• Scholars emphasized reason, questioned authority, and pursued free inquiry.
• Directed attention to scientific matters; Europeans wanted to know more about the world's size, shape, and people.
• The movement away from feudalistic societies to monarchies provided the unity, power, and resources needed to explore new lands, conquer existing civilizations, and colonize the land.
• The monarchy returned to England after the rule of Cromwell.
• Charles II ascended to the throne in 1660.
• Colonization had halted during Cromwell's rule but with Charles II, England began to build its empire again.
Prince Henry the Navigator
• He established a school of navigation that prompted more exploration, specifically for an all-water route around Africa and on to the East.
• In 1498 Vasco da Gama became the first to reach India by this route.
Treaty of Tordesillas
• In 1494 the Pope divided the "heathen lands" of the New World between Spain and Portugal.
• Spain took the lion's share of the area, but Portugal received compensating territory in Africa and Asia as well as the title to the lands that would later be Brazil.
• In 1588 Phillip II of Spain amassed a fleet of ships, financed by Spain's New World gains, to invade England and defeat Protestantism.
• The Spanish fleet was quickly overwhelmed by the faster, smaller, more maneuverable, and more ably-manned English ships.
• This weakened the imperial aspirations of Spain, marked the beginning of England's dominance of the world's oceans, and provided the opening for English colonization.