Though peaceful now, our present world is built upon war and conquest. The grueling journey to have been the one on the throne, having authority and financial extravagance, drove the ancient dynasties and monarchies to madness. Europeans are no foreigners to this rat race. Cultures collide, and new colonies grew while entire native communities were lost. Voyages made in search of gold and glory consumed men’s hearts, and they knew peace was never an option. This kindled the need for exploration in the hearts of the Europeans, creating even the first European to explore. They communicated this newfound liking through the language of trade and commerce. Confronting the question of what was the reason for European exploration, gear yourself for a look back into history back to a time when seas faring was a daunting but rewarding task. Also, adventures were as brisk as its contenders that partake. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Who discovered Europe?
The latter part of the fifteenth century to the sixteenth was a period of rapid activity. In this period, voyagers reveled in their profession. Some earned the privilege of having their names cemented in the history of our world.
But the answer to this question lies in the earliest geographical structure of the earth’s landmass. It is said that the first Europeans emerged about 500,000 years ago as Homo erectus, marked by fossils found in England. Then evolution hit, Homo sapiens arrived, and eventually, modern man arrived a bit late.
So, to trace back to the discovery of Europe, Eastern Europe showcases evidence of:
- Circular huts
- Free-standing dwellings
- Supporting structures made of stone
This was found to be one of the earliest known settlements of man. But times changed with one of the most meaningful discoveries by humankind, agriculture and cattle rearing. This is known as the neolithic revolution. This chaperoned with it the domestication of animals and the transition of men from hunters to farmers. Its thick canopied forests had to be cleared to give way to the rise of Minoan civilization. This would be Europe’s first civilization.
As to who discovered Europe, it would be the oldest settlement of man himself before the wheels of evolution turned. (See Who was Smarter Neanderthal or Homosapien?)
2. When did European Exploration Start?Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
The reasons for European exploration started as early as the beginning of the 15th century. It is also referred to as the age of exploration. This period ran hand in hand with the age of sail, which marked between the 15th and 17th centuries in European history.
This age of discovery which extended from the 1400s to 1600s, found the Europeans set foot on lands such as India, America, Africa, and such. But what kickstarted this reason for European exploration was the ottoman empire’s occupation of Constantinople in 1453. This made the Europeans sit ducks, blocked from their trade routes, and limited access. This prompted the Europeans to search for new sea routes, knowledge, and wealth. Continue reading to know about what was the reason for European exploration.
3. What was One Major Cause of European Global Exploration during the 15th to 18th Centuries?
The major purpose of European exploration was a trade or, otherwise, the need to accumulate wealth. Europe’s poverty and downtrodden state contrasted with the middle east and Asia. This was attributed to the availability of fast fetching and quick trade routes within Asia, such as China, Japan, Korea, etc., which had their hands on the exchange of their signature products of luxury. The need for trade led the Europeans to spread aggressively like quickfire throughout the globe.
Though Europe wasn’t regarded with importance in the preface of global empires, this drove them to rapid exploration, while the great empires of China, the ottoman empire, or the Indian kingdom didn’t extend their reach. The other two reasons for European exploration were gold and spices. This answers the question as to what was the reason for European exploration. (See How did the Middle Colonies make Money?)
4. What was the Purpose of European Exploration?
After answering the question as to what was the reason for European exploration, next comes purpose. The purpose of European exploration was to achieve a taste of wealth and gold in their homeland. Europeans had become tiresome of the distance of the trade routes on land, connecting to the middle east and other lands exporting exotic resources. The sea served its purpose as a more accessible alternative.
For this purpose, European exploration revolutionized the way trading worked and led to the spread of Christianity to far-off lands, the consequences of which the present times would be built upon.
5. What was the Reason for European Exploration?Photo by British Library on Unsplash
The search for exciting new treasures and bounties awaited in new undiscovered lands was the reason for European exploration. With difficulties in finding a suitable work route to the far east and north Africa via the red sea, the European’s trading speed slowed and was expensive. The Italians ruled the Mediterranean, and the Muslims in the middle east grew wealthier and more efficient in their modes of trade. The need to find new methods of navigating the vast seas and mapping their newfound routes to wealth and trade relations later served as the reason for European colonization, which soon gave them an iron hold over the political front.
So, what was the reason for European exploration based on? Well, the purpose of European exploration was based on the story of their religion, resources, and pride. From this stemmed a history of war, which was the bane of various world communities. But from time immemorial, European exploration has undoubtedly left us with a blood-soaked drama executed by men of courage and valor and an unquenchable thirst for power. Check out Why were Plantation Owners at the Top of Virginia Society?
6. What are the Significant Reasons for European Colonization?
What was the reason for European exploration and colonization? The primary reasons for European colonization and exploration were to find new trade partners, primarily the Asian empires, which had a solid foothold of luxury goods with very high demand in the market of those times. Wealth served as the primary reason for European exploration.
The answer to what was the reason for European exploration traces its roots back to an era where religion and its ideologies had a firm hold on men. The European crusaders began to take a liking to the silk, spices, etc., the new lands had to offer. This set the stage for the emergence of the silk road and other trade routes between European port towns and the east. When the trade routes on the land were found to be slow and diminutive to the trade of the Europeans, their thirst for more led them to discover nautical trade routes to Africa and India.
7. What Happened in European Exploration?
Since you are aware of what was the reason for European exploration, you must know exactly what happened in the European exploration. In May 1453, when the Ottomans captured Constantinople, already controlling much of southeastern Europe, this domination stumbled the possibilities of the neighboring kingdoms and the Europeans themselves to find other trade routes to their afro-Eurasian partners in goods exchange.
Given their poor financial backdrop and the stressful situation imposed by the ottomans, Portugal found their hope in the fourth son of their King Henry. King henry encouraged navigation and tools that supported doing so. It thus began the exploration of the Portuguese off the shore of the south Mediterranean, venturing towards the Atlantic coast and scraping the continent of Africa.
- This, in 1488, was followed by the first European, Bartolomeu dais, to circle the Cape of Good Hope (Cape of Storms), past the southern tip of Africa, and reach the Indian ocean.
- In 1498, Vasco da Gama founded India and was surprised to see highly sophisticated trading ports established.
- Then the Portuguese routed their voyage to Southeast Asia and China, and they dawned upon the sophisticated world of handcrafted porcelain, colorful cotton clothing, and even tea; they hadn’t the slightest idea about it until then.
- By the 17th century, the Portuguese began trading tons of these exotic goods of porcelain and spices into Europe. This established the fact that the Portuguese empire was a trading empire.
8. Who was the First European to Explore?
In 1488, Bartolomeu dais sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and made it into the Indian Ocean. He was a Portuguese mariner and explorer whose voyage demonstrated the effective southward route. Through this, the ships could navigate to the west coast of Africa. But even before this, the Vikings preceded and could be the first Europeans to explore. (See How was Rome a Site of Encounter?)
9. Who found America First?Image by bmoreprep from Pixabay
In 1492, Christopher Columbus made history by exploring the landmass that would later be the epicenter of development, technological advances, and political propriety. Now the empire that was born in 1492 was the Spanish empire that had this famous Genoese voyager who later discovered the New World.
10. Why did Christopher Columbus Explore?
The number of voyages Christopher Columbus made was three, all for the sake of finding new trade routes to India and China, searching for fame for himself and fortunes to bring back.
Though not the first European to explore, Columbus was a disciple of geography and maps. Set aboard his ship, Santa maria, with the expectation of the Spanish monarchs burdened on his shoulders, he landed in the Caribbean islands. This was after sailing for ten weeks in the Atlantic Ocean. Though he mistakenly thought he landed in the Indies. This discovery of the new world leads the colonization and subsequent exploitation of the native Americans. (See Who gives the Authority to Colonize in a Charter Colony?)
11. Why did Spain and Portugal lead the Way in Exploration?
It was Portugal explorers who gave their fellow Spaniards newly discovered trade routes and methods of navigating. The Spanish explorers then took over the race of European exploration with their motive of God, gold, and glory. This was also done by the Spanish monarchs, queen Isabella and king Ferdinand, to win a political advantage over Portugal as they were both parts of the Iberian Peninsula.