Renaissance And Age of Exploration

1 January 2017

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.

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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 routes were long and cost merchants a lot of money, which in turn made the spices incredibly expensive. To attempt to make the spices cheaper to obtain, merchants enlisted explorers and ship captains to find sea routes to India. Most tried sailing down the west coast of Africa and around Cape Horn; however this was a fairly dangerous and difficult journey.

Christopher Columbus proposed that the earth was round and that one could sail around to India. This resulted in the discovery in the new world, all thanks to the renaissance. The renaissance was the best thing that could have happened to Europe after the middle ages. Major advances in technology and learning during the 1400s paved the way for the age of exploration and the discovery of the new world. Europe went through a major revolution during the fifteenth century, and if had not we would not be where we are today.

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