The Growth of States II - Atlantic explorations (according to Gerritsen and McFarlane)

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 25-05-18 16:30
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  • The Growth of States II - Atlantic explorations (according to Gerritsen and McFarlane)
    • Europeans looking for new trade routes in later C15th
      • Partly because of consolidation of Islamic Ottoman Empire in Near East
        • threatened Europe's overland trade with Asia
      • When Italian and other European merchants began to look beyond Mediterranean for sources of their most lucrative trades
        • They turned to 'Ocean Sea' (the Atlantic) as place for exploration
          • sought direct maritime routes for trade in spices from India and routes that would take them to rich kingdoms of 'Great Khan' memorialised in Marco Polo's description of his travels to China
    • European ability to navigate away from European shorelines and into open sea (technology)
      • was closely associated with growing knowledge and improved technology
      • late medieval European mariners had adopted stern-post rudder and square yardarm sails
      • in C15th combination of square sails with lateen sails on multi-masted caravels
        • made European ships manoeuvrable, able to sail against the wind and capable of long-distance travel
      • navigation
        • Compass and Charts for navigation
          • entered into wider and more systematic use both inside and outside the Mediterranean
      • Europe was well-equipped to undertake long-distance maritime exploration
    • Europe had greater commercial incentives than Arabs or Chinese
      • Arabs already traded commodities such as silks, spices and other Eastern luxuries desired by Europeans
      • Chinese, in C15th, sailed into Indian Ocean in very large treasure ships
        • subsequently abandoned their maritime explorations in preference for defending their vast internal borders
    • Iberian kingdoms of Portugal and Castile did most to extend Atlantic frontiers
      • Portugal
        • Particularly prominent Portuguese mariners began to enlarge European knowledge of Atlantic
          • By pushing southwards down coast of Africa
        • Objectives and motives
          • To find sources of gold and spices that were carried from African interior by overland caravans into North African territories dominated by Islam
          • To take African slaves
            • Increasingly important after mid-C15th
          • Political and religious motives
            • derived from traditions of crusade against Islam
            • encapsulated in myth of lost Christian kingdom
              • known as land of Prester John
                • Added to lure of contacts with new lands and new sources of wealth in Africa
              • Believed to be somewhere to rear of great Islamic sphere of influence that extended from Morocco to Black Sea
              • for contact with lost Christian realm offered possibility of opening second front in struggle against Islam
        • Portuguese exploration moved in two directions
          • One led to two archipelagos of Atlantic islands that lay west from Moroccan and Saharan coasts
            • According to Russell In 1420s, Prince Henry 'the Navigator' laid claim to Canary Islands
              • despite presence of French and Castilian settlers occupying under auspices of Castilian monarchy
              • Started long struggle between Portugal and Castile for control of Atlantic islands
                • not only for resources they might offer but also strategic positions off African coast
          • One led southwards along West African coast
            • where Portuguese traders went in search of gold, tropical commodities and slaves
            • In 1434, after rounding Cape Bojador (point on northern coast of Western Sahara, widely considered impassable)
              • Prince Henry created Guinea trade that established Portugal as leader in European trade with Africa
                • resources derived from trade in gold and slaves encourage Portugeuse to push father south in more systematic search for Prester John
                  • increasingly, for route which would lead them to fabled trade of India
        • In 1488, second great advance was made
          • when Barolome Dias rounded Cape of Good Hope, showing way into Arab-dominated Indian Ocean that was triumphantly extended by Vasco da Gama's famous voyage to India in 1497-1499

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