Map Exercise 7: Outside the West    (This exercise includes 2 maps)

In the fifteenth century, European technology had advanced far enough that larger ocean-going vessels could be constructed and navigation of the ocean could be contemplated. The great European expansion of the centuries before 1300 had subsided, so European states began to turn their attention away from the continent and toward the world. Steady population increase, despite the misery of the Black Death, combined with awareness that Europe lacked essential raw materials, made it perhaps inevitable that Europeans would turn outward toward a world they hardly understood.

Before we turn to the Renaissance and the great wave of exploration that it witnessed, we need to look at two states that fell outside the European continent, but that also affected European affairs in general.

Some points to consider:

  • How did the existence of the Mongol states stimulate the appetite of European exploration?
  • Was the division of the Mongol states at all similar to what happened to the Hellenistic kingdoms following the death of Alexander the Great?
  • How was the Ottoman Empire able to dominate the Balkans, Turkey, North Africa, and the Near East by 1600?
» Begin: The Mongol Successor States { Print This Page }