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As a man said, Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit. The expansion of Europe was mostly the result of a quest for wealth and power. New technology and new knowledge of the earth and ways to navigate were great assistants to explorers, and because of this it gave a higher probability for success to get to the destination. These reasons are what enabled exploration to start in the fifteenth century.
Wealth has been the culprit behind most of mans efforts throughout time to go to places. European exploration is no exception. The riches (spices) of Asian and Indian goods introduced to the Europeans during the crusades provided a motive for the Europeans to explore. The Muslims and other foreign merchants who served as middlemen in the Asian trade caused for higher price for the consumer once the shipments reached Europe. Ways to bypass those merchants were found, and competition among the Europeans resulted to find new routes. By getting rid of high prices a nation would be better off financially, but that nation would also be able to sell those goods for a profit.
While the motives of each individual explorer were different from those of another, it is best to say that most explorers were in search of wealth. Bartholomew Diaz explained his reasons for going on voyages as to serve God, and to grow rich as all men desire to do so. Vasco Da Gama and Cortez also admitted that they were in search of gold. Columbus was in search of a new water route to Asia by way of sailing west, and thought that he would become rich with the rewards from Ferdinand and Isabella. He did receive a great reward from them, however his real riches came from the natives he found on the new places he landed. Francisco Pizzaro went to Peru for the purpose of gaining wealth, and profited from it by finding silver. French and English explorers like Cabot and Cartier sailed to find a Northwest Passage in hopes of profiting from the Asian trade. All of these great explores did this because of the advancement of technology.
Improved technology provided a way for explorers to increase their chances for success through defense weapons and through new navigational techniques and tools like the astrolabe. New ship designs were invented that would be powered by wind rather than by manual labor, which resulted in bigger and sometimes faster ships. New astrological, landmass, and depth charts made it easier for ship captains to navigate. These are only some of the new technologies found during the fifteenth century.
In conclusion, the fifteenth century was a time of new awakening in
Europe for exploration. The spice trade the quest for power and money, and technological advances all helped to promote the expansion of European empires in the fifteenth century.
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