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Age of Exploration

Theme (1) Origins and Beginnings of European Age of Exploration
What political, and technological circumstances set the stage for European expansion in the 15th century? What new migration into Asia Minor and the eastern Mediterranean presented a barrier to European trade and contacts with Asia? Iberian peninsula:Scroll to map, then to "The Economy"
Ottoman Turks:
What were the primary motivations of the Portuguese and other European explorers? What was the role of Prince Henry "the Navigator"? What had the Portuguese accomplished by the end of the 15th century? What was the relationship between the Portuguese and the people with whom they come in contact in Africa and Asia? Prince Henry: Assessment: see Article 3
How did Christopher Columbus become involved, and what do his own writings tell us about him? What is the nature of the present historical debate about the role of Columbus? Columbus
historical debate

Theme (2): The Role of Spain in the Americas
Who was Amerigo Vespucci and how did America get its name? How did Spain establish settlements in Central and South America?  What did Cortez' expedition accomplish? What did Pizarro's expedition accomplish? What did the Magellan expedition accomplish?

Vespucci: Colonization


How did Spanish conquests affect native Americans? How did the trans-Atlantic slave trade begin? How did they affect Spain and Europe? Which European city was the primary beneficiary of the wealth brought back from the Americas? What economic problems did Spain suffer from? What was the Columbian exchange? American Indians
Trade and slavery
European Economy(timeline)
: Columbian exchange

Theme (3): The Role of Holland, France and England
How and why did the Netherlands become involved in overseas exploration? What was the outcome of their involvement by the mid-17th century? Which city became the commercial center of Europe?

Dutch commerce and exploration: 
Site (1):   Click on "United East India Company"
Golden Age of the Netherlands Amsterdam

How and why did France become involved in overseas exploration and settlement?  Samuel Champlain
French Canada
How and why did England become involved in overseas exploration and settlement? English colonies

Theme (4) Politics, Religion and War in the 17th Century
What was the outcome of the Habsburg-Valois Wars? How had the nature of wars changed by the 17th Century?  Habsburg-Valois Wars         changes in warfare
How extensive was Calvinism in France in the 16th, and 17th centuries? Why did civil war occur in France after 1559? What was the nature of the war? What was the Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre? What were the effects of the war? How was the war brought to an end? What was the Edict of Nantes? Calvinism in France:
civil war
Bartholomew's Day massacre
Edict of Nantes
What was the political status of the lowlands in the 16th century? How did religious wars break out in the lowlands? What was the Spanish response? With what result?  Dutch War for independence  

How did Spain, under Philip II, respond to English policy? What was the goal of the Spanish Armada and why did it fail? What were the consequences of failure?

Francis Drake
Spanish Armada      

What circumstances in the Holy Roman Empire set the stage for renewed war in the early 17th century? How did the Thirty Years War begin and how did it unfold and spread? Why did France intervene in the War? What were the terms of the "Peace of Wesphalia"? Thirty Years War
Treaty of Westphalia: Introducing a new era

European maps                      Maps of Europe AD1000:2000


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