Sea Routes to Asia

Essay by Hank1College, Undergraduate March 1997

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After Marco Polo returned with golds, silvers, and all sorts of treasures, and spices the

need to trade with the East was unbearable. Practiclly every European in Europe was trying to

find ways to get to Asia and India to trade for the riches of the East. Marco Polo had traveled to

Asia by land, and this took time and money because of its long journey. They needed food for the

large caravans and needed men willing to head towards Asia. So this caused some countries not

to be able to trade with Asia. Since Marco Polo was an Italian, the Italians thought that they had a

monopoly on the trading to the Far East. Genao and Venice were the two city-states that were

able to get all the trading from Asia. But many of these Italian traders never left Italy, because

Muslims from afar came to Italy with all of Asia's riches and traded with Italians, so Italians never

really left Italy.

The Italians persuaded the Muslims only to trade with themso then Italy was really

the only countryable to trade with Asia, so they did have a monopoly on the trading. This angered

the rest of Europe because they had to pay much, much more for the treasures of Asia than Italy.

Now the other countries of Europe started to try to find new ways to get to Asia.

The country that led the search for new routes to Asia was Portugal. Since Portugal's

power had grown with the decline of feudalism they were very interested in finding a new route to

Asia. In the early 1400's Prince Henry, the king of Portugal's third son, tried to find a way by the

ocean to Asia. This was a bazaar idea at this time because many people believed that...