History of Quebec and Canada/Study Guide/Topic 1: Reasons for Exploration

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What were the major reasons why Europeans explorers went on great voyages of exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries?

Ottoman Empire

A major reason behind these explorations was that the Ottoman Turks had blocked the overland trade routes to Asia through their capture of Constantinople in 1453. Consequently, not only did it become more dangerous to travel, but luxury items such as silk, spices, gold and silver became extremely expensive. A new route by sea had to be found to India and China and this resulted in European explorers searching for the Northwest Passage (see map).

Other reasons included:

Political reasons

'Kings wanted more power.' By creating colonies overseas they hoped they would become richer and more powerful. Colonies could also provide them with gold and silver.

Voyages of Columbus

Commercial reasons

Merchants hoped to get rich in return for paying to equip the voyage. If the ship returned with spices, silk, and gold, the merchants could sell them for high prices.

Technological reasons

There were now better ships (caravels), improved maps and new navigational instruments such as the astrolabe and the magnetic compass.


Religious reasons

Church leaders wanted to send missionaries to newly-discovered lands. They wanted to convert the people of other lands to the Christian faith.


Do the following questions on Topic 1: Reasons for Exploration


1. FOR WHICH TWO OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS DID EUROPEAN KINGS,MERCHANTS AND BANKERS SUPPORT THE GREAT EXPLORATIONS?

1. The need to find waters rich in all types of fish.

2. The need to find lands rich in all types of fur.

3. The need to find a new, easier and more direct route to the Orient.

4. The growing demand for gold and silver needed for trade.

5. The desire of the Amerindians to convert to Catholicism.




2. WHICH TWO CHARACTERISTICS BELOW DESCRIBE THE COUNTRIES THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE GREAT VOYAGES OF EXPLORATION?

1. They all had large ports on the Mediterranean Sea.

2. They were the poorest countries in Europe.

3. They had mastered navigational techniques and used compasses, caravels and astrolabes.

4. They were searching for new markets for their products.

5. Their kings had to find new routes to Asia after the Turks conquered Constantinople.


Question goes here



3.WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING FACTORS MOTIVATED THE EUROPEAN MONARCHS TO FINANCE EXPEDITIONS WESTWARDS?

1. the invention of new navigational instruments

2. the scarcity of gold and precious metals

3. the desire to claim new territories

4. the conversion of the natives

5. the creation of a naval war fleet



ANSWER: A B C D

Go On To Topic 2: Cartier's VoyagesHistory_of_Quebec_and_Canada/Study_Guide/Module_1_:_The_French_Empire_in_North_America