The Age of Exploration Alma de la rosa, 2B

Main Event 1

The Silk Road

Silk Road

A historical trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Established during the Han Dynasty of China. It was named the Silk Road by a German geographer, Ferdinand von Richtofen in 1877 C.E., because silk was the most common trade product.


One of the first causes for the Silk Road was that the emperor of the Han Dynasty, Emperor Wu, wanted to expand China's empire and to do so he needed to have a strong army and for that the army needed strong horses. The horses could only be found in Central Asia, which was a main problem. Another cause for the Silk Road is that Central Asia wanted the silk found in China, the silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons, at the time no one else knew that because only high royalty could wear silk. A third cause for Silk Road was that it was a new way to interact and share cultures with other people.


In order to get horses from Central Asia, China had to trade or sell any of their products, they started to trade other products but the main focus was silk and livestock because its what both countries, Central Asia and Chine, look forward the most. This main trade led to more imports and exports of silk therefor making it the Silk Road. Cultural diffusion was also a main trade which spread religion/beliefs, language/communication, culture, food, people and ideas/inventions. Another effect of the Silk Road was that the profit made form silk and porcelain increased because of Crusaders who fled their army and bought silk form the Silk Road, taking the silk to their homes and showing their families. An effect of the Silk Road that affected many countries is that it spread the use of paper which led to the making of books, especially Bibles, which contributed to many peoples religion, writing and learning.

Main Event 2

The Search for Spices

Various spices

The Europeans first gained spices through trade with Muslims. The spices were found in a few islands in the South Pacific East Indies. Europeans set out to find those islands before other countries/explores. The spices were first spread through the Silk Road, which Rome/Europe later became a part of by trading with the Muslim countries. The spices included cloves, nutmeg, mace, ginger, pepper and cinnamon along others. The spices were used in perfumes, medicine and to season meat.


Exploration took off all over the world, because people were trying to find the islands where the spices where located. The Muslims had total control of the spices sold to Europe. The Muslims also rose the prices on spices since they had no other competition they knew the Europeans would still buy from them. Later an Italian navigator, named Marco Polo, introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China, the Silk Road.


Since more navigators started to look for the islands, they came across new people and land. For example Christopher Columbus went out in a new route to look for spices for Spain and ended up finding people and land . Even though he thought he found the spice islands, the Indies, he found the Bahamas, leading up to the Americas. Another effect of the search for spices is that since the Europeans had no other way of getting spices then from the Muslims, the Muslims rose the price on the spices, which the Europeans couldn't reject. Eventually an Italian merchant traveler introduced Europe to Central Asia and China, the Silk Road, where they could now get more spices and other products. The search for spices also led Ferdinand Magellan on the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe, because he too wanted to find the spice islands.

Main Event 3

New Technologies

The Printing Press 1454

The Europeans stared to develop new inventions that will later impress and improve the world. The inventions were the printing press, which , cannons, weapons, ships such as the caravel and compasses. Europeans didn't just focus on navigation and weapons, they also invented telescopes, microscopes, the flush toilet and the mechanical clock. The age of the Renaissance brought many of these inventions because people putting out ideas that fascinated others.


The printing press was invented in 1454 by Johnnanes Gutenberg, this meant more books for the public in much faster time. The caravel is a ship that can travel through the wind with its sails. The caravel is known for its speed and maneuverability. A magnetic compass and a compass rose, made of a magnetized needle supporting a magnetic card, was also invented for navigators to find their destination. The Galleon was another ship, it was developed in the 16th century and had very special qualities.


The printing press made people want to read more and since books were easier to make they were also cheaper. Navigators who wrote about their journeys/travels could now publish those stories for others to read about. The Caravel was easier to drive, because it was maneuvered with the sails through the wind. These ships were used as cargo ships, warships, patrol and dispatch boats, and also pirate ships. Compasses were also invented for a navigators convenience while trying to find a place. The compasses were the magnetic compass and the compass rose, each compass gave 4 to 8 directions on where to go to find their destination. The other ship, the Galleon, was able to change its purpose during different situations, for example it could be out in the water for fishing purposes but it can become a warship if it needed to. These ships were made to be fast and stand gunfire.

Main Event 4

Triangular Trade

The Triangular Trade was a trade between Europe, Africa and the Americas. First the finished products from Europe were shipped to Africa. From Africa slave would be taken to the Americas, this would be called the middle passage. And finally raw material, such as precious metals and sugar, would be taken to Europe from the Americas.


Africa exported slaves, gold, ivory, spices, and hardwoods. Europe exported beer, cloth, guns, iron, manufactured goods and luxuries. The Americas exported whale oil, lumber, furs, rice, silk, tobacco, indigo, sugar, molasses and wood. Europe, Africa and the Americas wanted to become wealthier than each other. England started to get involved in the Triangular Trade and by doing so they stared attacking ships with cargo. England also hired pirates to attack ships. The Spanish try to attack the English.


Because of Africa's slave exports there was depopulation, this also weakened Africa which meant it was easier for Europeans to colonize there. Africa's imported goods didn't bring anything good either, the guns introduced war to the country, this caused division between tribes and a decline in the economy. Worker were mainly lost because of guns, alcohol and luxury goods.

Europe had owned plantations in the Americas and mines in Africa, this made Europe a large profit and very much dependent on slave trade. Europe invested a lot in industries and factories because of the many imports, of tobacco, cotton and sugar, that they needed to make into a finished product. Since Europe colonized Africa they were able to gain knowledge in their culture, which was in music, technology, creativity, language, ideas and perspectives in government and religion.

The Americas also gained the same knowledge in African culture as Europe. Slaves brought agricultural and mining skills to the Americas from Africa, this was a good thing for the Americans because they provided plantation owners with skilled workers. The slaves were also able to learn new jobs like carpentry, mechanics and becoming inventors. The Americas job in the Triangular Trade was to sell raw materials, to Europe, in exchange for salves.

England had hired pirates to attack Spanish ships and take their gold and silver. In attempt to punish the English, the Spanish invade England, with what is known to be called the Spanish Armada or the Armed Spanish. During the Spanish invasion most ships get caught and destroyed in a storm forcing the Spanish to leave. The Spanish were weakened, this left a victory for the English letting them colonize North America with the French.

MLA Citation

  • "Silk Road." Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  • "Silk Road." Dgh. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  • "Technological Innovations of the Age of Exploration - Student Created Social Studies Textbook." Google Sites. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  • "English Online." The Silk Road – Ancient Trading Route Between Europe and Asia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  • HRSB. The Effects of the Triangular Trade. N.p.: n.p., 29 Feb. 2008. Doc.


Created with images by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Tabulae maximae quibus illustrantur terrae veterum in usum scholarum : tabula IV Imperium Romanum"

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