What is the Age of Exploration?


Age of Exploration
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Age of Exploration


The Age of Exploration is also referred to as The Age of Discovery. This was a period that lasted from the early 15th century to the 17th century (from the early 1400s into the 1600s). During this time, there were many major developments. Those included advances in navigation, map making, and ship building. With advances in all three of these, people were able to travel further.


If they had better navigation, they would be able to find where they were trying to go faster and get further. Better maps were going to get them places more accurately. They could keep going beyond the map and try to map out more of the world so that people could go further. Ship building. With better ships, they were able to travel further away from land.


These advances lead Europe to expand its exploration of the rest of the world. Europe knew its surrounding areas, but it wanted to branch out further. It wanted to see what else was out there. Explorers set out from many countries in Europe, including Spain, Portugal, France, and England. Other countries joined in later, but these were the ones who were involved more in the 15th century and from the very beginning.


They all had a higher interest in exploring what else was out there than some of the other countries. Once the other countries saw the benefits that these countries were reaping from their exploration, then the other countries started to join in as well. What these people were searching for first, the explorers, they were seeking new routes to Asia. There was a lot of trade to be had with Asia.


After the fall of Constantinople the land route was either wiped out or not very easy to get across anymore. They were looking for a different route to get there. Then, they discovered a new route. They discovered a new route to get to India and beyond around the southern tip of Africa. They methodically sailed down the coastline of Western Africa and mapped it out. Eventually, they came to the tip and realized they started going north again.


Then, they realized they could get to India from going that way, and they kept going further and further east and they got into different parts of Asia. They did find a new route as they were looking for. They also discovered the new world, which is what they used to refer to the Americas. North and South America were referred to as the “New World”, because whenever people started sailing west, thinking that eventually go around in a circle and come to the east and they’d get to the Indies, which is what they were calling Asia at the time, they thought they would make it there.


They didn’t know about these other two continents in the way. They ran into the new world, which is what they call the Americas. They also discovered Australia. In their ventures, beyond the southern tip of Africa, they discovered Australia, New Zealand, and even Hawaii. These are all continents and islands that are in the middle of the water, or kind of in the middle of the water, just really big pieces of land in the middle of the water that Europe didn’t know about before.


During this age of discovery, this Age of Exploration, Europe discovered all these places. All of this discovery led to an increase in trade. They discovered lots of new foods, new metals, new valuable things from these other places that they could ship back home to Europe and trade with other countries. There was an increase in trade. There was also an increase in colonization. Once Europe found these places, they wanted to start sending people to colonize those areas.


Sometimes there were people already living in these areas, so their colonisation wasn’t always welcome and it wasn’t always a positive thing for the place that they found. For instance, upon coming to the New World to the Americas there were already indigenous people living there. The Native Americans were living there. Whenever the Europeans came in, they brought new diseases with them, which wiped out a huge chunk of the population, because those people had never been exposed to those diseases before.


They also forced the native people to give up areas that they wanted. If the Europeans came in and said, “We want to live here,” and there are already Native Americans living there, they kicked them out. If they stayed in the same area, they tended to force rules on them and forced their religions onto them. It wasn’t exactly a good thing for the places that Europe was exploring and discovering.


It did lead to more trade colonization and more of a connection between all of the different continents. Now, they are discovering all of them, where they didn’t know about them before. Russia was also involved in the age of exploration, but they didn’t go that far. They explored and conquered most of Siberia. Where Europe, the rest of Europe, was sending ships out and finding new places in the middle of water, Russia stayed on land and conquered most of Siberia.


Russia turned into a huge country at that time. The Age of Exploration lasted from the 15th century to the 17th century. It involved Europe setting forth into the world and discovering places that had yet to be discovered.



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Last updated: 08/10/2018

 

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