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AP World



Unit 4

4.1 New Technologies from 1450-1750

2 min readjune 21, 2020


Amanda DoAmaral

Causes of Innovation

The demand for exploration led to new technological innovations. The population was increasing and this led to more demand for resources. However, there was a business opportunity in the search for resources. The state with the most access to trade could be the most powerful.
By 1450, more people were migrating in search of religious tolerance and economic opportunities. Growing dissent among oppressed and poor populations pushed European states to invest in exploration and trade.

New Technologies


Innovations in Science:

  • Newton’s Laws of Gravitation
  • Astronomical Charts
  • Better mapmaking

Innovations in Navigation:

  • Astrolabe
  • Lateen sail
  • Compass
  • New ships (caravel, carrack, fluyt)

Caravel. Image Credit: nautarch.tamu.edu


Carrack. Image Credit: wikipedia


Fluyt. Image Courtesy of wikipedia

Effects of Innovation

These new scientific discoveries and navigation undoubtedly opened up new trade networks across the Atlantic and Pacific, which also led to mass migrations of people (forced and voluntary).
The movement of goods and people had regional consequences. For example, gunpowder developed by the Chinese changed the method of conquest and made its way through South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Gunpowder would have violent consequences in the decades to come.
Muslim merchants continued to travel on trade routes, as they had done in the past centuries. During this time, Muslim merchants established themselves further in North Africa and the Indian Ocean, which is why Islam is a dominant religion in those regions.
Finally, Europeans built massive military strength because of trade profits and access to new weapons. Before 1450, Europeans did not play a prominent role on the global stage, but after 1450, Europeans were the main puppeteers of the global economy.

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