Essay Title: 

European History

March 23, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, native-american studies

The Europeans became increasingly interested in voyages of discovery in the late 15th and early 16th centuries because of various factors For thousands of ears , Europeans had come to rely on Ptolemy ‘s theory as he described it to be . The people believed that the world was a big place and in for them to cross it , they had to walk on foot or sail in small boats through the shorelines . Despite having dreams and fantasies , people came to be contented with what they had . Those who were able to travel to distant [banner_entry_middle]

places passed their stories from one generation to generation

However , as technological change made long sea voyages possible , it made the demands of commerce more attractive which incidentally provided incentives to the countries of origins of European explorers . Ottoman expansion through the southern and eastern frontiers of the Continent had threatened access to the goods of the East to which the Europeans had come to rely mainly . The demand for spices , which were considered rare and expensive although not just luxurious has risen greatly and its supply could not cope with such demand . Europeans had come to rely on eastern goods heavily . For instance , western jewellery had come to rely on the stones imported from the East . Moreover , the war the Muslims holy waged against Christians made matters worse for the Europeans Although , they believed that they can still provide arms for the Muslims , the Europeans nevertheless found that it cannot compete with the arms the Turks were making as the European arms were less sought than those of the Turks . Eventually , Europe faced a severe shortage of gold , silver and other precious metals , a shortage which threatened the economic growth and standard of living

The Portuguese were the first to make a dramatic breakthrough in exploration and colonization . They had long been sea explorers specifically in the Atlantic Ocean in which they were able to establish bases in the Azores and Madeira Islands . They however , were not able to participate in the lucrative Mediterranean trade in bullion and spices that is , until the Ottomans threatened the traditional eastern sea routes that the Portuguese dominated . Like most of the other explorers the Portuguese were motivated both by greed and faith . By establishing southern bases , this would allow them to surround their Muslim enemies at the same time giving them access to the African bullion trade

Under the leadership of Prince Henry , the Navigator , the Portuguese pushed steadily southward . Because he studied navigational techniques and was able to accumulate detailed accounts of voyages . These he used for the creation of accurate maps of the African coastline . With each trip the Portuguese made , their knowledge for the navigation widened and soon the Portuguese became powerful in the West African trade for slaves and gold ore . Most of the slaves were used by the Portuguese as domestics and laborers in Portugal while others were sent to work as plantation workers in the Island of Madeira

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