The Age of Discovery

A comparative analysis of Spain and Portugal during the Age of Exploration.

This paper discusses how, driven by a desire for spices, Portugal and, later, Spain, took the lead in launching voyages to discover a direct ocean route to the Indies and how the expeditions of Portugal and Spain opened a great period of exploration and eventually led to the colonization of America by Europeans. In particular, it looks at how the countries differed in terms of the lands discovered, the people involved in their discovery, and the intentions behind these voyages of discovery. It also shows how the main differences between Portugal’s and Spain’s Ages of Discovery are geographical, economic, and the approach taken towards the voyages.
“Three main men were responsible for the discoveries made by Portugal throughout the period of “The Age of Discovery”: Henry the Navigator (1394-1460); Vasco de Gama (1460-1524), and Magellan (1480-1521). Henry the Navigator was responsible for sponsoring the first navigations around the African coast; Vasco de Gama navigated the Cape of Good Hope, and established the sea route to India, opening up trade routes to East Asia for Portugal; and Ferno de Magalhes (or Magellan) was the first person to have circumnavigated the globe, bringing about great prestige for Portugal, and revolutions in scientific thought.”