Expansion of western europe Essay

1097 Words 5 Pages
The expansion of Western Europe started with the Iberian phase. Spain and Portugal, the two countries of the Iberian Peninsula, had a short-lived yet important role in European expansion. European expansion then turned to Western Europe. Western Europe consists of the Dutch, French, and British. While Western Europe was exploring new worlds overseas, the Russians were expanding westward across all of Eurasia.
     Religion played a major role in expansion for both the Portuguese and the Spanish due to their extensive anti-Muslim crusade. Due to the over zealous religious fervor of the Christian Iberians, Christianity and thus the Iberians expanded into parts of western Europe during the crusades as Christians
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     India, the new world that Columbus had set out to conquer, was finally reached in 1487 when Bartholomeau Dias landed at Mossel Bay on the Indian Ocean. The cape route to India was secured in 1498 when Vasco da Gama and his four ships landed in Calicut harbor. In 1499 da Gama returned to the Portuguese mainland with a cargo that “Proved to be worth sixty times the cost of the entire expedition” (p.345) proving that the trip was well worth the effort and that the Indian “new world” did indeed exist.
     The fever for expansion continued into the 16th century as the Europeans continued to battle for ports and trade routes in the new world. The Portuguese holdings in Asia was relatively small, yet the territories in the possession were so strategically located that they gave the Portuguese control “Trade routes spanning half the globe.” (p.347) Despite their efforts, the Egyptians (with the help of the Venetians) as well as the Turks we unsuccessful at trying to drive the Portuguese out of the Indian Ocean.
     Once the Spanish realized that they were losing the battle for the Spice Islands, they commissioned Ferdinand Magellan to sail to Asia in search of them. Magellan circumnavigated the globe and eventually reached the modern day Philippines in search of valuable cargo. Despite many obstacles, Magellan made

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