- Constantinople was taken over by the Ottoman Turks who had been at war with the Spanish for what seemed like forever. When the Turks captured the Capital and renamed it Istanbul, they were able to cut off access to the “Silk Roads”. “The Silk Roads” were an international trade route established as a collective trading union by various countries including: Eurasia, China, Spain, Europe, Rome, and many various smaller countries. The “Silk Roads” weren’t actual roads, more small trading posts, which are thought to have been set up by Alexander the Great who conquered much of the land running the “Silk Roads”. These “Silk Roads” where used for trading everything from spice to technology. The famous Chinese silk was also traded which is thought to be why the name “Silk Roads” was introduced.
“The Reconquista of Spain”
- The Spanish people had been suppressed by the Muslim congregation for years. Spain was a very rich country but due to the constant oppression of the Muslim people the Spanish budget was spent largely on the army and weapons manufacture. In 1492 the Spanish took back Spain from the Muslims in what was recognized as the Reconquista of Spain. After the Spanish took back their land they no longer had to spend their money on military forces, then along came Columbus. Columbus claimed he knew of a short cut to get to the spice islands of India. Spice was important to the Spanish and far more worth its weight in gold, this appealed the Spanish greatly and they just so happened to have all this extra cash laying around due to the Reconquista. They accepted Columbus’s offer to sail “west” and gave him three ships: The Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria. This partially lead to the discovery of the Americas.
“The Spice trade”
- The Europeans, the Spanish, everybody was obsessed with spice. Spice was used in cooking (obviously), it was used to season meat, dust cakes, and add flavor to the dull, mundanity of food in general. At the time, there was only one place that spice could be gotten, the east indies. the Indian islands, they were small bodies of land surrounded in water off the coast of south east Asia. These Islands had fertile land and the perfect conditions to culture and maintain spices. The spices that were sold and used, in Europe and Spain at the time, included cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, pepper, and turmeric. Spice was so valuable to kings, queens, and nobles, it became worth more than its weight in gold. One single pound of spice was worth 7 full grown oxen, equivalent to about 1800 dollars.
- The discovery of the new world… yeah it happened. And believe me Europe, while yes feeling quite accomplished in the discovery of this mass of “wealth”, definitely felt the effects some of which negative. When more money than goods are being introduced the prices of said goods rises exponentially. This was a negative effect after the Europeans decided probably in a drunken temper “I know what we should do… dudes… we should totally ruin our mother country by giving it more money than it needs”. It’s not really their fault though, had their parents taught them the great evil riches bring they might have cast it into the sea. Beside that off roader the country in turn was brought into a “Filthy Rich” downward spiral.
“Property management.. isn't that still a thing?”
- See Europe loved overcharging citizens with huge tax on crops, land ownership, and all the necessities in life that humans can’t really do without. With the discovery of the new world came the discovery of a lot of land. What I’m getting at here is economic collapse with gold pouring in and new lands being found every day, Europe is becoming a super power. In fact the only difference between Europe and Clark Kent is his well carved abs; it’s kinda like the difference between going completely monotone fact droning and creating well thought out metaphors that are mostly off topic, but funny; like when you have a run on sentence and decide to string needless words together with semicolons because you heard act like periods but help you continue long trains of thought… Economic collapse is a very real thing, as a country dangerous because it leaves you weak, like a lost puppy without a nose. That is what happened to Europe as a result of discovering the new world.
“Sugar is the best medicine”
- Now the “indies” as Columbus would tell you, were not as promising as he quite prescribed. On the other hand, the islands were fertile; and the “Indians” they were team players, thoroughly alright and descent fellows. And for all of their purity and kindness they got to work in sugar cane plantations in the blazing island heat for the rest of their lives. In my personal opinion, it was quite unnecessary to bind the natives to the land day and night (not quite 24-hour work days), but I mean who am I to judge economics are hard. Needless to say “Let them eat cake!” or was that the French… well I’m sure they would have been a lot happier eating cake. So the Europeans became entirely addicted to sugar, imagine you have these beautiful, young, prosperous Europeans (without much sense of personal hygiene) running the streets dealing bags of sugar. Well yes while it was an economy boost for poor (superpower) Europe, the sugar had health effects that were slightly less than desirable; some of which being tooth loss, jaw rot, and the famous tooth ache that we hear so much about in the 21st century. And to think I never would have mentioned tooth aches if not for my mass of sugar intake… we never change.
"Conquering the Incas?"
- A few Spanish brothers, a hundred solders, and one united goal. How the Spanish wiped out an entire nation without the loss of a single man.
“Incas, bout as much fun as a wet two dollar bill?”
- The Incas where stuck in the stone age. The Spanish were living in the future, or so they thought (#spanisharmada). They had the best steel swords, they had the medieval tanks, horses, they had guns that shot steel shards and fire. With these varying weapons the Incas went down relatively easily, especially considering they never lost a Spanish man.
“Its 2017 is geography really all that intriguing”
- The Spanish had a geographic because their home land stretched over a west east axis. This allowed for easier travel through relatively consistent environments. Easy travel meant ideas from other foreign countries, spread easily and through the silk roads the Spanish acquired ideas faster than anybody. Also vendors in the silk roads sold their ideas and because Spain was a very rich country they were able to purchase things like new guns, better cannons, and quality steel weaponry.
“HAZMAT WARNING LABEL?”
- The European country because of its east to west geography, was introduced to many diseases which they had developed immunity to. The Incas however had no immunity whatsoever. Needless to say much of the European diseases where transmitted to the Inca villages even before they arrived, this was the reason the Europeans where labeled accidental conquerors.
“Death himself was impressed?”
- Thousands of Inca soldiers, men and women and children died. This was largely attributed to the disease that spread rapidly though the camps, but the Spanish also went into camps and villages burning and pillaging. They had weapons that could easily slice through the Incas undeveloped armor, the Spanish however, had developed steel armor and weaponry. They slayed, thousands at the edge of the blade.
“Wait I thought there was going to be more spice…”
- In the beginning of their splendid little crusade, they captured the leader of the Inca army, he ordered his Inca tribe to melt down all of their gold and silver, precious metals and give them to the Spanish. This made the Spanish very rich. The wealth was taken back to Spain and part of it given to the king and queen, this was all part of making the “Mother” country very rich.
“And they deemed it successful?”
- As a result of the Spaniards crusade they conquered thousands of acres, this went to colonization in the northern in what is now Peru. The Spanish occupied it as viceroyalty. This allowed hundreds of Spaniards to populate the land where the Incas once lived in peace. Country richer, land colonized, people slain, blood spilled, overall pretty successful in the Spanish way of thinking.
“THE SPANISH ARMADA ATTACKS!!”
- In 1588 the Spanish nation sent a fleet of 130 militarized ships over in the aspiration of conquering the British empire, they were known as the Spanish Armada.
“Triangle, circle, square, rectangle....no definitely triangle”
- The Spanish had a brilliant system of trade, the “Triangle Trade”. It was a shipping route that sailors took to bring goods from the other countries including south and north America, Africa and Spain. This triangle trade route made it easy for British sea dogs to hijack the Spanish ships. This would eventually prove to be very problematic.
“Scurvy should have been a problem”
- The British sea dogs where a constant threat to the Spanish wealth. The British had smaller, faster ships that they used to hijack the Spanish ships. This went on for years, Sir Francis Drake was a British employed privateer. In all basicness Sir Francis Drake of the sea was a glorified pirate, employed for the soul purpose of destroying Spanish ships and stealing their wealth. This included stealing gold, silver, precious metals, spice, and even sometimes slaves.
“Was she a Queen or was she a King?”
- Also England was recently proclaimed a protestant nation. Protestant means: a member or follower of any of the Western Christian churches that are separate from the Roman Catholic Church and follow the principles of the Reformation, including the Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches. The Spaniards where catholic and didn’t much appreciate the Protestant ways. This was another thing that the Spanish had against the English, all the more reason to attempt a complete takeover.
“You didn’t quite hear right Spain.”
- So after the Spanish had assembled 130 ships to destroy the British navy, the British completely annihilated the Spanish armada. It was a laughable defeat for the Spanish. If you think back to the grand year of 2011, you might remember that the Saints beat the Colts 62 to 7 (if only the Colts had Payton Manning). This was about how badly the Spanish flopped. It was mainly attributed to the strategic placement of British naval ships and the fact that the Brits had better cannons mounted on their ships.
“I’m telling you… Some women are consumed by the fire.. Some become it”
- The British had defeated to Spanish in a brilliant blaze and flare. This inspired the gorgeous country into a state of political and social nationalism. The patriotism that flowed like melting gold through the streets was a huge economic boost, as well, the new queen of England who previously was not respected; gained the love, respect, and loyalty of all the people in England. As you can imagine, when a nation receives a great, prosperous victory; over such a super power like the Spanish armada, they felt united in a sense one with the queen and her army and one with their nation. There was nothing the British couldn’t do.
“You remember that staples commercial that inspired the easy button?”
- After the beautiful inspiration that the new queen had brought with the victory over the Spanish, the British people were ready to make bolder moves; especially the colonization of the new world, which Columbus had recently discovered. Because the Spanish decided to attack England with outdated knowledge and lack proper understanding of the seas, the British now ruled the seas. The Spanish became weak because of their loss and an effect of this being the loss, further, of the new world to the British empire.
Thorold Rogers, James E. "Spices and Their Costs in Medieval Europe." Spices and Their Costs in Medieval Europe. University of Toronto, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.
Nelson, Lynn H. "THE IMPACT OF DISCOVERY ON EUROPE." THE IMPACT OF DISCOVERY ON EUROPE. University of Kansas, 28 Feb. 1998. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
The Spanish Armada by Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker (London 1998, 2nd edition Manchester 1999)
The Spanish Armada of 1588: Historiography and Annotated Bibliography by Eugene L. Rasor, Westport, Conn. (London, 1993)
"What Is the Significance of England's Defeat of the Spanish Armada?" Reference. Reference.com, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.
Mr. Meninga Class notes of 2017