The Age of Exploration
1400s – 1700s
2009 - 2010
1. Why did the Europeans explore the
The 3 G’s
The Renaissance, a resurgence of learning
and art was winding down.
However, many European rulers were still
curious about the world outside their
Most explorative countries were Catholic
eager to convert any natives to their
These countries included:
Spain had recently united under two rulers
(Ferdinand and Isabella), bringing Spain
completely together for the first time in
Also, they just kicked out the last Muslim
invaders, Jews and other non-Catholics and
were looking to party by finding new lands
& impressing the Pope even more.
Spain’s little brother wanted to gain favor
with the Pope, as well.
Didn’t want to lose their favored status with
the Pope after providing the Vatican with a
lot of art throughout the Renaissance.
China had a lot of stuff people wanted to
buy and sell. Spices, silks, etc.
The fall of Constantinople had just cut off a
main trade route to China.
You find a way there, you own that route.
Others have to find their own path or pay
you for your knowledge.
You get money (gold) either way!!
Who didn’t want to sail around the world,
find new lands, battle dangerous and wild
savages, gather gold and other exotic stuff,
bring it back to your king and be declared a
Paths to China
In order of who found a route to China, they
Found the first route to Asia by sailing east
across the Mediterranean Sea, then hoofing
it across land to China. They call dibs on
this route. (Silk Road map)
Its expensive to use Venetian merchants to
Other countries try to find cheaper routes.
Portugal has a great sailing tradition and is
among the leaders in early exploration.
They sailed south around Africa, into the
Indian Ocean, then finally into the “Indies”
Fresh off its defeat of the Muslims in 1492,
is persuaded by Columbus to try something
different and sail west, instead of east, to
Mistakenly lands in Americas, thinks its
Asia, and voila, new route to China.
(In reality, a whole new unknown continent,
they’ll figure it out later)
England and France
They sail west as well, but aim higher on
the map to avoid Spain and Portugal. This
is why we speak English, and parts of
Canada speak French.
First come, first served!!
Goods, plants, animals, and diseases were
sent back and forth from the Old World to
the New World
From the New World to the Old World
Corn, chocolate, horse, potato, vanilla, etc
1. Get more gold than everybody else
2. Export more than you import
3. Colonies give you free raw materials
from which you can make finished products
and sell them to others for gold