From melaka the portuguese launched expeditions to

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From Melaka, the Portuguese launched expeditions to China and the Spice Islands. There they signed a treaty with a local ruler for the purchase and export of cloves to the European market. This treaty established Portuguese control of the spice trade. However, the Portuguese had a limited empire of trading posts on the coasts of India and China. The Portuguese had nei- ther the power, the people, nor the desire to colonize the Asian regions. Guns and seamanship made the Portu- guese the first successful European explor- ers. Heavily armed, their fleets were able to defeat local naval and land forces. Later, however, the Portuguese would be no match for other European forces—the Eng- lish, Dutch, and French. Spanish Explorers Educated Europeans knew the world was round but had no idea of its circumfer- ence, the size of the Asian continent, or that another continent lay to the west between Europe and Asia. While the Portuguese sailed eastward through the Indian Ocean, the Spanish sailed westward across the Atlantic Ocean to find the route to Asia. Convinced that the Earth’s circumfer- ence was not as great as others thought, Christopher Columbus believed he could reach Asia by sailing west instead of east around Africa. Columbus persuaded Queen Isabella of Spain to finance an exploratory expedition. In October 1492 he reached the Americas, where he explored the coastline of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola. Columbus believed he had reached Asia. After three voyages, he had still not found a route through the outer islands to the Asian mainland. In his four voyages, Columbus reached all the major Caribbean islands and Honduras in Central Amer- ica—all of which he called the Indies. Another important explorer to Spain was Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan per- suaded the king of Spain to finance his voyage to Asia through the Western 432 SECTION 1 Exploration and Expansion
Hemisphere. He set sail in September 1519 down the coast of South America in search of a sea passage through America. In Octo- ber 1520 Magellan passed through a water- way (later called the Strait of Magellan) into the Pacific Ocean. The fleet reached the Philippines, but Magellan was killed by the native peoples there. Although only one of his ships returned to Spain, Magel- lan is still remembered as the first person to circumnavigate the globe. New Lands to Explore The voyages of the Portuguese and Span- ish had opened up new lands to explora- tion. Both Spain and Portugal feared that the other might claim some of its newly discovered territories. They resolved their concerns with the Treaty of Tordesillas, signed in 1494. The treaty called for a line of demarcation extending from north to south through the Atlantic Ocean and the easternmost part of the South American continent. Unexplored territories east of the line would be controlled by Portugal, The caravel was a faster ship design invented by the Portuguese, which made long voyages of exploration possible. Its triangular (lateen) sails allowed explorers to sail against the wind. Europeans learned to use lateen sails from the Arabs. The

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