Cross Cultural Encounter: the Europeans Influence in Africa Essay

Words: 2702
Pages: 11

The cross-cultural encounter between Europe and Africa began as Europe aggressively initiated an era of exploration of Africa south of the great savanna. Europe's curiosity, exploration and greed transformed the history of African people. In the study of the cultural history of Africa, much innovation has been attributed to outside origins and influences. Historians and archaeologists have learned a great deal about the developments that emerged from the European influence in Africa. The age of exploration commences as European powers began new pursuits in geographical determinism toward non-European lands and peoples. Against this background, begins the European discovery, exploration and expansion into Africa, Asia, the Americas and the …show more content…
By the time of Vasco da Gama's journey, the autonomous economic importance of intercontinental trade was well established." (2006)

Expansion For Economic Gain Portugal expanded its maritime efforts as a result of the threat to its commerce that had developed rapidly after the crusades, especially the trade in spices. With trade threatened by pirates and the Turks, who closed off most of the overland routes and subjected the spices to heavy taxes, the Portuguese led the way in this quest for a number of reasons: Portugal's location on southwestern edge of the European landmass placed the country at the maritime crossroads between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Portugal, a small country led by military aristocracy, sought new fields of action overseas, Portuguese kings were motivated by a deeply held belief that their role in history was as the standard-bearers of Christianity against the Muslims, and finally, Portugal's kings encouraged maritime activities. They had formed a Portuguese navy and encouraged the construction of larger ships and founded a system of maritime insurance. Finally, Portugal led the world in nautical science and made navigating and sailing the high seas possible. Amaral noted that, "One crucial aspect of the Portuguese discoveries is the high degree of control exerted by the crown over the whole venture. The first episodes in the early fifteenth century, under Henry the Navigator (as well as the first exploratory trips along