow to Christendom and the established business relations linking with the east.

In Pope Nicholas V issued the bull Romanus Pontifex reinforcing the previous Dum Diversas , granting all lands and seas discovered beyond Cape Bojador to King Afonso V of Portugal and his successors, as well as trade and conquest against Muslims and pagans, initiating a mare clausum policy in the Atlantic.

In Diogo Gomes reached the Cape Verde archipelago. In the next decade several captains at the service of Prince Henry — including the Genoese Antonio da Noli and Venetian Alvise Cadamosto — discovered the remaining islands which were occupied during the 15th century.

The Gulf of Guinea would be reached in the s. In Pedro de Sintra reached Sierra Leone. In the Southern Hemisphere, they used the Southern Cross as the reference for celestial navigation.

There, in what came to be called the "Gold Coast" in what is today Ghana , a thriving alluvial gold trade was found among the natives and Arab and Berber traders.

In during the War of the Castilian Succession , near the coast at Elmina was fought a large battle between a Castilian armada of 35 caravels and a Portuguese fleet for hegemony of the Guinea trade gold, slaves, ivory and melegueta pepper.

See entry on Elmina. This was the first colonial war among European powers. The next crucial breakthrough was in , when Bartolomeu Dias rounded the southern tip of Africa, which he named "Cape of Storms" Cabo das Tormentas , anchoring at Mossel Bay and then sailing east as far as the mouth of the Great Fish River , proving that the Indian Ocean was accessible from the Atlantic.

Portugal's neighbouring fellow Iberian rival, Castile , had begun to establish its rule over the Canary Islands , located off the west African coast, in , but then became distracted by internal Iberian politics and the repelling of Islamic invasion attempts and raids through most of the 15th century.

Only late in the century, following the unification of the crowns of Castile and Aragon and the completion of the reconquista , did an emerging modern Spain become fully committed to the search for new trade routes overseas.

The Crown of Aragon had been an important maritime potentate in the Mediterranean, controlling territories in eastern Spain, southwestern France, major islands like Sicily , Malta , and the Kingdom of Naples and Sardinia , with mainland possessions as far as Greece.

In the joint rulers conquered the Moorish kingdom of Granada , which had been providing Castile with African goods through tribute, and decided to fund Christopher Columbus 's expedition in the hope of bypassing Portugal's monopoly on west African sea routes, to reach "the Indies" east and south Asia by travelling west.

Columbus first sailed to the Canary Islands, where he restocked for what turned out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean, crossing a section of the Atlantic that became known as the Sargasso Sea.

Columbus also explored the northeast coast of Cuba landed on 28 October and the northern coast of Hispaniola , by 5 December.

He was received by the native cacique Guacanagari , who gave him permission to leave some of his men behind. Columbus left 39 men and founded the settlement of La Navidad in what is now Haiti.

Only seven or eight of the native 'Indians' arrived in Spain alive, but they made quite an impression on Seville. On the return, a storm forced him to dock in Lisbon , on 4 March Word of his discovery of new lands rapidly spread throughout Europe.

Columbus and other Spanish explorers were initially disappointed with their discoveries—unlike Africa or Asia, the Caribbean islanders had little to trade with the Castilian ships.

The islands thus became the focus of colonization efforts. It was not until the continent itself was explored that Spain found the wealth it had sought.

Shortly after Columbus's return from what would later be called the "West Indies", a division of influence became necessary to avoid conflict between the Spanish and Portuguese.

It did not mention Portugal, which could not claim newly discovered lands east of the line. King John II of Portugal was not pleased with the arrangement, feeling that it gave him far too little land—preventing him from reaching India, his main goal.

He then negotiated directly with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to move the line west, and allowing him to claim newly discovered lands east of it.

An agreement was reached in , with the Treaty of Tordesillas that divided the world between the two powers.

In this treaty the Portuguese received everything outside Europe east of a line that ran leagues west of the Cape Verde islands already Portuguese , and the islands discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage claimed for Castile , named in the treaty as Cipangu and Antilia Cuba and Hispaniola.

The Spanish Castile received everything west of this line. At the time of negotiation, the treaty split the known world of Atlantic islands roughly in half, with the dividing line about halfway between Portuguese Cape Verde and the Spanish discoveries in the Caribbean.

Since it was east of the dividing line, he claimed it for Portugal and this was respected by the Spanish. Portuguese ships sailed west into the Atlantic to get favourable winds for the journey to India, and this is where Cabral was headed on his journey, in a corridor the treaty was negotiated to protect.

Some suspect the Portuguese had secretly discovered Brazil earlier, and this is why they had the line moved eastward and how Cabral found it, but there is no reliable evidence of this.

Others suspect Duarte Pacheco Pereira secretly discovered Brazil in , but this not considered credible by mainstream historians.

Later the Spanish territory would prove to include huge areas of the continental mainland of North and South America, though Portuguese-controlled Brazil would expand across the line, and settlements by other European powers ignored the treaty.

Very little of the divided area had actually been seen by Europeans, as it was only divided by a geographical definition rather than control on the ground.

Columbus's first voyage in spurred maritime exploration and, from , a number of explorers headed west. Sailing from Bristol , probably backed by the local Society of Merchant Venturers , Cabot crossed the Atlantic from a northerly latitude hoping the voyage to the "West Indies" would be shorter [69] and made a landfall somewhere in North America, possibly Newfoundland.

After returning he possibly went to Bristol to sail in the name of England. In , newly crowned King Manuel I of Portugal sent an exploratory fleet eastwards, fulfilling his predecessor's project of finding a route to the Indies.

In July news spread that the Portuguese had reached the "true indies", as a letter was dispatched by the Portuguese king to the Spanish Catholic Monarchs one day after the celebrated return of the fleet.

The third expedition by Columbus in was the beginning of the first successful Castilian Spanish colonization in the West Indies , on the island of Hispaniola.

Despite growing doubts, Columbus refused to accept that he had not reached the Indies. During the voyage he discovered the mouth of the Orinoco River on the north coast of South America now Venezuela and thought that the huge quantity of fresh water coming from it could only be from a continental land mass, which he was certain was the Asian mainland.

As shipping between Seville and the West Indies grew, knowledge of the Caribbean islands, Central America and the northern coast of South America grew.

One of these Spanish fleets, that of Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci in —, reached land at the coast of what is now Guyana , when the two explorers seem to have separated in opposite directions.

The —16 expedition was spurred on by reports of Portuguese exploration of the region see below. On 21 April a mountain was seen and was named Monte Pascoal , and on 22 April Cabral landed on the coast.

Cabral perceived that the new land lay east of the line of Tordesillas, and sent an envoy to Portugal with the discovery in letters, including the letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha.

Cabral was the first captain to touch four continents, leading the first expedition that connected and united Europe, Africa, the New World, and Asia.

At the invitation of King Manuel I of Portugal, Amerigo Vespucci [80] —a Florentine who had been working for a branch of the Medici Bank in Seville since , fitting oceanic expeditions and travelling twice to The Guianas with Juan de la Cosa in the service of Spain [81] —participated as observer in these exploratory voyages to the east coast of South America.

The expeditions became widely known in Europe after two accounts attributed to him, published between and , suggested that the newly discovered lands were not the Indies but a " New World ", [82] the Mundus novus , Latin title of a contemporary document based on Vespucci letters to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici , which had become widely popular in Europe.

Vespucci wrote that they headed toward the southwest and south, following "a long, unbending coastline" apparently coincident with the southern South American coast.

Manuel's censors who had to pressure him to alter his account, because he had revealed far too much to Lorenzo de' Medici and into the public domain, is unknown.

In , Binot Paulmier de Gonneville , challenging the Portuguese policy of mare clausum , led one of the earliest French Normand and Breton expeditions to Brazil.

He intended to sail to the East Indies, but near the Cape of Good Hope his ship was diverted to west by a storm, and landed in the present day state of Santa Catarina southern Brazil , on 5 January Driven away by the Tramontane or north wind, they retraced their course.

Nuno Manuel , who would serve the Spanish Crown after , believed that the navigators had discovered a southern strait to west and Asia.

In , an expedition sent by the Spanish Crown to find a way to Asia was led by the experienced Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.

The fleet explored the rivers and bays as it charted the South American coast until it found a way to the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Magellan.

They explored the territories of present-day southern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia , using the native trail network, the Peabiru.

They were also the first Europeans to cross the Chaco and reach the outer territories of the Inca Empire on the hills of the Andes , near Sucre.

Protected from direct Spanish competition by the treaty of Tordesillas, Portuguese eastward exploration and colonization continued apace. Twice, in and , Portugal officially rejected Christopher Columbus 's idea of reaching India by sailing westwards.

A long-overdue expedition was prepared. Under new king Manuel I of Portugal , on July a small exploratory fleet of four ships and about men left Lisbon under the command of Vasco da Gama.

By December the fleet passed the Great Fish River —where Dias had turned back—and sailed into unknown waters. On 20 May , they arrived at Calicut.

The efforts of Vasco da Gama to get favourable trading conditions were hampered by the low value of their goods, compared with the valuable goods traded there.

In , a second, larger fleet of thirteen ships and about men were sent to India. On the Asiatic mainland the first factories trading-posts were established at Kochi and Calicut and then Goa East of Malacca, Albuquerque sent several diplomatic missions: Although he was the first to land on Lintin Island in the Pearl River Delta , it was Rafael Perestrello —a cousin of the famed Christopher Columbus —who became the first European explorer to land on the southern coast of mainland China and trade in Guangzhou in , commanding a Portuguese vessel with a crew from a Malaysian junk that had sailed from Malacca.

After a few decades, hostilities between the Portuguese and Chinese ceased and in the Chinese allowed the Portuguese to occupy Macau.

To enforce a trade monopoly, Muscat , and Hormuz in the Persian Gulf , were seized by Afonso de Albuquerque in and in , respectively.

He also entered into diplomatic relations with Persia. In while trying to conquer Aden , an expedition led by Albuquerque cruised the Red Sea inside the Bab al-Mandab , and sheltered at Kamaran island.

Using a small brigantine and ten native canoes , they sailed along the coast and made landfalls. On September 6, the expedition was reinforced with 1, men, fought several battles, entered a dense jungle and climbed the mountain range along the Chucunaque River from where this "other sea" could be seen.

Balboa went ahead and, before noon September 25, he saw in the horizon an undiscovered sea, becoming the first European to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New World.

The expedition descended towards the shore for a short reconnaissance trip, thus becoming the first Europeans to navigate the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the New World.

He named the new sea Mar del Sur South Sea , since they had travelled south to reach it. Balboa's main purpose in the expedition was the search for gold-rich kingdoms.

To this end, he crossed through the lands of caciques to the islands, naming the largest one Isla Rica Rich Island, today known as Isla del Rey.

Aware of the efforts of the Spanish to find a route to India by sailing west, Magellan presented his plan to Charles I of Spain.

The king and Christopher de Haro financed Magellan's expedition. On August 10, , they departed from Seville with a fleet of five ships—the flagship Trinidad under Magellan's command, San Antonio , Concepcion , Santiago and Victoria , the first being a caravel , and all others rated as carracks or "naus"—with a crew of about men from several nations, with the goal of reaching the Maluku Islands by travelling west, trying to reclaim it under Spain's economic and political sphere.

The fleet sailed further and further south, avoiding the Portuguese territories in Brazil, and became the first to reach Tierra del Fuego at the tip of the Americas.

On September 6, Victoria returned to Spain, thus completing the first circumnavigation of the globe. Of the men who set out on five ships, only 18 completed the circumnavigation and managed to return to Spain in this single vessel led by Elcano.

Seventeen others arrived later in Spain: Antonio Pigafetta , a Venetian scholar and traveller who had asked to be on board and become a strict assistant of Magellan, kept an accurate journal that become the main source for much of what we know about this voyage.

This round-the-world voyage gave Spain valuable knowledge of the world and its oceans which later helped in the exploration and settlement of the Philippines.

Although this was not a realistic alternative to the Portuguese route around Africa [] the Strait of Magellan was too far south, and the Pacific Ocean too vast to cover in a single trip from Spain successive Spanish expeditions used this information to explore the Pacific Ocean and discovered routes that opened up trade between Acapulco , New Spain present-day Mexico and Manila in the Philippines.

Soon after Magellan's expedition, the Portuguese rushed to seize the surviving crew and built a fort in Ternate.

The expedition reached the islands with great difficulty, docking at Tidore. As there was not a set eastern limit to the Tordesillas line, both kingdoms organized meetings to resolve the issue.

From to Portuguese and Spanish experts met at Badajoz-Elvas trying to find the exact location of the antimeridian of Tordesillas, which would divide the world into two equal hemispheres.

Each crown appointed three astronomers and cartographers , three pilots and three mathematicians. Lopo Homem , Portuguese cartographer and cosmographer was in the board, along with cartographer Diogo Ribeiro on the Spanish delegation.

The board met several times, without reaching an agreement: The issue was settled only in , after a long negotiation, with the signing of Treaty of Zaragoza , that attributed the Maluku Islands to Portugal and the Philippines to Spain.

Between and Portugal sent several expeditions around the Maluku Islands. In October one of the vessels reached the Maluku Islands. In his attempt to return to New Spain he was diverted by the northeast trade winds , which threw him back, so he tried sailing back down, to the south.

He returned to New Guinea and sailed northeast, where he sighted the Marshall Islands and the Admiralty Islands , but again was surprised by the winds, which brought him a third time to the Moluccas.

Rumours of undiscovered islands northwest of Hispaniola had reached Spain by and king Ferdinand II of Aragon was interested in forestalling further exploration.

While Portuguese were making huge gains in the Indian Ocean, the Spanish invested in exploring inland in search of gold and valuable resources.

The members of these expeditions, the " conquistadors ", came from a variety of backgrounds including artisans, merchants, clergy, lesser nobility and freed slaves.

They usually supplied their own equipment in exchange for a share in profits, having no direct connection with the royal army, and often no professional military training or experience.

In the Americas the Spanish found a number of empires that were as large and populous as those in Europe. However, small bodies of conquistadors , with large armies of Indigenous Americans groups, managed to conquer these states.

During this time, pandemics of European disease such as smallpox devastated the indigenous populations. Once Spanish sovereignty was established, the Spanish focused on the extraction and export of gold and silver.

He would become governor of discovered lands, but was to finance himself all exploration. In April they sighted land and named it La Florida —because it was Easter Florida season—believing it was an island, becoming credited as the first European to land in the continent.

The arrival location has been disputed between St. They headed south for further exploration and on April 8 encountered a current so strong that it pushed them backwards: They reached the coast where Mayans invited them to land, but were attacked at night and only a remnant of the crew returned.

From Trinidad he proceeded to Tabasco and won a battle against the natives. Among the vanquished was La Malinche , his future mistress, who knew both Aztec Nahuatl language and Maya, becoming a valuable interpreter and counsellor.

In July his men took over Veracruz and he placed himself under direct orders of new king Charles I of Spain.

They headed to Tenochtitlan and on the way made alliances with several tribes. In October, accompanied by about 3, Tlaxcaltec they marched to Cholula , the second largest city in central Mexico.

Either to instill fear upon the Aztecs waiting for him or as he later claimed wishing to make an example when he feared native treachery, they massacred thousands of unarmed members of the nobility gathered at the central plaza and partially burned the city.

Much of the treasure looted was lost during this panicked escape. A first attempt to explore western South America was undertaken in by Pascual de Andagoya.

Francisco Pizarro had accompanied Balboa in the crossing of the Isthmus of Panama. In he formed a partnership with priest Hernando de Luque and soldier Diego de Almagro to explore the south, agreeing to divide the profits.

They dubbed the enterprise the " Empresa del Levante ": Pizarro would command, Almagro would provide military and food supplies, and Luque would be in charge of finances and additional provisions.

On 13 September , the first of three expeditions left to conquer Peru with about 80 men and 40 horses. The expedition was a failure, reaching no farther than Colombia before succumbing to bad weather, hunger and skirmishes with hostile locals, where Almagro lost an eye.

The place names bestowed along their route, Puerto deseado desired port , Puerto del hambre port of hunger and Puerto quemado burned port , attest to the difficulties of their journey.

Two years later they began a second expedition with reluctant permission from the Governor of Panama. In August , they left with two ships, men and several horses.

Upon reaching San Juan River they separated, Pizarro staying to explore the swampy coasts and Almagro sent back for reinforcements.

Pizarro's main pilot sailed south and, after crossing the equator, captured a raft from Tumbes. To his surprise, it carried textiles, ceramic and much-desired gold, silver, and emeralds, becoming the central focus of the expedition.

Soon Almagro joined with reinforcements and they resumed. After a difficult voyage facing strong winds and currents, they reached Atacames where they found a large native population under Inca rule, but they did not land.

Pizarro remained safe near the coast, while Almagro and Luque went back for reinforcements with proof of the rumoured gold. The new governor outright rejected a third expedition and ordered two ships to bring everyone back to Panama.

Almagro and Luque grasped the opportunity to join Pizarro. When they arrived at the Isla de Gallo , Pizarro drew a line in the sand, saying: Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian.

They headed for La Isla Gorgona , where they remained for seven months before the arrival of provisions. They decided to sail south and, by April , reached the northwestern Peruvian Tumbes Region and were warmly received by local Tumpis.

Two of Pizarro's men reported incredible riches, including gold and silver decorations around the chief's house.

They saw for the first time a llama which Pizarro called "little camels". The natives named the Spanish "Children of the Sun" for their fair complexion and brilliant armours.

They decided then to return to Panama to prepare a final expedition. Before leaving they sailed south through territories they named such as Cabo Blanco, port of Payta, Sechura, Punta de Aguja, Santa Cruz, and Trujillo , reaching the ninth degree south.

In the spring of Pizarro sailed for Spain, where he had an interview with king Charles I. The king heard of his expeditions in lands rich in gold and silver and promised to support him.

Pizarro was then able to convince many friends and relatives to join: Pizarro's third and final expedition left Panama for Peru on 27 December With three ships and one hundred and eighty men they landed near Ecuador and sailed to Tumbes, finding the place destroyed.

They entered the interior and established the first Spanish settlement in Peru , San Miguel de Piura.

One of the men returned with an Incan envoy and an invitation for a meeting. After marching for two months, they approached Atahualpa.

He refused the Spanish, however, saying he would "be no man's tributary. Despite fulfilling his promise of filling one room with gold and two with silver, he was convicted for killing his brother and plotting against Pizarro, and was executed.

In three Portuguese traders accidentally became the first Westerners to reach and trade with Japan. The expedition set sail on November Urdaneta set sail from San Miguel on the island of Cebu on June 1, , but was obliged to sail as far as 38 degrees North latitude to obtain favourable winds.

He reasoned that the trade winds of the Pacific might move in a gyre as the Atlantic winds did. If in the Atlantic, ships made the Volta do mar to pick up winds that would bring them back from Madeira, then, he reasoned, by sailing far to the north before heading east, he would pick up trade winds to bring him back to North America.

His hunch paid off, and he hit the coast near Cape Mendocino , California, then followed the coast south.

The ship reached the port of Acapulco, on October 8, , having travelled 12, miles 19, kilometres in days. Thus, a cross-Pacific Spanish route was established, between Mexico and the Philippines.

For a long time these routes were used by the Manila galleons , thereby creating a trade link joining China, the Americas, and Europe via the combined trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic routes.

Nations outside Iberia refused to acknowledge the Treaty of Tordesillas. France, the Netherlands and England each had a long maritime tradition and had been engaging in privateering.

Despite Iberian protections, the new technologies and maps soon made their way north. War between England and Spain also broke out.

The combined empires were simply too big to go unchallenged by European rivals. Philip's troops conquered the important trading cities of Bruges and Ghent.

Antwerp , then the most important port in the world, fell in The Protestant population was given two years to settle affairs before leaving the city.

Those were mainly skilled craftsmen, rich merchants of the port cities and refugees that fled religious persecution, particularly Sephardi Jews from Portugal and Spain and, later, the Huguenots from France.

The Pilgrim Fathers also spent time there before going to the New World. This mass immigration was an important driving force: After the defeat of the Spanish Armada in there was a huge expansion of maritime trade even though the defeat of the English Armada would confirm the naval supremacy of the Spanish navy over the emergent competitors.

The emergence of Dutch maritime power was swift and remarkable: In , Cornelis de Houtman was sent by Dutch merchants to Lisbon, to gather as much information as he could about the Spice Islands.

In , merchant and explorer Jan Huyghen van Linschoten , having travelled widely in the Indian Ocean at the service of the Portuguese, published a travel report in Amsterdam, the "Reys-gheschrift vande navigatien der Portugaloysers in Orienten" "Report of a journey through the navigations of the Portuguese in the East".

That same year Houtman followed this directions in the Dutch first exploratory travel that discovered a new sea route, sailing directly from Madagascar to Sunda Strait in Indonesia and signing a treaty with the Banten Sultan.

Dutch and British interest, fed on new information, led to a movement of commercial expansion, and the foundation of English , and Dutch chartered companies.

Dutch, French, and English sent ships which flouted the Portuguese monopoly, concentrated mostly on the coastal areas, which proved unable to defend against such a vast and dispersed venture.

Spain put limited efforts into exploring the northern part of the Americas, as its resources were concentrated in Central and South America where more wealth had been found.

In , Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed at the behest of Francis I of France , who was motivated by indignation over the division of the world between Portuguese and Spanish.

As a result of his expedition, the Diogo Ribeiro world map outlines the East coast of North America almost perfectly.

Europeans explored the Pacific Coast beginning in the midth century. Francisco de Ulloa explored the Pacific coast of present-day Mexico including the Gulf of California , proving that Baja California was a peninsula.

His account provided the first recorded use of the name "California". After his death the crew continued exploring as far north as Oregon.

The English naval commander Francis Drake sailed along the coast in somewhere north of Cabrillo's landing site—the actual location of Drake's landing was secret and is still undetermined [] [] —and claimed the land for England, [] calling it Nova Albion.

The term "Nova Albion" was therefore used on many European maps to designate territory north of the Spanish settlements. He explored the Hudson River and laid the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.

Hudson's final expedition ranged farther north in search of the Northwest Passage , leading to his discovery of the Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay.

After wintering in the James Bay , Hudson tried to press on with his voyage in the spring of , but his crew mutinied and they cast him adrift.

When it became apparent that there was no route through the heart of the Americas, attention turned to the possibility of a passage through northern waters, which English called the Northwest Passage.

The desire to establish such a route motivated much of the European exploration of both coasts of North America and in Russia.

In Russia the idea of a possible seaway connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific was first put forward by the diplomat Gerasimov in , although Russian settlers on the coast of the White Sea , the Pomors , had been exploring parts of the route as early as the 11th century.

During the voyage across the Barents Sea , Willoughby thought he saw islands to the north, and islands called Willoughby's Land were shown on maps published by Plancius and Mercator into the s.

His ships with the frozen crews, including Captain Willoughby and his journal, were found by Russian fishermen a year later.

They managed to bring it on board, but the bear rampaged and was killed. Barentsz reached the west coast of Novaya Zemlya and followed it northward, before being forced to turn back in the face of large icebergs.

The following year, Prince Maurice of Orange named him chief pilot of a new expedition of six ships, loaded with merchant wares that the Dutch hoped to trade with China.

In , the States-General offered a high reward for anybody who successfully navigated the Northeast Passage. The Town Council of Amsterdam purchased and outfitted two small ships, captained by Jan Rijp and Jacob van Heemskerk , to search for the elusive channel, under the command of Barents.

They set off on May, and on June discovered Bear Island and Spitsbergen , sighting its northwest coast. They saw a large bay, later called Raudfjorden and entered Magdalenefjorden , which they named Tusk Bay , sailing into the northern entrance of Forlandsundet , which they called Keerwyck , but were forced to turn back because of a shoal.

On 28 June they rounded the northern point of Prins Karls Forland , which they named Vogelhoek , on account of the large number of birds, and sailed south, passing Isfjorden and Bellsund , which were labelled on Barentsz's chart as Grooten Inwyck and Inwyck.

The ships once again reached Bear Island on 1 July, which led to a disagreement. They parted ways, with Barentsz continuing northeast, while Rijp headed north.

Barentsz reached Novaya Zemlya and, to avoid becoming entrapped in ice, headed for the Vaigatch Strait but became stuck within the icebergs and floes.

Stranded, the man crew was forced to spend the winter on the ice. Dealing with extreme cold, they used the merchant fabrics to make additional blankets and clothing and caught Arctic foxes in primitive traps, as well as polar bears.

When June arrived, and the ice had still not loosened its grip on the ship, scurvy -ridden survivors took two small boats out into the sea.

Barentsz died at sea on 20 June , while studying charts. It took seven more weeks for the boats to reach Kola where they were rescued by a Russian merchant vessel.

Only 12 crewmen remained, reaching Amsterdam in November. Two of Barentsz' crewmembers later published their journals, Jan Huyghen van Linschoten , who had accompanied him on the first two voyages, and Gerrit de Veer who had acted as the ship's carpenter on the last.

In , Henry Hudson made a second attempt, trying to go across the top of Russia. He made it to Novaya Zemlya but was forced to turn back.

Terra Australis Ignota Latin, "the unknown land of the south" was a hypothetical continent appearing on European maps from the 15th to the 18th centuries, with roots in a notion introduced by Aristotle.

It was depicted on the midth-century Dieppe maps , where its coastline appeared just south of the islands of the East Indies; it was often elaborately charted, with a wealth of fictitious detail.

The discoveries reduced the area where the continent could be found; however, many cartographers held to Aristotle's opinion, like Gerardus Mercator and Alexander Dalrymple even so late as [] argued for its existence, with such arguments as that there should be a large landmass in the Southern Hemisphere as a counterweight to the known landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere.

As new lands were discovered, they were often assumed to be parts of this hypothetical continent. Juan Fernandez , sailing from Chile in , claimed he had discovered the Southern Continent.

He represented this to the King of Spain as the Terra Australis incognita. In fact, it was not Australia but an island in present-day Vanuatu.

Dutch navigator and colonial governor, Willem Janszoon sailed from the Netherlands for the East Indies for the third time on December 18, , as captain of the Duyfken or Duijfken , meaning "Little Dove" , one of twelve ships of the great fleet of Steven van der Hagen.

Janszoon then crossed the eastern end of the Arafura Sea , without seeing the Torres Strait , into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

On February 26, , he made landfall at the Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York in Queensland, near the modern town of Weipa.

This is the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent. Janszoon proceeded to chart some kilometres miles of the coastline, which he thought was a southerly extension of New Guinea.

In — Abel Tasman , also a Dutch explorer and merchant in the service of the VOC, circumnavigated New Holland proving that Australia was not part of the mythical southern continent.

He was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land now Tasmania and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands, which he did in Tasman, his navigator Visscher, and his merchant Gilsemans also mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

In the midth century the Tsardom of Russia conquered the Tatar khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan , thus annexing the entire Volga Region and opening the way to the Ural Mountains.

The colonization of the new easternmost lands of Russia and further onslaught eastward was led by the rich merchants Stroganovs.

Tsar Ivan IV granted vast estates near the Urals as well as tax privileges to Anikey Stroganov , who organized large scale migration to these lands.

Stroganovs developed farming, hunting, saltworks, fishing, and ore mining on the Urals and established trade with Siberian tribes. By Stroganovs and Yermak came up with the idea of the military expedition to Siberia, in order to fight Kuchum in his own land.

In Yermak began his voyage into the depths of Siberia. After a few victories over the khan's army, Yermak's people defeated the main forces of Kuchum on Irtysh River in a 3-day Battle of Chuvash Cape in The remains of the khan's army retreated to the steppes , and thus Yermak captured the Siberia Khanate , including its capital Qashliq near modern Tobolsk.

Kuchum still was strong and suddenly attacked Yermak in in the dead of night, killing most of his people. Yermak was wounded and tried to swim across the Wagay River Irtysh 's tributary , but drowned under the weight of his own chain mail.

The Cossacks had to withdraw from Siberia completely, but thanks to Yermak's having explored all the main river routes in West Siberia, Russians successfully reclaimed all his conquests just several years later.

In the early 17th century the eastward movement of Russians was slowed by the internal problems in the country during the Time of Troubles. However, very soon the exploration and colonization of the huge territories of Siberia was resumed, led mostly by Cossacks hunting for valuable furs and ivory.

These were Pomors from the Russian North , who already had been making fur trade with Mangazeya in the north of the Western Siberia for quite a long time.

In the settlement of Turukhansk was founded on the northern Yenisei River , near the mouth of Lower Tunguska , and in Yeniseysky ostrog was founded on the mid-Yenisei at the mouth of the Upper Tunguska.

Between and a group of fur hunters led by Demid Pyanda left Turukhansk and explored some 1, miles 2, kilometres of the Lower Tunguska, wintering in the proximity of the Vilyuy and Lena rivers.

According to later legendary accounts folktales collected a century after the fact , Pyanda discovered the Lena River. He allegedly explored some 1, miles 2, kilometres of its length, reaching as far as central Yakutia.

He returned up the Lena until it became too rocky and shallow, and portaged to the Angara River. In this way, Pyanda may have become the first Russian to meet Yakuts and Buryats.

He built new boats and explored some miles 1, kilometres of the Angara, finally reaching Yeniseysk and discovering that the Angara a Buryat name and Upper Tunguska Verkhnyaya Tunguska, as initially known by Russians are one and the same river.

In Pyotr Beketov was appointed Yenisei voevoda in Siberia. He successfully carried out the voyage to collect taxes from Zabaykalye Buryats, becoming the first Russian to step in Buryatia.

He founded the first Russian settlement there, Rybinsky ostrog. Beketov was sent to the Lena River in , where in he founded Yakutsk and sent his Cossacks to explore the Aldan and farther down the Lena, to found new fortresses, and to collect taxes.

Yakutsk soon turned into a major starting point for further Russian expeditions eastward, southward and northward.

Maksim Perfilyev , who earlier had been one of the founders of Yeniseysk, founded Bratsky ostrog on the Angara in , and in he became the first Russian to step into Transbaikalia , travelling there from Yakutsk.

Later Ivanov made the first chart and description of Baikal. In a group of explorers led by Ivan Moskvitin became the first Russians to reach the Pacific Ocean and to discover the Sea of Okhotsk , having built a winter camp on its shore at the Ulya River mouth.

The Cossacks learned from the locals about the large Amur River far to the south. In they apparently sailed south, explored the south-eastern shores of the Okhotsk Sea, perhaps reaching the mouth of the Amur River and possibly discovering the Shantar Islands on their way back.

After wintering, in Poyarkov pushed down the Zeya and became the first Russian to reach the Amur River. He sailed down the Amur and finally discovered the mouth of that great river from land.

Since his Cossacks provoked the enmity of the locals behind, Poyarkov chose a different way back. They built boats and in sailed along the Sea of Okhotsk coast to the Ulya River and spent the next winter in the huts that had been built by Ivan Moskvitin six years earlier.

In they returned to Yakutsk. A merchant named Fedot Alekseyev Popov organized a further expedition eastward, and Semyon Dezhnyov became a captain of one of the kochi.

In they sailed from Srednekolymsk down to the Arctic and after some time they rounded Cape Dezhnyov , thus becoming the first explorers to pass through the Bering Strait and to discover Chukotka and the Bering Sea.

All their kochi and most of their men including Popov himself were lost in storms and clashes with the natives. A small group led by Dezhnyov reached the mouth of the Anadyr River and sailed up it in , having built new boats from the wreckage.

They founded Anadyrsk and were stranded there, until Stadukhin found them, coming from Kolyma by land. He also may have explored the western shores of Kamchatka.

This time he was met with armed resistance. He built winter quarters at Albazin , then sailed down Amur and found Achansk, which preceded the present-day Khabarovsk , defeating or evading large armies of Daurian Manchu Chinese and Koreans on his way.

He charted the Amur in his Draft of the Amur river. In he sailed from Anadyr Bay to Cape Dezhnyov.

Atop his earlier pioneering charts, Ivanov is credited with creation of the early map of Chukotka and Bering Strait , which was the first to show on paper very schematically the yet undiscovered Wrangel Island , both Diomede Islands and Alaska, based on the data collected from the natives of Chukotka.

So, by the midth century, Russians established the borders of their country close to modern ones, and explored almost the whole of Siberia, except the eastern Kamchatka and some regions north of the Arctic Circle.

The conquest of Kamchatka later would be achieved in the early s by Vladimir Atlasov , while the discovery of the Arctic coastline and Alaska would be completed by the Great Northern Expedition in — European overseas expansion led to the contact between the Old and New Worlds producing the Columbian Exchange , [] named after Columbus.

It involved the transfer of goods unique to one hemisphere to another. Europeans brought cattle, horses, and sheep to the New World, and from the New World Europeans received tobacco, potatoes and maize.

Other items becoming important in global trade were the sugarcane and cotton crops of the Americas, and the gold and silver brought from the Americas not only to Europe but elsewhere in the Old World.

The new trans-oceanic links and their domination by the European powers led to the Age of Imperialism , where European colonial powers came to control most of the planet.

The European appetite for trade, commodities, empire and slaves greatly affected many other areas of the world. Spain participated in the destruction of aggressive empires in the Americas, only to substitute its own, and forcibly replaced the original religions.

The pattern of territorial aggression was repeated by other European empires, most notably the Dutch, Russian, French and British.

Christianity replaced older "pagan" rituals, as were new languages, political and sexual cultures, and in some areas like North America, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina , the indigenous peoples were abused and driven off most of their lands, being reduced to small, dependent minorities.

Similarly, in coastal Africa, local states supplied the appetite of European slave traders , changing the complexion of coastal African states and fundamentally altering the nature of African slavery , causing impacts on societies and economies deep inland.

See Atlantic slave trade. Aboriginal peoples were living in North America at this time and still do today. There were many conflicts between Europeans and Natives.

The Europeans had many advantages over the natives. See Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Maize and manioc were introduced into Africa in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Crosby speculated that increased production of maize, manioc, and other New World crops led to heavier concentrations of population in the areas from which slavers captured their victims.

In the 16th-century economy of China, the Ming Dynasty was stimulated by trade with the Portuguese , Spanish , and Dutch. China became involved in a new global trade of goods, plants, animals, and food crops known as the Columbian Exchange.

Trade with European powers and the Japanese brought in massive amounts of silver, which then replaced copper and paper banknotes as the common medium of exchange in China.

During the last decades of the Ming the flow of silver into China was greatly diminished, thereby undermining state revenues and indeed the entire Ming economy.

This damage to the economy was compounded by the effects on agriculture of the incipient Little Ice Age , natural calamities, crop failure, and sudden epidemics.

The ensuing breakdown of authority and people's livelihoods allowed rebel leaders such as Li Zicheng to challenge Ming authority. New crops that had come to Asia from the Americas via the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century contributed to the Asia's population growth.

This included sweet potatoes , maize , and peanuts, foods that could be cultivated in lands where traditional Chinese staple crops—wheat, millet, and rice—could not grow, hence facilitating a rise in the population of China.

The arrival of the Portuguese to Japan in initiated the Nanban trade period , with the Japanese adopting several technologies and cultural practices, like the arquebus , European-style cuirasses, European ships, Christianity, decorative art, and language.

After the Chinese had banned direct trade by Chinese merchants with Japan, the Portuguese filled this commercial vacuum as intermediaries between China and Japan.

The Portuguese bought Chinese silk and sold it to the Japanese in return for Japanese-mined silver; since silver was more highly valued in China, the Portuguese could then use Japanese silver to buy even larger stocks of Chinese silk.

He taught the Chinese how to construct and play the spinet , translated Chinese texts into Latin and vice versa, and worked closely with his Chinese associate Xu Guangqi — on mathematical work.

As a wider variety of global luxury commodities entered the European markets by sea, previous European markets for luxury goods stagnated. The Atlantic trade largely supplanted pre-existing Italian and German trading powers which had relied on their Baltic, Russian and Islamic trade links.

The new commodities also caused social change , as sugar, spices, silks and chinawares entered the luxury markets of Europe.

The European economic centre shifted from the Mediterranean to Western Europe. The city of Antwerp , part of the Duchy of Brabant , became "the centre of the entire international economy", [] and the richest city in Europe at this time.

Francesco Guicciardini , a Venetian envoy, stated that hundreds of ships would pass Antwerp in a day, and 2, carts entered the city each week.

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