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New World Discovery

In: Historical Events

Submitted By tashy
Words 1036
Pages 5


Name: Tashena Edwards
Registration #:
Subject: History
School: St Andrews High
Centre #:100108
Date: March 2012 D

Topics page
Body of Research…………………………………
Conclusion………………………………………………. End Notes……………………………………………..

Theme: The Indigenous people and the Europeans
Thesis statement: “To what extent is it safe to say that the advancement of technology was one the main factor that lead to the discovery of the new world?”

Europe in the fourteenth century was different from what it is today, mainly because of their advancement in technology. Throughout the centuries European states has stretched there vast empires so as to achieve riches. So I challenged myself, what was it that helped the Europeans to achieve such supremacy. My answer came plain and simple it was their voyages to and from the
New World. These voyages came about because of the new technology and to greater extent knowledge. This advancement didn’t only allow them riches, because they did benefited highly. It also created a path way for great discovery that subsequently; cause a change over and with that discovery allowed the world to be what it is today.

In the 1450s invention of the printing press which made available books, maps, travel an explorers accounts. * Prince Henry the “Navigator” set out to expose Portuguese sailors with the most up to date geographical ideas. He made a collection of new material. * Navigational Instrument: Astrolobe, cross- staff, quadrant and compass which helped to fix a ship’s location Prince Henry had these instruments improved. * Ship Building: Faster ships which carried small crews needed to carry less food supply. Caravels had three movable sails which took less men to track against the wind longer voyages were now possible. * The Caravels was rigged with a combination of square and triangular sails and was highly maneuverable. It could sail against wind and ocean currents and along winding shares and rivers.
Before the Caravels there was the Galley which depended on the wind. It had to be reconstructed since it was unreliable. These were improved and the result was the sailing ships called Caracks * The magnetic compass: With this sailors could state their coast at the sea. * The Astrolobe and the Quadrant: With these two instruments the sailors could take the altitudes of the sun and stars and they were able to locate their position more accurately. * Partaclai charts/maps: These guided sailors into unknown waters and increased their confidence as they ventured into the unknown. * Gun powder: Gun powder combines with iron work so that ships could be armed with cannon also sailors were armed with muskets and pistols. These offered Europeans greater protection against possible hostile people

Prince Henry of Portugal
Henry, a prince of Portugal, hoped to find a water route to Asia. To do so, Prince Henry knew he must learn more about the oceans. In his search for knowledge, Prince Henry helped prepare the way for a new age.
To most Europeans the Atlantic Ocean was a great unknown. They called it the Sea of Darkness.
Many believed that it was inhabited by giant sea monsters that could swallow ships whole. They were afraid to sail south. There, they believed, the sea boiled and the sun would roast their skins. They were also afraid to sail west because they might not find wind to bring them back home again. Prince Henry wanted to find out the truth. He encouraged ship captains to keep logs, daily records about a ship’s journey. Logs included information on winds, ocean currents, and the shapes of coastlines. One of the most important tools that captains used was the compass, an instrument for finding directions. The compass was first used in Asia. By the 1400s Europeans sailors had begun to depend on the compass.
Henry talked to the captains returning from voyages. He listened carefully to their stories. Their bits of information began to fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Henry and his scholars began to make charts, or maps, of coastlines and the ocean. Prince Henry’s effort led to the science of navigation.
In these years the Portuguese developed an ocean-going sailboat called a caravel. It used three sails. It could travel well either into wind or with the wind. This was a major achievement and the sailors felt safe to explore.

The improvement of the astrolabe, cross-staff, quadrent and compass
The state of technology was adequate to the task. At the start of the fifteenth century, European ships were inferior to those used by Arab and Chinese traders; but the Europeans learned fast, and within two hundred years they were building the best ships in the world. In 1400, European ships, though sometimes quite large, were clumsy. They usually had only one mast, though some larger ships had two or three. They were square-rigged, which limited their movement, and had only one sail to a mast, which meant large sails, difficult to handle. Thus these ships were difficult to maneuver and unsuited for long journeys or adverse winds.
These square-rigged ships, consequently, were not important in the early voyages of discovery. Instead, the Portuguese used a type whose construction they borrowed from Arab merchants, the two-master lateen caravel. The lateen sail was more or less triangular and capable of being adjusted to almost all winds. The Portuguese modified the caravel by combining the square-rig with the lateen sails and adding a mast, or sometimes two. As a result, the advantages of both types of ship were gained and the disadvantages eliminated. The Arab caravels could not attain the size or speed possible to square-rigged ships, but were superior for sailing close to the wind and much more easily steered. The new ships made feasible the long-distance voyages to the Far
East and the New World.
Some instruments existed for the use of navigators. Compasses had been used by Europeans at least from the thirteenth century. To ascertain their latitude, sailors found the altitude of the heavenly bodies by means of the astrolabe; the quadrant was invented and used in the fifteenth century. There was no satisfactory means of finding longitude or speed.

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