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Karnataka Class 10th Social Science Text Book
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Karnataka Class 10th Social Science Text Book History
Advent of Europeans To India:
There were trade and commerce relations between India and Europe since ancient times. There was great demand for Indian spices like pepper, cardamom, ginger and many other spices in Europe. The trade relations between India, Europe and other Asian countries continued even during the Middle Ages. The Arab merchants carried Asian merchandise into Constantinople of Eastern Roman (Byzantium) Empire. Italian merchants would buy these goods and then sell them in European countries.
Constantinople was thus the center of international trade and was considered as the ‘Gateway of European Trade’. While Arab merchants had gained monopoly over the trade in Asian countries, Italian traders had gained monopoly over trade in Europe. The merchandise from Asia brought good profits to Italian merchants.
The fall of Constantinople: The trade and commerce between Asia and Europe was taking place through the city of Constantinople. In 1453, the Ottoman Turks captured the city of Constantinople. As a result, all the trade routes connecting the city of Constantinople came under the control of Turks. The Turks started levying too many taxes on the goods passing through these routes. As a result, trade became unprofitable.
Meanwhile, Spain and Portugal were attempting to break the monopoly of Italian traders. They started encouraging enterpresing sailors to find a new sea route to India. The invention of compass, astrolabes, and gunpowder provided further impetus to this venture.
A new sea route to India: Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese sailor left Lisbon and reached Kappadu near Calicut on the West coast of India in 1498. thus he was successful in discovering a new sea route to India. This route continued to be the route of trade between India and Europe for many years. the Portuguese were thus the first to re-establish trade between India and Europe.
In 1869, a huge canal called Suez Canal. was built in Egypt to connect the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. Until the building of Suez Canal, the sea route discovered by Vasco da Gama was the route used for trade between India and Europe. The ships had to pass the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa, to reach India. The distance between Mumbai and London through Cape of Good Hope was10,800 nautical miles (1 nautical mile = 1.85 KMS),whila it was only 6,200 nautical miles through Suez Canal. the distance was reduced by almost one-half
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