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The Maritime Revolution to 1550
Transcript of The Maritime Revolution to 1550
The new anti-Muslim Crusades of 1396 and 1444 were launched by the Europeans because the expansion of the Ottoman Turks disrupted trade routes. The attacks started with the city of Ceuta when the Muslim government of Morocco in the northwestern part of Africa started to show weakness. The Portuguese’s attack on Ceuta in 1415 conjoined the aspects of a plundering expedition, a religious crusade, military tournament, and an information gathering expedition, particularly to gain knowledge about African caravans. This attack was led by Henry the Navigator, a Prince of Portugal, whose staff would study and improve navigational instruments like the magnetic compass from China and the astrolabe that would determine the location at sea by the sun or stars. Another Portuguese achievement is the caravel. Prince Henry wanted to explore the sea and it took him fourteen years to get a crew together because of the fear of the stories that were heard about the South Atlantic, but after those fourteen years he had enough people for a crew and sailed farther south past Morocco. On the return voyages of Henry’s ship gave them the knowledge of ocean wind patterns that would help explorers find many other ocean routes. To pay for research Prince Henry used the income of The Order of Christ, which was a military order that he was governor of that was allowed to promote Christianity in all discovered lands. The Portuguese crown sponsored many exploration voyages, one of the explorations was Fernão Gomes, who discovered São Tomé, an island off of Africa that became a major source of sugar produced slaves on mainland. He also explored the Gold Coast which became the headquarters of Portugal’s West African trade. One of the final explorations of Africa by sea was trying to get around the southern tip to sail to India. In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias was the first Portuguese explorer to round the tip of Africa and get to the Indian Ocean. Then finally in 1497 Vasco da Gama led a Portuguese exploration that sailed around Africa and reached India. There was an error made in 1500 and ships under the command of Pedro Alvares Cabral sails too far west and landed in South America and claimed Brazil for Portugal, which became the Western Hemisphere’s richest colonies.
Exploration of the Indian Ocean (cont.)
From 1405 to 1433, large fleets commanded by Admiral Zheng He—under the auspices of the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty—traveled to the Indian Ocean seven times. This attempt did not lead China to global expansion, as the Confucian bureaucracy under the next emperor reversed the policy of open exploration and by 1500, it became a capital offense to build a seagoing junk with more than two masts.
Polynesians in the Pacific Ocean
The ancestors of the Polynesians originated in Asia. After centuries of island-hopping migrations that led from Melansia to Fiji and Tonga, Polynesians had developed more sea-worhty vessels.No later than 500 CE, Polynesians had settled the Hawaiin islands 2200 miles away. Around the same time Polynesian voyagers established settlements on Easter Island and New Zealand.These voyages eventually brought them to the Americas, giving them access to sweet potatoes.
Exploration of the Indian Ocean
Chinese envoys sailed into the Indian Ocean from the late 2nd century BC, and reportedly reached Kanchipuram. During the late 4th and early 5th centuries, Chinese pilgrims like Faxian, Zhiyan, and Tanwujie began traveling by sea to India, bringing back Buddhist scriptures and sutras to China.By the 7th century, as many as 31 recorded Chinese monks managed to reach India the same way. In 674, the private explorer Daxi Hongtong was among the first to end his journey at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, after traveling through 36 countries west of the South China Sea.
Chinese seafaring merchants and diplomats of the medieval Tang Dynasty (618—907) and Song Dynasty (960—1279) often sailed into the Indian Ocean after visiting ports in South East Asia. Chinese sailors would travel to Malaya, India, Sri Lanka, into the Persian Gulf and up the Euphrates River in modern-day Iraq, to the Arabian peninsula and into the Red Sea, stopping to trade goods in Ethiopia and Egypt. Seaports in China such as Guangzhou and Quanzhou - the most cosmopolitan urban centers in the medieval world - hosted thousands of foreign travelers and permanent settlers. Chinese junk ships were even described by the Moroccan geographer Al-Idrisi in his Geography of 1154, along with the usual goods they traded and carried aboard their vessels.
The Polynesians' primary voyaging craft was the double canoe made of two hulls connected by lashed crossbeams. The two hulls gave this craft stability and the capacity to carry heavy loads of migrating families and all their supplies and equipment, while a central platform laid over the crossbeams provided the needed working, living, and storage space. Sails made of matting drove this ancient forerunner of the modern catamaran swiftly through the seas, and long steering paddles enabled Polynesian mariners to keep it sailing on course.
A medium-size voyaging canoe 50 to 60 feet long could accomodate two dozen or so migrants, their food supplies, livestock, and planting materials
Dhows are ancient two-masted sailing boats that were used especially in the Middle East regions. Generally known as traditional Arab boats, dhows were used in the olden times for trading goods and fishing activities. Dhows were typically of three to five hundred tones in weight and had a slender hull design. Dhow ships are still used in many countries around the world, mostly those in the regions between Persian Gulf and East Africa.
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel/ship design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Song Dynasty (960-1129) and were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century CE. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously in Hong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats.
The term junk may be used to cover many kinds of boat—ocean-going, cargo-carrying, pleasure boats, live-aboards. They vary greatly in size and there are significant regional variations in the type of rig, however they all employ fully battened sails.
A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave her speed and the capacity for sailing to windward (beating). Caravels were much used by the Portuguese for the oceanic exploration voyages during the 15th and 16th centuries in the age of discovery.
Vikings and the Arawak in the Atlantic
One of the greatest mariner groups in the Atlantic Ocean in the Middle Ages was the Vikings. These vigorous, ruthless raiders would attack the European coast in their open ships for several long centuries. In the act of sailing along the European coast they discovered many new lands such as Iceland in 770, Greenland in 982, and parts of North America in 986. Navigation was not a skill used by the Vikings. They found their way through by knowledge of the heavens, which made their travels easy for them. Fifteen years after the Vikings discovered North America, Leif Ericsson founded a short-lived Viking settlement on Newfoundland but was eventually deserted when a colder climate came around. Later on after the Vikings deserted Newfoundland, southern Europeans took their knowledge of Mediterranean maritime skills and used them in the Atlantic. This helped Genoese and Portuguese expeditions in the 14th century found the island of Madeira, the Azores, and the Canaries. Other then European, and Viking exploration in the Atlantic there was also the Africans who took their share of exploration to. The Syrian geographer al – Umari (1301-1349) tells that Mansa Kankan Musa the ruler of West African Mali passed through Egypt on his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. Musa told of voyages across the Atlantic that were undertaken by Mansa Muhammad. Muhammad sent fleets of four hundred plus vessels packed with supplies across the Atlantic but when he sent his second fleet no one returned. Little trade occurred in the Atlantic between south and Central America. The southern Amerindian voyagers were the ones to colonize the Indies on a trade run. By 1000, the Amerindians were known by the term Arawak (also called Taino). They moved up from the Lesser Antilles (Barbados, Martinique, and Guadeloupe) to the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Bahamas). The Carib undertook that same route and ended up overrunning the Arawak settlements in Lesser Antilles and raiding parts of Greater Antilles in the late 15th century. Both of these colonization’s, the Arawak and Carib took voyages to the North American mainland through the Atlantic Ocean.
When Christopher Columbus approached the Spanish crown with his project of finding a new route to Asia, the Portuguese had already established their route to the Indian Ocean. The King and Queen of Spain agreed to fund a modest voyage of discovery, and Columbus set out in 1492 with letters of introduction to Asian rulers and an Arabic interpreter. After three voyages, Columbus was still certain that he had found Asia, but other Europeans realized that he had discovered entirely new lands. These new discoveries led the Spanish and the Portuguese to sign the Treaty of Tordesillas, in which they divided the world between them along a line drawn down the center of the North Atlantic. **Ferdinand Magellan**s voyage across the Pacific confirmed Portugals claim to theMolucca Islands and established the Spanish claim to the Philippines
Vasco Da Gama's Journal Entry
January 21, 1498: After our terrible delay, involving the weather, we have finally reached an African port, in the city of Mozambique. Here is where we have decided to pay an Arab pilot to help us navigate the rest of the way to India. The crew has stayed quiet for the past month, I believe it’s because of the strange natives we have been seeing along the coast. Along with my crew, I believe the inhabitants of this land are rather eerie also. (Passage written in Vasco da Gama’s actual journal) "The inhabitants of this country are tawny-colored. Their food is confined to the flesh of seals, whales and gazelles, and the roots of herbs. They are dressed in skins, and wear sheaths over their virile members. They are armed with poles of olive wood to which a horn, browned in the fire, is attached. Their numerous dogs resemble those of Portugal, and bark like them. The birds of the country, likewise, are the same as in Portugal, and include cormorants, gulls, turtle doves, crested larks, and many others."
This Journal entry of Da Gama of his voyage down the west side of Africa. Here they have stopped in Mozamique. He talks about the "eerie" appearance of the inhabitants of this African city, how they dressed, and what they ate. He also relates them to the birds and animals of the country.