The Age of Exploration

Posted by Freddy on Feb-6-2010

Sailing, sailing & sailing…. We the mariners keep sailing through various sea routes. We keep sailing, fighting the violent sea waves and adverse climates. We have the latest equipments machineries and devices. I wonder if one day these equipments and devices fail to work what will we do? I will be a like a kid who is marooned. We keep sailing through those sea routes which have been already discovered by our ancestors. I wonder how these ancient sailors could make it with out any kind of technical advancements.

The very thought of this take me back to the pages of history where we can find the great sailors who have explored the sea routes. Even sea trading and globalization wasn’t possible if these mariners might have not taken the pains to discover the main lands. I wonder how these mariners could make it possible. All they had was a little courage which took them to varied lands and marked the greatest explorations and discoveries of the age which indeed named this age as The Age of Exploration.

The Age of Exploration marked its beginning by the early 15th century when Europeans began exploring the world by sea in search of trading partners, new goods, and trade routes. Some of the explorers sailed to learn more about the world. Though the desire to simply explore the unknown and discover new knowledge is a typical human trait. The greatest disadvantage that they had during those days was these explorers often lacked the funds for a ship, supplies and a crew to get underway on their journeys. As a result, many turned to their respective governments which had their own desires for the exploration of new areas. The biggest reason for the age of exploration was to find the new sea routes for spice and silk trade. But whatever was the reason behind their sail it has helped in the advancement of geographic knowledge.

The Age of Exploration has served as a stepping stone for geographical knowledge. It has also allowed more people to see and study various areas around the world which helped in giving us the basis for much of the knowledge we have today. These explorations often brought various new species and new cultures of people to light. The traditional Portolan charts used by the navigators were improvised and the new nautical chart was introduced by Prince Henry the Navigator during this age which was later refined by explorers like Vasco De Gama, Columbus, and Cabral. One of the greatest discoveries during this stage was of Christopher Columbus who discovered America in his attempt to find a trade route to Asia by sailing west.

Every journey begins with a single small step. The small step taken by the ancient sailors has made it possible to develop and grow to the level that we are today. Hats off to them….

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