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The major significance of Vasco Da Gama's voyages was that they opened maritime trade between Asia and Europe and they helped to create a Portuguese empire.
Vasco Da Gama was the first European to sail around the continent of Africa to Asia. This allowed Portugal to start trading for spices in Asia. This was a hugely lucrative trade. Because it was such a rich trade it helped to make Portugal a major power even though Portugal was such a small country. In the years after Da Gama's voyage, Portugal became a world power to rival Spain. This would not have been possible without Da Gama's voyages.
Portugal was the first European nation to make an attempt at exploration. Exploration began with Bartholomeu Dias rounding the Cape of Good Hope off the African coast in 1488. Vasco da Gama rounded the cape and sailed on to India and returned to Portugal loaded down with spices. Because da Gama made so much money in profits from the spices he brought back it created interest in a growing spice trade. This was the beginning of the first European trading empire. Portugal conquered the island of Melaka which gave them a point in their trade with China, the Spice Islands and India.
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