The discovery of Spices was a major breakthrough for the Europeans, and many other Countries. These could be used for perfumes, food, and medicines, and were worth as much as 7 fattened oxen. After the Reconquista, Ottoman Turks cut off all access to the Silk Road, so the Europeans were forced to find a new way to get spices. They discovered that they could only be found on a certain couple Caribbean islands, and once they gained access to them they became filthy rich. Even when they lost most of their people or ships, they were still able to make a lot of money off of the little amount of spices they did have. Exploration of the world led to the advancement of technology and weaponry.
New Technology was important because it helped the Europeans advance their warfare and conquer more lands. Marco Polo sails to successfully find the Silk Road and writes a book about his journey later on. The Europeans begin to look for a new way to get spices since the Silk Road was cut off from them. They come in contact with the Muslims who are the "monopoly" sellers at the time, and gained a lot of spices. Since the spices were so valuable they had to look out for thieves. Johannes Gutenburg invents the first printing press, so they are able to mass produce copies of books now. They also develop highly effective cannons, swords, and advance their boat travel and navigation.
Conquering new lands
Conquering new lands was important because they were able to gain new access to territories and spices. The Reconquista of Spain empowered them, and inspired them to conquer more lands. The discovery of spice only existing on a few select islands encouraged them to take over those lands and gain access to spice. Later on, the Spanish Armada attempt to punish the English, however they fail. While coming in contact with the Native Americans-- which they believed were Indians, they had a lot of advantages. The Natives lacked technology and resources. They had never seen horses, so bringing those into Native lands were very intimidating and they were even trained to kick and bite. Spaniards were able to use previous conquistador notes as a cheat sheet to successfully conquer lands. Their biggest breakthrough was the disease they brought which killed nearly all the Native Population. Eventually, Bartolome requests protection for Indians which is granted-- however, African Americans are now mass shipped out as slaves.
All information was gathered from class notes, and the Guns, Germs, Steel documentary by Jared Diamond.