The fall of Constinople: Over the years Constinople the capital of the Byzantine Empire was weakening. In the year 1453 Constinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. It was renamed Istanbul and is still named that today. Now that the Muslims dominated the Middle East and the vast majority of Asia, it became difficult for The Europeans to travel there. Islam was expanding and growing at an alarming rate.
The fall Of Constinople was caused by several things. One being the Muslim population was spreading and they began to outnumber them. This caused Constinople to become weaker over time which is another reason why they were conquered. Another reason was something that happened on the inside. Constinople began to experience social problems and inequality. This combined with the other factors could only mean their empire was crumbling.
The aftermath of Constinople's fall had multiple effects. For starters now that the Muslims had control of Asia they cut off the silk road to Europe. This was one of the main reasons exploration exploded. In the end it was all about making money. However exploration led to the discovery of the Americas and would change the world forever.
The Discovery of the New World: In the year 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail in an attempt to try and find the East Indies. However his ''short cut'' didn't take him where he expected. Instead of landing on the spice islands he discovered an entire new world. Columbus wasn't aware that he wasn't in the West Indies so he called the natives he discovered Indians. This would be a huge impact on Europe and the Natives in the Americas.
Many different events led to the discovery of the Americas. First of all Portugal became very wealthy do to their success in the spice trade. Of course other countries wanted in on the action and so did people like Christopher Columbus. He was rejected from Portugal so he went to their neighbor Spain. Based of Marco Polo's data from Asia he believed he knew a shorter path to the spice islands. The only problem was Marco Polo had exagerated the size of Asia. Also nobody knew about the Americas until Christopher Columbus found them.
After the Americas were discovered things began to change. Spain gathered all of the precious medals from the empires there but soon there was no more metal. Therefore they went and turned many of the caribbean islands into plantations for sugar cane. However when the Europeans came over they brought over diseases that ended up killing off the native population. This became a problem because the natives did the work on the plantations. Since the natives were gone the Spanish began importing Africans slaves to work their plantations.
The Spice Trade: The spice trade is one of the most important events in history. The reason the spice trade is so important is because it sparked the age of exploration. Since spice was highly valuable at the time returning with even one ship full of goods made you extremely rich, so rich you would never have to work again. People were in it for the money but thanks to their discoveries life is possible here today.
The Spice Trade exploded due to a lot of factors. For one After the Ottoman Turks conquered Constinoanple they closed the Silk Road into Asia and raised the prices on goods for Europeans. Instead of paying them Europeans decided to try and obtain them themselves. Thanks to the high value of the spice it encouraged people to risk their lives trying to find and return with these goods. Even though they didn't find spice in some places they were still able to make a fortune.
After the Spice trade started Portugal was the first European country to have someone return alive with a ship full of spice. Shortly after Portugal became the wealthiest country in Europe. America was also discovered during this time period and Spain profited greatly from controlling it. Now that Spain was powerful they began to spread out conquering multiple areas and colonizing them. With all these factors on Spain's side they quickly became the most powerful country of that time period.
The Spanish Armada: After Spain had risen to the top they had to protect their new empire. England had been attacking the Spanish ships bringing back tons and tons of silver. England wasn't strong enough to take the Spanish head on so they made it legal for pirates to loot Spanish ships as long as they shared it with England. So the Spanish formed a huge army to invade England and make them pay. Unfortunately for the Spanish many of their ships were caught in a storm and destroyed.
Many causes led to the Spanish Armada. One was that the Spanish had found a large supply of silver and was hauling it back to Spain. Another cause was the Spanish were using a system of Mercantilism where they were exporting more than they were importing. It didn't take long for other countries to grow envious and to plot ways to take some for themselves. Finally England began to hire pirates to the dirty work for them and attack Spanish ships with no penalty as long as England got some of it.
After the Spanish Armada was destroyed it had some powerful effects. Now that Spain had lost so many men and resources in an effort to attack England they were now weak. Also England was now the top dog because Spain was out of their way this would allow them to move into the Americas and join in on the action. The Spanish would now lose territory in the America's to England. This would make it completely impossible to rebuild the Empire they once had.
Works Cited: Classroom Notes, www.referance.com,http://www.thenagain.info/WebChron/EastEurope/FallConstantin.html