World History 2 66 - 5.2 Crossing the Atlantic

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how technological innovations in the fifteenth century made transatlantic journeys possible
  • Discuss the motives for Spanish and Portuguese exploration in the Americas
  • Analyze the impact of the Treaty of Tordesillas on the Atlantic World
  • Describe the physical and cultural ramifications of the Columbian Exchange

During the European Middle Ages, the Middle East and North Africa entered a golden age of learning. As Europeans increasingly made connections with peoples across the Mediterranean and in Central and East Asia, ideas from this golden age trickled back to them that influenced sailors, explorers, and shipbuilders. Then, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, innovators in navigation and exploration pushed Europeans to expand their trade networks across the globe and connect with new places and peoples. The most notable voyages of this period, known as the Age of Exploration, were the transatlantic voyages of Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus in the 1490s, underwritten by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

The content of this course has been taken from the free World History, Volume 2: from 1400 textbook by Openstax