[audio] Trade Route to Asia in the 1400s

European Trade With Asia

  • Traders are people who get wealth by buying items from a group of people at a low price and selling those things to other people at higher prices.

European countries use trade to gain wealth

  • The stronger countries in Europe in the 1400s and 1500s were England, Spain, France and Portugal.
  • Kings and queens wanted to gain wealth to build larger armies and navies to dominate other countries.

Europe wants to trade with Asia

  • A trader would want to buy luxuries in Asia such as silks, carpets and jewels that were not available in Europe and sell them to make a lot of money.

Muslims controlled land routes to Asia

  • Land routes: the roads and trails people traveled to get from one place to another.
  • Muslims: people who controlled the land routes between Europe and Asia.
  • European traders had to solve their problem with Muslim-controlled land by going by sea around Muslim-controlled land.

[audio] The Line of Demarcation

  • Rivals are people or countries who compete against each other.
  • The Line of Demarcation was an imaginary line drawn by the Pope that split the New World into half and into which areas Portugal and Spain could claim.
  • Portuguese is spoken in Brazil while Spanish is spoken in all other countries of South America. The small part of South America was within the Portuguese claim and became the large Portuguese colony of Brazil, while all other parts were under Spain.
  • Accommodating, seen in the example of the Line of Demarcation, was the solution Spain and Portugal used to solve their rivalry.

Spain and the New World

  • Conquistador means "conqueror" in Spanish.
  • The conquistadors were sent to North and South America to make the Spanish king and Spain more powerful by claiming land for Spain and bringing wealth back to Spain.

[audio] Cortes

  • Montezuma tried to accommodate Cortes because of his visions and beliefs.
  • Many Aztecs died from European diseases because they had no immunity to the diseases found in Europe.
  • Some historians think Cortes got his men to fight harder by burning the ships in which the Spanish came to America.
  • The effect of Cortes' conquest on the Spanish was to make Spain wealthy.
  • The effects of Cortes' conquest on the Aztecs were serious economic and people's rights problems.

Route of Cortes
The route of Cortes. Source: Encyclopedia Americana, 1993 ed., vol. 8, p. 28, "Cortez."



  • The effect of Pizarro's conquest on the Spanish was to make Spain even richer.
  • The effects of Pizarro's conquest on the Incas were severe economic and people's right problems.

[audio] Spanish seek wealth in the north

  • Few Spaniards settled in North America in the 1500s because there was little gold to be found there.

European diseases and Native Americans

  • European diseases weakened Native American populations and made it easier for Europeans to conquer them.

People's rights problems for Native Americans

  • Some Spaniards believed that they should convert the Native Americans to Christianity because the missionaries believed it was their duty.

[audio] England and the New World


  • Two advantages England's navy had over the Spanish navy:
    a. The English navy ships were faster and could turn more easily.
    b. England had better admirals (leaders in the navy).

  • The two effects of England's victory over Spain:
    a. England and other countries could make more money from trade because the oceans were no longer controlled by the Spanish navy.
    b. Spain became a weaker country.