Atlantic Worlds - Midterm Study Guide - Atlantic Worlds...

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Atlantic Worlds – Midterm Exam Study GuideEUROPE IN THE AGE OF MARCO POLO (1/16)Introduction: European exploration of the Atlantic was due to a combination of economic and religious causes that can’t be separated; part of a larger process where Europe emerges from long period of relative isolation, movement toward the WestMedieval Europeo500s – 1400s : the “Dark Ages,” Europeans living in isolation from outside world, Europe not a place of power yetoMongol Empire13th/14thcentury = height of empirestarted by Genghis Khancenter of power of EurasiaoGeographyEurope not really important yet, in part b/c of geography: peninsula (and this was prior to efficient water migration on fringes of wealth and power)Not ideal for valuable natural resources (spices, gold, silver not found in Europe)oAl-Andalus= Moorish Iberialong period of political fragmentation following the fall of the Roman empire Spain under the Moors, a group of Muslims who controlled Iberian peninsulaApprox. ¾ of modern-day Spain (starting from the South)Serfs at bottom: farm for sustenance, owed part of crop to feudal lordoFeudalismSerf < feudal lord < duke < kingPolitical fragmentation & this system means kings didn’t really have much power, very indirectoHowever, things that increased European power:Religion – esp. Catholicism, unites people, firm unity ~1000Language – romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese), Germanic languages (includes english)Politics – politically, Euros more like each other than they’d like to admit b/c they had a common political structure (being a duke or a king means the same thing in any of these countries)Expanding EuropeoMarco PoloFrom Venice (impt. place for trade), from a powerful and wealthy familyA trader who documented his travelsOne of first who went to ChinaBook about him/his travels of 20+ years was a best-seller (most notably, he met w/ Kublai Khan)Saw basically all of the known world except for Africa
Grabbed Europe’s imagination: introduced them to a part of the world they didn’t know much about, showed the type of wealth and etc. that was possibleEarly cosmopolitanism stimulated in EuropeoCosmopolitanism: an interest in the world outside of Europe, a willingness to learn from the outside worldoReligious militancyStarts ~ year 1000Partly due to growth of Islam: Moors/Mamluk Empire controlled impt port cities/trade routes from the EastWanted to convert people to Christianity, from alliances w/ other Christian statesoVenice & GenoaBoth independent city states, both port citiesVenice by top R corner of “the boot” of Italy, Genoa at top L corner of it Took goods from East, moved them North and West (“middle men”)This trade required contact w/ non-Christians; tried to down-play religious diffs b/w Muslims and Christians to keep trade going changes after the CrusadesoCrusadesBeginning 1095: Pope told European kings to “liberate” aka conquer Muslim empires make them ChristianWhy would kings do this?

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