Motives for Exploration,
by John Rezes.

  1. Money
  2. Power
  3. Control of trade network
  4. Convert other people to Christianity
  5. Claim new territory
  6. Find new territory
  7. Locate new sources of trade/income
  8. Growing curiosity about the outside world

Why did the Iberian kingdoms decide to sponsor voayges of exploration? One reason may be found in the individual ambition and adventurous personalities of the rulers during that time. These explorations continued the four European trends evident in the Latin West...

  1. the revival of urban life/trade.
  2. an alliance between merchants and rulers.
  3. a struggle with Islamic culture for the dominance of the Mediterranean that mixed religious motives with the desire for trade with distnat lands.
  4. curiosity about the outside world.

By 1450, city states in Italy had well-established trade links to northern Europe, the Indian Ocean, and the Black Sea. The main city-states of Venice and Genoa continued trade in the Medditeranean as well as kept up alliances with the Muslims. Even after the Ottoman Empire distrupted their trade to the east, Italy did not take the lead in exploring the Atlantic Ocean. However, many individual Italians did lead explorations in the Atlantic.
Routes of Venice and Genoa

By 1250 the Iberian kingdoms of Portugal, Castile, and Aragon had conquered all the Muslims lands except the southern kingdom of Granada. United in 1469, Castile and Aragon set out to conquer Granada. By 1492, it was dominated.
Christian militancy continued to be an important motive for both Portugal and Spain in their overseas explorations. The Iberians took larger risks, sailing to find routes to the rich trade that was found in Africa and Asia. Both Portugal and Spain were leaders in the shipbuilding renovations and and the gunpowder revolutions in the were underway in Atlantic Europe.
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