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16th Century American Exploration Essay

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Exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries brought about a turning point in global history, opening the world to new ideas through trade and cultural collaboration. The expeditions of the Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese brought about a forceful change in the social, religious, economic, and political ideology for the people of the age. While these empires were able to explore successfully due to similar advancements in maritime technology; each civilization’s attempts at exploration originated from differing motives and lead to contrasting ideas on the role exploration would play in their futures. Advancements in naval expertise allowed both cultures to explore extensively. The Ming Dynasty developed an impressive fleet of large and impressive…show more content…
Soon after the death of Zheng He, China ceased exploration of new lands. Conversely, the wealth and power the excursions generated for Spain and Portugal fueled their desired to discover new territories and treasures. Although the explorations were considered successful in elevating Chinese stature and influence at the time, questions arose over how much the Chinese actually profited from their expensive excursions. Chinese officials argued they benefitted as much as they could from the trips for the vast amounts of money spent and the decision was made to cease further expeditions. In addition, invaders from the north were creating new threats and money was needed to defend and fortify the Chinese borders. Satisfied with their trade routes and their dominance in the world, Chinese-led exploration became stagnate. However, the Spanish and Portuguese southern foraged on. In the early to mid-1500s, Prince Henry The Navigator, Bartholemew Diaz, and Vasco de Gama, continued exploration into India, Cape of Good Hope, and Africa, amassing great fortune, land, influence, and forever changing the landscape of the
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