Desire for wealth and power. (Gold and Glory)
European explorers hoped to find riches in distant countries and to discover a sea route to Asia.
Search for spices (nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, etc.) and luxury goods (silk, gold, silver, jewels, ivory, porcelains, tea, etc.) from Africa and the East.
Religious aims (God)
Europeans hoped to spread Christianity to people throughout the world and to drive Muslims out of other lands.
Europeans adventurers wanted to test the limits of human ability and to explore the unknown. Discover far away places and settle in the new lands.
Improvements in technology
Europeans began to build stronger, faster sailing ships (caravel, a ship with two sails one each for running with the wind and for sailing into the wind.
The hull design was improved and could ride out ocean storms.
They could also put canons on the decks of these ships).
They developed better navigational instruments (astrolabe, could tell north and south of the equator by the position of the stars
magnetic compass, told direction accurately)
more accurate maps with the discovery of how to find the longitude.
Sailors learned more about geography (longitude, latitude, new places, etc.) and improved navigation.
The Portuguese built plantations and trading posts in West Africa and many made Africa their home.
Prince Henry of Portugal organized a school for navigation at Sagres, Portugal and taught navigators how to develop and apply the new sailing innovations.
The Portuguese discovered a sea route to India.
Bartholomew Diaz traveled to the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa. (1488)
Columbus was the first European to reach the Americas. (1492)...