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HST 119 (16)

The Age of "Discovery" and Exploration

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Ryerson University
HST 119
Mima Petrovic

HST 119 History Through Film I TheAge of Discovery and Exploration -Age begins in the 15 century with Portuguese & Spanish Explorations, last until the 20 century.h -Decolonization post 1945 inAfrica &Asia -Lasted about 500 years. -Colonialism: Dominance by one state over another state, people or territory. This is a relationship of superior and inferior. The colonizer has technologies & superiority that allow dominance to occur. -Statehood is a significant feature of this period. Spain, Portugal, France, & England were the dominant states. th rd -15 century European society has been compared to the developing world (3 world) of today.A very small elite of wealthy & powerful people who ruled over the rest of society. 98% of the population lived in a subsistence level economy, a peasant class. There was no upward mobility.Avery brutal world. When colonizers come to the new world, they bring these principles with them. They attempted to replicate the system they had at home. -There is a small growing middle class of merchants & such that is connected to the towns and the cities in this period in Europe. These are the people who will get involved in exploration because they are involved in trade. The initial motive for exploring is trade, & to find alternate routes to trade with Asia &Africa. -Prior to this period of exploration, trade routes were principally through the Mediterranean sea, which were dominated by the Italian states. However, this was very expensive to do. They wanted direct sea routes to eliminate the land traders required by the initial routes. -At this period, the Ottoman empire expanded from Anatolia into Europe. This expansion reached its heights in the 15 century. This expansion cut off the Black Sea from the Italians, making trade more difficult for the Italian shippers. Italian shippers traditionally used the galley for trade, ships powered by rowing. Galleys are not ideal for ocean trips. -However, the more northern European states had experience with sailing and had improved the technology greatly. The Portuguese began colonizingAtlantic Islands such as the Canary Islands & the Azores. They began setting up sugar plantations on these islands as well as using them as stop over point. They slowly conquer a port in NorthAfrica called Ceuta, and slowly being working their way down theAfrican coast, building forts as they go. -Forces Behind European Expansion: -Land Hunger -Direct trade route to Africa and the East -Needs of monarchial states -FromAsia they wanted spices (Black pepper etc.), fromAfrica they want gold and slaves (Who were at this time used as domestic services in wealthy households) -The European monarchs were interested in the prospect of wealth through gold and jewels inAfrica and the East. The monarchy would get 20% of all the wealth the explorer obtained in their travels. The explorer would have to name whatever territory found for their monarch & Christianize the territories found. -Religion: -Religious war -'Crusading mission' -Spread Christianity in non-Christian lands -Technology: -New weapon: Canno
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