MODERN WORLD HISTORY: Chapter 3 – An Age of Exploration


Motivated by Christian faith and a desire for profit, Europeans explore distant lands, while Japanese and Chinese rulers isolate their societies from Europeans.


3-1: Europeans Explore the East


Advances in sailing technology enable Europeans to explore other parts of the world.


Early Contact Limited

•      New desire for contact with Asia develops in Europe in early 1400s


Age of Exploration:  1400-1700.  Time period when various different

                                countries sent out explorers to claim new land and

                                set up colonies.  Colony=free money.


Tera Incognita: Latin for "unknown world".


Marco Polo: Travels to China in 1271. They travel ten miles a day

                   over land - it takes them 4 years.  He goes home, but then

                   came back in 1297.  Become advisors to the King of China

                   Kublai Khan.


        - The Travels of Marco Polo: A wondrous adventure narrative

                 describing things to the Europeans that they had a difficult

                 time believing (most Europeans dismissed the book as mere

                 fable). Chronicling the thirteenth-century world from Venice,

                 his birthplace, to the far reaches of Asia, Marco Polo tells of

                 the foreign peoples he meets as he travels by foot, horse, and

                 boat through places including Persia, the land of the Tartars,

                 Tibet, India, and, most important, China. There he stays at

                 the court of Kublai Khan, venturing to the capital of Beijing

                  and to Shangtu.


                * The Travels is divided into four books:


                        ^ Book One describes the lands of the Middle East and

                                        Central Asia that Marco encountered on his

                                        way to China.


                        ^ Book Two describes China and the court of Kublai Khan.


                        ^ Book Three describes some of the coastal regions of the

                                           East - Japan, India, Southeast Asia, and the

                                           east coast of Africa.


                        ^ Book Four describes some of the recent wars among the

                                          Mongols and some of the regions of the far

                                          north, like Russia.



        - Quote: “I did not tell half of what I told because I knew I would

                       not be believed."


        - "Marco of the Millions":  The nickname many people referred to

                                                Marco Polo by.  (They was making fun of

                                                him.)  They thought he was full of a

                                                million lies.


Europeans Seek New Trade Routes

•      Main reason for exploration is to gain wealth

•      Contact during Crusades spurs demand for Asian goods

•      Muslims and Italians control trade from East to West

•      Other European nations want to bypass these powers


Main reason for exploration in the 1400's: To find a water route to Asia-

                                                                   to make money from trade.



Major effect of exploration: It linked people from different cultures and

                                            ended the isolation of the world’s major



Economics 101 Welcome to the wonderful world of CAPITALISM!


        - Law of supply and demand: basis of all economic theories

                supply + demand = price

                supply + demand = price

                supply + demand = moderate price


Spices:  They were introduced to spices from the Crusades, and/or from

             people going on pilgrimages.


        - pilgrimage:  A trip to a religious spot.


        - from where: India, China and the Middle East.


        - 5 types: clove, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.


        - 5 uses:

                1.) Flavoring

                2.) Perfumes

                3.) Cosmetics

                4.) Medicine

                5.) Preservation of meats


        - trade controlled by: Arab traders and Venetian Merchants.


        - trade route: Chinese and Indian merchants sold to Arab

                              merchants. Arabs shipped spices from Arab lands to

                              Venice, Italy.  Venetian merchants then sold spices

                              to other Europeans.


                * "middle man": The Venetian merchants were the "middle

                                        man", and that's who makes the largest profit.


2 reasons Europeans wanted a trade route to Asia:


        1.) Because the land route was no longer a safe trip so they looked

             for a sea route.


                * Mongols: Had offered protection to people on the land route

                                but they lost control of some of that territory, and +

                                could not offer complete protection on the journey.


        2.) To amass quick fortunes through direct trade (no “middle man”)



12 Reasons for exploration:

        1.) To gain a better trade route to India and Asia

        2.) To forward the country’s interests

        3.) To forward an individual’s interests

        4.) For curiosity (Increase knowledge)

        5.) For adventure

        6.) To spread Christianity (missionary spirit)

        7.) To get the heavily sought after spices

        8.) To find gold and become rich (greed)

        9.) To become famous

        10.) To conquer new lands and control them (Imperialism)

        11.) To establish colonies

        12.) To gain raw materials/natural resources


16 dangers of exploration:

        1.) Sailing off the edge of the world

        2.) Sailing into the sun and burning up

        3.) Starvation/dehydration (running out of food and water)

        4.) Drinking rancid water

        5.) Being injured on board ship

        6.) Falling overboard

        7.) Being lost at sea

        8.) Ship sinking

        9.) Shipwreck/Being marooned

        10.) Storms

        11.) Sea monsters

        12.) Pirates (after the late 1500’s)

        13.) Being eaten by wild beasts (the ones on land, of course)

        14.) Being killed by native populations

        15.) Mutiny

        16.) Scurvy (and other diseases)


2 effects of oversea voyages:

        1.) Ended Europe’s isolation and set it on a path of world wide


        2.) Prepared for the rise of the world’s first global voyage.


Technology Makes Exploration Possible

• In 1400s, the caravel makes it possible to sail against wind

• Astrolabe makes navigation easier

• Magnetic compass improves tracking of direction


For success in exploration: ships had to be able to the coastal waters

                                         and sight of land and to return home.


Navigation:  It was a major problem.


Ancient sailors: stayed close to the coast, using landmarks to determine

                         their position.


Later sailors: traveled beyond the sight of land and used the position of

                      stars and the sum to determine in which direction they

                      were traveling.


        - Dead reckoning: Captain had to be experienced to use this

                                    method of navigation.  (Columbus was probably

                                    the best in history.)  In this method of

                                    navigation, we use a chip log (a piece of

                                    2X4) attached to a rope with knots tied in it. 


                                      Toss chip log off the stern (back) of the ship and

                                    measure how many knots come off the line in one

                                    minute.  Then we figure in the wind, direction,

                                    and time, to plot our course on a map.  Also

                                    needed to figure in observations of cloud

                                    formations, wave patterns and directions, look

                                    for birds and insects, and floating debris, then

                                    guess about where you are at using a map.  This

                                    method was not very accurate for most people. 


                * way they kept track of time: Used an hourglass


                * Why it is called "dead reckoning": 

                        If you reckoned (calculated) wrong….

                       you were dead.


2 major problems with navigation:

        1.) The calculations they used to determine their location were very


        2.) Maps were also terribly inaccurate.


Compass: Chinese in origin, this navigational instrument enabled sailors

                in finding directions on the earth. It consists of a magnetized  

                pointer free to align itself accurately with Earth's

                magnetic field. The cardinal points are north, south, east and

                west. A compass can be used in conjunction with a clock and a

                sextant to provide a very accurate navigation capability.


        - 2 ways it greatly improved maritime trade:

                1.)  by making travel safer

                2.) by making travel more efficient


Astrolabe: perfected by the Arabs, it was used to determine the altitude

                 of the sun or the other heavenly bodies.  Astrolabes are used

                 to show how the sky looks at a specific place at a given time.

                 This is done by drawing the sky on the face of the astrolabe

                 and marking it so positions in the sky are easy to find. To use

                 an astrolabe, you adjust the moveable components to a

                 specific date and time.

        - problem with: They were widely inaccurate.  Trying to get

                                someone who could do everything was difficult.


Sextant:  replaced the astrolabe in the mid-1700s as the instrument for

              measuring the height of the stars above the horizon—to

              determine latitude and longitude.


Cartography: The art of map-making.  Most maps looked like

                     cartoons prior to the 1400's.  Empty spots were filled in to

                     make maps more expensive.


        - problem with: Most maps were widely inaccurate.   What they had

                                 was drawn from scattered impressions of travelers

                                 and traders.


        - cartographers: mapmakers.  Some were good, but others just

                                  drew whatever looked good to them.  Lots of

                                  rumor and legend got translated into land



        - by 1300: Most coastal charts showed the Mediterranean coastline

                        with a great degree of accuracy.


Ptolemy: Egyptian astronomer who made accurate maps of the ancient

               Mediterranean world.  His maps were later improved upon by

               Byzantine and Arab scholars and the maps were introduced to

               the Europeans during the Renaissance.


        - major contribution: He introduced a grid system of map

                                         references based on the coordinates of

                                         latitude and longitude that are still in use



Shipwrights:  Ship designers and builders.


        - 3 innovations:

                1.) triangle-shaped lateen sails,

                2.) Multiple masts - made it faster to travel than with one large

                    mast and sail.

                3.) rudder - moved the ships rudder from its side to the stern,

                    making the ship more maneuverable.

                * triangle-shaped lateen sails: Made it possible to sail against  

                                                              the wind not just with it.


Caravel: a small ship - about 65 feet in length, and carrying about 130

              tons - that incorporated all of the above mentioned shipwrights

              innovations.  Very quick and maneuverable.


        - date: 1400's


        - 3 ways it was an improvement:

                1.) This versatile ship had triangular sails for maneuverability

                     and square sails for power.


                2.) The large cargo area could hold the numerous supplies

                     needed for long voyages.


                3.) Its shallow draft allowed it to explore close to the shore,

                    and allowed explorers to venture up shallow inlets and

                    beach the ship to make repairs.


                        * draft: the depth of the ship’s keel below the water


        - weapons:  These ships carried new weapons - rifles and cannon.


Portugal Leads the Way

The Portuguese Explore Africa

Prince Henry, the son of Portugal’s king, supports exploration

• In 1419, he founds navigation school on coast of Portugal

• By 1460, Portuguese have trading posts along west coast of Africa.


1420-1500: Portuguese captains pushed farther and farther down the west coast of Africa in search of a sea route to Asia.


Prince Henry the Navigator: Heir to the Portuguese throne, he brought

                  together mapmakers, instrument makers, shipbuilders,  

                  scientists, and sea captains gathered there to perfect their

                  trade in Portugal.  He used his own fortune to organize more

                  than 14 voyages along the western coast of Africa, which was

                  previously unexplored by Europeans.  Although he never

                  made an ocean voyage himself, his explorers discovered

                  numerous areas.


        -2 contributions:

                1.) He brought together mapmakers, instrument makers,

                     shipbuilders, scientists, and sea captains

                2.) Sponsored many exploratory voyages westward into the

                    Atlantic Ocean and southward down Africa's west coast.


        - 5 types of people he brought in: mapmakers, instrument makers,

                                                shipbuilders, scientists, and sea captains


        - 3 places “his” explorers discovered: Azores, Madeira Islands, and

                                                                   the Cape Verde Islands.


Portuguese Sailors Reach Asia

• In 1488, Dias sails around southern tip of Africa

• In 1498, Vasco da Gama sails to India

• In 1499, da Gama returns to Portugal with valuable cargo


Bartholomeu Dias: an early Portuguese explorer who discovered the Cape of Good Hope.


        - date: began in 1487


        - goal: To find the southern tip of Africa


        - 1488: Discovered Caped of Good Hope


                * Cape of Good Hope: the southern tip of Africa


        - What his voyage proved: Ships could reach Asia by sailing

                                                 around Africa.


Vasco Da Gama: Portuguese explorer who began exploring the east African coast. 


        -1497: He sailed from Portugal for India


        -where: He sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, made stops at

                     trading centers along the east coast of Africa, and landed

                     at Calicut on the SW coast of India in 10 months.


        - 3 goods traded by the Hindus and Muslims: fine silk, porcelain,

                      and spices.


        - Calicut: Da Gamma tried to persuade the rulers of Calicut and the

                      Muslim merchants in India to trade only with the  

                      Portuguese - trying to create a trade monopoly for

                      Portugal. They did not buy it.  A treaty was never



                * result of his actions: In Portugal he was regarded as a

                                                  national hero. 


        - as a national hero: Although he did not secure an exclusive trade

                                        agreement, he had pioneered a water route to

                                        India and had provided a glimpse of the riches

                                        that could come from direct trade with the



4 results of de Gama's voyage:

        1.) Opened direct sea trade with Asia.

        2.) Also opened an era of violent conflict in the East.

        3.) European nations scrambled to establish profitable trading

             outposts along the shores of South and Southeast Asia.

        4.) They battled native populations and each other



Spain Also Makes Claims

A Rival Power

• In 1492, Christopher Columbus sails for Spain

• Convinces Spanish to support plan to reach Asia by sailing west

• Reaches the Americas instead

• Opens Americas to exploration and colonization

• In 1493, pope divides these lands between Spain and Portugal

• Agreement formalized by Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494


Ferdinand & Isabella: Entered Spain in the race for Asian riches by

                                  backing the expedition of an Italian navigator

                                  named Christopher Columbus.


Christopher Columbus: Italian navigator who had been asking monarchs  

                                    to back a voyage for years.  Everyone had turned

                                    him down because of his idea that one could

                                    reach India/Asia by sailing west.  He was very

                                    intelligent, aggressive, an exceptional navigator

                                   (especially by dead reckoning), highly curious,

                                   and could be very intolerant with people or ideas

                                   that didn’t match his.


        - 1492: He asks Ferdinand and Isabella once again for money to

                   launch a voyage west.  Ferdinand was against it, but Isabella

                   finally granted his request.  Most every one thought it would

                   end in failure.


Line of Demarcation: an imaginary line running down the middle of the

                                Atlantic Ocean from the North to the South Poles.


        - Alexander VI:  The pope who, in an effort to keep peace between

                                Spain and Portugal, suggested an imaginary dividing

                                line through the Atlantic Ocean.


        - date: 1493


                * Spain's "side":  All the lands west of the Line of Demarcation.

                                        (Obviously, they got the better deal.)


                * Portugal's "side":  All the lands east of the Line of




        - Portugal's fears:  Their line was so far to the east that Spain might

                                    overtake their Asian trade.


Treaty of Tordesillas:  Spain and Portugal signed an agreement to move

                                  the line of Demarcation further west.


        - date: 1494


        - Problem 1: An imaginary line was supposed to equally divide the

                           world between Spain and Portugal???  The line was

                           imaginary, so it was totally unenforceable.


        - Problem 2: It was only recognized by Spain and Portugal.


Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean

Portugal’s Trading Empire

• In 1509, Portugal defeats Muslims, takes over Indian Ocean trade

• In 1510, Portugal captures Goa, port city in western India

• In 1511, Portugal seizes Malacca, on Malay Peninsula

• These gains break Muslim-Italian hold on Asian trade


11 points on Portugal's trading empire:

        1.) In the years following da Gama’s voyage, Portugal built a

             bustling trading empire throughout the Indian Ocean.

        2.) As the Portuguese moved into the region, they took control of

             the spice trade from Muslim merchants.

        3.) In 1509, Portugal extended its control over the area when it

            defeated a Muslim fleet off the coast of India, a victory made

            possible by the cannons they had added aboard their ships.


                - 1509: Portugal defeated a Muslim fleet off the coast of India


                - cannons: were never used on ships before this time.


        4.) Portugal strengthened its hold on the region by building a fort at

             Hormuz in 1514.


                        - Straits of Hormuz: waterway that connects the Persian

                                                     Gulf and Arabian Sea


        5.) It established control of the Straits of Hormuz, and helped stop

             Muslim traders from reaching India.

        6.) In 1510, the Portuguese captured Goa. They made it the capital

             of their trading empire.


                - Goa: a port city on India’s west coast


        7.) They then sailed farther east to Indonesia, also known as the

             East Indies.

        8.) In 1511, a Portuguese fleet attacked the city of Malacca on the

             west coast of the Malay Peninsula.

        9.) Portuguese seized control of the Strait of Malacca. Seizing this

             waterway gave them control of the Moluccas.


                - Strait of Malacca: connects the Maylay Peninsula and


                - Spice Islands: what they called the islands of Moluccas

                                       because they were so rich in spices.


        10.) Portugal did break the old Muslim-Italian domination on trade

               from the East, much to the delight of European consumers.

        11.) Portuguese merchants brought back goods from Asia at about

               one-fifth of what they cost when purchased through the Arabs

               and Italians.


                        - result: more Europeans could afford these items.




Afonso de Albuquergue:  Portuguese sea captain who stressed his

                                     country’s intense desire to crush the Muslim-

                                     Italian domination over Asian trade.  He is also

                                     the captain that took Goa and the Strait of



        - "the Portuguese Mars": nickname in reference to Mars


                * Mars: Roman god of war.


1521: a Spanish expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the



        - Ferdinand Magellan: Portuguese soldier of fortune who led a

                       voyage in 1519 that was the first to circumnavigate the

                       globe, although he did not live to see it.  He also

                       renamed the South Sea the Pacific Ocean.


1565: Spain claimed the Philippine Islands and began settling them.


Other Nations Challenge the Portuguese

• English and Dutch begin moving into Asia in 17th century

• Dutch have more ships (20,000) than any other nation in 1600

• Dutch and English weaken Portuguese control of Asian trade

• Dutch then overpower English

• Form Dutch East India Company for Asian trade


By early 1600's: the rest of Europe had begun to descend upon Asia

                        wanting to establish their own trade empires in the East.


3 other countries that started exploration: Netherlands, France, and



Dutch Republic: also known as the Netherlands, was a small country

                         situated along the North Sea in northwestern Europe. 

                       Quickly becomes a world sea power.


        - fleet: By 1600, the Dutch owned the largest fleet of ships in the

                   world—20,000 vessels.


Dutch and English pressure:  Their pressure eroded Portuguese control of

                                            the Asian region. Then Dutch and English

                                            then battled one another for dominance of

                                            the area.


East India Company: A joint trading company.


        - owned by: England and the Netherlands


        - purpose: to establish and direct trade throughout Asia.


        - 3 powers: could mint money, make treaties, and even raise their

                         own armies.


Dutch East India Company: a company founded by the Dutch in the early

                                         17th century to establish and direct trade

                                         throughout Asia.  Very wealthy and powerful.


        - in comparison to England's:  The Dutch had much more power.


        - 2 results:

                1.) The Dutch eventually drove out the English.

                2.) They established their dominance over the region.


European Trade Outposts

• In 1619, Dutch set up trade headquarters at Batavia, on Java

• Throughout 1600s, Dutch trade grows

• Amsterdam, Dutch capital, becomes wealthy city

• Dutch also control southern tip of Africa

• England’s East India Company gains strength in India

• France also gains trade foothold in India


1619: the Dutch established their trading headquarters at Batavia


        - Batavia: city on the island of Java.


Malacca: port was seized by the Dutch.  Now they control the Spice



1600's: the Netherlands increased its control over the Indian Ocean trade.


Amsterdam: the capital of the Netherlands.  It quickly became a leading

                   commercial center.


By 1700: the Dutch ruled much of Indonesia and had trading posts in several Asian countries.


Cape of Good Hope: Controlled by the Dutch.  A very useful property.


        - resupply stop:  Ships stopped here to purchase food for longer



Britain and France: By 1700, they had gained a foothold in the region.


English East India Company:  focused much of its energy on establishing

                                            outposts in India.


1664:  France also entered the Asia trade with its own East India



French problem: it faced continual attacks by the Dutch.


Result of French outposts:  They established an outpost in India in the

                                          1720s. However, it never showed much of a







Effect of European influence: Their influence in Southeast Asia remained

                                             limited. European traders did take control

                                             of many port cities in the region. But their

                                              impact rarely spread beyond the ports.


1500-1800:  Time when Europeans began to conquer much of the region,

                  the peoples of Asia remained largely unaffected by European