... for the Week of January 17, 2000
Built upon the ideals of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and
Mirondola, The Age of Exploration is a natural continuation of the Renaissance - There was
more to the world than God, and there was more to the world than Europe. Nations
like Portugal and Spain, facing the Atlantic, raised their flags atop new ships equipped
with new tools in search for a new routes and new worlds. All that was needed
was a vision. Columbus, the "bridge-builder" and Magellan the
"circumnavigator," provided that vision while the rising kings and queens of
Europe provided the money.
Of Culture and Progress, a viewpoint
of Columbus' landing in the New World; from Howard Zinn, History of the United States
Map of Columbus' First Voyage
Map of Magellan's circumnavigation of the Earth
| He did change the world forever, his impact going
way beyond whether or not you beleive he is a "discoverer" of any
"New" world or not. Primarily, Columbus built the bridge between Europe
and what was to become North, Central and South America.
|| Magellan, too, shattered old notions that lingered
through the Middle Ages. Though he did not survive the trip 'round the world, his ship,
and his vision, did.
|| This is one of the innovations that made the men at
left famous - the caravel ship, a shallow vessel with triangular sails, multiple masts and
a stern-mounted rudder. The caravels were suprisingly small, holding a bare-bnes
crew and only enough supplies to last the estimated time of the journey.
| Another innovation that fueled exploration was the
astrolabe, a device that helped sailors determine their position on the earth. In
reality, the astrolabe was difficult to use, so its accuracy was never better than the
patience and skill of the person using it. That left plenty of room for error.
|| Native tribes did not always welcome the arrival of
Europeans. Many resisted, but their efforts only earned them more harsh treatment.
Above, Indians pour molten gold down the throat of a Spaniard.
|| The greatest tragedy of exploration was the
beginning of the slave trade. Highly profitable, "black ivory" was
valuable cargo. Above, captured Africans were crowded into the hull of a ship in
preparation for the often-deadly Middle Passage.
was Europe looking for?
which countries went where
did making money become different?
enabled them to succeed?
hardships did each encounter?
Define and apply "mercantilism"
sets sail first...and why?
wins/loses in this revolution?