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Main Reasons For European Exploration In The 15th And 16th Century

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The Main Cause of European Exploration

The European economic motivation was the main cause of European exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries. New trade, and the search for gold and spices were the three main motives behind Europe’s thirst for exploration and discovery. Trade with Asia and Africa was shrinking, Europe’s gold supply was drained, and spices were growing in demand, forcing Europe to send explorers in search of new resources and trade.
Trade was the first motive for European exploration. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Italians and Muslims had control of the Mediterranean. Because of this, countries such as Portugal lacked access to Asian trade routes, since they lacked the resources to break through “the Italian dominated trade of the Mediterranean” (Arnold 4) Such countries were forced to explore and expand in order to find new routes around the world to reach Asia, causing them to search for goods and trade beyond their borders, acquiring land and resources along the way, which in turn expanded European trade and economy. Another factor was Europe's search for new trade. European merchants discovered that they could no longer sell their merchandise in Asia and Africa, as many of their products were deemed inferior to their African and Asian counterparts. They attempted to sell “crude woollen cloth in Asian markets accustomed to fine silks and calicoes” (Arnold 3) The Europeans needed a new market, motivating them to send explorers such as
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