Beginnings Of North European Expansion European overseas expansion after entered a second phase, comparable to developments at home. As Spain declined, so did the Spanish empire and that of Portugal, which was tied to Spain by a Habsburg king after and plagued with its own developing imperial problems. These new conditions afforded opportunities for northern European states. The Dutch, between andalmost cleared the Atlantic of Spanish warships and took over most of the Portuguese posts in Brazil, Africa, and Asia.
Beginnings Of North European Expansion European overseas expansion after entered a second phase, comparable to developments at home. As Spain declined, so did the Spanish empire and that of Portugal, which was tied to Spain by a Habsburg king after and plagued with its own developing imperial problems.
These new conditions afforded opportunities for northern European states. The Dutch, between andalmost cleared the Atlantic of Spanish warships and took over most of the Portuguese posts in Brazil, Africa, and Asia. The French and English also became involved on a smaller scale, setting up their global duel for empire in the eighteenth century.
Expanding foreign trade, new products, an increasing supply of bullion, and rising commercial risks created new problems, calling for energetic initiatives.
During the sixteenth century the Spanish and Portuguese had depended upon quick profits, and because of weak home industries and poor management, wealth flowed through their hands to northern Europe, where it was invested in productive enterprises.
Later, this wealth generated a new imperial age. European markets after the sixteenth century were swamped with a bewildering array of hitherto rare or unknown goods. In an era without refrigeration imported spices, such as pepper, cloves, and cinnamon, made spoiled foods palatable.
Sugar became a common substitute for honey, and cocoa, the Aztec sacred beverage, spread throughout Europe. Coffee and tea, from the New World and Asia, soon produced new social habits throughout Europe. North American furs, Chinese silks, and cottons from India and Mexico revolutionized clothing fashion.
Luxury furnishings, using rare woods, ivory, and Oriental carpets appeared more frequently in homes of the wealthy. The use of American tobacco became almost a mania among all classes and contributed further to the booming European market.
Imported gold and, more significantly, silver probably affected the European economy more than all other foreign goods. After the Spaniards looted Aztec and Inca treasure rooms, the gold flowing from America and Africa subsided to a trickle, but seven million tons of silver poured into Europe before Spanish prices quadrupled and, because most of the silver went to pay for imports, prices in northern Europe more than tripled.
The influx of bullion and the resulting inflation hurt landlords depending on fixed rents and creditors who were paid in cheap money, but the bullion bonanza ended a centuries-long gold drain to the East, with its attendant money shortage.
It also increased the profits of merchants selling on a rising market, thus greatly stimulating north European capitalism.
At the opening of the sixteenth century, Italian merchants and money-lenders, mainly Florentines, Venetians, and Genoese, dominated the rising Atlantic economy. The German Fugger Banking house at Augsburg also provided substantial financing. As the century passed, Antwerp in the southern Netherlands became the economic hub of Europe.
It was the center for the English wool trade as well as the entrepot way station for southbound trade from the Baltic and Portuguese goods from Asia.
It was also a great financial center, dealing in commercial and investment instruments. Meanwhile, north European capitalism flourished in nearly every category.
Portuguese trade was rivaled by that of north European merchants in the Baltic and the North Atlantic. Northern joint stock companies pooled capital for privateering, exploring, and commercial venturing.
The Dutch and English East India companies, founded early in the seventeenth century, were but two of the better known stock companies. In England, common fields were enclosed for capitalistic sheep runs. Throughout western Europe, domestic manufacturing, in homes or workshops, competed with the guilds.
Large industrial enterprises, notably in mining, shipbuilding, and cannon-casting were becoming common. Their empire, like the Portuguese earlier, was primarily commercial; even their North American settlements specialized in fur trading with the Indians.
They acquired territory where necessary to further their commerce but tried to advance their interests by pragmatic policies, in accord with native cultures, rather than by conquest. Unlike the Spanish and Portuguese, they made little attempt to spread Christianity.
Systematic Dutch naval operations ended Iberian imperial supremacy, beginning in when the first Dutch fleet entered the East Indies. Dutch captains soon drove the Portuguese from the Spice Islands.Nonetheless, there was a convergence of developments in the early s, which, despite many qualifications, delineates a new stage in European expansionism and especially in that of the most successful empire builder, Great Britain.
The Colonization of Africa was due to a wide range of factors, not only economic and political but also DATE: 26/09/ INTRODUCTION The reasons behind European imperialism in Africa were purely The scramble for Africa was described as the golden period of European expansionism in the 19th century.
It was an age in . Or was something far larger behind the European success at colonization. These are questions that Dr. Jared Diamond, a professor at UCLA, sought to answer in his book “Guns, Germs and Steel”, a fascinating look at why Europeans succeeded in expanding across multiple continents, and why the native populations fared so badly in the face of.
Motives for Imperialism Five Motives for Imperialism. Various motives prompt empires to seek to expand their rule over other countries or territories.
conquest, they believed, would bring successful culture to inferior people. In the late 19 th century, for example, European powers clung to the racist belief that inferior races should be. European Expansion: This map illustrates the main travels of the Age of Discovery, from The travel routes spanned between Europe and the eastern coast of the Americas, down through the Atlantic Ocean and around the southern tip of South America toward Southeast Asia, and down through the Atlantic and around the southern tip of Africa toward India.
Mar 02, · One prominent factor behind Europe’s overseas ventures, and one that tainted each of the four powers which took to the seas, was the promise of economic power through conquering important sea-routes and commodity markets.