101 Lecture 21 April 18 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 101 Lecture 21 April 18 Deck (40):
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To understand why anyone would want to sail west to go east, we need to look at some developments going on at the edges of medieval Europe

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Last Years of Byzantium

Last 2 centuries of Byzantine history a story of independent principalities

some Greek-led
some Frankish-controlled

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Emperors paid a grudging lip service and even more grudging taxes
Even Greek Orthodox Church ignored emperor

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The empire was weak militarily and economically

Lacked control of the Mediterranean

Dependent on foreign commercial trade

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This meant a drain on imperial revenues

Rulers could not finance a recovery, military or otherwise

One emperor, John V, found it necessary to pawn the imperial crown jewels to the city of Venice

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Several waves of military threat

1204: Fourth Crusade

Saljuq Turks and egyptian Mameluks carved up Holy Land and Anatolia

Balkans taken over by Bulgars and Serbs.

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The Saljuq's declining in power

Rise of the Ottoman (Osmanli) Turks

Became an autonomous power in the wake of Saljuq disintegration

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Byzantine empire had long been a buffer between worlds:

Christian and Islamic
European and Asian

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Demise of Byz empire meant need for a new buffer: Eastern Europe

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There was also a recognition that western Europeans needed to temporarily set aside differences to deal with the new Turkish threat

New crusade in 1396

Complete defeat

And again in 1440

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This left most of southern europe open for Ottomans to take

Mehment II the Conqueror took Constantinople on 29 May 1453

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Ottoman advance

Byz collapse

upheaval in Asia in wake of Mongols

All cut Europe off from southern and eastern Asia, to which it had had highly profitable commercial ties since 12th c.

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This happened right when European economy in a depression

Impetus to secure a direct relation with the east

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Mongol and Ottoman domination of eastern Mediterranean and central Asia

No hope for maintaining traditional trade routes over land.

Need for a new route

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A sea route required new kinds of ships, new methods of navigation, new techniques of financing

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Beginning around 1400, European traders had begun to work their way slowly along the African coastline

Traveled with gola dna silver, as well as bulk commodities traded in Africa in return for gold and silver

All that China wanted from west was precious metals

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Represented a severe drain on European supplies of precious metals, leading to implications for currency

solved by New World

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The shift to maritime exploration gave the advantage to Atlantic seaboard, not Mediterranean, states

Changed economic and political ordering of Europe

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Spanish Reconquista

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Story of Columbus

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Impacts of the Discovery of the New World

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Gold and Silver

Taken by the conquistadores from the native populations and kingdoms

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Francisco Pizarro conquered Peru, which opened the way for mining gold

Silver discovered and mined in Mexico

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As gold and silver came in, the price of everything began to rise steadily.

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Brought about the Price Revolution

People on fixed incomes impoverished.

More advantageous to owe money than to be solvent -- money lost value the longer it stayed in your pocket

Therefore: trade the way to prosperity

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Land ceased being a basis for wealth

True end of land-ownership as a mark of a dominant economic class

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Food

Medieval peasant could harvest 600 lbs of wheat per acre of land

50,000 pounds of potatoes per acre

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Potatoes hard to adjust to.

Worse was corn. 1800 lbs per acre
Harder to digest. made many sick

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Land can now produce more food.

Relative price of food drops.

People can now eat more.

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Food variety on the whole increased, as did nutrient value.

Stronger, more nourished population

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Drugs

Quinine extracted from bark of chincona tree

Permitted exploration of the interior of Africa when brought into general use in 1830s

Resisted at first by medical establishment

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Europe lacked any natural alkaloid stimulants.

These quickly imported

Cocoa (Aztecs): caffeine

Coffee (Near East): caffeine

Tobacco: nicotine

Tea: caffeine

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Narcotics and depressants

Coca leaves (South America): cocaine

Opium (Far East): opium, morphine

Hashish (Near East): marijuana

Widespread use

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Industrial materials

Less dramatic than gold and silver, but perhaps more important long-term

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Cloth industry always looking for dyes that would not fade or wash out.

Found in New World

Brazil: red

Islands off Carolina coast: Indigo

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Importation of wood

Pitch

Turpentine

Furs

Salt

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These raw materials made it possible for Europe to create a surplus that enabled trade

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Knowledge

Medievals had searched through knowledge using logic

And logic was based on the manipulation of categories

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The New World broke down those categories; made them useless

Native peoples

New species of animals: duck-billed platypus

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Exchange of categorizing for observing and cataloguing

Doing so became a way of marking the world with a different kind of order

It also marked possession

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