Setting the stage for Exploration In the years leading to the first explorers, many changes paved the way for the years of discovery and exploration.
The Growth of Trade Map of trade routes Middle Eastern Traders traveled to India and other parts of Asia to buy goods to sell to Europeans.
In the 1300’s wealth from trade in the Italian city-states gave the citizens more time to pursue other interests and knowledge. There was an increase in art such as writers, musicians, sculptors, painters etc… • People were encouraged to set new goals and pursue new ideas. This time was called the Renaissance (which means “rebirth”).
Powerful Nations Emerge • Centralized governments with monarchs (ruler like a king or a queen) which began to establish national laws and armies. • As each tried to become stronger they sought ways to increase trade and make their countries wealthier
Better Technology • Better maps - maps became more accurate and showed directions of ocean currents. • Better instruments – better instruments were invented like the astrolabe (an instrument that measured the position of the stars) and the compass (measures magnetic north invented in China). • Better ships – Stern rudder and triangular sails allowed ships to sail into the wind. The Portuguese invented the caravel (a three-masted ship that could sail faster.
Missionaries • European churches • wanted to convert people • in the East to Christianity.
In Summary…. • Europeans wanted the exotic items from the east. Many European leaders wanted to find ways to make their countries wealthier. Middle Eastern traders were charging very high prices for the goods that were in high demand in Europe. Monarchs figured if they got the goods directly from India and China, they would cut out the costs of the “middle man.” So they began to think about finding new ways to India and China besides through the Middle East. Leaders of the Christian church wanted to go to the East to convert the people. During the Renaissance, Europeans began to read about the travels of Marco Polo and were inspired by the ideas of the Renaissance to discover and explore. They began to theorize that if the world was round – maybe they could find a new way to get to the East….