Christian Crusaders in 11th to 13th centuries created European interest in Asia and Middle East
Desire to spread Christian religion; Francis Xavier Catholic missionary in 16th c.
Rise of nation states (“New Monarchs”) resulted in competition for empires and trade.
Portugal and Spain sought to break the Italian (Venetian) monopoly on trade with Asia.
Ottoman Turks restricted trade to Asia after conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
Technology facilitated sea travel: astrolabe, better maps
· Commercial revolution resulted in capitalist investments in overseas exploration
· Mongol domination of central Asia disrupted flow of goods over the Silk Road routes.
· Impact of Renaissance: search for knowledge, adventurism, monopoly of Italian trade with East
·Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1517): cross the Isthmus of Panama, first European to see the Pacific Ocean
·Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521): circumnavigation of the globe
work for themselves.