However, it's best to recognize that Columbus wasn't the first human to put a foot in the Americas. Before about 15, years ago, the vast continents of North and South America had no human beings on them whatsoever.
The following timeline covers the key events of the exploration of the New World. By the time the Europeans arrived, the descendants of the first colonists have populated all of both American continents. The colony collapses within a decade. As legend has it, he searches for the Fountain of Youth but doesn't find it.
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Despite Magellan's death in , his expedition becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe. He reaches as far north as Kansas before returning to Mexico City.
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He too searches for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:.
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New Quantity Available: 2. New Quantity Available: 1. The 20 th century has been the scene of two World Wars, with Europe as their epicenter, and unsuccessful attempts to implement socialism. In the seventies, the turn of global capitalism towards neo-liberalism, and the restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet block and China have provided a new boost to globalization.
After a first voyage to India in , Vasco da Gama was again assigned by the Portuguese crown to return there with a fleet of twenty ships. He left Lisbon in February In Kilwa, he forced the local sovereign to make an annual payment of pearls and gold before making for India. Off Cannanore 70km north of Calicut - today Kozhikode , Da Gama waited for Arab ships returning from the Red Sea, to seize a ship, on route from Mecca, with pilgrims and a valuable cargo. Part of the cargo was seized and the ship set on fire, resulting in the death of most of its passengers and crew.
Next stop was Cannanore where he swapped gifts gold for precious stones with the local sovereign without making business, estimating that the price of spices were too high. He sailed for Cochin today Kochi , stopped his ships in front of Calicut and asked the sovereign to expel the whole Muslim trading Market activities trading Buying and selling of financial instruments such as shares, futures, derivatives, options, and warrants conducted in the hope of making a short-term profit.
He set for Cochin at the beginning of November where he bought spices in exchange of silver, copper and textiles stolen from the sunken ship. A permanent trading post was established in Cochin and five ships were left there to protect Portuguese interests. A Portuguese bombardment led to their defeat. Those naval battles clearly demonstrate the violence and criminal nature of the action of Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese fleet. Da Gama returned to Lisbon in October with thirteen of his ships and approximately tons of spices, that is, around the same amount imported from the Middle East at the end of the 15 th century by Venice.
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A major part of the spices was sold in Europe via Antwerp, the major harbor of the Spanish Netherlands, then the most important European harbor. Maritime Chinese expeditions during the 15 th century. Europeans were not the only ones traveling far away and discovering new maritime routes. But they were the most aggressive and the most conquering. They were five times larger than any ship of Da Gama, meters long and nearly 50 meters wide.
Discovery Of The Americas, 1492-1800 (Discovery & Exploration)
The large boats possessed 15 watertight compartments so that a damaged ship would not sink and could be repaired at sea. Their intentions were pacifist but their military force was sufficiently imposing to fend off attacks that only took place three times. The first expedition aimed towards India and its spices. The main goal of these voyages was to establish good relationships by offering gifts and escorting ambassadors or sovereigns that were coming to or leaving China.
No attempt was ever made to establish bases for trade or military purposes. The Chinese were looking for new plants for medicinal needs and one of the missions comprised members of the medical profession. In contrast, during the first voyage of Vasco da Gama to India, his crew included approximately men, among whom were gunners, musicians and three Arab interpreters. After , the Chinese abandoned their lengthy maritime expeditions and gave priority to internal development.
When, at the end of the 15 th Century, Western European powers launched their conquests of the rest of the world, European standards of living and level of development were no higher than those of other large areas of the world. The Inca civilization in the Andes in Southern America and the Aztecs in Mexico were also flourishing and very advanced.
We should be cautious when defining criteria for measuring development and avoid limiting ourselves to the calculation of GDP GDP Gross Domestic Product Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of total production within a given territory equal to the sum of the gross values added. The measure is notoriously incomplete; for example it does not take into account any activity that does not enter into a commercial exchange. The GDP takes into account both the production of goods and the production of services. Economic growth is defined as the variation of the GDP from one period to another.
Discovery of the Americas, by Tom Smith, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®
Having said that, even if we take this measure and add life expectancy and quality of food available, the Europeans did not live any better than the inhabitants of other large areas of the world, prior to their conquering expeditions. Intra-Asian trade before the European powers burst onto the scene. Hence, it represented a very large market, with a network of Asian traders operating between East Africa and Western India, and between Eastern India and Indonesia.
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East of the Malacca Straits, trade was dominated by China. Asian traders knew the seasonal wind patterns and navigation hazards of the Indian Ocean well. There were many experienced sailors in the area, and they had a wealth of scientific literature available on astronomy and navigation. Their navigation tools had little to envy those of the Portuguese. From East Africa to Malacca in the narrow straits separating Sumatra from Malaysia , Asian trade was conducted by communities of merchants who did their business without armed gunships nor heavy government intervention.
Things changed radically with the methods used by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, serving state and merchant interests. The maritime expeditions launched by the European powers to various parts of Asia increased considerably, as shown in the table below from Maddison, It shows clearly that Portugal was the indisputable European power in Asia in the 16 th Century. The following century it was replaced by the Dutch, who remained dominant throughout the 18 th Century, and the English were in second place.