MEANWHILE IN EUROPE
By the turn of the Fifteen Century, Europe was awakening from the “Dark Ages”. Amongst the many inventions that came to fruition during this period the printing press was one of the pioneers of the enlightenment. Over the ensuing years, written knowledge spread further and faster than ever before; access to literacy was no longer a privilege of the royalty and upper classes. Any European citizen who was not favoured by their birth—second sons of wealthy nobles; nobility with titles but no money; intellectuals without formal education; peasants and illegitimates with nothing but huge ambitions—all saw the opportunity of making their fortune in the exploration of mythical lands overseas, highly publicised by Columbus and his successors in their written memoirs. According to these conquistadores, beyond the waters where men had not yet navigated, there existed many lands; lands not yet included in European charts yet inhabited by heathen natives, and where gold, silver, prolific rivers and fertile soil abounded. To copulate with this newly found ambition, there was a fresh breed of wealthy monarchs. They latched on to these initiatives, in the hope of expanding their dominium, and surging trade in Africa, Asia and the newly discovered America, all which would provide them untapped resources to the already limited European assets. Furthermore, deep concerns about the future and proliferation of Catholicism had grown in the heart of the Church, following the failed attempts to fend off the expansion of the Muslim faith in Europe, and the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Finding alternative solutions that benefitted the propagation of Christianity was ultimately worth the patronage of the Roman Catholic Authority.
A new age of travel was ignited—the Age of Discovery.
Figure 1 - The great voyages and explorations of the conquistadores of the 14th/15th Centuries