Influence in the Age of Discovery

Topics: Americas, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Christopher Columbus Pages: 6 (1396 words) Published: May 28, 2014

How it affected Spain.

The Spanish were greatly impacted by the discovery of a new continent, because it meant lots of things, such as the discovery of new species of animals and plants.

From the animals, like the jaguar or the piranha. Some of the plants were used to make medicines or simply to eat! We could name the achiote (an amazonian tree used to treat prostatic troubles and internal inflammations, arterial hypertension, high cholesterol level and bladder inflammation) and the chancapiedra (also amazonian, which gets rid of gall and kidney stones and treats other kidney problems) for medicinal plants. They also brought back to Spain the tobacco, back in 1559. As for edible plants, there is, the tomatoes the peanuts and the cocoa. The cocoa was offered to Cortes when he and the Spanish arrived at the Aztec kingdom. They called it techocolat, and initially was used as a currency exchange. Cortes managed to get hold of cacao beans and took them to Spain. In Spain, sugar was added, and before long, it turned a habit drinking it, even doctors recommended it for some illnesses. The Spanish court kept the elaboration of chocolate a state secret for a century, only the monks knew its formula because in lent, drinking chocolate wasn't considered as to break the fast.

The potato was introduced one year later, in 1560 by Pedro Cieza de León. Unlike the tobacco and the cocoa, used by the high society, the potato at first was considered pig's food.

This discoveries meant a demand for rare trade goods, which helped enrich the eastern civilisation which established the superiority of the East side of the world over the West side of the world. It also led to the progress of shipbuilding, navigation and trade.

New types of ships were created so that they could navigate through the Atlantic waters. The Spaniards had the most control over the trading routes, then eventually created a global market and spread their culture all around the world. Lots of Spaniards went to live to this newly discovered areas and made colonies. They established their control over these territories and began to rule over the natives.

Spain found in America a great source of wealth which led it to be the greatest empire. From America they exported especially precious metals, spices and other things. The Crown gained lots of riches, used to feed its huge army. But this wealth led to an increase in prices. Prices rose to 400%, this known as the price revolution. The Spanish debts because of the expansion and the maintenance of the Spanish Empire meant that the treasure was spent fastly, because they had to pay the loans from the Genoese and the German bankers, and the riches that didn't go to the Genoese and German bankers were spent in jewels or in trading expensive goods.

The discovery of the New World (America) also influenced the way the Europeans thought about the world. They got to the conclusion that the Bible, which was thought to have all the information about the world didn't say any of this. New animals, plants, objects, new people were being introduced to Europe and the Bible didn't say one bit about it. The people started to question religion, and began to wonder if religion gave really the answer to everything.

The Spanish imposed their culture and religion to the indigenous people. The Christian religion spread throughout the conquered territories, being introduced by the colonisers. The native americans were forced to convert to christianity by missionaries, which unlike colonisers or explorers, their sole objective was to introduce their religious beliefs.

The discovery of the Atlantic Ocean influenced the whole Europe because it provided a new trade route to the East. It soon became the most important sea route for trade. The Mediterranean and the Baltic routes which before were the top ones, suffered a decline due to this, and the Atlantic ports such as Sevilla or Lisbon became more important....

Bibliography: M. García Sebastian, Geography & History 2.2: History – The Modern Age
Vicens Vives, Spain: Barcelona, 2011 p
El País, La era de los descubrimientos: 07 Historia Universal, Madrid: Santillana, 2005, p. 179, 180, 181, Consultation realised in: 1/03/14
Catherine Loizeau, (La historia de la patata) Reportero Doc, Madrid: Bayard, 2008, p
Wikipedia, (16 June 2011). The Age of Discovery. Consultation in 2/03/14 (
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Ezlee2, (29 July 2008). Impact of European Exploration and Colonization on Native. Consultation in 1/03/14 (
Juana Trujillo, (20 may 2010)
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