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The Age of Early European Exploration & Expansion. By Susan M. Pojer, Horace Greeley HS & Laurie Johnson. A Map of the Known World, pre- 1492. Motives for European Exploration. Crusades  by-pass intermediaries to get to Asia. Renaissance  curiosity about other lands and peoples.

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The Age of Early

European Exploration

& Expansion

By Susan M. Pojer, Horace Greeley HS & Laurie Johnson


Motives for European Exploration

Crusades  by-pass intermediaries to get to Asia.

Renaissance  curiosity about other lands and peoples.

Reformation  refugees & missionaries.

Monarchs seeking new sources of revenue.

Technological advances.

Fame and fortune.


New Maritime Technologies

Better Maps [Portulan]

Hartman Astrolabe(1532)

Mariner’s Compass



Prince Henry, the Navigator

  • School for Navigation, 1419

Portuguese Maritime Empire

  • Exploring the west coast of Africa.
  • Bartolomeo Dias, 1487.
  • Vasco da Gama, 1498.
    • Calicut.
  • Admiral Alfonso de Albuquerque (Goa, 1510; Malacca, 1511).

Atlantic Explorations

Looking for “El Dorado”


The First Spanish Conquests:The Aztecs


Fernando Cortez

Montezuma II


The First Spanish Conquests: The Incas



Francisco Pizarro


Why would the

'Columbian Exchange'

be considered the

tsunami of




Cycle of Conquest & Colonization







The Slave Trade

  • Existed in Africa before the coming of the Europeans.
  • Portuguese replaced European slaves with Africans.
    • Sugar cane & sugar plantations.
    • First boatload of African slaves brought by the Spanish in 1518.
    • 275,000 enslaved Africans exportedto other countries.
  • Between 16c & 19c, about 10 million Africans shipped to the Americas.

Slave Ship

“Middle Passage”


African CaptivesThrown Overboard

Sharks followed the slave ships!


Administration of the Spanish Empire in the New World

Encomienda(forced labor)—royal grants of authority over the natives.

Estancias—land grants


The Influence of the Colonial Catholic Church

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Guadalajara Cathedral

Spanish Mission


New Colonial Rivals

Portugal lacked the numbers and wealth to dominate trade in the Indian Ocean.

Spain in Asia  consolidated its holdings in the Philippines.

First English expedition to the Indies in 1591.


Impact of European Expansion

Native populations ravaged by disease.

Influx of gold, and especially silver, into Europe created an inflationary economic climate.[“Price Revolution”]

New products introduced across the continents [“Columbian Exchange”].

Deepened colonial rivalries.

the price revolution
The Price Revolution
  • Unprecedented inflation during 16th century
  • Caused by
    • 1. Population growth (Europe’s population doubled between 1460 & 1620)
    • 2. Flow of silver into Europe from New World
the effects of the price revolution in england
The Effects of the Price Revolution in England
  • As food prices increased, profit incentive drove farmers to produce more food
  • Medieval farming vs. new incentives created by the price revolution
  • How landowners tried to transform their holdings into commercial agriculture:
    • 1. enclosure
    • 2. changed conditions of tenure from copyhold to leasehold
the effects of the price revolution in the netherlands
The Effects of the Price Revolution in the Netherlands
  • Developed a new kind of farming—convertible husbandry
    • Replaced the old three-field system
    • Alternated the planting of soil-depleting cereals with the planting of soil-restoring legumes and grazing.
      • 2 years—cereals, 3rd year—peas or beans, next 4 or 5 years—pasture for grazing animals whose manure would restore the soil
      • Greatly increased productivity
the expansion of trade industry
The Expansion of Trade & Industry
  • Rising demand stimulated trade and industry. Demand was caused by
    • Population growth
    • Growing income of landlords & merchants led to a demand for meat, cheese, fruit, wine, vegetables, sugar, & spices
    • Growth of the state led to increased demand for supplies
the effects of the price revolution on trade manufacturing
The Effects of the Price Revolution on Trade & Manufacturing
  • Specialization (Eng-wool, Fr & Neth-linen)
  • Creation of regional or international markets gave rise to the creation of merchant-capitalists
    • People whose operations extended across local & national boundaries & whose mobility allowed them to buy or produce where costs were lowest and sell where prices were highest
    • Example: the cottage industry or ”putting-out” system
    • Significant step in evolution of capitalism because it bypassed the medieval guild system
innovations in business
Innovations in Business
  • More sophisticated banking operations
  • Double-entry bookkeeping
  • Development of maritime insurance
  • Development of joint-stock companies
patterns of commercial development
Patterns of Commercial Development
  • England and Netherlands led commercial expansion—Why?
  • Netherlands
    • Dutch feudal culture was weak and commercial values were strong
    • Small land area
    • Far larger percentage of urban population than elsewhere
    • Devised a new boat (flyboat) which allowed them to carry bulky grain shipments for lowest cost
    • Dutch displaced the Portuguese in the spice trade with East Indies


    • The landed gentry supported commercial enterprises and vice versa
    • 17th century the British established a colonial empire
    • Gov’t economic policies reflected the interest of big business
      • Navigation Act allowed all English shippers to carry goods anywhere instead of restricting trade with certain areas to specific traders.
      • Also gained the carrying trade from the Dutch

France and Spain—neither took advantage of the opportunities presented by the price revolution like England and the Netherlands

    • Why?
      • Aristocratic structure of French society—French nobles looked down on commerce
      • Guilds restricted competition and production & in France there were fewer opportunities for merchant-capitalists to operate outside the guilds
      • Spanish values regarded business as a “form of social heresy.” They were contemptuous of commerce & industry.
      • Spain wasted money on its empire and Catholicism rather than on investing in economic expansion.