Ch. 1.2 Guided Notes Europe Begins to Explore European Explorations Beginning in the 1400s, Europe entered a new and intellectual advancement known as the Renaissance. The Crusades brought into contact with the Arab civilization of the Middle East. By the 1300s, Europeans had a strong to begin exploring the world for a route to Asia that bypassed the Italian city-states and the Arab kingdoms. By the mid-1400s, four strong states—Portugal, , and France—had emerged and were seeking a new route to Asia. Vasco da Gama, a explorer, was the first to find a new route to Asia. Scientific advances that allowed western Europeans to explore the world included: Astrolabe Triangular-shaped lateen sails Stern rudder African Cultures Three great empires arose in West Africa and prospered from the trade. Three West African empires prospered from the trade of gold and salt: The empire of Ghana The empire of Songhai Slavery African society.
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