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The Coming of the Europeans

Motivations for Overseas Explorations:

Religion
Crusades areseriesofwarsled byWestern European Christians to
take back the Holy Land (Palestine) from the Muslims. The first
crusades were undertaken in 1096 and ended in the late 13th
century. These crusades played an important part in the story of
European colonialism. Oriental goods and products were introduced
to European states and later, demand for these goods increased.
Spain was one of the greatest champions of Catholicism in the world.
Much were spent to convert more people to Catholicism.

1.Trade (demand of goods from the Orient)


. The search for spices that are indigenous in
the East became an impetus for exploration. It
made food more palatable and were used in
food preservation, thus, very expensive.
. Europeans competed with the Arab traders in
buying these items so the Europeans
improved their navigational instruments
(compass, maps), knowledge of map-making,
improved the construction of ships. Spain
wanted to control the spice trade in Asia.

1.Possession of land
. Stronger and more ambitious
governments emerged in Europe in the
1400s and 1500s. Leaders thought that
possession of lands could bring them
wealth so they sent explorers to explore
new lands. It was King Philip II who
claimed that the sun never sets in his
kingdom because when the sun sets in
Madrid, it was also the sunrise in Manila.

Mercantilism Theory
This economic theory states that there was a fixed
amount of wealth in the world. To increase ones
share of this wealth, one country had to get some
from another country. More wealth means more
power.

To increase ones wealth, a country must:


Mine its own gold and silver
Get these precious metals through trade. The state must try to sell more
goods to others instead of buying goods to create a favorable balance of
trade. So a country which sold more to others would be paid more in gold
and silver while those which had less exports would be weakened with the
loss of its silver and gold. To avoid the entry of too much imports, tariffs or
import taxes on foreign goods was imposed, increased production at home,
and expanded overseas market.
Secure them from colonies overseas. Colonies became source of silver and
gold, raw materials, and served as markets for manufactured products.


The Italians, who introduced spices to the
European states, were the first to try to find a new
water route to the East by sailing along the
Western African coast. This aroused the interest of
the Portuguese. Prince Henry the Navigator, the
son of King John of Portugal brought together
scientists and sent out expeditions along the coast
of Africa during the 15th century. He established
the first navigational school in the world in 1419.
Prince Henrys wish was to extend Portuguese
dominion and spread Christianity.

Spain and Portugal became the two leading rivals in


terms of navigation and occupation of territories. To
settle the dispute between the two nations, they
sought for the intervention of the Pope. On May 4,
1493, Pope Alexander VI through an order, created
an imaginary line from north to south poles which
was located west of Azores Islands (in the Atlantic
Ocean). The right to explore all of the territories
located east of this demarcation line was given to
Portugal and west was for Spain. Through the
Treaty of Tordesillas, the demarcation line was
moved to the west of Cape Verde Islands

Other Discoverers and Explorers:

Christopher Columbus
He tried to prove that the world is round and that the East can be reached by
sailing westward. The King of Portugal refused to help him find a route to the East
by sailing west so he went to Spain and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
agreed to furnish him with what he needed. On Oct. 12, 1492, he discovered
what he called San Salvador located in the Carribean Sea and believed that it
was one of the islands of the East Indies and called the natives Indians. Actually,
what he stumbled upon were islands to be later called the West Indies. He died
without knowing that he discovered a new continent.

Vasco de Gama
In 1497, he rounded the Cape of Good Hope and sailed northwards across the
Indian Ocean and arrived at Calicut, India in May 1498 which became a new
route to the East by sea. His success began the growth of Portuguese colonial
power and an eastern trade