Europe in theAge of Marco Polo
***Marco Polo:(1254-1324) He embodies the transformation of Europe. Led followers to the
Atlantic. Cause Europeans to wonder about that lies beyond their country. Introduced Europeans to China
and CentralAsia. Inspired Christopher Columbus.
Europe and the World
“World Island” Eurasia: Europe and Eurasia. Most people are here. Europe not in good location
Roman Empire: The decline of the Roman Empire after the fourth century led to the detachment
of the western region from this commercial system betweenAfrica and the rest of theAtlantic, but lands
lying east and south of continental Europe grew more important in it.
Feudalism: Time of Marco Polo, Europe didn’t have a centralized beaurocracy. People stayed by
their lord and didn’t travel much. Limited the freedom of the majority population of Europe. By the right
of inheritance or pleasure of a ruler, aristocratic men owned tracts of land of varying sixe, upon which
lived peasants and artisans. In return for protections, they serfs had to work a specific number of days.
Not slaves, had some rights, never ventured,
Kubilai Khan: Founder of Yuan Dynasty. Mongolian leader who became the emperor of China.
Succesfully ruled. In 1275, Marco Polo, a Venetian explorer, visited Xanadu and a relationship of trust
was formed between the two. Polo’s reports on Xanadu and China were new to Western Europeans and
sparked further interest in eastern world exploration.
***Roman Catholic Church: Most Europeans at the time were Christian and this impacted the
creation ofAtlantic communities. The Catholic church attempted to expand. The expansion of
Christianity was tied to economic and political expansion
Venice: city state, eastern trade,
***Crusades(1095-1291): page 31: Christian attempt to recapture the holy lands from muslims.
Primarily religious but there were underlying economic and political reasons. Loius IX consolidated the
French state and set up crusader colonies. Kicking off:appeal from the emperor of Byzantium to Pope
Urban II for help in combating the Seljuk Turks, who had defeated the Eastern Christians battle after
battle. Crusade failed, had great affect on European consciousness-confidence, economic, gave the region
a larger goal to spread faith. Christians are a special people. Wave of militance. Christians felt they
should spread faith. It is their duty.
*Convivencia(Coexistence): between Spain and Portugal. There were many different kingdoms,
Muslims and Christians. They lived with tolerance. They accepted that they had to live with each other.
*Reconquista(Reconquest): 15 century Christian reconquest of Spain. Chased moors back to
Africa. Christians gained more and more land. 1492 pushed moors out of Iberian penninsula for good.
Jews were told they could convert to Catholicism or leave. Muslims tolerated Jews, but Christians didn’t.
Ferdinand and Isabella: supported Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the New world.
Sephardin: Spanish and Portugues Jews in Iberian Peninsula
Looking Toward the Orient
**Ming Dynasty(from 1368): not open to foreigners. Wanted to cut off trade. Impossible to get
close because of what was going on in theAtlantic. The Hongwu Emperor (ruled 1368–98)
attempted to create a society of self-sufficient rural communities ordered in a rigid,
immobile system that would guarantee and support a permanent class of soldiers for his
dynasty: the empire's standing army exceeded one million troops and the navy's
dockyards in Nanjing were the largest in the world. Ottoman Empire: Chased European traders out of Eastern medditeranean. Pushed Europeans
toward theAtlantic. This was the rise of the Ottoman, desire for trade, shift of power toward the Iberian
peninsula. During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under
the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful
states in the world – a multinational, multilingual empire that stretched from the southern
borders of the Holy Roman Empire to the outskirts of Vienna, Royal Hungary (modern
Slovakia) and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the north to Yemen and Eritrea in
the south; from Algeria in the west to Azerbaijan in the east; controlling much of
southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. At the beginning of the 17th
century the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states,
Christopher Columbus: Had a plan to beat the Portuguese to the Indies by sailing west across the
Atlantic. ThoughtAsia was much closer than it really was. People he encountered were friendly.
European Impressions and African Realities
Dualsim: way of seeing the world as opposites of good and evil. Dark places, didn’t know much
about it. Sahara was a barrior.
Curse of Ham:Africans were descendents of Ham. They were marked by God.
**Prester Johm: European Christians had been fighting Muslims for more than half a
millennium. The fall of the last Crusador-Jerusalem 1291- was hard for the Western Christians to take.
Rumors that the Muslims surrounded his kingdom out in the lands beyond fueled a general European
desire to find new fields upon which to resume the battle. His kingdom was a Christian empire htat came
to be portrayed as anAfrican kingdom. Europeans didn’t know much aboutAfrica. Myth
Ethiopia: Europeans impressed by markets
**Mali Empire(c. 1230-c. 1600): Richest trades of market of gold in the world. These riches in
Africa motivated Europeans
Songhai Empire(c. 1400-c. 1600): western Africa
Timbuktu: At its peak, the Songhai city of Timbuktu became a thriving cultural and
commercial center. Arab, Italian, and Jewish merchants all gathered for trade.
**Dom Henrique(Henry the Navigator): Portuguese. responsible for the early
development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents.
He learnt of the opportunities from the Saharan trade routes that terminated there,
and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the
Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade. Henry is
regarded as the patron of Portuguese exploration.
Ceuta: location for trade
**Gil Eanes: 1434. Portugues adventurer that tried to befin slave trade. TheAfrican rulers fought
back because they didn’t appreciate trying to be enslaved. This surprised Eanes and the other newcomers.
The Portugues realized that they could not win slavery. They would have to use force. They set up
markets to build relationships. Trade not conquest.
Nuno Tristao: Portuguese slave trader
Arguim Island: ^^
**Sao Jorge de Mina(Elimina): 1482. Ghana. Trading post. Africans were in control-the
Europeans were outnumbered abd didn’t try to set up colonies. It was dangerous for them to go toAfrica
because of disease.It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, so is the oldest
European building in existence below the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the
Atlantic slave trade.
King Jeleen of Jolof:
Kingdom of Kongo: west central africa
Diogo Cao:^^…explorer. Set up alliances for trade
Manikongo Nzinga a Nkuwu(King Joao I): was ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo between
Prince Kasuta(Afonso): was a ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo in the first half of the
16th century. Son of ^^
Toward the Slave Trade
***Trans-Saharan trade:Trans-Saharan trade requires travel across the Sahara to
reach sub-Saharan Africa from the North African coast, Europe, or the Levant.
While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of trade extended from the 8th
century until the late 16th century.
**Canary Islands: most slaves ended up here. Important trade route
America on the Eve of Contact
Bering Strait Theory:
Coastal Route Theory:
Precolumbian Empires: The Valley of Mexico
Olmecs: The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mexico. They lived in the
tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico
Teotihuacan: The city is thought to have been established around 100 BC and
continued to be built until about 250 AD. The city may have lasted until
sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD. At its zenith, perhaps in the first
half of the 1st millennium AD, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-
Columbian Americas, with a population of perhaps 125,000 or more, placing it
among the largest cities of the world in this period. Teotihuacan began as a new
religious center in the Mexican Highland around the first century AD. This city
came to be the largest and most populated center in the New World. Teotihuacan
was even home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate this
large population. The civilization and cultural complex associated with the site is
also referred to as Teotihuacan or Teotihuacano.
Toltecs:The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture. Aztec
***Mexica/Aztecs/TripleAlliance: Acolhuas of Texcoco + Tepanecs of Tlacopan, who
together + Mexica Aztecs=the Aztec Triple Alliance . ContolledAztec empire-
**Tenochtitlan:^^^ built on Lake texcoco. Mountains, lakes, city states, militarian in orientations,
Felt their religions was best, they were the chose people, wanted to conquer. Advanced urban
center. Cultural lide well developed.
Precolumbian Empires: TheAndean Highlands
**Cuzco/Qusqo: Inca Empire
**Inka Yupanki/Pachakuti: Incan empirewas the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in
Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru
sometime in the early 13th century.
From 1438 to 1533, the Incas used a variety of methods, from conquest to peaceful
assimilation, to incorporate a large portion of western South America, centered on the
Andean mountain ranges, including, besides Peru, large parts of modern Ecuador,
western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and central Chile, and
southern Colombia into a state comparable to the historical empires of Eurasia.
Tawantinsuyo(Land of Four Quarters):
North American Peripheries
**Anasazi:massive system of towns and villages. Similar to incas in roads. Controlled flows of
water. Four corners America
Chaco Canyon:water flow
Cahokia: Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement in the
Mississippian culture which developed advanced societies across much of what is
now the Southeastern United States, beginning more than 500 years before
European contact. Cahokia's population at its peak in the 1200s was as large, or
larger, than any European city of that time, and its ancient population would not be
surpassed by any city in the United States until about the year 1800. Today,
Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site
north of the great Pre-Columbian cities in Mexico.
Leif Erickson:regarded as the first European to land in North America
St. Brendan:He is chiefly renowned for his legendary quest to the "Isle of the
Blessed," also called Saint Brendan's Island.
The Spanish Conquest
**Christopher Columbus:1492. Lead expedition across the sea toAsia. Based on geographical
blunder. He thoughtAsia was way closer. Instead ran into t heAmericas and thought it wasAsia.
He tried to trade, not conquer. Columbus reached the Carribean in 1492 with the Portuguese trade
model in mind and returned in 1493 in a Spanish mindset, on fixed on territorial acquisition and
the forced integration and cultural conversion of new subjects. Focused on the extraction of
**Taino Indians: Interisland trade. Columbus brought 6 Tainos on his ship so they could show
him around. European reliance on the Tainos. Kind of like kidnapping, but the motives weren’t
bad. The first Indians were willing and they helped Columbus explore. Second Voyage-wanted to
develop colony to look for gold, convert Tainos to Christianity, and trade. Got sick of the Europeans taking advantage of their hospitality and being demanding, so the wanted to get rid of
them. After Columbus left, the Europeans started treating the Tainos terribly. Spanish wanted
*Guanahini/Hispaniola: Spanish wanted to go there for gold. Where the Tainos and Spaniards
were taken to make a colony. Harsh reality, scarce food, scarce gold, disease.
*Guacanagari: Columbus’s rescuer. Spaniards first alli. When the Santa maria wrecked, he gave
them a place to stay and helped them build a Fort Navidad. Left people behind while he went
back to Spain with 6 Tainos to report his findings. When he returned to Hospanoila, the Tainos
had destroyed Fort Navidad
*Nicolas de Ovando: 1502. Spanish established royal authority under him as gov. They were
sick of Columbus’inability to govern in the Carribean. Violent occupation. Showed up in
Hispaniola with 2500 settlers and launched the final Indian wars there. Slaughtered hundreds of
peaceful Indians and then attacked western kingdom. Signaled the completion of Spain’s shift
away from the trade model of the coast ofAfrica.
The Valley of Mexico
Diego de Velazquez:
*`Hernan Cortes:1521 Hernán Corté,salong with a large number of Nahuatl
speaking indigenous allies, conquered Tenochtitlan and defeated the Aztec Triple
Alliance under the leadership of Hueyi Tlatoani Moctezuma II. Subsequently the
Spanish founded the new settlement of Mexico City on the site of the ruined Aztec
capital, from where they proceeded with the process of colonizing Central
*Tlaxcala:allied themselves with the Spanish to defeat the Aztecs, with
concessions from the Spanish that allowed the territory to remain mostly intact
throughout 300 years of colonial period
Bernal Diaz del Castillo:
**Montezuma II:Aztec. In Tenochtitlan. Know that Cortes and the Spanish were coming. Met
Cortez at the end of the city with gifts. The Spanish were impressed and wanted to take the city.
The Spanish took him hostage.ruler of Tenochtitlan, reigning from 1502 to 1520. The
first contact between indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica and Europeans took
place during his reign, and he was killed during the initial stages of the Spanish
conquest of Mexico, when Conquistador Hernán Cortés and his men fought to
escape from the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.
Panfilo de Narvaez: (1478–1528) was a Spanish conqueror and soldier in the
Americas. He is most remembered as the leader of two expeditions, one to Mexico
in 1520 to oppose Hernán Cortés
**Noche triste:une 30, 1520, was an important event during the Spanish conquest
of Mexico, wherein Hernán Cortés and his army of Spanish conquistadors and
native allies fought their way out of the Mexican capital at Tenochtitlan following
the death of the Aztec king Montezuma II