The Maritime Revolution, to 1550



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Chapter 15

The Maritime Revolution, to 1550

Use the following to answer questions 1-14:

Key Terms

1. Zheng He

2. Arawak

3. Henry the Navigator

4. caravel

5. Gold Coast

6. Bartolomeu Dias

7. Vasco da Gama

8. Christopher Columbus

9. Ferdinand Magellan

10. Conquistadors

11. Hernán Cortés

12. Moctezuma II

13. Francisco Pizarro

14. Atahualpa

15. Europeans were not the first to explore the world and come in contact with far-off peoples and lands. What were the maritime patterns of Chinese and Muslim global exploration before 1450?



Ans:  Students should discuss Chinese exploration, particularly that of the Ming, who sponsored several imperial fleets to extend not only trade but also Ming dominion and power. Ming fleets were grander and more impressive than the later European fleets. The Chinese, however, quickly abandoned maritime expansion in favor of their land-based empire. The rise of medieval Islam led to a network of traders in the Indian Ocean.

16. The Chinese and the Muslims were not the only peoples to explore the maritime world before the Europeans. Trace the maritime progress of Malayo-Polynesians, Africans, and Amerindians before 1450.



Ans:  Malayo-Polynesians traveled the Pacific Basin for thousands of years, covering several thousand miles in relatively small craft. Linguistic and biological evidence supports the intentional nature of Malayo-Polynesian expansion. West Africans explored the Atlantic in large oceangoing canoes. South American Arawaks and Caribs colonized the islands and territories of the Caribbean Basin and also undertook voyages to the North American mainland.

17. European overseas expansion before 1550 was the product of two related phenomena. What were these phenomena, and how did they encourage European expansion?



Ans:  First, European economic, religious, and political incentives should be explored. Europe's commercial revival, in particular trade with the East, was a motivating factor in exploration. Political unification and the new monarchies played a major role, as did the desire to expand Christianity. Second, maritime and military technologies allowed for the full expression of those incentives, resulting in overseas expansion. The development of the caravel, new mapping and navigation skills, and firearms all contributed to the ability of Europeans to explore and conquer.

18. Describe the interactions of Portuguese and West African peoples, from initial contact by explorers to the permanent settlements established by Portuguese traders. In what ways were interactions between East Africans and the Portuguese similar to or different from interactions between the Portuguese and the Indian Ocean states?



Ans:  Early Portuguese visitors sometimes failed to make a favorable impression on African rulers, but Portuguese officials were not above using displays of pomp and pageantry to try to impress Africans. The permanent outposts Europeans established along the coast were primarily for commerce. Students should emphasize the control exercised by Africans. The existence and continued operations of the Portuguese could be halted if Africans so desired. Trade for slaves was not unequal; the Portuguese did not offer valueless trinkets in exchange. Some African kingdoms rejected missionaries and Christianity, while others embraced them. In East Africa, the situation was quite different, partly because of Muslim suspicion of Portuguese motives. Except for their allies Malindi and Ethiopia, the Portuguese bombarded and assaulted rival trading centers. For instance, a fleet of eighty-one Portuguese ships and seven thousand men devastated Swahili Coast cities. Portuguese power was ocean-based and exerted very little control on land. Thus, the maritime trading cities and empires of the Indian Ocean were much more vulnerable than the land-based empires of West Africa.

19. What was the impact of the Spanish in the Americas, as compared with the Portuguese in Africa and the East? What enabled the Spanish to conquer such an enormous territory with so few men?



Ans:  The Spanish were more likely to seek territory and conquest, whereas the Portuguese preferred trading partners. Besides, Amerindians had been completely isolated from the rest of the world—in contrast to the peoples that the Portuguese encountered, who were not strangers to world commerce. Epidemic disease reduced the Amerindian population dramatically, allowing the Spanish to gain a foothold. Spanish steel swords, armor, horses, firearms, and deceit, along with allies among the Amerindians, finished the conquest that disease had begun. Spanish imposition of forced labor and religious conversion helped control Spain's new empire.

20. How significant was the role of religion in driving the forces of exploration from Europe?



Ans:  While not a prime factor in the era of exploration, religious motives did exist. The two main areas that sent explorers, Iberia and Genoa, differed in their religious approaches. The argument could be made that Genoa's purpose was entirely commercial, while the Spanish and Portuguese were competing in both religion and commerce with the Islamic areas that had already established trade, technology, and navigation ventures within Africa, around it, and extending into India and Southeast Asia. Conversion was a stated mission of Prince Henry the Navigator's voyages, which were funded at least in part by the Order of Christ but which also established diplomatic and trade contacts in Christianized Africa. Islamic contenders in Iberia and North Africa had also established roots and routes in Africa that predated Christianizing missions.

21. What Chinese dynasty sent fleets to make contact with the peoples of the Indian Ocean in the early fifteenth century?



Ans:  Ming

22. The island of Madagascar was settled by

A) Malayo-Indonesians.

B) Polynesians.

C) Arabs.

D) Africans.

E) both A and B.

Ans:  E Page:  414

23. Sailing in the Indian Ocean was less difficult and dangerous than in other places because

A) it is shallow.

B) there is less wind.

C) the monsoon winds are predictable.

D) it isn't an ocean, but rather a large saltwater lake.

E) there are no sharks.

Ans:  C Page:  415

24. How did the rise of medieval Islam give trade in the Indian Ocean an important boost?

A) The Muslim cities in the Middle East provided a demand for commodities.

B) Networks of Muslim traders tied the region together.

C) The Muslim traders shared a common ethic, language, and law.

D) Muslim traders actively spread their religion to distant trading cities.

E) All of these

Ans:  E Page:  415

25. The Ming Empire attempted to create new Indian Ocean contacts by

A) sending out seven imperial fleets between 1405 and 1433.

B) employing Mongol horsemen to travel the Silk Road.

C) attempting to defeat the Portuguese in the famous sea battle of Calcutta.

D) establishing maritime courts to deal with pirates and privateers.

E) building “artificial” islands.

Ans:  A Page:  415

26. Which of the following statements is not true of Chinese-African contacts circa 1415-1433?

A) At least three trading cities in East Africa sent delegations to China in 1415.

B) Zheng's voyages were extended to Africa.

C) Zheng's voyages stimulated the Swahili silk market.

D) The Chinese imported more pepper as a result of this contact.

E) Many cultural misunderstandings led to the Sino-African War.

Ans:  E Page:  416-417

27. The Chinese treasure ships of Zheng He carried

A) people and animals as settlers for far-flung colonies.

B) silk, metals, and other valuable goods as gifts for distant rulers.

C) soldiers to fight the Japanese pirates in the Sea of Japan.

D) balsa wood for buoyancy.

E) salted fish.

Ans:  B Page:  416

28. Why did the Ming court suspend the voyages of Zheng He?

A) The Chinese had suffered great epidemics from their contacts in the Indian Ocean.

B) Zheng He's fleet was sunk by Portuguese naval might.

C) The government believed that little could be gained by exploring.

D) The unpredictable weather of the Indian Ocean made these voyages too unsafe.

E) Zheng He used the fleet to lead a revolution against the Ming emperor.

Ans:  C Page:  417

29. The greatest mariners of the Atlantic in the Early Middle Ages were

A) Mongols.

B) Ostrogoths.

C) Celts.

D) Vikings.

E) Lombards.

Ans:  D Page:  417

30. In addition to sailing up the Pacific coast, early Amerindians from South America also colonized

A) the West Indies.

B) Greenland.

C) Newfoundland.

D) Iceland.

E) Finland.

Ans:  A Page:  417

31. What two nations began a maritime revolution that profoundly altered the course of world history?

A) England and France

B) Portugal and Spain

C) Germany and Russia

D) China and Japan

E) Greece and Italy

Ans:  B Page:  417

32. The motives that led to Iberian overseas expansion were

A) economic.

B) religious.

C) political.

D) intellectual.

E) all of these.

Ans:  E Page:  418

33. Why didn't the Italian states take a lead in exploring the Atlantic?

A) Italy lacked warm water access and seafaring technology.

B) The ships of the Mediterranean were ill suited to the Atlantic.

C) The trading states of Venice and Genoa preferred a system of alliances with the Muslims.

D) Both A and B

E) Both B and C

Ans:  E Page:  419

34. Which of the following was a reason for Iberian overseas exploration?

A) Long-standing Muslim alliances

B) Spain was a center of Renaissance learning.

C) They already had the major share of Mediterranean trade.

D) Christian pacifism

E) None of these

Ans:  E Page:  418

35. An early motivation for Portuguese maritime exploration was to

A) gain access to the sub-Saharan gold trade.

B) find buried treasure near Madagasacar.

C) discover the “New World.”

D) find the Christian kingdom of Prester John.

E) quell political dissent.

Ans:  A Page:  419

36. Prince Henry of Portugal was known as Henry the Navigator because

A) he was the first person to round the Cape of Good Hope.

B) he devoted his life to promoting exploration.

C) he designed the compass.

D) he discovered America.

E) “navigator” means conqueror in Portuguese.

Ans:  B Page:  419

37. When Portugal began making a significant income from Africa, it began to issue

A) stock options.

B) private investment opportunities to sponsor maritime cargo and trade.

C) gold coins called cruzados.

D) military detachments to protect merchant ships laden with goods.

E) Jesuit settlements in repayment to the Order of Christ.

Ans:  C Page:  422

38. Two important navigational technologies, the magnetic compass and the astrolabe,

A) were invented by Henry the Navigator.

B) were invented by Columbus.

C) were of Italian origin.

D) were held by an exclusive English patent.

E) were of Chinese and Arab or Greek origin, respectively.

Ans:  E Page:  419

39. The advantage of the caravel was that it was

A) fast.

B) maneuverable.

C) a good fighting ship.

D) strong.

E) all of these.

Ans:  E Page:  420

40. An important addition to the maritime revolution was

A) learning to speedily return by sailing northwest to ride westerly winds.

B) learning that the magnetic compass did not work while at sea.

C) recognizing that the caravel was unsuited for voyages of exploration.

D) understanding that the lost island of Atlantis was accessible via caravel.

E) improvements to his ship design by Thomas of Caravel.

Ans:  A Page:  422

41. Henry the Navigator derived funds for expeditions from

A) the Teutonic Knights.

B) the Guild of Navigators.

C) the Order of Christ.

D) friendly Muslim allies.

E) all of these.

Ans:  C Page:  422

42. The first financial return from the Portuguese voyages came from

A) the gold trade.

B) the slave trade.

C) the silk trade.

D) the spice trade.

E) none of these.

Ans:  B Page:  422

43. The first Portuguese explorer to reach the southern tip of Africa and view the Indian Ocean was

A) Bartolomeu Dias.

B) Prince Henry.

C) Vasco da Gama.

D) Ferdinand Magellan.

E) Jesus Alou.

Ans:  A Page:  422

44. In 1500, what did Portuguese mariners discover while attempting to find a favorable wind around Africa?

A) The east coast of South America

B) The west coast of North America

C) The North Pole

D) The Russian coast

E) The river Styx

Ans:  A Page:  422

45. Christopher Columbus was from

A) Sicily.

B) Spain.

C) Portugal.

D) Genoa.

E) Syracuse.

Ans:  D Page:  422

46. Columbus insisted that he had reached

A) the Indian Ocean.

B) the West Indies.

C) the New World.

D) China.

E) Malacca.

Ans:  A Page:  422

47. The Treaty of Tordesillas divided the New World between

A) Islamic Africa and Christian America.

B) Spain and China.

C) Portugal and Malacca.

D) Spain and Portugal.

E) Spain and Genoa.

Ans:  D Page:  424

48. The powerful West African kingdom of Benin limited its contacts with the Portuguese by

A) refusing to accept Catholicism.

B) declining offers to receive missionaries.

C) closing the market in male slaves.

D) all of these.

E) none of these.

Ans:  D Page:  426

49. The most profitable and most complete colonization by Europe was in

A) Africa.

B) China.

C) India.

D) the Americas.

E) Newfoundland.

Ans:  D Page:  431

50. The Portuguese gained control of the eastern Indian Ocean through

A) conquest.

B) diplomatic negotiation.

C) trade alliances.

D) B and C only.

E) A, B, and C.

Ans:  A Page:  427, 430

51. The Portuguese base in China was at

A) Beijing.

B) Yuan.


C) Macao.

D) Cambaluc.

E) Dien Bien Phu.

Ans:  C Page:  427

52. The result of Portuguese domination of Indian Ocean trade routes was

A) considerable Portuguese profit.

B) that they charged a lower price for pepper than Venice or Genoa.

C) that more spices and luxury goods were shipped to Europe.

D) little impact on the African and Asian mainlands.

E) all of these.

Ans:  E Page:  430-431

53. The difference between the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire was that

A) the motives of the Spanish were purely religious.

B) the Spanish Empire was a territorial empire, while the Portuguese Empire was a trading empire.

C) the motives of the Portuguese Empire were purely economic.

D) the Spanish Empire was a trading empire, while the Portuguese Empire was a territorial empire.

E) the Spanish Empire was only an “intellectual” empire.

Ans:  B Page:  431

54. The first Amerindians to come in contact with the Spanish were the

A) Aztecs.

B) Arawaks.

C) Maya.

D) Incas.

E) Cassava.

Ans:  B Page:  431

55. Conquistador means

A) conqueror.

B) lawgiver.

C) bringer of Christ.

D) convict.

E) communist.

Ans:  A Page:  431

56. Cortés had which advantages in conquering the Aztecs?

A) An alliance with the Tlaxacans

B) Firearms and horses

C) The Aztecs had only recently established their empire at the expense of other tribes.

D) Smallpox

E) All of these

Ans:  E Page:  432-433

57. Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca Empire with

A) 180 men.

B) 1,800 men.

C) 18,000 men.

D) 180,000 men.

E) The Inca Empire defeated Pizarro.

Ans:  A Page:  433

Use the following to answer questions 58-64:

Geography Questions

58. Using Map 15.1, discuss the theories concerning Polynesian settlements in the islands of the eastern Pacific.



Page:  414

59. Using Map 15.2, describe the different Amerindian populations encountered by the Spanish and Portuguese.



Page:  418

60. Using Map 15.2, trace the outlines of the Spanish Empire in the Americas by 1600. In your answer, distinguish between the different groups of Amerindians with which the Spanish came in contact.



Page:  418

61. Using Map 15.3, discuss the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. What were their geographic regions? How were they different?



Page:  421

62. Using Map 15.3, identify the Tordesillas line. What was its importance?



Page:  421

63. Using Map 15.3, trace the Portuguese colonial holdings in Africa and Asia.



Page:  421

64. Using Map 15.3, explain why the Portuguese played such a prominent role in the rise of African slave trade.



Page:  421

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