Renaissance/Age of Exploration

Topics: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Europe Pages: 2 (477 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Explain how the changes in Western Europe in the 1400s led to the Age of Exploration? Include

a. the Renaissance
b. the growth of nation states
c. advances in sailing technology

In the 1400s, Europe experienced what came to be known as the renaissance, or rebirth. During this period of time, major advances in technology and learning were made. Also, the renaissance was a time of great economic prosperity. These advances would later lead to many new discoveries in the subsequent age of exploration. The discoveries and advancements in technology made during the 1400s ultimately lead to the discovery of the Americas. After the devastation of the bubonic plague during the dark ages, merchants had excess amounts of goods and no one to sell those goods to. Afterwards, population increased dramatically, and Europe experienced great economic prosperity. This led to many cultural advances, such as the resurgence of artisans and the stress on knowledge and questioning. The building of ships also went through a drastic revolution. The caravel was one such advancement as not only was it agile and easy to maneuver, but it also could sail fairly well in most every wind condition. This meant it was both faster and more efficient than the existing vessels. This meant that longer journeys could be taken. Once the population had increased and goods were being traded, cities started developing. The development of cities also led to the development of nations. Instead of several kings ruling different regions of a culturally similar land, one king took power over all of the territory in one land. They then set up governments that collected taxes on those goods that were being traded. With such revenue they could sponsor expeditions to other lands such as India and china by sea. During the crusades, spices were brought from India and the Middle East. Everyone in Europe wanted spices to give flavor to their traditionally bland food. The traditional trade...
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