The Age of Discovery

Economic factors and a desire to spread Christianity were the main reasons behind the Age of Discovery. The Portuguese explored the African coast as early as 1418 and Vasco de Gama reached the Indian coast after going round the African continent. Looking for a new route to Asia, Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 and Magellan led the first circumnavigation of the Earth in 1522. It was also in the 16th century that the Tsar of Russia began colonising the eastern territories. These discoveries resulted in a considerable increase in European wealth.