3.7 Points To Remember
Importance of Geographical Discoveries
Causes of Geographical Discoveries
Early Travelers to the Far East
“Europe was hungry” for land as well as profit. Adventure and
conquests were other motives for setting forth to discover new lands.
The fall of Constantinople into the hands of the Ottoman Turks was
reason enough for the Europeans to seek alternative routes.
Cities like Venice, that thrived on oriental trade, were envied and
New discoveries (the earth is round not flat) and the adventurous
spirit of explorers aided daring journeys.
The spread of Christianity to nations far and wide served as an important
There were a number of inventions like the mariner’s compass that
helped in geographical discoveries.
Important Geographical Discoveries
The Polo brothers from Venice were the first Europeans to travel
to China and visit the court of Kublai Khan, about 1260.
The Polos laid out important routes that were followed by European
merchants and missionaries who traveled to China.
Consequences of the Geographical Discoveries
Portuguese and the Spaniards were the most adventurous explorers.
Henry the navigator encouraged navigation by establishing a school
Bartholomew Diaz sailed to the “Cape of Storms” and “The Cape
of Good Hope”
Vasco da Gama was successful in reaching Calicut in India.
Goa was conquered by the Portuguese, who made it the capital of their
Christopher Columbus patronized by Queen Isaballa f Spain set off
on a voyage and reached the West Indies, thinking he had landed on India.
Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513.
- Amerigo Vespucci landed on the “New World”. It was named after
One of the ships belonging to Ferdinand Magellan conducted a voyage
around the world.
A Northwest sea route to the east was discovered.
The “New World” was beginning to get ‘Europeanized’.
Exclusive commodities that were scarce were easily available in abundance.
It heralded an era of colonialism, imperialism and exploitation:
countries like Portugal, Spain, England, Holland and France started establishing
colonies over the newly discovered lands. Colonies not only provided
raw materials but also served as markets for the imperialist powers.
Atlantic became the main highway of trade. Cities like Lisbon,
London, Antwerp and Amsterdam buzzed with commercial activity.
The general standard of living of the people increased; migration
increased the prospects of one’s life. A powerful middle class emerged.
Strong monarchies arose in countries like France England and Spain.
New lands enabled persecuted people to migrate, thus in a way it fostered Protestantism.
The church suffered a setback thanks to the introduction of a secular
The gap between the east and the west was bridged as never before.
3.1 Importance of Geographical Discoveries
3.2 Causes of Geographical Discoveries
3.3 Early Travelers to the Far East
3.4 Important Geographical Discoveries
3.5 The Consequences of the Discoveries
3.6 Dates & Events
3.7 Points to Remember
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