An Age of Exploration and Isolation 1400-1800

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					An Age of Exploration and
By the early 1400s, Europeans were ready to
     venture beyond their borders. The
   Renaissance encouraged, among other
    things, a new spirit of adventure and
curiosity. This unit describes how European
exploration began a long process that would
bring together the peoples of many different
 lands and permanently change the world.
An Age of Exploration and Isolation
• I. Motivation for Exploration
• II. Portugal Leads the Way
• III. Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean
• IV. China Rejects European Outreach
• V. Japan Limits Western Contacts
 An Age of Exploration and Isolation
Europeans had not been
  completely isolated
  from the rest of the
  world before the 1400s.
• Beginning around 1100,
  European crusaders
  battled Muslims for
  control of the Holy
  Lands in the Middle
• In 1275, the Italian
  trader Marco Polo
  reached the court of
  Kublai Khan in China.
An Age of Exploration and Isolation

• For the most part, however, Europeans
  had neither the interest nor the ability to
  explore foreign lands.
• That changed by the 1400s.
• The desire to grow rich and to spread
  Christianity, coupled with advances in
  sailing technology, spurred an age of
  European exploration.
I. Motivation for Exploration
    I. Motivation for Exploration
• 1. The desire to get rich was the main reason for
    European exploration.
•   The trade for spices and other luxury goods from
    Asia, introduced during the Crusades, had become
    a profitable business.
I. Motivation for Exploration
• The Muslims and the Italians controlled the
    trade of goods from East to West.
•   Muslims sold Asian goods to Italian merchants,
    who controlled trade across land routes of
•   The Italian merchants resold the items at
    increased prices to merchants throughout
•   By the 1400s, European merchants, as well as
    the monarchs of England, Spain, Portugal, and
    France, sought to bypass the Italian merchants
    who cut into their profits.
I. Motivation for Exploration
             • 2. The desire to spread
                 Christianity also fueled
                 European exploration.
             •   The crusades left feelings of
                 hostility between Christians
                 and Muslims.
             •   European nations believed
                 they had a sacred duty not
                 only to continue fighting
                 Muslims, but to convert non-
                 Christians throughout the
I. Motivation for Exploration
• 3. Advances in technology made the voyages of
    discovery possible.
•   In the 1400s shipbuilders designed a new vessel,
    the caravel. The ship was sturdier and included
    large triangular sails.
I. Motivation for Exploration
• The astrolabe, which
    Muslims had perfected,
    helped captains sight
    stars and tell how far
    north or south of the
    equator he was.
•   The magnetic compass,
    invented by the Chinese,
    also helped.
II. Portugal Leads the Way
II. Portugal Leads the Way
            • The European leader in
                developing and applying these
                sailing innovations was
            •   Led by Prince Henry the
                Navigator, Portugal conquered
                the Muslim city of Cueta in
                North Africa in 1415.
            •   There, he saw the dazzling
                wealth that lay beyond
            •   The Portuguese invaders
                found spices, gold, silver, and
    II. Portugal Leads the Way
• In 1419, Henry founded a
    navigation school in Portugal.
•   Map makers, instrument
    makers, shipbuilders,
    scientists, and sea captains
    gathered there to perfect their
•   By the time Henry died in
    1460, the Portuguese had
    established a series of trading
    posts along the western coast
    of Africa.
•   There, they traded for gold,
    ivory, and eventually slaves.
II. Portugal Leads the Way
             • The Portuguese believed that
                 to reach Asia by sea, they
                 would have to sail around the
                 southern tip of Africa.
             •   In 1487, Bartolomeu Diaz
                 reached the southern tip of
             •   As he arrived, a huge storm
                 rose and battered his fleet for
             •   When the storm ended, Diaz
                 realized his ships had been
                 blown around the tip.
             •   Exhausted and low on
                 supplies, he returned home.
    II. Portugal Leads the Way
• In 1498, the
    Portuguese explorer
    Vasco da Gama
    reached the port of
    Calicut, India.
•   Da Gama filled the
    ships with spices
    and returned to
    Portugal to a hero’s
III. Trading Empires in the
       Indian Ocean
III. Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean

 • With da Gama’s voyage, Europeans finally
   opened direct sea trade with Asia.
 • They also opened an era of violent
   conflict in the East.
 • European nations scrambled to establish
   profitable trading outposts along the
   shores of South and Southeast Asia.
 • And all the while they battled the region’s
   inhabitants and each other.
III. Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean
• Portugal built a bustling trading empire
  throughout the Indian Ocean, taking control of
  the spice trade from Muslim merchants.
III. Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean

• Portuguese merchants brought back
  goods from Asia at about a fifth of what
  they cost when purchased through the
  Arabs and Italians.
• Portugal’s success attracted the attention
  of other European nations.
• Beginning around 1600, the English and
  the Dutch broke Portuguese control of the
  Asian region.
III. Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean

• The Dutch Republic is also known as the
    Netherlands, or Holland.
•   Both the English and Dutch formed an East India
    Company to establish and direct trade throughout
•   These companies had the power to mint money,
    make treaties, and even raise their own armies.
•   The Dutch East India Company was richer and
    more powerful and eventually drove out the
III. Trading Empires in the Indian Ocean

• European traders did gain control of
  numerous port cities throughout the
• However, their influence rarely spread
  beyond the ports into the country’s interior
• European traders who sailed farther east
  to seek riches in China and Japan had
  even less success in spreading Western
IV. China Rejects European
Europeans made healthy profits in the Indian Ocean
  trade. Looking for additional sources of wealth,
 they sought a trading relationship with China. By
the time westerners arrived in the 1500s, China had
 driven out its Mongol rulers and had united under
                 the Ming Dynasty.
IV. China Rejects European Outreach
• China had become the
  dominant power in the region
  under the rule of the Ming
  Dynasty (1368-1644).
• In recognition of China’s
  power, vassal nations from
  Korea to Southeast Asia paid
  their Ming overlords regular
• The Ming rulers would not let
  outsiders threaten the peace
  and prosperity they had
  brought to China.
IV. China Rejects European Outreach
               • In 1405, before Europeans
                   began to sail beyond their
                   borders, China launched
                   the first of seven voyages
                   of exploration, led by
                   Muslim admiral named
                   Zheng He.
               •   Everything about the
                   expeditions was large –
                   distances traveled, size of
                   the fleet, and
                   measurements of the ships
IV. China Rejects European Outreach
• The voyages roamed from
    Southeast Asia and India to
    Arabia and East Africa.
•   China wanted to impress the
    world with its power and
    hoped to expand its tribute
•   Each expedition included: 40
    to 300 ships, fighting
    vessels, storage ships up to
    440 feet long, and up to
    27,000 crewmen, including
    sailors, soldiers, carpenters,
    interpreters, accountants,
    doctors, and religious
IV. China Rejects European Outreach
• Everywhere Zheng He
    went, he distributed gifts,
    such as gold, silver, silk,
    and scented oils, to show
    Chinese superiority.
•   Many Chinese scholars felt
    these voyages wasted
    valuable resources.
•   After the seventh voyage
    ended in 1433, there were
    no more.
•   China withdrew into a
    self-sufficient isolation.
IV. China Rejects European Outreach

• China’s official trade policies in the 1500s reflected
    its isolation.
•   Only the government was to conduct foreign trade
    through three coastal ports.
•   Merchants turned to smuggling to meet the
    demands for Chinese goods.
•   Industries such as silk making and ceramics grew
•   However, China did not industrialize because
    commerce offended China’s Confucian beliefs and
    taxes on manufacturing and trade skyrocketed.
IV. China Rejects European Outreach
               • In 1644, the Manchus invaded
                 China and the Ming Dynasty
                 collapsed after ruling for over
                 200 years.
               • Calling themselves the Qing
                 Dynasty, the Manchus would
                 rule for more than 260 years.
               • Many Chinese resisted rule by
                 the non-Chinese Manchus,
                 however, they slowly earned
                 the people’s respect.
               • They upheld China’s traditional
                 Confusian beliefs, made the
                 country’s frontiers safe, and
                 restored China’s prosperity.
IV. China Rejects European Outreach
Manchus Continue a Policy of Isolation:
• To the Chinese, their country had been the cultural
  center of the universe for two thousand years.
• If foreign states wished to trade with China, they
  had to follow Chinese rules.
• Foreign diplomats paid tribute to China’s emperor
  through gifts and by performing the required
  “kowtow” ritual.
• This ritual involved their kneeling in front of the
  emperor and touching their heads to the ground
  nine times.
IV. China Rejects European
• The Dutch accepted
    these restrictions and
    the Chinese accepted
    them as a trading
•   The Dutch returned
    home with porcelains,
    silk, and tea.
•   By 1800, tea would
    make up 80 percent of
    shipments to Europe.
V. Japan Limits Western
The Tokugawa regime unifies Japan
   and begins a 200-year period of
 isolation, autocracy, and economic
V. Japan Limits Western Contact
              • Japan had long been
                  ruled by a series of
                  shoguns, or supreme
                  military dictators.
              •   In 1467, civil war
                  shattered Japan’s feudal
              •   The county collapsed into
              •   Power drained away from
                  the shogun to territorial
                  lords in hundreds of
                  separate domains.
    V. Japan Limits Western Contact
• This violent era of disorder which lasted from 1467 to 1568
    is known as the Sengoku, or “Warring States” period.
•   Powerful samurai seized control and offered peasants and
    others protection for their loyalty.
•   These warrior-chieftains, called daimyo, became lords in a
    new kind of Japanese feudalism.
•   Rival daimyo often fought each other for territory.
•   This led to endless disorder throughout the land.
 V. Japan Limits Western Contact
• A number of ambitious
  daimyo hoped to gather
  enough power to take
  control of the entire
• In 1600, Tokugawa
  Ieyasu defeated his rivals
  and unified Japan as the
  Tokugawa Shogunate
  which would continue
  until 1868.
• The Tokugawa shoguns
  rule brought a welcome
  stability to Japan.
    V. Japan Limits Western Contact
• The Japanese first encountered Europeans in 1543,
    when shipwrecked Portuguese sailors washed up
    on the shores of southern Japan.
•   Portuguese merchants soon followed with clocks,
    eyeglasses, tobacco, firearms, and other unfamiliar
•   Japanese merchants were interested in the
    newcomers’ goods and the daimyo were interested
    in the muskets and cannons.
V. Japan Limits Western Contact
               • Firearms forever
                   changed the time-
                   honored tradition of
                   the Japanese warrior,
                   whose principal
                   weapon had been the
               •   Many samurai, who
                   retained the sword as
                   their principal weapon,
                   would lose their lives
                   to musket fire in
                   future combat.
V. Japan Limits Western Contact
• In 1549, Christian
    missionaries began
    arriving in Japan.
•   By 1600, missionaries
    converted about
    300,000 Japanese to
•   The success of the
    missionaries upset
    Tokugawa Ieyasu.
V. Japan Limits Western Contact
• Missionaries, actively
    seeking converts, scorned
    traditional Japanese beliefs
    and involved themselves in
    local politics.
•   In 1637, an uprising in
    southern Japan shook the
    Tokugawa regime.
•   Because so many of the
    rebels were Christians, the
    Shoguns ruthlessly
    persecuted Christians.
V. Japan Limits Western Contact
• By 1639, Japan instituted a “closed
  country policy.”
• Only one port, Nagasaki, remained opened
  to foreign traders.
• However, only Dutch and Chinese
  merchants were allowed into the port.
• For more than 200 years, Japan remained
  basically closed to Europeans.

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