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European Expansion Notes

History Notes > Reformation to Revolution 1517-1789 Notes

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European Expansion Lecture: The Expansion of Europe: Why?Expanding populationUrbanisationIncreasing trade and commerceIncreasing horizonsHad travelled East for centuriesNow West - the Atlantic o

Looking for new trade routesReligionConquest oPrestige

Gold o

Didn't understand exponential trade

General things of Note:Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world between Spain and Portugal which prevented any military altercation between Portugal and Spain in their conquests o

Central to the effectiveness of Spanish and Portuguese conquests


Little effect in North America


With the decline of Iberian power other colonial European powers were free to colonise lands claimed by the SpanishThe involvement in the thirty years war by Spain hindered their expansion, while Britain's minimal involvement meant they could continue establishing bases in North America and the Caribbean as Spanish forces were diverted to EuropeThe expansion of Christianity (especially Catholicism) was a major factor in colonisation; indigenous beliefs were practically wiped out by the fervour of Catholicism brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to the Americas

HISTORY REVISIONAnglo-Dutch wars greatly altered the power of both North-Western European empires. British capture of over 1000 Dutch ships lead to a huge increase in the British merchant fleet. War could be used for economic and colonial gainsDevelopment of cities throughout the period greatly aided European expansion; especially the increase in commerce and mercantilism and the development of coastal cities and ports

The Iberian Phenomenon - Portugal:Gold lured Portuguese into the Atlantic; primary reason for expansion is acquisition of GoldPortuguese expansion leads them into contact with Slave communities in Africa o-

Captured Ceuta from Moors 1415 - access to upper Niger and Senegal - gold; Madeira - 1420; Cape Verde Islands 1455; Fernando Po and Sao Tome 1471 (slaves, gold dust, ivory, malagueta)

King Manuel I of Portugal authorised Vasco da Gama's voyage in 1497 o

Journey to the cape; first explorers to sail successfully from Europe to India


Route to the East round the cape of Africa


In 1499 only 2 of 4 ships returned, 54/170 sailors


But established settlements in Goa 1510; Malacca 1511; Ormuz 1515


Initiated the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade; major asset to the crown

Alvares Carbral's fleet found Brazil April 1550 o

Sugar, slaves, then gold and diamonds


Gold overtaxed, not successful commerce


Persecution of 'crypto-Jews' lead to unsuccessful trade


Discovery of Brazil led to the beginning of formal colonial expansionUnlikely leaders; population 1 million; only one major city - LisbonBut they were an independent power; trade routes to Africa and Muslim Granada; strong tradition of seafaring; ports hosted many Genoese, Florentines, Germans and Dutch - Portuguese open to new ideas?Not entrepreneurialism; military and naval inventiveness and a conviction of essential righteousness, backed by the Papal States

The Iberian Phenomenon - Spain:Spain on the edge of Europe in 1500Reliant on foreigners; Muslim invaders in South; printing press by Germans in 1470s; Italian and Sicilian scholars

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