Causes of the Age of Exploration


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Causes of the Age of Exploration

  1. 1. Delaney Caballero <br />Mr. Smith<br />AP World History<br />5 December 2010<br />Causes of the Age of Exploration<br />In the early 1400s, the Europeans began to dominate the world by settling colonies in the Americas, along the coast of Africa, and parts of India and Southeast Asia. This is referred to as the Age of Exploration. The Age was caused by advances in technology and motivated by the desire for glory, religious factors, and, most importantly, economic factors.<br />Advances in technology caused the Age of Exploration. The advances began with contact with the Muslim world their top rate sailing technique. Prince Henry of Portugal was influenced by the Muslims and began a navigation school. Some of the new technological advances were new hulls for sail ships, compasses, cannons on the ships, new types of guns, and mapmaking. A few students of Prince Henry became some of the most influential explorers of the Age. Two examples are Vasco da Gama and Bartholomew Dias. <br />One of the motivations of the Age of Exploration was a desire for fame. This is related to the Renaissance concept of the glorification of human accomplishment. Explorers wanted to leave a legacy behind and have their name known throughout the world. European kingdoms would finance explorers in order to gain political control over an area and gain access to its resources. An example of this is how Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain financed Columbus in his expedition to find a practical trade route to the Orient by going west. <br />Religious factors were one of the motivations behind the Age of Exploration. The explorers took advantage of the locals and, after gaining their trust, they realized that they could spread their version of Christianity throughout the New World. The spreading of the faith to the non-belier became the reasoning behind the Age. This is tied to the Crusades and the Reformation’s desire to spread your national version of Christianity to take hold of an area. <br />The most important motivation behind the Age of Exploration was economic gain. Originally, the European’s wanted a way to bypass the Muslim controlled trade routes to the east and their spices. The Portuguese and Vasco da Gama sailed around the tip of Africa to reach India and opened the all-water trade with the East. The Spanish and Columbus sailed west and accidentally landed in America. In the Americas they discovered gold and other resources never before known the Europeans. <br />The Age of Exploration refers to the period from 1450 to 1648 when the Europeans sailed to the Americas, the coast of Africa, and throughout India and Southeast Asia. Because of the Age of Exploration, the European’s made many more accomplishments. There were many causes and motivations leading to the Age of Exploration. New technological innovations, the desire for glory, the need to spread the faith, and a longing for gold are the most important. <br />