6. September 19 - The World in 1492 and the New Monarchs

6. September 19 - The World in 1492 and the New Monarchs -...

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Thinking About Empire and Exploration Voyages of the Americas happen as an extension of earlier efforts Exploration and colonization extension of imperial ambitions. Varied motivations (financial, religious, political, etc.) Motivations change over time. o It is helpful to chart the motivations for exploration over time. Difficulties determining what “really” happened. THE WORLD IN 1492 AND THE NEW MONARCHS I. Merchants, Marvels, and Missionaries: Motivations for Exploration in 1492. II. Dreams of Empire: the New Monarchies III. The New Monarchs IV. Isabella and Ferdinand: the Ultimate New Monarchs ***Focus in lectures is on Spain*** Exploration is possible: - Navigation Techniques - Political Motivations a nd comp etition with the Italian peninsula. I. Merchants, Marvels, and Missionaries: Motivations for Exploration in 1492 - Contrary to popular belief, proving that the world is round (opposed to flat) is NOT a motivation for sailing and exploring the oceans. “The world is flat” is the thinking of common, lowly peasants. Anyone who has ever been on the ocean knows that the world is round. Garden of Eden o This is part of a larger motivation of pure curiosity of explorers who are genuinely curious about the world around them, and the unknown world beyond. o There was a belief that the GoE still existed and could be found. o This notion is furthered by the Catholic Church: That if human beings were worthy enough, God would lead human beings to find it. Genghis Khan (d. 1227) and Pax Mongolica o Western Europeans are told fabled stories of the wealthy lands of the Chinese and Japanese. o This also adds to their curiosity to explore o Eastern Asia becomes a mythical land to the Europeans that almost equals the biblical lands (Garden of Eden). o Pax Mongolica : An agreement that guaranteed safe passage for Western merchants to travel into Asia for trade purposes. Genghis Khan does this knowing that trade with Europe will help Asia thrive. Travels of Marco Polo o “Traveler’s Tales” – nuggets of real experiences and tales of Westerners who travel to and interact with Asian people. These are popular among Europeans, for they combine myth and legend with reality. They were more interesting than the real stories of exploration and travel (difficulties of communication, long waiting times, etc.) Prester John o One of the more famous and popular traveler’s tales
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o Legend: Prester John was the long last king of a long lost Christian kingdom, somewhere in Africa. o Why is he famous and why do people want to find him: Finding political allies against the Ottomans. Secondary reason is of course to develop a new trade market. o
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6. September 19 - The World in 1492 and the New Monarchs -...

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