European Exploration

Topics: Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Europe Pages: 5 (803 words) Published: January 20, 2013
European Exploration—Causes and Effects


Desire for wealth and power. (Gold and Glory)

European explorers hoped to find riches in distant countries and to discover a sea route to Asia.

Search for spices (nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, etc.) and luxury goods (silk, gold, silver, jewels, ivory, porcelains, tea, etc.) from Africa and the East.

Religious aims (God)

Europeans hoped to spread Christianity to people throughout the world and to drive Muslims out of other lands.

Renaissance spirit

Europeans adventurers wanted to test the limits of human ability and to explore the unknown. Discover far away places and settle in the new lands.

Improvements in technology

Europeans began to build stronger, faster sailing ships (caravel, a ship with two sails one each for running with the wind and for sailing into the wind.

The hull design was improved and could ride out ocean storms.

They could also put canons on the decks of these ships).

They developed better navigational instruments (astrolabe, could tell north and south of the equator by the position of the stars

magnetic compass, told direction accurately)

more accurate maps with the discovery of how to find the longitude.

Immediate Effects

Sailors learned more about geography (longitude, latitude, new places, etc.) and improved navigation.

The Portuguese built plantations and trading posts in West Africa and many made Africa their home.

Prince Henry of Portugal organized a school for navigation at Sagres, Portugal and taught navigators how to develop and apply the new sailing innovations.

The Portuguese discovered a sea route to India.

Bartholomew Diaz traveled to the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa. (1488)

Columbus was the first European to reach the Americas. (1492)

Vasco da Gama discovered the route to India and back 27,000 miles (1497-1499)

The Line of Demarcation was established to prevent disputes over newly discovered lands in the America’s.

The imaginary line was drawn north to south, through the Atlantic Ocean.

Spain was given possession of lands west of that line, while Portugal could claim lands to the east of the line. (1493)

Treaty of Tordesillas moved the line of Demarcation west. Portugal received Brazil as a colony. (1494)

Fernando Magellan’s crew sailed around the world (1519-1522)

He died in the Philippines and his crew finished the trip around the world.

Hernando Cortez landed on the shores of Mexico with his conquistadors

He claimed the land for Spain.

Cortés and 600 men reached the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán

By 1521, they had conquered the Aztec empire and captured Montezuma.

Conquest was aided by superior weapons and Native American allies.

European diseases wipe out large numbers of Aztecs

Francisco Pizarro, marched a small force into South America.

He conquered Atahualpa and the Inca Empire.(1532)

Long Term Effects

European nations competed to establish colonies in the Americas

They expanded their wealth and power. (Gold and Glory)

Europe established sea trade with India.


The slave trade expanded.

Epidemics killed most of the native population in the Americas and created a need for workers.

Slaves provided a quick and available solution to the need for workers.

In 1540, about 10,000 slaves per year were brought to the Americans.

In the 1700’s there were about 70,000 slaves per year.

Triangular Trade Route

A network of trading between Europe, Africa, and the Americas made the Triangular Trade Route.

The Europeans traded goods to traders on the west coast of...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Medieval Exploration Essay
  • Introduction to Age of Exploration Essay
  • Age of Exploration- Spain, Portugal, England Essay
  • The Economic and Political Causes of European Exploration and Colonization Essay
  • Dbq on Exploration Essay
  • European Explorers Quiz Essay
  • Essay on Age of Exploration
  • Ap Age of Exploration Dbq Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Most Bids | Shokugeki no Soma 246 | 2018 Hindi