Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Age of Exploration .. the start of the trading routes – part 1/3

Dear Mr Postman - oh .. this should be interesting a three part series on how we got to know the world ..

Today we take everything for granted .. it's so easy to get things, to order things .. but relatively recently 700 years ago it was all so different & we hadn't explored the world or tamed it .. perhaps we haven't now - but we've never had it so good ...

Our western civilisation only really started trading with the wider world once advances were made to sea faring vessels, which could withstand the open seas and long trips away. We'd traded with Europe and the Mediterranean - looking mainly for gold, silver and spices, while in the 1200s the Silk Route opened up across Persia, the Spice Routes extending along the shores of Asia, India & on to Indonesia with its Spice Islands.

It was with the advances in navigation and a greater understanding of the seas, that the Portuguese became the great explorers of the 1400s .. sailing down the west side of Africa, round the Cape of Good Hope and on to India .. thus bypassing the controlling Turks of the Ottoman Empire.

The Spanish from 1492 went west and found land in the Caribbean Islands, before setting foot on the north American continent ... Brazil was found at much the same time in 1500, but by the Portuguese .. amazingly a Papal Treaty in 1494 divided the world .. the Portuguese being given control over Africa, Asia and the Eastern part of Brazil, while the Spanish received everything west of this line ... only later realising their good fortune.

The decline of the Spanish and Portuguese controls .. see part 2

Thank you Mr Postman for giving us a good background to the start of exploration ...


Marketing Unscrambled, Home edition said...

What guts it took for those people to go and do all that they did. Not having weather forecasts. All the challenges that they had to overcome to sail to the places that they went. It is so amazing. We do take things for granted. We are so far from each other, you in the UK, we are in the USA. Yet we can talk to each other every day just like friend next door to each other. It is wonderful, this world that we live in. Thank you for the reminder of not taking things for granted.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Dan & Deanna .. thanks coming to visit .. hope I can tempt you more often!

I just like the snippets of information - as a) we are reminded that life was somewhat different not that long ago .. as you've said & b) we learn simple little facts on subjects perhaps we ourselves wouldn't check up on ..

Today's age is great .. and we are so lucky .. but we have so many opportunities to look, learn and listen .. & grow ..

So thanks for being one of my next door neighbours over the pond!

Hilary: Be Positive Be Happy

Peter Baca said...

Hello Hilary,

Very interesting history lession! I had not thought about the Papal Treaty since college. Your posts are thought provoking and intellectual! They could also be used in philosophy discussions!

How different the world would be if Papal Treaty had been the opposite! It would probably be a different world!

Best Regards


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Pete .. I hate to say it .. but I didn't know that!

I just love learning new things - even snippets of information .. as they lead to other thoughts - as you say what would the world have been like if someone had got their left and rights mixed up??!!

It's great having you read the posts and being interested .. thanks so much -