The Age of Exploration
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The Age of Exploration. Europeans Set Sail. A.The Commercial Revolution. The Black Death a.1347-1350 b.Italian merchants arrived from Asia with rats infested with the bubonic plague c.killed 1/3 of Europe’s population (approximately 75 million people).

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The Age of Exploration

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The Age of Exploration

Europeans Set Sail

A.The Commercial Revolution

  • The Black Death


    b.Italian merchants arrived from Asia with rats infested with the bubonic plague

    c.killed 1/3 of Europe’s population (approximately 75 million people)

A.The Commercial Revolution

A.The Commercial Revolution cont’d

  • The Commercial Revolution Begins

    a.the Black Death caused a labor shortage which led to a wage increase

    b.merchants and craftspeople raised and lowered prices to make a profit grew specialized crops and cities specialized in certain crafts

A.The Commercial Revolution cont’d

  • Banks and Bankers

    a.loaned money for interest (i.e. the Medici family of Florence)

    b.bankers became influential

    c.merchants created joint-stock companies to reduce risk of business start-up

B.The Renaissance (Italy, mid-1300s to 1600s)

  • Education and Ideas

    a.combined the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman works with new ideas

    b.encouraged strong moral values

B.The Renaissance (Italy, mid-1300s to 1600s)

2.Science and Technology

a.aided by earlier Arab scholars whose works were translated from Arabic into Latin inventions:

1. the magnetic compass and the astrolabe (both of which helped with navigation)

2. the printing press

B.The Renaissance cont’d

  • The Growth of the Arts

    a.influenced by ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and architecture

    b.famous artists:

    1.Leonardo da Vinci: artist who studied architecture, astronomy, biology, geology, and machinery

    2.Michelangelo: sculptor and painter

    c.wealthy people hired many to create works

B.The Renaissance cont’d

C.Trade with Africa and Asia

1.Trade Risks and Rewards

a.Consumer goods:

1. African trade included gold, ivory, salt, and slaves

2. Asian trade included silk and spice

b.Trade routes:

1. overland by the Silk Road

2. by sea through the Mediterranean

c.Costs were high because of the many merchants who handled the goods

C.Trade with Africa and Asia cont’d

  • Reasons for the Search for a Sea Route break Venice’s monopoly on the Asian trade learn more about the Asian culture, an interest created by Marco Polo’s book Description of the World spread the teachings of Christianity

C.Trade with Africa and Asia cont’d

  • Portugal Takes to the Seas

    a.Prince Henry the Navigator

    1.improved navigational instruments and encouraged his designers as they created the caravel

    2.paid for exploration of the west coast of Africa

C.Trade with Africa and Asia cont’d

  • Portugal Takes to the Seas cont’d

    b.Bartolomeu Dias

    1. discovered safe passage around the southern tip of Africa

    2. named the point the Cape of Good Hope

C.Trade with Africa and Asia cont’d

  • Portugal Takes to the Seas cont’d

    c.established the European trade of African slaves

II. Voyages to the Americas

A.A Bold Idea

  • Christopher Columbus believed in a western route to Asia via the Atlantic Ocean

  • Problems

    a.scholars claimed in was 10,000 miles from Europe to India

    b.navigation and food preservation

    c.Columbus erred in calculating the earth’s circumference

    d.could not find investors

A.A Bold Idea cont’d

  • Financial Support:

    a.Reconquista: the centuries long struggle to drive the Moors from Spain ended in 1492

    b.Ferdinand and Isabella agreed to fund the voyage because they hoped to compete with Portugal

A.A Bold Idea cont’d

c.In exchange, it was agreed that Columbus would:

1. claim any lands for Spain

2.become viceroy (Royal Governor) of any lands

3.receive 1/10 of all gold and 1/8 of any trade profits

B.Columbus’s Explorations

  • First journey

    a. Left on August 3, 1492

    b.carried three ships: the Santa Maria, a cargo ship; the Nina and the Pinta, both caravels

    c.carried one year’s supplies

    d.sighted land on October 12, 1492, thirty-three days after leaving the Canary Islands

B.Columbus’s Explorations cont’d

  • First journey cont’d

    e.landed on San Salvador, then Cuba and Hispaniola

    f.discovered the Taino, whom he called Indians

    g.spent two months exploring the areas

    h.the Santa Maria sank

B.Columbus’s Explorations cont’d

  • First journey cont’d

    i.Columbus left crew members as a small colony which he called La Navidad

    j.he brought back gold nuggets, exotic treasures, and six Taino

B.Columbus’s Explorations cont’d

  • First journey cont’d

    k.Line of Demarcation: granted to Spain by Pope Alexander; gave Spain all land found 300 miles west the Azore Islands

B.Columbus’s Explorations cont’d

  • First journey cont’d

    l.Treaty of Tordesillas: between Spain and Portugal, changed the line to 800 miles

B.Columbus’s Explorations cont’d

  • Three more voyages

    a.found La Navidad destroyed and the sailors dead

    b.discovered South America

    c.colonies did not survive because the Spanish could not grow European crops in the tropics

    d.enslaved the natives despite Isabella’s instructions not to do so

B.Columbus’s Explorations cont’d

III.The Race for Trade Routes

A.Portugal Takes the Lead

  • Vasco de Gama: discovered the route around the southern tip of Africa to India

    2.Pedro Alvares Cabral: tried to follow de Gama’s route but was blown off course and landed in South America in present day Brazil

B.Other Early Explorations

  • John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto): 1497-1498, claimed North America for King Henry VII of England

    2.Amerigo Vespucci: 1501, sailed with a Spanish expedition and wrote exaggerated stories which were printed in a book—thus North and South America were named

B.Other Early Explorations cont’d

  • Vasco Nunez de Balboa: 1513

    a.overthrew the governor of the Spanish settlement in Panama, improved living conditions for the colonists, and made peace with the local tribes

    b.first to sight the Pacific Ocean from South America

    c.executed by Spain for overthrowing the governor

B.Other Early Explorations cont’d

  • Ferdinand Magellan: 1519-1522

    a.sailed around the southern tip of South America, through the Strait of Magellan, and across the Pacific Ocean to the present day Philippines

    b.only one of the five original ships returned, only 18 or 240 crew members

    c.profit paid for the entire voyage

    d.circumnavigated the world (40,000 miles)

B.Other Early Explorations cont’d

C.Searching for a Northwest Passage

1.Giovanni da Verrazzano: 1524, the eastern coast of North America (from Georgia to Maine)

  • Jacques Cartier: 1534, eastern coast of North America (Canada and Newfoundland)

C.Searching for a Northwest Passage cont’d

3.Henry Hudson: 1610, New York, Hudson River, Hudson Bay

4.Samuel de Champlain: 1615, explored the St. Lawrence River

D.Effects of Exploration

  • Venice lost its trade monopoly and subsequently declined

  • Portugal and Spain controlled trade and grew stronger

  • The Columbian exchange: the transfer of plants, animals, and diseases

  • Land was claimed by various European nations

Works Cited

Brinkley, Alan. American History: A Survey. Vol 1. Boston: McGraw-Hill College, 1999.

Stuckey, Sterling, and Linda Kerrigan Salvucci. Call to Freedom: Beginnings to 1914. Austin, Texas: Holt, Rinhart, and Winston,


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