July 24, 2012
Global History from the 15th Century (HS-242114)
Ron Davis: ID 483865
Events which occurred in the 1500s that began a new era in global connections are, Vasco da Gama sailed across the Arabian Sea and found a cosmopolitan society in Calicut in southern India. Da Gama’s expedition also opened the door to direct maritime trade between European and Asian peoples and helped to establish permanent links between the worlds’s various regions. Ming emperors sponsored expeditions that visited all parts of the Indian Ocean basin. Merchant and military vessels established an Ottoman presence throughout the Indian Ocean. Between 1400 and 1800, European mariners launched exploratory voyages to nearly all of the earth’s waters. Bartolomeu Dias’s voyage around the Cape of Good Hope. Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Western Hemisphere. Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world, he was also known as the Portuguese navigator. The Columbian Exchange brought about lands with radically different flora, fauna, and diseases. Disease epidemics sparked by the Columbian Exchange probably caused the worst demographic calamity in all of world history. Between 1500 and 1800, upward of one hundred million people may have died of diseases imported into the Americas and Pacific Islands. The Columbian Exchange increased rather than diminished human population because of the global spread of food crops and animals that it sponsored. During the period from 1500 to 1800, the largest contingent of migrants consisted of enslaved Africans transported involuntarily to the Americas. It also resulted in the complete annihilation and decimation of the Inca, Mayan and Aztec populations. Gold and silver brought the English and Dutch immediate financial success, however in 1603 spices were worth more than one million pounds of sterling. Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadores looted gold and silver from Cuzco’s (Inca capital) temples and public buildings, and even looted jewelry and ornaments from the embalmed bodies of deceased Inca rulers (1533). The printing press played a very important role in benefiting the cause of Martin Luther (1483-1546) whose writings condemned the Roman church. Printed editions of Luther’s writings appeared throughout Europe sparking many debates on theological issues. Luther’s supporters and critics took their works to the printers, and religious controversies kept the presses busy turning out pamphlets and treatises for a century or more. The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Its religious aspects were supplemented by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church. The Reformation ended the unity imposed by medieval Christianity and, in the eyes of many historians, signaled the beginning of the modern era. A weakening of the old order was already under way in Northern Europe, as evidenced by the emergence of thriving new cities and a determined middle class. The Catholic Reformation was to clarify differences between Roman and Protestant churches, to persuade Protestants to return to the Roman church, and to deepen the sense of spirituality and religious commitment in their own community. The Council of Trent and the Society of Jesus were two major organizations that were instrumental in reforming the church. The Scientific Revolution came about when astronomers began using precise observational data and mathematical reasoning. Reliance on observation and mathematics transformed the study of the natural world and brought about the Scientific Revolution. Nicholas Copernicus, Johannes Keppler, Galileo Galilei and English mathematician Isaac Newton were involved in the natural world of the Scientific Revolution. Copernicus’s ideas challenged scientific theories and also cherished religious beliefs, which held that the earth and...
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