Unit 3 — 1450 to 1750
As dramatic as the Industrial Revolution later on might have been,
certainly the unearthing of a whole new side of the world can be
deemed a “turning point” in history? Yet as soon as Europeans
discovered this whole new world, they forced upon the societies things
The Route to Asia. Asian trade was essential during this time period because the middle class wished to get Asian
luxury goods such as spices and silk. Since European maritime empires couldn’t get access through the overland
very long, many European navigators looked for a different route.!) and the path through the Indian Ocean was
The New World. Columbus in particular had a very trippy idea to sail across the Atlantic. However, he didn’t
imagine that there would be an entire landmass in the way. And he inadvertently discovered the New World, or the
Americas. When he brought home exotic gifts from the “Indies,” Ferdinand and Isabella knew something was wrong.
These things weren’t in Asia!
Ferdinand and Isabella had mainly funded Columbus because he was so annoying and because Portugal was sending
out their explorers as well. Portugal had a long history of navigation and exploration since King Henry travelled along Africa. Their routes were systematic and planned out. On the other hand, Spanish Ferdinand and Isabella had
funded Columbus spontaneously and, out of sheer luck, managed to profit from his discoveries.
When New World plantations required more labor, Europeans kidnapped Africans to sell into slavery. Some African
rulers cooperated; others protested. But it didn’t matter what the Africans wanted — African slave trade was
lucrative and boomed.
Inventions. The sternpost rudder was invented in China during the Han Dynasty but ended up in the hands of
the Europeans by trade. It allowed for better navigation and control of ships of increasing size. Lateen sails
allowed ships to sail in any direction regardless of the wind. They were especially helpful in the Indian Ocean waters,
where monsoons kept ships dormant for a long time. The astrolabe was a portable navigation device to help sailors
find their way by measuring the distance of the sun and the stars above the horizon, and helped determine latitude.
The magnetic compass borrowed from the Chinese, through trade with Arabs, it allowed sailors to determine
direction without staying in sight of land. The three-masted caravels were large ships employed significantly
larger sails and could hold provisions for longer journeys in their large cargo rooms.
Spain and Portugal
Why were these countries the first to set out and explore? Well, for Portugal, think “outside sleeping bag.” And for
Spain, it’s about the same as well, but also because Portugal was doin’ it. Everybody was busily trading inside the
Mediterranean Ocean, but since Portugal had limited access (only this very narrow strait!), it sought trade outside
The Elizabethan Age boasted commercial expansion and exploration and colonization in the New World, especially
after the English fleet destroyed the Spanish Armada. The Muscovy Company was founded as the first joint stock
company, and the British East India Company quickly followed suit. Drake circumnavigated the globe. and thats
about’ it. France.
France was large and centralized, and the French kings were among the most powerful in Europe. They were not
limited or obligated to share power in any legally meaningful way unlike their English counterparts. The political
event that most affected England and France during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was the Hundred Years
War. BLACK DEATH.
Dutch East India trade company. Equals rich people who are still living in castles today.
The Cosmopolitan Ottoman Empire.
The group that eventually dominated the M.E. was the Ottoman Turks. They served the Seljuks as vassals, and
settled northwestern Asia Minor. By the century’s end, they had their own independent state, founded by the sultan
Osman I. The Ottomans took over most of the Middle East, including Mamluk Egypt and the territory held by the
Seljuks and Mongols. They also conquered southeastern Europe and what remained of the Byzantine Empire. Attacks
on the Balkans began and the Ottoman fleet of galleys captured many ports and islands in he eastern
Mediterranean. Finally, Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmet II, using the world’s largest and most advanced
gunpoweder artillery, captured Constantinople.
The “Clean” Empire, the Qing Empire was ruled by Manchurians, who were considered to be ethnic minorities and
outsiders. As such, traditional Chinese ethnocentrism made the majority of the population dislike them.
Could only expand in concentric circles because it was so big.
The Atlantic System and World Trade Patterns
The New Global Network A triangular system of trade was established between Africa, Latin America, and Europe as goods flowed from one
area to another. Although the Columbian Exchange meant changes in diet for all regions through transmission of
new plants and animals, the majority of the cash crops were flowing to Europe, the majority of slaves coming from
Africa to arrive in Latin Amer