Free «European Voyages» Essay Sample

European ?voyages of exploration and colonization were caused by multiple factors influencing a need for new crop lands, new labor forces, new markets and new territories. An exogenous factor in the changes within the state was the remarkable interest in the activities and adventures that arose in this period. The expertise of the merchants and their mariners did not receive the official encouragement enjoyed by their competitors. European empires needed new crop lands in order to expend their production and increase market operations (Ferro, 1997). The political cause of colonization was a desire to increase territories and colonize more countries outside the host country.  It is often assumed that this official indifference was irrelevant in the general economic development of the early modern state; that such matters resolved themselves in the market place. Foreign policy, and the concomitant foreign trade relations of the period, were in the firm control of the crown. Deep-sea sailors from England instigating trade in foreign waters without official sanction, did so at their peril. No one doubted then that treaties with European powers and grants to chartered trading companies controlled by the crown were inextricably linked, for the simple reason that good relations with a country like Portugal or Spain depended so clearly on a lack of friction in trading concerns either in Europe or the wider world (Ferro, 1997).

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The technological cause of colonization was a secondary one but it reflected in desire to build the innovative fleet and military capabilities. Contemporary observers and commentators were well aware of the dangers awaiting navigators in eastern seas. The English would first have to overcome the enormous physical privations of such voyaging, and then deal with the endemic menace of Dutch competitors, piracy and shipwreck. After surmounting these hurdles, the problem of breaking into centuries-old trading patterns had still to be confronted. And, to make matters worse, there was little demand for English products in these markets. It seems to represent the singular innovation that divides the medieval from the modern approach to modes of international exchange. Such views require correction however. In theory the joint-stock concept of pooled risk appeared an innovative solution to investing in trade.

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