Chapter 16 The World in the Age of European Expansion 1492-1763

In the late 1500s Portuguese and Spanish explorers set out to find a sea route to the East Indies. The Portuguese and other Europeans tapped the rich spice trade and, in the process, profoundly influenced Asian civilizations. They also founded empires in the Americas and shipped vast numbers of African slaves to work on American plantations and in mines. The slave trade devastated African societies, but also transplanted African culture to the New World.


1492    Christopher Columbus lands in the Bahamas

1498    The Portuguese arrive in India

1521    CortÚs conquers the Aztec Empire

1571    Italians and Spaniards defeat the Ottoman navy at Lepanto

1608    Samuel de Champlain founds Quebec

1620    English Puritans establish colony on Massachusetts Bay

1652    Dutch establish colony at the Cape of Good Hope in Africa

1739    Runaway slaves in Jamaica granted land by the English government

1763    Rio de Janeiro established as Brazil's capital