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Lecture 2

HIST 1F96 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Guanches, Lateen

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Tami Friedman

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Europe on the Eve of Invasion
September 24th, 2013
1. The Renaissance
- After 1450 AD, Europe enters the age of the Renaissance with growth in science
and arts
- End of the plague means huge population growth and competition for available
land (population of Europe 1450 55 million, 1600 100 million)
- Period of remarkable technological inventions (printing press, astrolabe – postio
according to sun and stars, cartography – map writing, lateen sails)
Rise of the Spice Trade:
- During the crusades, merchants had returned to Europe with silks and spices
from the Orient
- Italian city states created cross-country caravans of trade goods from the Orient
and Arab world which they sold from high profits in Europe
Merchants and Monarchs:
- Monarchs sought alliances with merchants to challenge the nobles and their
control of land and labour
- Monarchs would grant exclusive trade charters to merchants who in return would
pay taxes to monarchy and grant loans for foreign expansion plans
- Nation states became more centralized and monarchs more powerful
2. The Rise of Portugal Prominence
- Portugal had Prince Henry the Navigator who was interested in the sea
- Argued Portugal could gain control of the silk/spice trade by shipping goods by
sea rather than long overland route used by Italian city states
- Believed in Portuguese sailed south prevailing trade winds would lead them to
Arab world and riches in the Orient
Portugal and the African Trade:
- Portuguese do not find short sea route to Arab world but rather establish contact
with West Africa in 1435
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