How did the  rise of absolute monarchs contribute to the discovery of America?

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thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

We cannot absolutely correlate the political system of rabsolute monarchy with discovery, exploration, and colonization. Athens, an ancient Greek democracy, and Republican Rome both planted far-flung colonies. The first Europeans to discover North Amnerica were actually the Vikings, who did not have centralized monarchies, but instead looser confederations of nobles. In the major period of exploration in Renaissance Europe, absolute monarchies did sponsor much of the exploration and colonization of America. There are several reasons. First, exploration is an expensive long term investment, and thus a rich monarchy is well-placed to finance it. Second, much of the purpose of exploration (with a sideline in piracy!) was motivated by commercial and military rivalries between countries, the precondition for which, is to a degree a strong sense of nationhood and central coordinating power.

iklan100's profile pic

iklan100 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Indeed, I believe thanatassa's evaluation above is quite valid-- exploration/geaographical expansion is not a phenomenon linked or correlated to absolute monarchy; apart from the examples quoted above, id also like to add that the largest and most powerful modern colonial empire was the British empire which really expanded circa mid 19th century, after Britain itself underwent major political reforms and became increasingly a constitutional monarchy.

I also think that your question relates (as I see it) to the linkage between the 'Reconquista' of Spain and Christopher Columbus's voyage of exploration, commissioned thereafter in the same year 1592--am I right? So, in that case there might be some confusion at work.


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