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Journal: Make a list of the major nations of western Europe today. Which of them do you think were important in the fifteenth century. Which ones likely made contact with the Native Americans?. Chapter 1 Section 2. The European World. Key Concepts:.

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Journal: Make a list of the major nations of western Europe today. Which of them do you think were important in the fifteenth century. Which ones likely made contact with the Native Americans?

chapter 1 section 2

Chapter 1 Section 2

The European World

key concepts
Key Concepts:
  • The Crusades and the Renaissance gave Europeans a thirst for knowledge, especially knowledge about lands to the East.
  • As Europeans clamored for Asian products, merchants and monarchs searched for better trade routes to Asia.
  • Technological advances helped make possible long sea voyages of exploration.
key terms
Key Terms:
  • Feudalism
  • Hierarchy
  • Islam
  • Renaissance
  • Marco Polo
  • Isabella

The Europeans who came across the ocean in search of riches had a very different culture. Europe was undergoing an unprecedented period of economic and population growth as farming methods increased food supplies. The Renaissance had brought about a time of great creativity as Europeans strove for knowledge in every field. European social structure was based on wealth and power rather than on kinship relationships and had developed strong nation states that heavily competed with each other. Europeans carried those competitive values with them to their new lands in the West. They also brought with them Christianity and a strong sense of religious superiority. They believed that the Native Americans they encountered in the New World were inferior.

  • serfs, lords, monarchs role in the system like pyramid
  • did not feel they could change their lot in life
  • did not travel away from land
religion and feudal s ociety
Religion and Feudal Society
  • everything was part of hierarchy
  • system called the Great Chain of Being
    • God to humans, humans to animals, animals to plants, etc.
  • Because of faith, Europeans believed trying to changes one’s place was disobedient to God.
  • Islam begins to spread throughout Mediterranean world, especially holy city of Jerusalem.
  • Religious tolerance between Muslims and Christians in holy city until Turks take over Jerusalem.
    • Christians travel to Palestine to fight Turks
    • holy wars begin-called Crusades
europeans bring home asian products
Europeans Bring Home Asian Products
  • consumers want these goods
  • European merchants begin to trade in southwestern Asia.
  • Marco Polo-17 years in China
  • opens trade routes between Europe and China
  • Books are introduced from Muslim world into Europe
    • spurs desire for more information and knowledge in Europe
    • Renaissance (rebirth) begins
    • people begin to inquire and questions -math and science grows
political change occurs
Political change occurs
  • Monarchs want to consolidate gain more power-become members of nations (France, Portugal, France)
competition in trade b egins
Competition in Trade Begins
  • merchant class emerges
  • goods exchanged for money and other goods

Europeans and Native Americans differ in ways they trade: Europeans see trade as a simple material exchange that did not create further social obligations between people. These differences lead to bitter misunderstandings when Europeans finally crossed the Atlantic.

age of discovery
Age of Discovery
  • 1400’s access to Asian goods very profitable European trade.
    • land routes too slow, look to ocean travel to open trade routes to Asia
    • new technology developed
      • astrolabe
      • quadrant
      • caravels

Christian monarchs like Queen Isabella want to trade goods to Atlantic World and others, but also wants to spread Christianity.


note: Castile & Aragon (Christian control), Granada (Muslim control) Muslims defeated by Isabella who wanted religious unity.



Europeans were coming into contact with another of the cultures on the shores of the Atlantic-the culture of West Africa.