Age of Exploration
The Age of Exploration was inaugurated in many ways when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in 1453. This action cut off many overland trading routes to China and India, forcing Europeans to seek water routes to the riches of the Indies. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on that Age of Exploration follows your guidelines.
During the age of exploration, the following areas were explored:
- The Atlantic Ocean and a way to the Orient
- The Pacific Ocean
- The African Coast
Age of Exploration in the 1400's
The Portuguese had begun exploring the coast of Africa as early as 1418, under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator. Much of the spices and goods that flowed into Europe were controlled by Italian monopolies, a situation the Portuguese hoped to bypass. Bartolomeu Dias reached the southern tip of Africa in 1488, and Vasco de Gama reached India via the Indian Ocean in 1499.
In 1492, the monarchs of Spain backed Christopher Columbus' plan to sail westward to the Indies. As is well known, he instead led the way to the discovery of North and South America. Balboa crossed Panama and discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513, while Ferdinand Magellan's expedition (1519-1522) became the first to circumnavigate the globe.
The Europeans and the Age of Exploration
Soon, other European nations, including the Dutch, French and English were sending out fleet of ships to chart new territories and discover new riches. One of the most prolific explorers was James Cook, who discovered Australia, Antarctica, and numerous islands, including Hawaii. Many explorers were seeking gold or the fabled Northwest Passage, but instead made scientific and geographic discoveries that transformed human knowledge.