EUROPE TRIES TO FIND A ROUTE TO ASIA
Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, and the Turks cut off the rest of Europe from the Silk Road, the route to Asia and the Spice Islands. The Europeans wanted spice for food, medicine, perfumes, and most importantly, wealth. They started looking for sea routes to Asia.
Many explorers started sailing around the oceans trying to find a new route. Vasco de Gama reached India by going around Africa, Columbus tried to find a shortcut to Asia. Also, Sir Francis Drake and Captain James Cook tried to find a route to Asia through the Northwest Passage.
DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD
When Marco Polo wrote of his travels in Asia, he greatly exaggerated the size of the continent. This lead Christopher Columbus to believe he knew of a shortcut to Asia. After getting financed for the voyage, he sailed west, but instead of finding Asia, he landed in the Bahamas.
Spanish conquistadors came to the Caribbean islands and the Americas and began conquering the native civilizations. The Spanish found gold, silver, and other riches and got wealthy from them. Europeans started colonizing the new lands.
THE SPANISH ARMADA DEFEATED
Since the Spanish were carrying riches and other valuable cargo across the ocean, English privateers attacked the ships and took the cargo. The Spanish wanted to punish the English and tried to invade England. When they did, Pope Sixtus V gave his blessing for the "Enterprise of England," hoping to bring the Protestant isle back to the fold of Rome.
The English were prepared and easily overpowered the Spanish with the long-range weapons they had. Of the 130 ships and nearly 28,000 men in the Armada, half the ships were destroyed and 15,000 people were killed. After the defeat, England was made a world-class power and long-range weapons were introduced to naval warfare.
- Rosenberg, M. (2017, March 03). Northwest Passage. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from https://www.thoughtco.com/northwest-passage-overview-1435556
- Spanish Armada defeated. (2010). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/spanish-armada-defeated
- Writer, A. B. (2017, March 03). Age of Exploration. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from https://www.thoughtco.com/age-of-exploration-1435006
- Unique Facts-Europe-Age of Exploration. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Europeweb/factfile/Unique-facts-Europe7.htm