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Motives For European Exploration

Motives For European Exploration. Middle Ages. - Historians mark the fall of Rome as the end of ancient history. - The next one thousand years were called the Middle Ages. - The Latin term for Middle Ages is "medieval.". Middle Ages.

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Motives For European Exploration

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  1. Motives For European Exploration

  2. Middle Ages - Historians mark the fall of Rome as the end of ancient history. - The next one thousand years were called the Middle Ages. - The Latin term for Middle Ages is "medieval."

  3. Middle Ages The beginning of the Middle Ages is often called the "Dark Ages" because the great civilizations of Greece and Rome had fallen.

  4. Middle Ages - Life in Europe during the Middle Ages was very hard. - Very few people could read or write and nobody expected conditions to improve.

  5. Renaissance • About 1450, European scholars became more interested in studying the world around them. • Their art became more true to life. They began to explore new lands. The new age in Europe was eventually called “the Renaissance.”

  6. Renaissance Renaissance is a French word that means rebirth.” Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history.

  7. Renaissance - The Renaissance began in northern Italy and then spread through Europe. - Italian cities such as Naples, Genoa, and Venice became centers of trade between Europe and the Middle East.

  8. Renaissance - Arab scholars preserved the writings of the ancient Greeks in their libraries. - When the Italian cities traded with the Arabs, ideas were exchanged along with goods. -

  9. Renaissance - Knowledge began to gain importance during the Renaissance.

  10. Explorations • Between 1400 and 1800, European seamen launched a series of explorations that took them all over the Earth. • These voyages were expensive. • Yet private investors and government authorities had strong motives to cover the costs of these voyages.

  11. Motives • The search for basic resources and land suitable for the growing of cash crops. • The seamen that were most prominent in the search were from the relatively poor country of Portugal. • By the beginning of the 1200’s, Portuguese seamen were sailing far into the Atlantic Ocean.

  12. Why? - Originally they were looking for fish, seals, whales, timber and lands they could grow wheat on to supplement their own poor resources. - By the early 1300s they had discovered the islands of the Azores and Madeira - These islands became important because of the high demand for sugar. - Sugar plantations were set up.

  13. Why? • The Portuguese also set up colonies on other islands off of Africa such as Cape Verde. • These were also set up in order to grow cash crops. • A cash crop is something you grow in order to sell for a profit.

  14. Motive 2 2. The goal of establishing Maritime Trade routes. • During the era of the Mongol empires, European merchants often traveled overland as far as China to trade in silk, spices, porcelain and other Asian goods. • These routes were referred to as the Silk Roads.

  15. Silk Road Land routes are red, water routes are blue.

  16. Problems with Silk Road • In the 1300s, the Mongol empires collapsed which caused these routes to become more and more unsafe. • There was also the bubonic plague that was spreading. This also made these routes unsafe.

  17. Problems Continued • Muslim seamen continued to bring Asian goods through the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to Cairo, Egypt. • Here Italian merchants purchased them for distribution in Western Europe. • The problem with this was the prices here were high and the Europeans wanted more and more Asian goods, particularly spices.

  18. Importance of Spices • In the 1400s, there was no refrigeration. To prevent meat from spoiling, people drowned their meat in salt to preserve and dry it (like beef jerky). • They also used a lot of spices like pepper to cover up the taste of the salted or spoiled meat.

  19. Need For a New Route • Merchants and monarchs knew that if they could get a quicker route that could offer them direct access to these spices they would have more of the spices and make more money.

  20. Why a New Route? • Trade was controlled by Venetian and Muslim traders. • They could be cut out of the picture. • European countries wanted to avoid the Italians and Muslims. Other Europeans wanted to bypass them to get to the silk, spices, and other luxury items in Asia.

  21. 2b. • It was not just Asian trade. • Since the 1100s, Europeans had purchased West African gold, ivory, and slaves delivered by the Trans – Saharan camel caravans of Muslim merchants to north African ports.

  22. Importance of African Trade • Gold was especially important because it was Europe’s principal form of payment for Asian goods. • As in the case of Asian trade, water routes that eliminated Muslim middlemen and offer direct access to African markets would benefit European merchants.

  23. Motive 3 • The goal of expanding the boundaries of Christianity also pushed Europeans into the world. • Like Islam, Christianity is a missionary religion. • Whether through persuasion or violence, overseas voyages combined and offered fresh opportunities for western Europeans to spread their faith.

  24. In practice, the various motives combined and reinforced each other.

  25. Famous Explorers Reasons • Prince Henry the Navigator explored West Africa specifically to enter the gold trade, discover new trade routes, gain intelligence about Muslim power and win converts to Christianity. • When Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reached Calcutta, India; he told local leaders he was looking for “Christians and spices”.

  26. Exploring from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic • The pace of European exploration quickened after 1415 when Prince Henry conquered part of Morocco and paid for a series of voyages down the West African coast.

  27. Portuguese merchants soon established trading posts in present day Ghana. • There they traded horses, leather and metalwares for gold and slaves. • In 1488, Bartolomeu Dias rounded the Cape of Good Hope and entered into the Indian Ocean. • This route meant that the Europeans could bypass the Muslim middlemen and take part in trade with Asians as described by Marco Polo.

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