In 1453, when the Ottoman Turks took control of Constantinople and the surrounding areas, trade between Europe and Asia came to a complete halt, prompting the European nations to seek another route to their Asian trading partners; thus, they began looking for a sea route. The trip had always been fraught with danger, but Europeans no longer had access to products they had come to enjoy.
The only viable land route from Europe to Asia went through the Middle East and Turkey. Going further north through what would become Russia was even more dangerous than braving the robbers who would attack caravans in the Middle East.
Pepper and silk were two particularly popular products from Asia. Silk had been in high demand in Europe since the journeys of the explorer Marco Polo, and a network of traders from China, India, the Middle East and Italy would transport silk all the way to the European markets. The land route that traders had to take was known as the "Silk Road."
While England, Spain and Portugal were some of the most enthusiastic sponsors of early exploration, some of the most famed explorers like Christopher Columbus came from Italian cities like Genoa, which had long sent ships off to make trading expeditions.Learn More
Not much is known about Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, but it is known that he was born in Spain in 1494, during the age of exploration. Just two years before Pineda was born, Christopher Columbus had discovered a new world to be combed through.Full Answer >
The Treaty of Tordesillas gave Spain territorial rights to most of North and South America. The treaty settled a dispute between Spain and Portugal over the control of the land discovered by Christopher Columbus.Full Answer >
Pirates are often depicted in film and media as having a pet parrot on their shoulder, but this image is most likely prompted by the description of a fictional character from the book "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, according to Reference.com. "Treasure Island" was published in 1883 and told a coming-of-age story about a young man, Jim Hawkins, and his adventures with a pirate crew.Full Answer >
Before attempting his first voyage to the Americas, Christopher Columbus made a business agreement with Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain that entitled him to 10 percent of any profits he made during his voyage. These profits would include any precious stones, spices, silver or any other valuable merchandise found.Full Answer >