Why Europe?

Why Europe? DBQ

Before the Age of Exploration, Europe was viewed as the underdog. The rest of the world was uninterested in what little the Europeans had to offer. China and India had been trading along the Silk Road for many years and had all the raw materials they needed. China was also much more innovative than Europe. The Chinese acquired axial rudders, compasses, along with other advancements many years before the Europeans. Despite Europe’s disadvantages, they managed to become the leading force in Exploration. Europe may not have had the same force as China, but their “desire for profit and power” (Doc 7) was greater than anyone else’s.
China had all of the necessary tools for world conquest years before the Europeans. It seems that there would be very little reason for China to have backed out of this chance for exploration and allowed Europe to take the wheel. China had access to many technological advances such as multiple masts and sails, leeboards, magnetic compasses and axial rudders many years before the Europeans. (Doc 2) China also had access to the majority of the trade routes across the Indian Ocean. (Doc 3) The Chinese could have easily sailed through the oceans and discovered new territories and goods.
      One reason that the Chinese may have excluded themselves from this new trade market could have been the high cost associated with sea travel. “By the eighteenth century the cost of building a boat on the central China coast had risen about three times as fast as the price as rice” (Doc 4) China was loosing more money from exploration than they were gaining. “The further China sailed, the poorer and more barren the lands that they found. Goods of value came mainly from India and the Middle East, and they had already been pouring into China by established land and sea routes for hundreds of years.” (Doc 5) It would not have been sensible for China to continue looking for new land. Not only was exploration incredibly high in cost, but it...