About This Chapter
AP European History: The Age of Expansion - Chapter Summary
As European culture saw a rebirth in the Renaissance, a curiosity about the rest of the world began to grow as well. In this chapter, you'll learn about the early explorations of Europeans who were searching for new routes of trade and fresh resources to be exchanged. Our instructors explain how the Spanish and Portuguese Empires were at the forefront of this exploration and who they sent to these faraway lands. We'll also look at what and who these explorers found. This chapter is designed to prepare you for these areas of the AP European History exam:
- Examining the reach of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires
- Identifying reasons Europeans travelled to the New World
- Explaining the market economy of 17th century Europe
- Understanding the Commercial Revolution and the economic impact of exploration
- Discussing the Triangular Trade Route and its role in slavery
- Relating how religion spread during the Age of Exploration
This chapter is divided into short video lessons, allowing you to review and prepare at your own speed. The lessons are available at any time, so you can learn on your schedule. Track your progress through the chapter on your dashboard, which lets you know what you've mastered and what you still need to work on.
1. The Old World and New World: Why Europeans Sailed to the Americas
This lesson will focus on the Age of Exploration. It will explain the main reasons why Europeans explored the New World. It will highlight their spirit of adventure, the religious desire to see natives converted, and the chance to acquire wealth.
2. Portuguese and Spanish Empires: Growth in the New World & Asia
This lesson will explore the motivations, foundations, and growth of the Portuguese and Spanish empires in the New World and Asia. We will also meet a few famous Portuguese and Spanish explorers.
3. The Market Economy in 17th Century Europe
In this lesson, we will explore the role of market economics in 17th century Europe. We will see how early capitalism impacted European society during the 17th century.
4. The Columbian Exchange, Global Trade & Mercantilism
Along with opening up two new continents, the discovery of the Americas opened up brand new trade routes reaching around the world, with goods from every place imaginable, and the money to make it all happen.
5. Triangular Trade: Route, System & Role in Slavery
In the 16th century, trade between Europe, Africa, and the Americas defined the colonial world. In this lesson, explore the system of triangular trade and test your understanding with a brief quiz.
6. The Commercial Revolution: Economic Impact of Exploration and Colonization on Europe
In this lesson, we'll discuss the Commercial Revolution sparked by Europe's interaction with the New World colonies. We'll learn about how mercantilism, banking and joint-stock companies transformed the economic face of the European continent.
7. Spreading Religion in the Age of Exploration
The Age of Exploration brought many European traditions to other places in the world. In this lesson, we'll talk about some of the ways that religion, and Christianity in particular, spread throughout the world during this time.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the AP European History: Exam Prep course
- AP European History: Overview of the Renaissance
- AP European History: Renaissance Philosophy, Art & Literature
- AP European History: Reformation Roots & Teachings
- AP European History: The Reformation's Effects Across Europe
- AP European History: Wars of Religion
- AP European History: The Rise of Monarchical Nation States
- AP European History: English History (1450-1700)
- AP European History: The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment
- AP European History: 18th Century Powers
- AP European History: The French Revolution
- AP European History: The Napoleonic Empire
- AP European History: 19th Century Revolutionary Movements
- AP European History: The First Industrial Revolution
- AP European History: Unifications of Nation States in the 19th Century
- AP European History: Europe 1871-1914
- AP European History: World War I
- AP European History: Russia After World War I
- AP European History: The 1920s & 1930s
- AP European History: The Rise of Fascism
- AP European History: World War II
- AP European History: Post-War Europe
- AP European History: Cold War Europe
- AP European History: Integration: Europe after the Soviet Union
- Portions of the AP European History Exam
- Developing and Writing Your AP Exam Essay
- AP European History Flashcards