The Geographical Explorations of the 15th and the 16th Centuries

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Geographical exploration holds a very important place in the history of Europe and even in the world history. It was due to these discoveries that the world became a smaller place. By the beginning of the 15th century, big ships were built and the magnetic compass was invented.

The goods from Asia were transported to Europe through the Red Sea via Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Although there was another route to Asia through the Gulf, owing to the monopoly of Arabs over it, it was very insecure to use. After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks even the land-routes were cut off. Now it became essential for Europeans to find out new and safe routes to Asia, because European trade flourished with Asia. The spices of Asian countries had high commercial value in the Western world. The Portuguese took the lead but it was the Spanish took greater interest in this mission. Sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama landed in India around 1498. As a result of these discoveries the attitude of people broadened. The new life-style, latest discoveries and routes to new lands, etc. became the talk of the people. As these European people were exposed to the world. Due to the flourishing trade with these Asian countries the wealth of Europe also increased remarkably.

Columbus ‘discovered’ America, and the Spanish established their colonies in America. Later on other European countries also established their colonies in America like England, France, Holland etc. On the other hand, the Portuguese came over to India, where they established their well-organized trade in Goa. Following their footsteps other European countries also came over to the East. Their aim was to monopolize the trade and other economic activities. Later on the intentions of these countries drifted towards the political sphere. As the country was not politically strong and stable, very soon they carved out a kingdom for themselves. Practically a complete Renaissance was brought...
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