Columbus’s World 1492
History 140- 71097
The Grand Tour: Europe
• Spanish rulers, Ferdinand and
Isabella, provided the finances in
launching their program of
exploration to Christopher
• The wealth discovered in America
such as the Gold of Mexico and the
Silver of Peru was shared among
allies of Rome and Portugal which
added great power to Spain as well
as aid Ferdinand and Isabella’s heirs
when they strove for “universal
The Grand Tour: Turkey to Africa
• Columbus proved to be the savior of Christianity by handing the Western
Hemisphere over to the Spanish. Muslims and Jews had no place in his plan
for the land he had discovered.
• Because of the Church’s powerful influence in Latin America, Spain which had
the largest Jewish community in Europe expelled the Jews and those
unwillingly to accept baptism ended up in Turkish land.
• The kingdom of Kongo converted to Christianity and later abandoned the faith
because Nzinga a Knvwu felt that Christ had never delivered compensating
The Grand Tour: South Asia
• India under Muslim domination adopted new cultures into the mainstream of their
cultures and new peoples into their social system.
• In southeast Asia, Buddhists established their leaders as gods.
• Rulers did not prosecute those of other faiths because of the humane doctrines of
their tolerant religion.
• Moluccas was the greatest trade port where goods from all over the East are found
and goods from the West are sold. Also known as “The Spice Islands.”
The Grand Tour: China and Japan
• The Chinese had become the richest most
powerful country in the world. It was natural
to voyage to China for trade.
• China had revolutionary goods and inventions
other empires adored.
• China created the worlds first paper,
consisting of vegetable fibers.
• The compass was discovered, an item
Christopher Columbus sought out for.
• Gun powder was the most revolutionary and
was used for religious and ceremonial
occasions and later adapted for warfare.
• Chinese Silk was the most demanded good
and held dear as a luxury item to European
• The Chinese emphasized social harmony and
order, considering the empire as it formed a
single household. With this idea in mind, any
records of Cheng Ho’s expeditions were
hidden or destroyed to keep from an event of
wasted money and grains to repeat.
• Japan remained independent of Chinese
The Grand Tour: The Western
• The Aztec remained essentially a land-bound society with little interest in
• The Mayas had one of the most artistic and refined societies on the globe.
• Their calendar system was based on astronomical observations which was
far in advance of any European system.
• The Mayas long-distance trading system centered in Cozumel Island for
waterborne resources, such as salt, cacao, cotton and ceramics.
The Staff of Life
• Vast land areas depended upon different staples of food: wheat in Western Eurasia,
rice in Eastern Eurasia and corn in the Americas.
• The cultivation of wheat, barley, oats and rye, required the cooperative labor of
human and animal to turn the soil. But because of famine and their crops at the
mercy of the weather, European living was insecure.
• Rice led to the largest populations because it was feasible to reap two crops or three
a year in the same rice paddy. It needed reliable irrigation and a mobilized army of
men and women laborers.
• Corn demanded relatively little effort from the peasants. Crops grew quickly and
became edible before ripen.
• Due to the intensive cultivation of the three staple foods, China, the Mediterranean
and the Americas accounted for three-quarters of the globes population.
The European Challenge
• The longer the cultural area,
the longer cultures survived.
Thus, the more inventions
and advances there were to
be passed around and
• Example, gun powders
• Through commerce and war,
European kingdoms improved
their shipping and gained an
ultimate advantage over the
rest of the world.
The Great Traditions
• Ancient China, Babylon, India and ancient Egypt were the four great ancient
• All four great centers of civilization had elaborate bureaucratic structures, significant
cities, iron implements, writing and improved technology. These traits created stable
• In south east Asia, the African empires and the great civilizations of the Americas,
culture was confined to temple-palace complexes standing amidst peasant villages.
• The kingdoms and empires were fragile and rapid-changing.
• Hunter-gatherer groups occupied Australia, the Americas , parts of Africa and the
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