Motives and Means
God- convert native peoples to christianity
Glory- become famous for discovering/exploring a new area.
Gold- money from profits, discovering new gold mines, etc.
Started exploring because they were attracted to Asia. (Marco Polo wrote about his travels there under Kublai Khan)
14th century- Conquests by the Ottoman Turks reduced the ability of Europeans(Westerners) to travel east by land.
Wanted to expand trade through spice trade with the East.
Also had high hopes of discovering precious metals.
Mid 1400s- European monarchs had increased their power and their resources, and focus beyond their border. Reached a level technology that enabled them to make regular voyages beyond Europe.
A Race for Riches
Portugal took the lead when they sailed southward along the West African coast.
Spain followed with voyages around the Americas.
1420- Prince Henry the Navigator and Portuguese fleets began probing southward along the western coast of Africa. There they began to search for a new source of gold.
1488-Bartholomeu Dias rounded the tip of Africa (The Cape of Good Hope)
Vasco da Gama- went around the cape and cut across the Indian Ocean to the coast of India. In May,1498 he arrived off the port of Calicut where he took on a cargo of spices. Then upon his return to Portugal, he made a profit of several thousand percent.
The Portuguese returned to the area to take control of the spice trade from the Muslims.
1509- Portuguese warships defeated a combined fleet of Turkish and Indian ships(Muslims) off the coast of India.
Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque- set up a port at Goa, on the Western coast of India. then sailed to Melaka on the Malay Peninsula which is a thriving spice trade port and took control, destroying the Muslims' control and providing the Portuguese with a way station on the route to the Spice Islands. From there, the Portugueselaunched expeditions to China and the Spice Islands. There they signed a treaty with a local ruler which established Portuguese control of the spice market.
Portuguese had neither the the poower, the people nor the desire to colonize the Asian regions.
Educated Europeans knew tyhe earth was round but didnt know its circumference. They also didnt know the Americas existed between Africa/Europe and Asia.
Spanish sailed westward across the Atlantic Ocean to find the route to Asia.
Christopher Columbus- asked Queen Isabella of Spain to finance his expedition to sail westward to Asia. She agrees. October 1492- he reaches the Americas where he explored the coastline of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola. He thought he had reached Asia. After 3 voyages still hadnt made it to the Asian mainland. After his 4 voyages he had reached all the major Caribbean islands and Honduras(all of which he called the Indies)
Ferdinand Magellan-persuade King of Spain to finance his voyage to Asia. Set sail in September 1519 down the coast of South Americain search of a sea passage through America. October 1520- Magellan passed through a waterway into the Pacific Ocean. Fleet reached the Phillipines but he was killed by the natives. Is still remembered as the first person to circumnavigate the globe.
New Lands to Explore
Spain and Portugal both feared the other would try to claim some of their newly discovered territories.
TREATY OF TORDESILLAS- 1494- called for a line of demarcation extending vertically. Everything unexplored east of the line was Portugals and west of line by SPain.
John Cabot- A venetian seaman explored the New England coastline of the Americas for England.
Pedro Cabral- Portuguese sea captain landed in South America in the 1500s.
Amerigo Vespucci- Florentine went on several voyages, his letters describing the lands he saw led to the use of the name "America"
The Spanish Empire
Conquistadors- individuals whose firearms, organization and determination as well as their people and resources brought them great success.
Aztec Civilization Destroyed
ruled much of Central Mexico from the Gulf opf Mexico to the Pacific coasts. Most local officials accepted the king in Tenochtitlan.
Tlaxcala- local lords wanted greater independence.
1519- Hernan Cortes landed at Veracruz then marched to Tenochtitlan with a small body of troops and on his way made alliances with city-states that had tiredtired of Aztec rule. In November he arrived in Tenochtitlan and welcomed by Aztec king Monteuma. Aztecs were amazed by the unfamiliar sights of men on horseback, cannons, steel weapons etc. Spanish took Montezuma hostage and began to pillage the city.
1520- Local population revolted and drove the invaders from the city(Many Spanish were killed) Aztecs fell ill to new European diseases and died (smallpox especially) while Cortes received fresh soldiers from allies Tlaxcala. after 4 months the city surrendered. levelled pyramids, temples and palaces and erected churches and gov't buildings.
Conquest of the Inca
December 1530- Francisco Pizarro landed on the Pacific coast of south AMerica with only about 180 men. locals experienced an outbreak of smallpox and also had never seen men on horseback, steel weapons, etc. Emperor dies= civil war. Pizarro does nothing (lets them kill one another) Atallhualpa gets the crown. Franciscop kidnaps him and has him executed then marched on Cuzco and captured the Incan capital.
1535- Pizarro had established a new capital at Lima.
The Columbian Exchange
1550- territory in Mexico, Central America , and SOuth AMerica had been brought under Spanish control.
1535- the Spanish ahd created a system of colonial administration in their new american empire.
Encomienda- the right of SPanish land owners to use Native AMericans as laborers. were supposed to protect the Native Americans but they didnt. they had to work on sugar plantations and silver and gold mines.
forced labor,starvation and disease took a toll on the Native AMericans lives. 1538- only 500 Native AMericans survived. Exchanges between Europe and America = columbian exchange.
1600- English fleet landed on the northwestern coast of India and established trade relations with the people there,
1595- first Dutch fleet arrived in India.
Dutch formed the east India company and began competing with the portuguese and the english for Indian Ocean trade. Also formed west india company to compete with the spanish.
17th century- Dutch settlements were established on the north american continent.
17th century- France colonized parts of canada and louisiana.
1608- Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec for france.
English founded Virginia and the Mass. Bay colony.
1660- Rivalry between the english and the french brought the fall of the dutch commercial empire in the americas.
1664-English seized dutch colony of new netherlands and renamed it new york.
Dutch west india company went bankrupt..
Also set up sugar plantations (the english)