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THE RENAISSANCE

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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 2788 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2008, 02:03:07 pm »



                            

                            The Santa Maria at anchor by Andries van Eertvelt,
                            painted c. 1628,
                            shows the famous carrack of Christopher Columbus.








It was not until the carrack and then the caravelle were developed in Iberia that Western Europeans
seriously considered Asiatic trade and oceanic exploration.

One factor was the lack of Christian European access to the spice and silk trade, for the eastern trade
routes had become controlled by the Ottoman Empire after the Turks took control of Constantinople in
1453, and they barred Europeans from those trade routes, as they did through
North Africa and the historically important combined-land-sea routes via the Red Sea.

Both spice and silk were big businesses of the day, and arguably, spices which were both used as preser-
vatives and used to disguise the taste of poorly preserved foods were something of a necessity—at least
to those Europeans of better than modest means
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 02:09:08 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2008, 02:14:30 pm »


                  

                  The Fra Mauro map (1459) in Venice, provided one of the first practical descriptions of
                  Europe, Africa and Asia.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 02:17:10 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2008, 02:19:32 pm »



                       
                       English Cartographer Edward Wrights Portolan chart for sailing
                       to the recently discovered Azores.








The first great wave of expeditions was launched by Portugal under Prince Henry the Navigator.

European sailing practices before Prince Henry had been primarily coastal. Voyages out of sight of land relied on proven routes detailed in a portolan chart.

Portolan charts showed details of geographic land features, allowing navigators to identify their departure point, follow a compass heading, and on landfall identify their position and drift from the
newly presented land features.

Due to the risks involved in this process, European sailors avoided sailing beyond sight of land for extended periods. A number of nautical myths explained these risks in terms of oceanic monsters
or an edge of the world.

Prince Henry's navigation challenged this belief.

The Madeira Islands were discovered in the Atlantic ocean in 1419, and in 1427 the Azores.

The Portuguese settled these islands as colonies.





Henry the Navigator's primary project was exploration of the West Coast of Africa and development of useful portolan charts.

There were commercial, regal and religious motivations for Henry's endeavor.

For centuries the only trade routes linking West Africa with the Mediterranean world were over the Western Sahara Desert. These routes bringing slaves and gold were controlled by the Muslim states of North Africa, long rivals to Portugal and Spain. The Portuguese monarchy hoped that the Islamic nations could be bypassed by trading directly with West Africa by sea. It was also hoped that south of the Sahara the states would be Christian and potential allies against the Muslims in the Maghreb.In 1434 the Portuguese explorers surmounted the obstacle of Cape Bojador. In the bull Romanus Pontifex the trade monopoly for newly discovered countries beyond Cape Bojador was granted to the Portuguese.

Within two decades of Portuguese exploration, the barrier of the Sahara had been overcome and trade in slaves and gold began in what is today Senegal. A trading fort was built at Elmina. Cape Verde became the first sugar producing colony. 

In 1482 an expedition under Diogo Cão made contact with the Kingdom of Kongo.

The crucial breakthrough was in 1487 when Bartolomeu Dias rounded (and later named) the Cape of Good Hope and proved that access to the Indian Ocean was possible from the Atlantic.

In 1498 Vasco da Gama made good on this promise by reaching India.
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2008, 02:28:32 pm »



A Japanese Portolan chart of the Indian Ocean environs

(ca. early 1600s)
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2008, 02:31:49 pm »





           

The Cantino planisphere (1502), one of the oldest surviving Portuguese nautical charts, showing the results of the explorations of Vasco da Gama's to India, Columbus' to Central America and Pedro Álvares Cabral's to Brazil.

The meridian of Tordesillas, separating the Portuguese and Spanish halves of the world is also depicted
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 02:35:43 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2008, 02:40:18 pm »








Portugal's rival Castile had been somewhat slower than its neighbour to begin exploring the Atlantic,
and it was not until late in the fifteenth and Castile and the completion of the reconquista that the large
nation became fully committed to looking for new trade routes and colonies overseas. In 1492
the joint rulers of the nation conquered the Moorish kingdom of Granada, that had been providing
Castile with African goods through tribute, and they decided to fund Christopher Columbus' expe-
dition that they hoped would bypass Portugal's lock on Africa and the Indian Ocean reaching Asia by travelling
west.

Columbus did not reach Asia, but rather found what was to the Europeans a New World: America. In 1500, the Portuguese navigator, Pedro Álvares Cabral explored the land that is today called Brazil. For the two European monarchies a division of influence became necessary to avoid conflict.

This was resolved by Papal intervention in 1494 when the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world between the
two powers.

The Portuguese "received" everything outside of Europe east of a line that ran 270 leagues west of
the Cape Verde islands; this gave them control over Africa, Asia and eastern South America (Brazil).
The Spanish received everything west of this line, territory that was still almost completely unknown,
and proved to be mostly the western part of the American continent plus the Pacific Ocean islands.

Columbus and other Spanish explorers were initially disappointed with their discoveries - unlike Africa
or Asia the Caribbean islanders had little to trade with the Spanish ships. The islands thus became the
focus of colonization efforts.

It was not until the continent itself was explored that Spain found the wealth it had sought in the
form of abundant gold. In the Americas the Spanish found a number of empires that were as large
and populous as those in Europe. However, small bodies of Spanish conquistadors, with large armies
of indigenous Americans groups, managed to conquer these states. The most notable amongst the
conquered states were the Aztec empire in Mexico (conquered in 1521) and the Inca empire in modern
Peru and Ecuador (conquered in 1532).

During this time, pandemics of European disease such as smallpox devastated the indigenous populations.
Once Spanish sovereignty was established, the Spanish focused on the extraction and export of gold and
silver.

In 1519 the Spanish crown funded the expedition of the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.
The goal of the mission was to find the Spice Islands by traveling west, which would place the islands
in Spain's economic and political sphere.  The expedition managed to cross the Pacific Ocean and reach the
Spice Islands, and was the first to circumnavigate the world upon its return three years later. Magellan died
in the Pacific, leaving the Spaniard Juan Sebastián Elcano the task of completing the voyage.

The expedition was a failure in the sense that its route was impractical.

The Strait of Magellan was too far south and the Pacific Ocean too vast. It was not a realistic alternative to
the Portuguese route around Africa.

The Spanish were able to establish a presence in the Pacific, but not based on Magellan's voyage. Rather, a
cross-Pacific route was established, by other explorers, between Mexico and the Philippines. The eastbound
route to the Philippines first sailed by Alvaro de Saavedra in 1527. The westbound re-
turn route was harder to find, but was eventually discovered by Andrés de Urdaneta in 1565.

For a long time these routes were used by the Manila galleons, thereby creating a trade link joining China,
the Americas, and Europe via the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic routes.
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« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2008, 02:44:51 pm »









Portuguese exploration and colonization continued despite the new rivalry with Spain. The Portuguese became the first Westerners to reach and trade with Japan. Under the King Manuel I the Portuguese crown launched a scheme to keep control of the lands and trade routes that had been declared theirs. The strategy was to build a series of forts that would allow them to control all the major trade routes of the east. Thus forts and colonies were established on the Gold Coast, Luanda, Mozambique, Zanzibar, Mombassa, Socotra, Ormuz, Calcutta, Goa, Bombay, Malacca, Macau, and Timor.

Portugal had difficulty expanding its empire inland and concentrated mostly on the coastal areas.

Over time the Portuguese state proved to simply be too small to provide the funds and manpower sufficient to manage and defend such a massive and dispersed venture. The forts spread across the world were chronically undermanned and ill-equipped. They could not compete with the larger powers that slowly encroached on its empire and trade.

The days of near monopoly of east trade were numbered.

In 1580 the Spanish King Philip II became also King of Portugal, as rightful heir to the Crown after his cousin Sebastião died without sons (Philip II of Spain was grandson of Manuel I of Portugal).

The combined empires were simply too big to go unchallenged.

The Dutch, French and English explorers ignored the Papal division of the world. The principle of a free seafaring trade was justified in the concept of Mare Liberum by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius whose practical application of the principles of international law drew on the work of Spanish theorists such
as Fernando Vazquez and the School of Salamanca.

During the 17th century as the Dutch, English and French established ever more trading posts in the east, at the expense of Portugal, the wealth gained added to their military might while Portugal's weakened as it lost trading posts and colonies in West Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.

Bombay was given away to the English as a marriage gift.

Some, like Macau, East Timor, Goa, Angola, and Mozambique, as well as Brazil, remained in Portuguese possession.

The Dutch attempted to conquer Brazil, and at one time controlled almost half of the occupied territory, but were eventually defeated.
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« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2008, 02:49:24 pm »










The nations outside of Iberia refused to acknowledge the Treaty of Tordesillas.

France, the Netherlands and England each had a long maritime tradition and, despite Iberian protections, the new technologies and maps soon made their way north.

The first Northern European mission (1497) was that of the English expedition led by the Italian, John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto). It was the first of a series of French and English missions exploring North America.

Spain put limited efforts into exploring the northern part of the Americas as its resources were fully stretched by its efforts in Central and South America where more wealth had been found.

In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano became the first recorded European to visit the East Coast of the present-day United States.

The expeditions of Cabot, Jacques Cartier (first voyage 1534) and others were mainly hoping to find
an oceanic Northwest Passage to Asian trade. This was never discovered, but in their travels other possibilities were found and in the early seventeenth century colonists from a number of Northern European states began to settle on the east coast of North America.

It was the Northern Europeans who also became the great rivals to the Portuguese in Africa and
around the Indian Ocean.

The Dutch, French, and English sent ships which flouted the Portuguese monopoly. They also founded trading forts and colonies of their own.

Gradually the Portuguese and Spanish market share declined.

The Northern Europeans also took the lead in exploring the last unknown regions of the Pacific Ocean and the North-American west coast.

Dutch explorers such as Willem Jansz and Abel Tasman explored the coasts of Australia while in the eighteenth century it was English explorer James Cook who mapped much of Polynesia. Cook travelled
as far as Alaska, leaving his mark with place names on Bristol Bay and Turnagain Arm in Alaska.
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« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2008, 02:51:39 pm »



17Th Century 64-Gun British Ship







The Age of Exploration ended in the early seventeenth century.

By this time European vessels were sufficiently well built and their navigators competent enough
to travel to virtually anywhere on the planet by sea.

European naval exploration continued.

The east coast of Australia was first explored in 1770.

Arctic and Antarctic seas were not explored until the 19th century.

It took much longer for Europeans to explore the interiors of continents.

Africa's deep interior was not explored by Europeans until the mid to late 19th and early 20th
centuries, due to a lack of trade potential in this region, and to serious problems with contagious tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
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« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2008, 02:53:35 pm »











The new trans-oceanic links and their domination by the European powers led directly to the Age of Imperialism, where European colonial powers came to control most of the planet. The European appetite for trade, commodities, empire and slaves greatly affected many other areas of the world.

Spain participated in the destruction of wealthy oppressive empires in America, only to substitute their own brutal rule.

New religions were forced onto people, as were new languages, sexual and political cultures.

In areas of the Americas where states did not exist, but the land was perceived by Europeans to be desirable; Europeans ethnically cleansed the local inhabitants, traded with their new neighbours, and
set off economic changes which impacted deep within the continent.

Similarly, in coastal Africa, local states supplied the appetite of European slave traders, changing the complexion of coastal African states and fundamentally altering the nature of African slavery, causing impacts on societies and economies deep inland.

Aboriginal Peoples were living in North America at this time and still do today. There were many conflicts between Europeans and Natives. The Europeans had many advantages over the Natives. They gave them diseases that they had not been exposed to before and this wiped out 50-90% of their population.
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« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2008, 02:55:51 pm »




             








As a wider variety of global luxury commodities entered the European markets by sea, previous
European markets for luxury goods stagnated.

The Atlantic trade largely supplanted pre-existing Italian and German trading powers which had relied
on their Baltic, Russian and Islamic trade links.

The new commodities also caused social change, as sugar, spices, silks and chinawares entered the luxury markets of Europe. Additionally, the increase in wealth experienced by Spain coincided with a major inflationary cycle, both within Spain and within Europe generally.

Within a few decades American mines were outproducing European mines. The increase in prices as a result of currency circulation fueled the growth of the commercial middle class in Europe, which would come to influence the politics and culture of many countries.



FROM

wikipedia.com
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