Title of Abstract

Dark Waters of The Atlantic: Portugal's Quest of Maritime Exploration, Crusade, and Trade

Submitting Student(s)

Jared SegantiFollow

Faculty Mentor

One WU mentor: Gregory Bell, Ph.D.; bellgd@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

History

Faculty Mentor

Gregory Bell, Ph.D.

Abstract

Late Medieval Portugal would find itself in a rather unique position, being situated on the Western-most border of Europe and with a developing commercial and industrial sector based around trade. With Portugal’s birth coming in the midst of a crusade to retake Iberia, Portugal would also find itself actively participating in the remaining re-conquest of Iberia, also known as the Reconquista. The crusading fervor did not end with the expulsion of Islam from the peninsula with the victory of Castile over Granada in 1492 CE. The purpose of this paper is to explore what the Portuguese did during the 1400s that was a continuation of wars and economic competition with Islam and even other European trading powers in the Mediterranean such as Italian city states. Being founded during an ongoing conflict between Christendom and Islam, it seems that Portugal would focus its efforts on oceanic travel and exploration in an effort to gain a commercial advantage over both the Italian city states and the Muslims while also hoping to continue the crusade by cutting off the Muslims from the East in a supposed pincer movement with the rest of Western Europe. In doing so, Portugal would launch Europe into the Age of Exploration and Sail when they would begin exploring down the Coast of West Africa in an effort to discover a maritime route to India; thereby expanding their commercial interest over those in Italy and the Muslims by sailing around these middle men.

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Course Assignment

Hist 590 - Bell

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Dark Waters of The Atlantic: Portugal's Quest of Maritime Exploration, Crusade, and Trade

Late Medieval Portugal would find itself in a rather unique position, being situated on the Western-most border of Europe and with a developing commercial and industrial sector based around trade. With Portugal’s birth coming in the midst of a crusade to retake Iberia, Portugal would also find itself actively participating in the remaining re-conquest of Iberia, also known as the Reconquista. The crusading fervor did not end with the expulsion of Islam from the peninsula with the victory of Castile over Granada in 1492 CE. The purpose of this paper is to explore what the Portuguese did during the 1400s that was a continuation of wars and economic competition with Islam and even other European trading powers in the Mediterranean such as Italian city states. Being founded during an ongoing conflict between Christendom and Islam, it seems that Portugal would focus its efforts on oceanic travel and exploration in an effort to gain a commercial advantage over both the Italian city states and the Muslims while also hoping to continue the crusade by cutting off the Muslims from the East in a supposed pincer movement with the rest of Western Europe. In doing so, Portugal would launch Europe into the Age of Exploration and Sail when they would begin exploring down the Coast of West Africa in an effort to discover a maritime route to India; thereby expanding their commercial interest over those in Italy and the Muslims by sailing around these middle men.