Compare and contrast the Age of Exploration and the Enlightenment

Topics: Vasco da Gama, Age of Enlightenment, Age of Discovery Pages: 4 (945 words) Published: May 17, 2015
Manuel Castro
English 212
Professor Phares
Compare and contrast the Age of Exploration and the Enlightenment The Age of Exploration and The Enlightenment were products of the Renaissance (1400-1648). Both The Age of Exploration (1400-1500) started by Prince Henry the Navigator (1394- 1460) to the beginning of The Enlightenment (1687-1789). It was symbolic that Prince Henry the Navigator erected the first navigational school in Sagres, Portugal where it was considered the rim of the known world at an earlier time. Portugal, situated in the most Westerly part of Europe beside the Atlantic Ocean was geographically well positioned for The Age of Exploration. In 1415 the Portuguese sailed a fleet of some 200 ships from Lisbon to attack the Muslims on the African coast. The two most significant Portuguese voyages of exploration occurred a generation after the death of Henry the Navigator. In 1487, Bartolomeu Dias proves that there is a sea route at the southern tip of Africa around the Cape of Good Hope. Ten years later, Vasco da Gama demonstrates that this route leads to India. The motives for the explorations vary from proselytizing, gold, and land for colonization in the name of their monarchy, aristocrats, and church. These innovative explorations and voyages become a new trend and goal, so other European powers soon followed to undertake them too. It is not until later in Portugal that the spirit of the Enlightenment is demonstrated by the actions of the Marquis de Pombal in 1750 in response to the great earthquake of Lisbon. Both ages were sparked by inquisitiveness, imagination, creativity, and a sense of discovering ways to better their lives. However there is one main difference that stands out between them, The Age of Exploration further empowered the monarchy, church, and aristocrats; but The Enlightenment empowered the individual person. While one time-period explored externally and for selfish reasons, the proceeding time period...
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