Why was technology an important component in the Age of Exploration?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Technology was a major component in the Age of Exploration because it allowed Europeans to be able to explore.  Without the technology, they would not have been able to go as far as they did or to know where they were as they explored.

One type of technology that was very important was ship technology.  Before the Age of Exploration, Europeans had ships that were not well-suited to long voyages across large expanses of open water.  Their ships tended to have to stay near land.  With the invention of ships such as caravels and galleons, the Europeans gained the ability to carry relatively large loads for long distances in difficult conditions.  This allowed them to do things like sailing around the southern end of Africa or across the Atlantic Ocean.

Another type of technology that Europeans got was navigational technology.  This included things like quadrants, astrolabes, and eventually sextants and accurate chronometers that allowed them to calculate longitude.  Compass technology also improved.  All of these devices made it easier for explorers to know where they were on the globe, thus making it possible to record their explorations and form a body of knowledge about the world’s geography.

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