The initial overseas development of

brought long-term and serious inflation to Europe. However, the amount of money used for industrial development and opening up new markets in the world has greatly increased, which further promotes the outward expansion of capitalism.

the fleet of Dutch companies that returned to Amsterdam in 1599.

this article is extracted from World History: Renaissance to the 16th century, published by new world press in September 2014. The discovery era of




has also triggered various changes in European society to a great extent. For example, a variety of crops introduced from the Americas have greatly enriched the dining tables and tastes of Europeans. These new crops provide adequate nutrition for people in many areas. Therefore, the population of Europe has also increased significantly. These new crops include potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, corn and various beans, cocoa and vanilla crops. In addition, tobacco introduced from the Americas soon fascinated many people. The output of sugar is even greater. Sugar soon replaced honey as the preferred sweetener in Europe. In addition, Europeans also introduced many spices for medicine or food storage. Imported silk, fur and cotton have a great impact on the European textile industry. However, the introduction of new crops has also brought many negative effects to European society, especially the diseases introduced into Europe, which has caused a heavy blow to the society. For example, the plague has periodically visited London, Lisbon and some other cities in Europe, causing huge losses in population and property.

in the era of great discovery, other European countries, like Spain, have made several major achievements. During the Tudor Dynasty (1485-1603), explorers John Cabot, Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh established colonies for Britain in the new world, laying a solid foundation for the later establishment of the British Empire. At the same time, Britain has entered an era of explosive prosperity in literary creation, known as the Elizabeth Renaissance. Under the leadership of Ben Johnson, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, especially William, many talented writers have created a large number of literary works full of passion, confidence and patriotism.

the business empire founded by the Dutch made dutch businessmen accumulate huge wealth. This wealth has turned them into Europe’s main creditors. Amsterdam became the most important commercial and financial center in the world at that time. The Bank of Amsterdam was established in 1609, which provided a paradigm for Western European countries to establish national banks. In Spain and Britain, the rapid increase of national wealth has provided sufficient financial support for cultural activities. This period was the golden age of Dutch painters Jan Vermeer, Franz HALS and Rembrandt van Rijn. Their paintings mostly focused on the life of the middle and lower class people in the Netherlands. Moreover, the Netherlands has also developed into a Book Publishing Center in Europe. In addition, Dutch scientists have also achieved remarkable results in scientific research. They have invented scientific research equipment such as telescope and microscope. At the same time, the atmosphere of freedom in the Netherlands has also attracted many top European intellectuals to migrate here, such as Rene of France and Baruch Spinoza of Portugal. These famous scholars have fled their homes and fled here because of persecution.

movable type printing invented in the 15th century has greatly improved the speed of knowledge dissemination in the era of great discovery. It is easier than ever for people to come into contact with European literary works that are rich in content and full of new ideas. For example, in the works of some writers, people can learn about the distant world and foreign culture. Moreover, the overseas expansion of Europe has also accelerated the dissemination of many new scientific knowledge, including astronomy, botany, geography, mathematics and medicine. Among them, a large number of medical works enable Europeans to learn about the use of medicinal plants by Asians and Native Americans. In addition, the views of scientists such as Nicholas Copernicus and Galilee were also spread to Japan through books printed by Jesus missionaries in China.

maps drawn by Juan de La Cosa around 1500.

in the era of great discovery, with the increasing knowledge of human geography, Europeans began to make new maps to mark their newly discovered land. The most important map around 1500 was drawn by Juan de La Cosa. Cosa was a navigator in Columbus’s ocean fleet twice in 1492 and 1498. Cosa’s mapping is probably the first time in history to question that Columbus’s new continent may not be Asia. However, the most original and influential cartographer of the 16th century was Gerardus Mercator. He proposed the “Mercator projection method”, that is, the globe is projected on the cylinder, and then the map on the cylinder is spread out into a plane map, which is divided by a series of parallel longitude and latitude lines. This method is very useful for ocean navigation. Accordingly, the navigator can mark the trajectory of his navigation with the help of a compass with a constant that crosses all meridians at the same angle.

however, the initial overseas development brought long-term and serious inflation to Europe. From 1500 to 1650, with the rapid enhancement of economic strength, European prices increased three times compared with the previous period. Inflation is mainly caused by the following factors: the distance between trade routes is getting longer and longer, the supply of agricultural products can not meet social needs, the higher and higher level of industrialization in Nordic Society, the improvement of people’s living standards and so on. Among all factors, the import of large quantities of gold, silver, precious stones and other high-value products from the new world is the most important factor causing inflation in Europe. Facing inflation, those ordinary people with fixed income