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Age of Exploration Discovery: da Gama,Columbus & Magellan

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Discuss the impact of exploration during the 15th and 16th century. What major changes did exploration expedite? Identify 3 examples of explorers and their achievements.

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Impact of the Age of exploration and Discovery

The age of exploration and Discovery began in early 15th century and ended at the establishment of Colonialization of the World by Europe in the 17th century. Why this period is so important is because it redrew the map of the world and sailors and mariners to sail to unchartered waters 'discovering' new peoples, new civilizations and new cultures other than their own. These discoveries though made for the purpose of trade and to find a way to the source of spices and silk in the Far East led eventually to the establishment of colonies as European powers vied with each other in claiming and controlling new lands in search of riches and power. By controlling strategic territories and lands, they control trade routes and goods for trade which in turn contributed to the affluence of their monarchs which translated itself to the strength of their navies. If there were 6 major changes that expedition and discovery did, they are:

1. To redraw the map of the world;
2. To spread Christianity & European culture to colonial territories;
3. To change the balance of power in the world creating Colonial Empires, shifting power in Europe from the Mediterranean to the West (i.e. Spain, Portugal, England, France & the Netherlands);
4. The creation of a commercial middle-class in Europe and the rise of the bourgeoisie;
5. The introduction of trans-oceanic trade that brought flora, fauna and related goods to and from Europe and the established colonies and trade markets,
6. The end of the weaker Ethnic Empires who lacked naval and military power as they were crushed and then put under control via Colonial European hegemony (i.e. Amerindian civilizations like the Incas and Aztecs, the Mahardlika and Srivijayan civilizations of South-East Asia).

Influential Explorers

There were many explorers, sailors, merchants and discoverers who ventured out into the unknown world for economic, political, social and nationalistic reasons in this age. To sail and find one's lot in the wider world became an aspiration for many young men in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Holland as doing so was lucrative. It raises one's status in society and at the same time provides hope for wealth. But if there were 3 adventurers and explorers of note, they will be the ones that pioneered the high seas for King and glory. For me, they will be the following men:

? Vasco da Gama

- Born in Sines, Portugal, he took up the tradition of Prince Henry the navigator in relation to 'claiming and discovering' for Portugal all lands and seas beyond Cape Bojador. At his time, the Portuguese have sailed all the way to Cape of Good Hope in present-day South Africa by tracing the route around Africa. The Portuguese had also made inland-excursion into the Congo which further emboldened the crown to find a route into India and the Spice islands using the rumoured route of Arab Sailors to India and the Malaccas. On 8 July 1497, Da Gama led 170 sailors including the navigators Pedro ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive 2,225-word narrative the discusses the impact of the Age of Exploration and Discovery of the 15th and 16th century. The solution lists the major changes and influence in thinking & approaches in the social, cultural, political, military and economic state of the period. It then presents the exploits, lives and contributions of the following explorers: Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan. A word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing. References are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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