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You are watching: Why were europeans so interested in exploration in the 1400s and 1500s?


Why did european exploration begin to flourish in the 1400s? Two main reasons was standing out. First, europe of this time had several motives for experimenting the world. Second, breakthroughs in understanding and technology helped to do the Age of Exploration possible. Motives for Exploration For early on explorers, one of the key motives for expedition was the desire come find new trade paths to Asia. By the 1400s, merchants and also Crusaders had lugged many items to Europe native Africa, the middle East, and Asia. Need for these products increased the desire because that trade. Europeans were particularly interested in spices from Asia. They had learned to use flavors to help preserve food during winter and to cover up the taste the food the was no longer fresh. Trade with the East, however, was complicated and an extremely expensive. Muslims and Italians controlled the flow of goods. Muslim traders lugged goods to the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Italian merchants then carried the goods into Europe. Problems occurred when Muslim rulers sometimes closed the trade paths from Asia to Europe. Also, the goods went through numerous hands, and also each trading party elevated the price. Europe monarchs and merchants wanted to rest the host that Muslims and Italians had actually on trade. One way to carry out so to be to uncover a sea route to Asia. Portuguese sailors tried to find a course that went roughly Africa. Christopher Columbus make the efforts to with Asia by cruising west across the Atlantic. Various other motives likewise came right into play. Many civilization were excited through the possibility for brand-new knowledge. Explorers experienced the opportunity to knife fame and glory, as well as wealth. As brand-new lands to be discovered, nations wanted to case the lands’ riches for themselves. A final motive for expedition was the desire to spread Christianity past Europe. Both Protestant and also Catholic nations were passionate to make new converts. Missionaries that both faiths adhered to the paths blazed by explorers. Advances in Knowledge and also Technology The period of Exploration started during the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time of new learning. A number of advances during that time make it much easier for explorers to endeavor into the unknown. One vital advance remained in cartography, the art and science of mapmaking. In the early on 1400s, an Italian scholar translated an old book referred to as Guide to Geography from Greek right into Latin. The publication was created by the thinker Ptolemy (TOL-eh-mee) in the 2nd century C.E. Printed duplicates of the book inspired new interest in cartography. European mapmakers offered Ptolemy’s job-related as a basis for drawing an ext accurate maps. Discoveries by explorers provided mapmakers new information with which come work. The result was a dramatic change in Europeans’ see of the world. By the 1500s, europeans made globes, showing earth as a sphere. In 1507, a German cartographer made the an initial map that clearly showed North and also South America as separate from Asia. In turn, far better maps made navigation easier. The most crucial Renaissance geographer, Gerardus Mercator (mer-KAY-tur), produced maps using enhanced lines the longitude and also latitude. Mercator’s mapmaking method was a good help to navigators. An improved ship design additionally helped explorers. By the 1400s, Portuguese and also Spanish shipbuilders were making a new form of ship dubbed a caravel. These ships were small, fast, and easy to maneuver. Their unique bottoms make it much easier for explorers to travel along shores where the water was no deep. Caravels likewise used lateen sails, a triangular style adapted from Muslim ships. This sails might be positioned come take advantage of the wind no issue which method it blew. Follow me with much better ships, brand-new navigational tools helped sailors travel more safely top top the open seas. By the end of the 1400s, the compass was much improved. Sailors supplied compasses to find their bearing, or direction that travel. The astrolabe assisted sailors identify their street north or southern from the equator. Finally, boosted weapons gave Europeans a substantial advantage over the world they met in your explorations.

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Sailors might fire your cannons in ~ targets close to the coast without leaving their ships. Top top land, the tools of aboriginal peoples regularly were no enhance for europe guns, armor, and also horses.