European Explore the East

Analyze the European exploration of the East, the rivalry between Spain and Portugal, and the trading empires of Indian Ocean.

Steven Alvarez:

The Europeans interacted quite a bit with their neighbors to the east. Granted, many of those interactions involved killing each other, but they nevertheless succeeded in trading culture, technology, knowledge, and especially trade goods. The Europeans had a big taste for things eastern, such as spices and silks and they wanted more of it. Most of these goods were transported over land by Muslims to Mediterranean and Black Sea ports. The Italians merchant city-states took it from there, transporting the goods to Europe and selling them at a healthy markup. The Italians controlled the Mediterranean, especially after the Battle of Lepanto.

Most of the Europeans didn’t like this too much. They didn’t appreciate having to pay exorbitant prices for goods and they didn’t like making the Italians even more powerful and wealthy. So they wanted to find their own way of getting their spices and silks without having to rely on either the Italians or the Muslims. Up until this time, ships didn’t venture out too far into the open ocean. They liked sticking close to land. This was because the ships weren’t great for blue water travel and the navigation ability away from land wasn’t great either. Plus, the sail technology was good only for going with the wind. If it was against you, you just had to pull the sails and wait until it shifted. This changed, though, with the introduction of some Muslim technology and some new sails. The astrolabe enables sailors to figure out where they were in relation to the equator, also it was eventually replaced by the sextant. Another nice innovation was the compass from China. New triangular sails were another big deal. They allowed ships to travel against the wind by tacking (zig-zagging).

Portugal jumps out ahead in the exploration game. This was mainly due to Prince Henry the Navigator, who stresses navigation and exploration. Portuguese ships gradually make their way down and around Africa. Bartolomeu Dias first made it around the tip of Africa in 1488. Vasco de Gama then made it all the way to India in 1498. The east was finally opened up to the Europeans by sea. Take that, stupid Italians!

Saluna Chow:
Factors that contributed to the exploration of the East was the great longing of wealthiness and the aspiration of spreading the Christian religion. These were the major factors that caused the exploration towards the East. Coming out from the Dark Ages we have advance technology that benefited and helped the navigations as well as the mapmakers and shipbuilders. Portugal was the first one to use the new sailing methods and also the first one to establish trading outposts along the West coast of Africa. Prince Henry discovered the wealth provided by the lands when he made his exploration in 1415 in Ceuta. He returned to Portugal and immediately opened a school of navigation for future explorations. From this moment on, navigation systems had been activated and Portuguese were already preparing themselves for future explorations. Prince Henry wanted to spread Christianity and reach these natural resources that lies outside Europe. We have a lot of important people that contributed to this new discovery of the outside world, such as Bartolomeu Dias who was the first one to reach the southern tip of Africa. When Prince Henry died, a portuguese explorer named Vasco da Gama took his job and continued the journey. Vasco da Gama was the one that found a direct route to Asia. This explorations allowed outside connections, meaning that they were now able to connect with the rest of the world, they would exchange not only goods, but also culture.
While Portuguese were sailing and discovering lands successfully, its neighbor Spain wanted the same thing. An italian sea captain, Christopher Columbus, proposed to sail west across the Atlantic Ocean. This exploration changed the way people see world, because that was the discovery of the Americas. Christopher Columbus thought that they had reached the East Indies at first, but then realized that it was the Americas. Tension increased between Spain and Portugal so they went through a fair agreement so that conflicts would decrease. They signed the Treaty of Tortillas that stated that there was an imaginary line form north to south through the Atlantic Ocean. All the lands in the west would be Spain's and the rest would be Portugal's. After so many struggles, European finally reached their goal, which was to trade in the Indian Ocean. Others European countries saw Portugal trading successfully with the Muslims and people from Asia, so they wanted to the same thing. Competition took place when others European countries, such as England, France and Netherlands started to do the same thing as Portugal. The Dutch were the most successful one and they even had a company named The Dutch East India Company, which was more powerful than England’s company.

Luis Rafael Acta:
European people started exploring new lands in the east beacause of several factors. Some of this factors were the desire of becoming very rich and wealthy and also they wanted to spred Christianity throughout the world. Now it was easier to do all this explorations beacause after the renaissance started they didnt have much technology. But the Renaissance marked a period of learning, which enabled them to develop new and better technologies to explore lands. The European countries of spain and portugal were in alot of rivalry because they seeked for the same thing wich was land. since portugal and spain were fighting for the same land, they both signed the treaty of tordesillas which drew a line to divide the land, it included part of modern day brazil for the potuguese.

There were many countries who had trading headquarter in the east. these countries were the dutch, england, and france. the dutch began seizing parts of portugal's valuable spice islands. By 1700 also Britain and France had gained a foothold in the region. since the english failed to gain control of a large area, the English East India Company focused most of its energy in establishing outposts of trade in India.

Rafael Cabrera:
At first, European were not interested in conquering land or exploring new territories. But this changed years later when the desire of becoming rich having more made them change. This way the exploration of Europeans started. One of the first explorers of the time was Marco Polo. Europeans did not only looked for new territories but also for new sources. This helped the trading business to grew rich and fast. But this was not the only reason, also the desire of spreading their religion influenced a lot. They started to spread Christianity around the world. all this was possible for their technological advancement that benefited them a lot. In my opinion one of the most important technological advancements was the magnetic compass because it helped them to get a more accurate location of where they wanted to go.

One of the most successful countries was Portugal. Portugal built a trading empire in the Indian ocean. They had control over almost all spices. This maintained the trading business in Europe. But for Portuguese surprise, there were no the only ones who traded around the Indian ocean. The English and dutch also started to trade throughout the Indian ocean. The dutch became rich and important by owning the biggest fleet of ships with 20,000 vessels.

Claudia Franjul:
The new mentality and way of seeing life that surrounded the Renaissance had aroused in Europeans a sense of curiosity and adventure, a desire to know what existed beyond the boundaries of Europe. Also the crusades that had taken place during much of the Middle Ages had enabled Europeans to travel to distant lands and see the riches and diversity that made these lands differ form theirs. The contact with these new lands also made them come in contact with the exotic species of Asia, with which they fell in love with. Europeans’ desire to trade with these exotic species, their craving for riches and wealth (prompted by the secular and humanist ideals that dominated the time),their longing of spreading Christianity, and advances in sailing technology led to the exploration of the world by the Europeans beginning in the 15th century.

The main goal of the European explorers was to find a sea route to Asia in order to make a profitable trade of species and to avoid the trading with the Italians and Muslims that dominated the Asian trade route. The first country to launch the much desired exploration was Portugal. The Portuguese were able to establish trade stations on the western coast of Africa and eventually Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama finally reached Asia by crossing around southern Africa. Seeing that Portugal had already found a sea route to Asia, Spain engaged in the rush. The Spanish financed Christopher Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic. When he reached land (which was actually the Americas not Asia) he claimed it for Spain believing he was in Asia, however this rose rivalry with Portugal and the land had to be divided among the two countries. In the mean time, Portugal’s trading empire in Asia was growing. The Portuguese came to dominate most of the Indian Ocean trade.The Netherlands, England, and France joined in, they also wanted to profit from the Asian trade. They claimed several Asian islands and trading posts. Europeans now dominated Asian trade.

Gabriela Elias:
The mayor points of European exploration of the East were the longing of expanding the Christian religion and the desire to know what was beyond the European land. Of course, they also wanted to take control of small pieces of land and make them their colonies. Thanks to the advance of technology after the Dark Ages, also known as the Middle Ages, this was way easier for European explorers. Each and every single one of these details began the exploration of the eastern world during the 15th century. Portugal and Spain were in constant rivalry because they were both seeking the same thing and had the same purpose. At the beginning, Portugal was the most successful country. In order to receive peace, they signed a treaty that divided the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern part belonged to Portugal and the western part to Spain.

Competition took its spot again when Portugal started trading through the Indian Ocean. Other European countries, such as England, France, and Netherlands, wanted the same thing so they started trading too. Who had more success were the Dutch who even had a company more powerful than the English company.

The reasons why the Europeans started to explore the west were the desire to grow rich in wealth and spread Christianity, also the advancement of sailing technology. the Europeans hoped to find a new source of wealth by exploring east by finding sources of spices and other luxuries. The spread of Christianity was due because the Europeans countries believed that they had a sacred duty to convert all the non-Christians throughout the world.

The rivalry between Spanish and Portuguese was mayorly based that each of them wanted the same land during the exploration time. they both raced each other on colonizing land first but as time passed they decided to make peace treaty to finish there argument, which is called the treaty of Tordesillas, by dividing the land. The trading empires at the Indian Ocean were the Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. The Portuguese built a vast bustling trading empire throughout this region which included some ports in India and some area of south Africa. The dutch controlled most of the East Indies and established their headquarters in Batavia. Spain conquered the philipines while English and France only controlled East Indies Company that made not much profits.

Kendrick Abreu:
During the 1400s many changes started occurring for the Europeans. The European at first had neither the interest nor the ability to explore foreign land however, things started changing because they then had the desire to grow rich and spread Christianity, united with advances in sailing technology, urged an age of Europeans exploration. By exploring the seas far from Europe, traders hoped to find new, faster routes to Asia, the source of spices and luxury goods. One of their goals was to win access to these lands and bypass the Muslims and Italians who currently controlled this trade. Advances in technology made these voyages possible.

Natasha Chami:
The first nation to develop and use these new technologies was Portugal. Then Portuguese captains sailed farther down the west coast of Africa in which in 1488, Bartolomeu Dias led the first voyage to reach the southern tip of Africa. Ten years later, Vasco da Gama led a ship 27,000 miles around Africa, to India, and back. This meant that the Portuguese had found a sea route to Asia. Portugal moved quickly to make the new Indian Ocean route pay off. Then in 1509, it defeated a Muslim navy off the coast of India and therefore became the master of Indian trade. Soon, it captured cities in India and the Malay Peninsula. At the end while the Europeans controlled the trade between Asia and Europe, they had little impact on most people living in those areas.

Tiffani Chalas
This was a period of time from the 15th century through the 17th century in which Europeans aggressively explored and mapped the East. The East exploration is best known for the Spanish and Portuguese explorers. They seeked different trading routes with Africa, Americas and Asia to get to the indies. Things traded were mostly gold, silver, and certain wanted spices. After a while The Netherlands, England, and France followed in Portugal's and Spain's foot steps and also looked for different trading routes as well. They found themselves in Australia and New Zealand in the 1600's as well. Spain and Portugal developed a rivalry because of the competition they had toward each other involving finding the best trading routes. - Tiffani Chalas

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