Lesson #36 - The Age of Exploration
Today's lesson will probably carry over a bit into tomorrow's class, but we'll see how far we get today. We'll begin with a look back at the Muslim "Gunpowder" Empires you worked on yesterday. Then, the Age of Exploration (and its consequences) is basically our topic for the rest of the way.
Here's the completed version of Muslim "Gunpowder Empires" matrix.
The Age of Exploration: We'll do a number of things to try to understand how and why the Europeans (particularly the Spanish and Portuguese in the beginning) began to venture further from home, forever changing the course of history.
For those of you thinking about the reading and the Unit #4 Objective Exam, I'd be sure I could define the following terms and answer the following questions:
Defining terms: "God, Gold and Glory," Prince Henry the Navigator, Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama, Treaty of Tordesillas, Dutch East India Company
- What motivated the Age of Exploration?
- What scientific and technical advancements made the Age of Exploration possible?
- What were the early claims of the Portuguese? The Spanish? Others?
"Seeing" the World: This first activity will help us see just how differently people saw the world of five hundred years ago as opposed to the GoogleEarth outlook of today. You will get a copy of a map to show us on the overhead. (If you want a better look at the little writing on your map, go to the original source at A World History for Us All and scroll down to pages 22-30.)
Preparing for the Voyage: First, let's make sure we've "packed" what we need in terms of new technologies and knowledge...
Discussion question #1: If you were planning a long-distance sea voyage during the second half of the 15th century to little-known destinations along unknown routes, what problems with the physical environment would you expect to have to deal with during the voyage? What problems of human-to-human relations would you expect to have to deal with on board and on arrival at your destination? What might you do to minimize or deal with these problems?
Discussion question #2: What personality traits do you think would have been helpful to the long-distance mariners of the 15th and 16th centuries? How would they have been helpful? Who, if anyone, in modern society is called upon to possess a similar set of qualities?
Discussion question #3: How accurate is this statement? "It was adopting and adapting the ideas and technologies of earlier times and other peoples, rather than anything they came up with on their own, that made possible the long distance voyages of the Iberian mariners in the 15th and early 16th centuries."
Discussion question #4: How would you rank the following in terms of importance to voyages such as (#1) da Gama's reaching India and returning and (#2) Columbus' crossing the Atlantic and returning? Explain why.
- Technological changes in European ship design after about 1400
- Existence of reasonably reliable east-west and west-east wind systems
- Changes in the representation of the world on European maps after about 1400
- Europeans learning to use the stars/ planets to establish their latitude and distance from the equator
- Having guns available on shipboard
- Personal characteristics of those undertaking the voyages
Conquest of the Oceans: We'll make you all "specialists" in one of five voyages from the Age of Exploration.
- Treasure fleets of Zheng He
- Prince Henry sends ships along the African shore
- First voyage of Cristobal Colon (aka Christopher Columbus)
- de Gama's sea voyage to India
- Magellan circumnavigates the world
Using both the notes and the sources, try to figure out answers to these questions:
- Who ordered or authorized the voyage?
- What reasons were given for making the voyage?
- How was the voyage paid for?
- What were the attitudes of the voyagers towards the people they met?
- What problems were encountered with people they met?
- Who benefited from the voyage? How?
HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, May 23rd
Please read Section 2 of Chapter 19, "China Limits European Contacts." The quiz will be true/false.
Be sure the "Conquest of the Ocean" primary source you received is ready to go tomorrow, assuming that we don't get there today.