HIS102Lsn3EuropeanEx ploration

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European Exploration Theme: How and why the Europeans were able to reach out to foreign lands and the results of the “Columbian Exchange”: 

European Exploration Theme: How and why the Europeans were able to reach out to foreign lands and the results of the “Columbian Exchange” Lesson 3


Agenda European Explorations Explorers Motives Technology Trading Post Empires Trading Posts Philippines Seven Years’ War Columbian Exchange Conquistadors Global Trade

European Explorations: 

European Explorations Between 1400 and 1800, European mariners launched a series of exploratory voyages which took them to all but the extreme polar regions Explorers Motives Technology

European Explorations: 

European Explorations

European Explorations: Explorers: 

European Explorations: Explorers Explorers Vasco de Gama Christopher Columbus Ferdinand Magellan James Cook

Explorers: Vasco de Gama: 

Explorers: Vasco de Gama de Gama reached India in 1498 sailing around the Cape of Good Hope from Portugal Opened the door to maritime trade between Europe and Asian people and helped establish permanent links between the world’s various regions

Explorers: Christopher Columbus: 

Explorers: Christopher Columbus In 1492, Columbus landed at an island in the Bahamas mistakenly thinking he had landed in the Indies spice islands Spanish made Hispaniola their base of operations in the Caribbean, but within a few years realized there are no spices or silk to be found there During the 16th Century, Spanish interest shifted from the Caribbean to the American mainland

Explorers: Ferdinand Magellan: 

Explorers: Ferdinand Magellan Between 1519 and 1522, Magellan circumnavigated the world in an expedition to find a western route to Asian waters Of Magellan’s five ships and 280 men, a single ship with 18 of the original crew returned (Another 17 returned later by other routes) Magellan himself was killed with 40 of his crew in a political dispute in the Philippines

Explorers: James Cook: 

Explorers: James Cook Between 1768 and 1780, Cook led three voyages to the Pacific that explored places like the Arctic Ocean, New Zealand, Hawaii, and the Bering Strait

European Explorations: Motives: 

European Explorations: Motives Search for basic resources and lands suitable for the cultivation of cash crops Desire to establish new trade routes to Asian markets Desire to expand the influence of Christianity

Motives: Resources: 

Motives: Resources 13th Century Portugal was a relatively poor land in need of outside resources Portuguese mariners began pushing out into the Atlantic and found islands that would support Europe’s demand for sugar production By the 15th Century, Portuguese mariners were working with Italian entrepreneurs to establish sugar plantations

Motives: Trade: 

Motives: Trade The collapse of the Mongol Empire and the spread of the bubonic plague had made overland travel on the Silk Roads more dangerous than before

Motives: Trade: 

Motives: Trade Muslim mariners brought Asian goods to Cairo where Italian merchants purchased them for distribution in western Europe Europeans wanted more and cheaper Asian goods, especially spices Began seeking maritime trade routes directly to Asia which would cut out the Muslim middlemen Likewise maritime access to Africa would provide the gold, ivory, and slaves the Europeans wanted without having to go through Muslim merchants

Motives: Missionary: 

Motives: Missionary The New Testament commands Christians to spread the Gospel Some missionary efforts were peaceful such as Franciscan and Dominican travels to India, central Asia, and China Others were violent such as crusades against Muslims in Palestine, the Mediterranean, and Iberia

European Explorations: Technology: 

European Explorations: Technology Ships Instruments Winds and currents Sternpost rudder Back staff

Technology: Ships: 

Technology: Ships European sailors began constructing ships strong enough to withstand adverse conditions The sternpost rudder increased maneuverability Ships began using two sails A square one to catch a wind blowing from behind and a triangular lateen one to catch winds from the side and behind With both sails European ships could tack (advance against the wind by sailing across it) Tacking


Ships: Carrack Mizzen mast with triangular lateen sail placed toward stern of vessel Small square-rigged mast placed to fore of main mast Massive ribbed skeleton 2-3 decks, enclosed structures at bow and stern Sternpost rudder Maximum capacity: 1,000 tons Example: Santa Maria


Ships: Caravel About 30 meters long Maximum capacity: 130 tons Axled rudder Early versions: 2-3 masts, lateen rigged sails, clinker style hull Later versions: 4 masts, square rigged sails, streamlined hull Examples: Nina and Pinta

Technology: Instruments: 

Technology: Instruments Magnetic compasses used to determine direction Cross staffs and back staffs allowed mariners to determine latitude by measuring the angle of the sun or pole star above the horizon The ability to determine direction and latitude allowed mariners to accumulate data for mapping and to navigate with accuracy and efficiency

Technology: Winds and Currents: 

Technology: Winds and Currents In the Atlantic and Pacific, strong winds blow regularly to create “wind wheels” To the north, prevailing winds cause “westerlies” Further south, they cause the “Northeast trades” In the Indian Ocean, there are also regular patterns In the summer, monsoon winds blow from the southeast In the winter, they blow from the northwest

Technology: Winds and Currents: 

Technology: Winds and Currents Understanding these patterns allowed mariners to take advantage of prevailing winds and currents to sail almost anywhere By the mid-15th Century, Portuguese mariners had developed a strategy called volta do mar (“return through the sea”) Returning home they sailed northwest into the open ocean until they found westerly winds and then turned east for the last leg It was a longer but faster, safer, and more reliable way to travel

Major Ocean Currents: 

Major Ocean Currents

Trading Post Empires: 

Trading Post Empires European powers built a series of fortified trading posts throughout the maritime regions Commercial and political competition between the European powers would result in the Seven Years’ War The English would emerge victorious in 1763 and dominate world trade and build a vast empire Trading posts Philippines Seven Years’ War

Trading Post Empires: Portuguese Trading Posts: 

Trading Post Empires: Portuguese Trading Posts Portuguese trading posts were designed not to conquer territory but to control trade routes by forcing merchant vessels to stop and pay duties By the mid-16th Century, Portuguese merchants had built more than 50 trading posts between west Africa and east Asia

Trading Post Empires: Portuguese Trading Posts: 

Afonso d’Alboquerque led the effort seizing Hormuz in 1508, Goa in 1510, and Melaka in 1511 From these strategic sites, Alboquerque tried to control trade throughout the Indian Ocean He was only partially successful because of an insufficient number of ships to enforce his plan Eventually the English and Dutch surpassed the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean Afonso d’Alboquerque Trading Post Empires: Portuguese Trading Posts

Trading Post Empires: English and Dutch Trading Posts: 

Like the Portuguese, the English and Dutch built trading posts on the Asian coasts but they did not attempt to control shipping on the high seas The English and Dutch had two main advantages over the Portuguese Faster, cheaper, and more powerful ships Joint-stock companies Trading Post Empires: English and Dutch Trading Posts

Trading Post Empires: English and Dutch Trading Posts: 

Joint-stock companies enabled investors to realize profits while limiting risks to their investments English East India Company Dutch United East India Company (VOC) Companies had government support to buy, sell, and build trading posts and even make war, but they were privately owned Advanced nautical technology, military power, efficient organization, and relentless pursuit of profit allowed the joint-stock companies to form a global trade network Trading Post Empires: English and Dutch Trading Posts

Trading Post Empires: Philippines and Indonesia: 

Trading Post Empires: Philippines and Indonesia In most cases the Europeans traded peacefully with the Asians (partly because they were unable to subjugate them) The two exceptions were the Philippines and Indonesia where Europeans were able to use massive force to establish imperial regimes

Trading Post Empires: Philippines and Indonesia: 

Trading Post Empires: Philippines and Indonesia The Spanish arrived in the Philippines in 1565, controlled most of the coastal regions by 1575, and controlled most of the archipelago during the 17th Century Spanish activities revolved around trade and Christianity (Today the Philippines are 83% Roman Catholic) The most prominent area was the port of Manila which supported the trade of silk from China with New World silver from Mexico “Manila galleons” transported cargo from the Philippines to Mexico

Trading Post Empires: Philippines and Indonesia: 

Trading Post Empires: Philippines and Indonesia In Indonesia, the Dutch focused on trade and did not try to win converts to Christianity (Today Indonesia is 88% Muslim) The VOC established a monopoly over the spice trade, seeking less to rule than to control spice production Used a variety of techniques Formed local alliances, uprooted plants on islands they did not control, attacked people who sold their spices to others

Trading Post Empires: Seven Years’ War: 

Commercial competition ultimately generated violence In 1746 French forces seized the English trading post at Madras, India In the Caribbean English pirates attacked Spanish vessels and French and English forces fought over the sugar islands The violence culminated in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) Trading Post Empires: Seven Years’ War

Trading Post Empires: Seven Years’ War: 

Trading Post Empires: Seven Years’ War A global war In Europe, Britain and Prussia fought against France, Austria, and Russia In India, British and French allied with local rulers and fought each other In the Caribbean, the Spanish and French fought the British In North America, the Seven Years’ War merged with the on-going French and Indian War (1754-1763) which pitted the British and French against each other

Trading Post Empires: Seven Years’ War: 

Trading Post Empires: Seven Years’ War In the end Britain emerged victorious, but challenges continued Still Britain was now in a position to dominate world trade for the foreseeable future The Seven Years’ War paved the way for the establishment of the British Empire of the 19th Century

Columbian Exchange: 

Columbian Exchange Previous expansions such as the spread as Islam had facilitated a diffusion of plants and food crops throughout much of the eastern hemisphere but nothing like the scope of the “Columbian Exchange” (the global diffusion of plants, food crops, animals, human populations, and disease pathogens that took place after the voyages of Columbus and the other European mariners)

Columbian Exchange: 

Columbian Exchange Unlike earlier processes, the Columbian exchange involved lands with radically different flora, fauna, and diseases Beginning in the early 16th Century, indigenous people of the Americas and Pacific islands were decimated by contagious and infectious diseases such as smallpox for which they had no natural immunities Between 1500 and 1800 over 100 million people may have died of diseases imported into the Americas and Pacific islands Aztec drawing showing victims of the smallpox epidemic of 1538 covered with shrouds as two Indians, at right, lie dying

Conquistadores (“Conquerors”): 

Conquistadores (“Conquerors”) When the Spanish realized there were no spices or silk in the Caribbean, they turned their attention to the American mainland, west into Mexico and south into Panama and Peru Hernan Cortes (Aztecs) Francisco Pizarro (Incas)

Conquistadores: Cortes: 

Conquistadores: Cortes In 1519, Cortes arrived in Mexico looking for gold with about 450 soldiers He advanced inland to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, captured Motecuzoma II, and starved Tenochtitlan into surrender in 1521

Conquistadores: Cortes: 

Conquistadores: Cortes Cortes had obvious advantages in terms of weaponry, divisions among the indigenous people of Mexico, and the intelligence, diplomatic, and linguistic help of Dona Maria (a Mayan woman who accompanied him), but his conquest of Tenochtitlan (population of about 200,000) with less than 500 soldiers was aided immensely by the smallpox epidemic

Conquistadores: Pizarro: 

Conquistadores: Pizarro In 1530, Francisco Pizarro led a Spanish expedition from Central America to Peru Started out with 180 soldiers, but later received reinforcements to make a force of about 600 Captured the Inca capital of Cuzco in 1533, murdering Atahualpa and other ruling elites and extorting and stealing gold By 1540, the Spanish had secured Peru

Comparison between Pizarro and Atahualpa: 

Comparison between Pizarro and Atahualpa Spaniards 168 soldiers Steel swords Steel armor Guns Horses Incas 80,000 soldiers Stone, bronze or wooden clubs, maces, and hand axes Quilted armor Slingshots No animals on which to ride into battle

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success: 

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success “When Pizarro and Atahualpa met at Cajamarca, why did Pizarro capture Atahualpa and kill so many of his followers, instead of Atahualpa’s vastly more numerous forces capturing and killing Pizarro?” Military technology based on guns, steel weapons, and horses Infectious diseases endemic in Eurasia European maritime technology Centralized political organization of European states Writing Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success: 

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success Military technology based on guns, steel weapons, and horses Guns played a relatively minor role. Pizarro had only a dozen of them. More important were horses which provided shock, speed, maneuverability, and a protected fighting platform that left foot soldiers nearly helpless in the open. The Spaniard’s steel armor protected them against the Inca’s club blows, while the Inca’s quilted armor offered no protection against steel weapons.

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success: 

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success Infectious diseases endemic in Eurasia Throughout the Americas, diseases introduced by Europeans spread in advance of the Europeans themselves, killing an estimated 95% of the pre-Columbian Native American population European maritime technology It was maritime technology that allowed Pizarro to come to Peru and capture Atahualpa, rather than the other way around

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success: 

Immediate Reasons for Pizarro’s Success Centralized political organization of European states Spain’s organization financed, staffed, and equipped Pizarro’s expedition. The Incas also were centralized but the Inca bureaucracy so strongly identified with its godlike monarch, it disintegrated after Atahualpa’s death Additionally many subjects despised the Inca rulers as overlords and tax collectors so in many cases resistance was light Writing Atahualpa had little intelligence about the Spaniard's arrival, military power, or intent even though the Spanish conquest of Panama, just 600 miles from the Inca’s northern boundary, had begun already in 1510

Conquistadores: de Soto: 

Conquistadores: de Soto Hernando de Soto was with Pizarro in Peru and then went on to explore South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas In 1541, he “discovered” the Mississippi River

Desoto County: 

Desoto County

Columbian Exchange: 

Columbian Exchange From Old World to New World wheat sugar bananas rice grapes horses pigs cattle sheep chickens smallpox measles typhus From New World to Old World corn potato beans peanuts squash pumpkin tomatoes avocados chili pepper pineapple cocoa tobacco quinine (a medicine for malaria)

Columbian Exchange: 

Columbian Exchange The devastation of disease was offset by the exchange of plants and animals which fueled a surge in world population World population 1500 425 million 1600 545 million 1700 610 million 1750 720 million 1800 900 million Much of this growth was due to the increased nutritional value of diets enriched by the global exchange

Origins of Global Trade: 

Origins of Global Trade By the late 16th Century, European mariners had linked the ports of the world During the next two centuries, the volume of trade burgeoned and merchants developed markets During the 18th Century, mass markets emerged for commodities such as coffee, tea, sugar, and tobacco

Global Trade Today (We’ll talk more about this in Lsn 8): 

Global Trade Today (We’ll talk more about this in Lsn 8)


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