Age of Exploration: When Worlds Collide

The “Age of Exploration” lasted from the 15th to the 17th century which culminated in the colonization of various regions globally (Ballantyne, 2020). As a result, direct contacts were established with regions such as Oceania, America, Africa as well as Asia. The research endeavors to establish the factors which prompted European expansion overseas, the motivations, objectives and accompanying advantages. It also aims at identifying and discussing the consequences of contact between the Old and New Worlds.

European Expansion Overseas

The underlying factors

Economic factors prompted the move aimed at expansion.

Initially, merchants brought commodities from the Far East including spices. As a result, they acquired profits for their endeavors. Exploration by the Europeans aimed at finding shorter routes which could connect them to the Far East. Water routes enable the Portuguese access to Asia under Prince Harry. Countries such as Spain and Portugal competed resulting in sponsored expeditions by explorers such as Christopher Columbus. The nations competed politically for supremacy. Nations such as Europe indicated extensive interest in conquering the New World (Bozeman, 2017).

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As a result, monarchs from England explored North America to establish dominance.

On the other hand, Spain became dominant due to the gold as well as silver acquired. Technological advancements resulted in extensive explorations. For example, shipbuilders developed the caravel which sailed faster. Improved navigational skills increased the capacity of sailors to venture out to see. Besides, the compass allowed for accurate readings relating to cardinal directions.

The motivations

European nations drew their motivation from a need to spread Christianity as indicated by Bartolomeu Dias.

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In addition, they also targeted wealth and its accompanying glory. The capacity for European nations to control the routes used for trade served as an impetus to diminish the influence of Italians coupled with the Islamic counterparts.


Participants harbored the goal of achieving individual glory. Through the Renascence, individual glory became greatly sought after. Furthermore, people sought to discover classical Greek as well as Roman values on their own.


The explorations improved cartography. It also facilitated the acquisition of new resources for the nations involved. Hence, respective nations actualized their need for prosperity.

An identification and discussion of the consequences of contact between the Old and New Worlds.

The contact established between the Old and New World culminated in numerous repercussions. For example, Africa, Europe as well as the Americas became engaged in disease trade-offs. The outcome was the contraction of smallpox by Native Americans. The explorations led to numerous unsafe voyages. The regions targeted were unique and in unknown regions. Harsh oceanic waters and unfavorable travel conditions hindered the capacity of travelers to reach their destinations.

The Age of discovery resulted in positive as well as negative outcomes. Improved navigation and the desire for prosperity urged the endeavors involved. However, it culminated in the transfer of diseases and death arising from the harsh conditions.


  1. Ballantyne, T. (Ed.). (2020). Science, empire and the European exploration of the Pacific. Routledge.
  2. Bozeman, A. B. (2017). Politics and culture in international history: from the ancient Near East to the opening of the modern age. Routledge.
  3. Whitfield, P. (2015). New found lands: maps in the history of exploration. Routledge.
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
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Age of Exploration: When Worlds Collide. (2021, Dec 14). Retrieved from

Age of Exploration: When Worlds Collide essay
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