Why Europe needed to expand?
• Decline of manor (lord-vassal feudal relationship)
• Rise of nationalism (absolute monarchs) led to
merchants becoming important (to finance King’s
• More food production possible
– horse collar and shoes, use of oxen,
– 3 field rotation, (new legume crops leads to population
• More people available to migrate
– emancipation of serfs,
– enclosure laws
• Internal commerce and urban trade centers
– Results in money economy instead of barter (food, jobs,
rent)…Rising middle class
In Europe by 15th Century…
• Money had replaced land as source of wealth, but
noble birth was still most important for social
status, regardless of wealth
– Gold, silver, gems used to support money economy…
• Need to get more land to grow more food…will
trade slaves, grain crops, lumber, furs with other
areas to get spices, perfumes, crucible-formed
metals, cotton & silk textiles, drugs…
Political dissent
• Many nobles lost their fortunes in the Crusades(1100 – 1200); the
new middle-class townspeople did not owe loyalty to a feudal lord.
• Kings gave towns charters and collected taxes. England, France, and
Spain began creating nation-states with strong central governments
and homogeneous populations.
• King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta (1215), a
document that established several principles of government:
– No taxation without representation
– The right to trial by a jury of one’s peers
– These rights were gradually extended to ordinary people
• Kings establish dominance “divine right of kings”
– If you don’t agree, then you need to flee!
Religious dissent
• Most kings allied with Catholic Church
• 16th Century - Protestant Reformation is a
threat to Church
• Martin Luther (1517 ;95 Theses)
• John Calvin (“the elect”, predestination)
• King Henry VIII
• Catholic Church increases demand to
proselytize (requerimiento)…spread the
Technological Innovations (Crusades…cultural
diffusion…Renaissance…inquiry… Scientific Revolution)…
1. Triangular lateen sail
2. Sternpost rudder
3. Shallow draft
4. Large, wide cargo hold
5. Compass (direction)
6. Astrolabe (latitude)
7. Knowledge of wind, sea currents
Marco Polo
Polo went to China and stayed for 17 years and
worked for Kublai Khan.
On the return trip, he went through Southeast Asia
and India.
Marco took note of the people, places, and customs.
His book about his travels influenced later explorers
Prince Henry the Navigator
• Set up a school in Lisbon,
Portugal and naval observatory
to encourage exploration
• Developed caravel ship…
sponsored many expeditions.
• Hoped to find a sea route to
India to allow Portugal and
other countries to trade directly
with the East instead of going
through Italian merchants (to
obtain sugar, etc.)
– 1488 Dias rounds Cape of Good Hope
– 1498 Vasco DaGama reaches India
– 1492 Columbus convinces Queen Isabella to try
westward route…reaches Carribean
• Who will control newly discovered lands?
– Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) - Pope Alexander VI
divides all “pagan” lands between Spain and Portugal
1494 Treaty of Tordesilla
Who was left out? Why?
The Columbian Exchange
Interaction between
Europeans and Native
Americans—and eventually
Africans—led to exchanges:
Native American crops:
• Corn, beans, squash,
tomatoes, chocolate, peanuts
– plants
– animals
– languages
– Technology
– deadly germs, brought
epidemics to the
European products:
• Certain foods
• Domestic animals, including
• New technology, including
• Smallpox and measles
• These diseases, especially
smallpox and measles, traveled
along native trade routes from the
Caribbean to the Gulf Coast, up
the Mississippi, and into the Plains
and the eastern woodlands.
• Estimates of population decline
following contact with the
Europeans range from 70 to 90
percent and what happened has
been called a "demographic
catastrophe." According to the
historian David Stannard, the
decimation of new world peoples
was a "holocaust. (Va.Tech.Study)
• From the Spanish perspective
epidemics were a mixed blessing.
They reduced resistance to
colonization, but they also
destroyed the work force the
colonizers needed to exploit their
new possessions… SLAVE TRADE
African Society and the Slave
The Atlantic Slave Trade Begins
• Atlantic slave trade began in the sixteenth century as a response for
the demand for cheap labor.
• Planters demanded more laborers for their plantations.
• African merchants helped supply slaves to traders in exchange for the
traders’ business. African rulers supplied slaves in exchange for
European firearms.
• Others who supplied slaves wanted to help weaken rival African
• Europeans captured people during conflicts with North African
• European traders conducted slave raids and kidnappings.
• The Portuguese began the slave trade, but by the 1600s the
English, French, and Dutch were heavily involved, too.
Each person had a space 5’ long X 18” wide X 3’ high.
Clash of Cultures
Land ownership
Private ownership
Based on improving
land, concept of rent
No one can own
- Communal
within village or clan
Rule by elders
- Animism
Rule by elders;
- Communal

Why Europe needed to expand?