Countries Like The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, And England Are More Likely To Have ______________.

Contents

The story of North American exploration spans an entire millennium and involves a wide array of European powers and uniquely American characters. It began with the Vikings’ brief stint in Newfoundland circa 1000 A.D. and continued through England’s colonization of the Atlantic coast in the 17th century, which laid the foundation for the United States of America. The centuries following the European arrivals would see the culmination of this effort, as Americans pushed westward across the continent, enticed by the lure of riches, open land and a desire to fulfill the nation’s manifest destiny.

You are watching: Countries like the netherlands, germany, italy, and england are more likely to have ______________.

The Vikings Discover the New World

The first attempt by Europeans to colonize the New World occurred around 1000 A.D. when the Vikings sailed from the British Isles to Greenland, established a colony and then moved on to Labrador, the Baffin Islands and finally Newfoundland. There they established a colony named Vineland (meaning fertile region) and from that base sailed along the coast of North America, observing the flora, fauna and native peoples. Inexplicably, Vineland was abandoned after only a few years. 

Did you know? Explorer Henry Hudson died when his crew mutinied and left Hudson, his son and seven crewmembers adrift in a small open boat in the Hudson Bay.

Although the Vikings never returned to America, other Europeans came to know of their accomplishments. Europe, however, was made up of many small principalities whose concerns were mainly local. Europeans may have been intrigued by the stories of the feared Vikings’ discovery of a “new world,” but they lacked the resources or the will to follow their path of exploration. Trade continued to revolve around the Mediterranean Sea, as it had for hundreds of years.

The Reformation, the Renaissance and New Trade Routes

Between 1000 and 1650, a series of interconnected developments occurred in Europe that provided the impetus for the exploration and subsequent colonization of America. These developments included the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Catholic Counter-Reformation, the Renaissance, the unification of small states into larger ones with centralized political power, the emergence of new technology in navigation and shipbuilding and the establishment of overland trade with the East and the accompanying transformation of the medieval economy.

The Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Church’s response in the Counter-Reformation marked the end of several centuries of gradual erosion of the power of the Catholic Church as well as the climax of internal attempts to reform the Church. Protestantism emphasized a personal relationship between each individual and God without the need for intercession by the institutional church. 

In the Renaissance, artists and writers such as Galileo, Machiavelli and Michelangelo adopted a view of life that stressed humans’ ability to change and control the world. Thus, the rise of Protestantism and the Counter-Reformation, along with the Renaissance, helped foster individualism and create a climate favorable to exploration.

At the same time, political centralization ended much of the squabbling and fighting among rival noble families and regions that had characterized the Middle Ages. With the decline of the political power and wealth of the Catholic Church, a few rulers gradually solidified their power. Portugal, Spain, France and England were transformed from small territories into nation-states with centralized authority in the hands of monarchs who were able to direct and finance overseas exploration.

As these religious and political changes were occurring, technological innovations in navigation set the stage for exploration. Bigger, faster ships and the invention of navigational devices such as the astrolabe and sextant made extended voyages possible.

*

A Faster Route to the East 

But the most powerful inducement to exploration was trade. Marco Polo’s famous journey to Cathay signaled Europe’s “discovery” of Chinese and Islamic civilizations. The Orient became a magnet to traders, and exotic products and wealth flowed into Europe. Those who benefited most were merchants who sat astride the great overland trade routes, especially the merchants of the Italian city-states of Genoa, Venice and Florence.

See more: Isekai Maou To Shoukan Shoujo No Dorei Majutsu Episode 5 English

The newly unified states of the Atlantic–France, Spain, England and Portugal–and their ambitious monarchs were envious of the merchants and princes who dominated the land routes to the East. Moreover, in the latter half of the fifteenth century, war between European states and the Ottoman Empire greatly hampered Europe’s trade with the Orient. The desire to supplant the trade moguls, especially the Italians, and fear of the Ottoman Empire forced the Atlantic nations to search for a new route to the East.

Portugal: Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco de Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral

Portugal led the others into exploration. Encouraged by Prince Henry the Navigator, Portuguese seamen sailed southward along the African coast, seeking a water route to the East. They were also looking for a legendary king named Prester John who had supposedly built a Christian stronghold somewhere in northwestern Africa. Henry hoped to form an alliance with Prester John to fight the Muslims. 

During Henry’s lifetime the Portuguese learned much about the African coastal area. His school developed the quadrant, the cross-staff and the compass, made advances in cartography and designed and built highly maneuverable little ships known as caravels.

After Henry’s death, Portuguese interest in long-distance trade and expansion waned until King John II commissioned Bartolomeu Dias to find a water route to India in 1487. Dias sailed around the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean before his frightened crew forced him to give up the quest. A year later, Vasco da Gama succeeded in reaching India and returned to Portugal laden with jewels and spices. 

In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral discovered and claimed Brazil for Portugal, and other Portuguese captains established trading posts in the South China Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea. These water routes to the East undercut the power of the Italian city-states, and Lisbon became Europe’s new trade capital.

Spain and Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus launched Spain’s imperial ambitions. Born in Genoa, Italy, around 1451, Columbus learned the art of navigation on voyages in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. At some point he probably read Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly’s early fifteenth-century work, Imago mundi, which argued that the East could be found by sailing west of the Azores for a few days. 

Columbus, hoping to make such a voyage, spent years seeking a sponsor and finally found one in Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain after they defeated the Moors and could turn their attention to other projects.

In August 1492, Columbus sailed west with his now famous ships, Niña, Pinta and Santa María. After ten weeks he sighted an island in the Bahamas, which he named San Salvador. Thinking he had found islands near Japan, he sailed on until he reached Cuba (which he thought was mainland China) and later Haiti. 

Columbus returned to Spain with many products unknown to Europe–coconuts, tobacco, sweet corn, potatoes–and with tales of dark-skinned native peoples whom he called “Indians” because he assumed he had been sailing in the Indian Ocean.

See more: 2017 Mercedes-Benz Amg C 63

Although Columbus found no gold or silver, he was hailed by Spain and much of Europe as the discoverer of d’Ailly’s western route to the East. John II of Portugal, however, believed Columbus had discovered islands in the Atlantic already claimed by Portugal and took the matter to Pope Alexander II. 

Twice the pope issued decrees supporting Spain’s claim to Columbus’s discoveries. But the territorial disputes between Portugal and Spain were not resolved until 1494 when they signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, which drew a line 370 leagues west of the Azores as the demarcation between the two empires.

Despite the treaty, controversy continued over what Columbus had found. He made three more voyages to America between 1494 and 1502, during which he explored Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Trinidad. Each time he returned more certain that he had reached the East. 

Published

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *