First lesson - February the 6th, 2008
“Earth”: the conditions of the discovery of America
British Patterns of Colonization
To understand the history of the US, it is important to understand the conditions in which the settlers arrived in America: the scientific, religious, economic and financial background.
The discovery of America was not an accident but the result of a large current of human affairs, the logical results of a series of development which began centuries before. The crusades were the first manifestation of European extension. They led men to look beyond the limits of Europe: Marco Polo even went till Asia. At these occasions, people were exposed to contacts with oriental goods. They saw some countries were far more advanced in some domains including spices and fabrics for example. They discovered that food could have another dimension with spices, that you could find pleasure in food and with fabrics. Those were things that could change everyday life: the goal of the business that was developed afterwards was to make profit but it was not the first one. The problem was that the road was very dangerous: The weather was very hard and there were often big attacks. Therefore, there was very soon a motivation to try to find easier and cheaper route and to try to make the journey easier.
In the 15th century, seagoing trade was at his highest: better ships were built, better maps were drawn, and better knowledge of astronomy was developed.
Ship construction made real progress with the development of the Caravelles: it was a real save of time because those ships could go much faster.
Moreover, the discovery of the astrolabe and of the magnetic compass helped finding the position of a ship on the sea. All those significant progress enabled men to develop more confidence to go trading on the sea: safer and cheaper roads to join Asia and “The