The Atlantic World

1344 WordsFeb 4, 20185 Pages
The Atlantic world is a modern concept that describes the interaction between four continents Europe, North America, South America and Africa via the Atlantic Ocean. Geographically Portugal is the closet European country to Africa and they are a maritime state meaning that they spend most of their time on the sea so it is no surprise that they were the first ones to reach the West African coast. John Thornton backs up this point by writing in his book Africa and Africans in the making of the Atlantic World 1400-1680 that, “Europeans experience with waterborne travel was probably the most significant factor in allowing them to be the ones who finally conquered the Atlantic” in addition Ralph Davis writes in his book The Rise of the Atlantic Economies ‘ that the Portuguese seamen had knowledge of the Atlantic wind systems, currents and had a detailed geography of the islands in the Atlantic’. Since the Portuguese reached the African coast and its Atlantic islands it impacted greatly and changed Africa negatively. It is evident that the Portuguese would have made it to the African West coast safely but even though they were a maritime people something must had motivated them other than the desire to expand, to set sail and travel to the African coast and Atlantic islands. This motivation was economic, the Portuguese would of made these ventures to gain wealth for themselves and they must have known that taking such trips would surly bring wealth if not they probably wouldn’t
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