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Discovery of the new world

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Discovery of the new world

There were many political and technological changes that prompted the world explorations and discovery of the new world. The Portuguese were the main contributors to the technological changes that lead to the discovery of the new world. However, the change of the political structure of Spain ultimately lead to the discovery.

There were many technological changes that the Portuguese contributed. First of all they observed the way the Arab vessels were designed and then improved on them to make their own ships faster. They also created the caravel vessel by "increasing the ratio of beam (width at the broadest point of the hull) from 2:1 to 3:1, borrowed the lateen (triangular) sail from the Arabs, and combined it with square rigging in the right proportion to produce a superb oceangoing vessel. They also used a compass and astrolabe to accurately record maps and latitude. In addition, they were the first to mount cannons on their deck so that they could defeat any other ship in combat on the waters. Prior to this invention, vessels that were in war with each other needed to "pull alongside" the other vessel and board them to fight. With the cannons on deck, this was no longer necessary. The Portuguese could stay a safe distance away from the enemy vessel and shoot the cannons at them.

The political changes in Spain had the most dramatic effect on the discovery of the new world. It started when ...

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