The Atlantic Islands

              version of Ptolemy's world map
Ptolemy's World Map--for an original picture see here and click on map for larger version

How did the Europeans start to go out and explore and even dominate?
How they learned what would work?

Ptolemy's map
When the Europeans lost their last territory in Palestine in 1291, they decided to try to find a sea route to Asia
map showing Azores and other Atlantic islands
The Portugese slowly explored southward along the coast of Africa

The Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira were the first successful European colonies

canal and
              terraces in Madeira

Europeans learned from these islands a method of successful colonization.  They were beginning to get their confidence that they can:
The European world view was changing
The development of capitalism--economic system relatively free markets in which private individuals own the means of production and can take risks and profit if their risks are successful

This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
last updated 1/21/09
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