Beginnings of Our Globe Age News
Europe, Africa, and Asia
Business in the Age of Exploration from Prince Henry the Navigator to the European influence in Asia focused on trade and slave selling. Trading ofgoods and people started with the Portuguese and their invasions in Western and coastal Africa. The Portuguese traded with strategy; they did this by building small forts which helped them to gather food, water, and repair for their ships. They created trading post to trade muskets, tools, and cloth for gold, ivory, hides, and slaves. The most popular source of trade, other than slave trade, was gold. Gold was expensive and was worth many different resources in trade. It could out value many important resources needed to buy things or supplies for journeys. By the 1500 and 1600’s, Europeans viewed slaves as the most valuable objects to Africa. Slavery was always existent in Africa, since ancient times. People such as the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Persians, Indians, and Aztecs enslaved vulnerable individuals. The Arab empire also used slaves. Slaves in Arabic countries worked on farming estates. Later on, they also had other options such as some becoming artisans, soldiers, or merchants. As the Europeans became involved in slavery they became aware of the slaves’ usefulness. Their new discovery led to the bringing of large amounts of slaves to complete labor on plantations. Many African leaders tried to stop the slave trade, but ended up with a larger spread of slavery throughout the world and continuation of slavery for many centuries.
An important figure from the Age of Exploration includes a certain king which was named Affonso I. Affonso was the king of Kongo in West-Central Africa. He was one of the first people to raise a voice against slave trade. Affonso was educated by the Portuguese, who wanted Africans to convert to Christianity. He became king in 1505, and later called the Portuguese to help him convert Kongo into a Christian state. When the Portuguese came they began buying slaves and this made Affonso worried for his people. He wanted to continue the connection with Europe but at the same time he wanted to end slave trade. He wrote a letter appealing to the Europeans to stop buying and selling of slaves. His letter was ignored and slave trade not only continued in his time but for centuries to come. Affonso was a fair, kind, caring, and hardworking king. He wanted what was best for his people and his state. Although not much of his attempt of stopping slave trade happened, but he still was one the first leading roles in starting the ending of slave trade.
Christopher Columbus has passed away this Sunday on May 20, 1506 due to heart failure. He was 54 years old when he passed. He was born in Italy in 1451, and he left behind a wife, Filipa and two children. Christopher Columbus occupation was a navigator. He made so many great continuations to the world. He set sail with Spain to find the Americas in 1492. He lived a full of exploring the world, and having made 4 voyages. He traveled to South America, North America, and the Caribbean Islands. Christopher Columbus encountered many people such as the Native Americans he called Indians. He helped shape the world as we know it today. He will be buried at Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain on Monday. It will be a private funeral.
George Macartney was born on May 14, 1737 in Ireland, as the descendant of an old Scottish family. After being educated in Ireland, he spent a small amount of time reading law in London, before then travelling the continent of Europe, where he made many helpful connections. He had the reputation of being a handsome and accomplished young man. He was appointed envoy extraordinary to Russia while spending three years in St Petersburg, where he negotiated a treaty with Catherine the Great. He returned to England and became a member of the Westminster parliament but resigned from it when elected to the Irish House of Commons. This led to his appointment as Chief Secretary for Ireland (1767-1772) Most of the rest of his career was spent abroad. In 1792 he was taking up a new task as Britain's first envoy to China. He arrived in Peking (now Beijing) in 1793 and was received by the Emperor Qian Long. His mission was to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Chinese. This negotiation was a failure, the Emperor's letter of rejection had been written before the embassy arrived. Macartney himself returned to Britain and even though his negotiations had failed it marked a key moment in the relations between China and the west. Eventually ill health forced his resignation from any positions in 1798. He died on March 31, 1806 in London.
Interview with A Native
Interviewer: How did the colonization affect both you and your family?
Native: Well since I am a native from America, the colonization affected me when Christopher Columbus came over to American. When he arrived he also brought diseases with him. The diseases killed many of my family member and wiped out various tribes.
Interviewer: That's awful, why did that happen to so many of you?
Native: Well the diseases such as smallpox and other diseases that we had never really been exposed too. So when Christopher Columbus came over, we did not have any immunity to the diseases, so it affected us quite badly and many died.
Interviewer: In what other was did colonization affect you?
Native: Well when Columbus came over he took our land and claimed it for Spain. Even though we were there first. Then he even made us slaves which further hurt our tribes. They also took most of our natural resources such as gold.
Native: We welcomed them and were also friendly, but some resisted and they killed them without a thought.
Interviewer: Thank you for meeting with us and I hope that you will no longer be affected by the colonization.
Explorers in the Age of Explorations had many objectives for exploring the seas. One of the most important motives was trade of goods. As the European population increased so did the demand for goods such as spices. These spices were used for the preservation of food, adding flavor to food, and making medicine and perfume. All these things were located in Asia. Explorers not only wanted to explore to spread Christianity, but to expand their empires and bring knowledge to outsiders and insiders. The Portuguese were the first to begin the exploration expedition. A person involved with the start of exploration was a man named Prince Henry. Prince Henry wanted to find a quick and easy way to reach Asia. In order for this to happen they had to travel through Africa. When Henry died, Bartholomew Dias continued with his work. He traveled around the tip of Cape of Good, which was an opened area to reach Asia. In 1497, another Portuguese, Vasco da Gama reached the west coast of India, a city called Calicut. A man named Christopher Columbus hoped to reach the East Indies; islands part of Indonesia. Columbus decided to sail west crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus reached the lands of the Americas on October 12th, 1492. He believed that he had reached India, but had he had really reached the “New World.” When Columbus encountered with the natives he named them Indians considering he believed that they were the Indians. 1519 on September 20th, five ships, along with Ferdinand Magellan, sallied out from Spain. Through many hardships and after three long years, Ferdinand’s men were the first to circumnavigate the world. Although this is not all of the history of the exploration between the countries and their expansion, it surmises the high points and people of that period of time.
Rise of the Dutch
The Dutch were some of the first Europeans to challenge the control Portuguese had over Asian trade. The Netherlands was a prosperous group of provinces and trading cities on the North Sea, which had broken away from the Holy Roman Empire by the Protestant provinces. The newly independent Netherlands were now ready to be in the competition for influence overseas. In 1599 a Dutch fleet returned back and brought many exotic cloves and spices that were valuable to other Europeans. This success made the Dutch be taken seriously and soon they were put in areas of power. The Netherlands were made a leader of European commerce. With their strategic approaches settlements they now had a secure part of the region.Soon the Dutch East India Company was formed by a group of wealthy merchants. This company had an unusual amount of power, with a different type of approach. The company had full sovereign powers unlike the other traders. The Dutch trading empire declined in the East due to the growing power of England and France. Still the Dutch lasted in Indonesia until the 1900s.
Ships and Maps
In the 1400s knowledge of the world vastly expanded. With the new ways of navigation, mapmaking and new kinds of ships were necessary. Being able to make compasses, maps, or design new ships became more of an art to many. Every voyage that was made improved their knowledge of the earth. The Portolan Map was used with magnetic compasses and the points on the map showed navigators how to find key ports. The compass was already long before used by the Chinese but was also being improved upon. The magnetic compass was one of these improvements. New ships were also designed for the new areas they were exploring. The Caravel was developed and unlike other ships it was lighter, faster, and could maneuver more easily. Astrolabes were also a small thing brought back from their use of navigation in ancients times and improved. Lastly, the accuracy of maps were updated to all the new discoveries people had made to the earth.