Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Expansion of western europe Essay -- essays research papers

The expansion of Western Europe started with the Iberian phase. Spain and Portugal, the two countries of the Iberian Peninsula, had a short-lived yet important role in European expansion. European expansion then turned to Western Europe. Western Europe consists of the Dutch, French, and British. While Western Europe was exploring new worlds overseas, the Russians were expanding westward across all of Eurasia.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Religion played a major role in expansion for both the Portuguese and the Spanish due to their extensive anti-Muslim crusade. Due to the over zealous religious fervor of the Christian Iberians, Christianity and thus the Iberians expanded into parts of western Europe during the crusades as Christians tried to convert the Muslims who were occupying this area. The Iberians did not stop with the European mainland; they were also expanding overseas. They were interested in the fertile land of the Canary Islands, Madeira, Azores and Cape Verde. These islands would also prove to be strategic acquisitions for the Iberians, as they would eventually provide the Iberians with bases and ports to be used for commerce. Throughout the 15th century the Spanish and Portuguese had been exploring lands throughout the Atlantic which drove Queen Isabella of Spain to commission Christopher Columbus in 1492 to â€Å"Discover and acquire islands and mainland in the ocean sea† (p.3 40) which eventually led to the discovery of North America.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  In the mid 1400’s Spain and Portugal began to take separate routes of discovery. Prince Henry of Portugal, in reaction to the shortage of bullion in Western Europe, was interested in sending his captains to the African coast in search of gold. As a result, many Portuguese ports were established along the African coast and â€Å"The Portuguese were able to exploit at least a part of the African caravan trade they had sought.† (p.340) While Portugal was focused on expansion along the African coast; the Spanish were the first to discover the â€Å"new world† despite the lack of geographical knowledge the Spaniards and Columbus in particular possessed. This â€Å"new world† wasn’t quite what Columbus had though it was, however; as Columbus maintained to his death that he had reached Asia. He hadn’t, â€Å"He had landed at one of the Bahaman Islands, San Salvador.† (p. 342) Columbus’ distorted reality proved to... ...d 18th centuries ended in an overwhelming British triumph.† (p.364). Britain now had complete control of the New England colonies of North America.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  While the western Europeans were busy expanding all over the globe the Russian focused on expansion into Asia. â€Å"The gathering of the Russian lands† (p373) occurred during the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. All of Russia was now united under Moscow. The Russians eventually crossed the Ural Mountains and gained control of all of Siberia. The Russians then moved southward into the Amur valley where they â€Å"More than met their match† (p.375) the Chinese empire. The age of Russian expansion ended with the signing of the Nerchinsk treaty, which remained in effect for over 170 years.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Due to the explorations of the Iberians, Dutch, English, French and Russians, lands were discovered that encompass a large portion of the world as we know it today. Due to many advances in maritime technology, geography and military powers, these groups were able to conquer much of the world in a relatively short amount of time.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚     Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  

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