How Technology Furthered Dominance/rule in Europe Pre 1500 essay

HowTechnology Furthered Dominance/rule in Europe Pre 1500

Globally,technological innovations have played a huge role in the promotion ofeconomic development either directly or indirectly. Before 1500,there was a wide gap between Europe and the rest of the world.Indeed, it had begun to venture into the less developed regions ofthe world using their gun-laden sailboats. Scientists haveenergetically debated how Western Europe came to possess anundeniable advantage over other nations globally. Simply, Europe wasbetter at using technology to make firearms, armed ships, andartillery among other innovations. For centuries, Western Europe hasbeen prosperous and powerful, both economically and politically1.Through harnessing the necessary technologies, institutions, andmental dispositions, Europe has achieved expansion and supremacy. Consequently, the technological developments such as military,colonial and cultural power furthered the dominance of Europe Pre1500.


Themilitary revolution was a significant technological advance thatEurope had over other civilizations. Since time immemorial, themilitary and navy were used in taking over empires. The navaltechnology helped Europe in the invasion of the Atlantic frontierssuccessfully2.Their Superior iron weapons, armed ships, artillery, firearms, andfortifications were used to conquer Americas and Oceania territories.The enhanced weapons and defenses increased its warfare capabilityand power, making it unrivaled. In particular, the cutting andpiercing weapons such as swords and lances gave them a significantadvantage over their enemies. Furthermore, the use of cannons in thesecond half of the fourteenth century was effective and, thus,exploited riches in Asia and America. Forts and castles built alongthe West African coast had cannons mounted towards the sea, possiblyto tackle their competitors in the slave trade. Besides, Europe hadexperienced forces in the fight against the Native Americans. Thepowerful military troops encouraged the Europe government to exerciseits power over other nations. In short, the military revolutionprovides a significant explanation of the way technology helpedEuropean states in establishing far-reaching empires around theglobe.

Transportationand shipbuilding

Firstly, the most noticeable contribution of technology is transportand communication. Shipbuilding advances included superior saildesigns, sleeker liner, and stronger hulls. Indeed, Europeans greatlyenjoyed the monopoly on sea travel. The new ships utilized windsefficiently and allowed sailors to sail into the wind. On the otherhand, the stronger hulls resisted the rough Atlantic seas. While thesleeker lines enabled ships to move faster through water and far moreefficiently compared to the older designs. It allowed voyages toaccess areas they would not have previously reached. For example, thePortuguese caravel had features that made it easy for exploration.The first caravel to be built by the Portuguese and the Spanish wasapproximately 15 meters long. This design modeled the Chinese, Arabsand earlier sea trading vessels that were smaller and lesssophisticated. Known for its speed and maneuverability, it hadvarious uses including, patrol boat, cargo ship, dispatch boat,warship and pirate ships. Its primary purpose was exploring acrossthe vast sea and had a tall mast3.Caravel invention enabled explorers such as Vasco Da Gama to go roundthe world, especially, into Africa through the Indian Ocean.Moreover, this caravel was designed in a way that made it lessvulnerable to strong winds.

Othertechnology innovations include navigational instrument such asmariner`s astrolabe and cross-staff that were used to determinelatitude. The astrolabe was first used in 1481 in helping sailors inevaluating the angle of the sun, which was then converted to find thelatitude. Besides, the magnetic compass was a crucial tool used toshow the explorers the direction they were heading in theirexploration journeys. Additionally, advances in navigation andaccurate map-making assisted navigators in finding locations as wellas measuring distances. The Portuguese developed navigationaltechniques after 14924.Europeans hoped to find trade routes to the distant that will befaster and easier. Concurrently, there was emergence of a stronggovernment that helped to fund the expeditions with the hope ofmaking revenue for the nation. As these Europeans explorerscrisscrossed the world, they claimed new land, which began a wave ofinvasion and colonization.For example, Prince Henry the Navigator,sponsored voyages to add territories and gain control of tradingroutes, thus, boosting power and wealth5.

Forexample, Columba`s discovery in 1492 clearly demonstrates a definingmoment in the balancingof power between Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, Europehad control and dominion. However, the invention ofsteam-powered ships later helped Europeans to expand their empires inAsia and Africa6.

Gunpower technology

Althoughthe gunpowder and firearms were invented in China, Europe started touse them in the 13th century. GunPowder and projectile technology ledto the invention of siege cannons that could destroy castle walls. Asa result, the cannons revolutionized warfare, both at sea and in theland. The broad gunpowder technology allowed few numbers of Europeansto intimidate South Asia7.


Themechanical movable type printing is the most important invention thatbrought greater impact on European society. In Renaissance Europe,the printing press permanently made changes to the society,including, the unrestricted information circulation. The rise ofEurope came with Gutenberg’s printing state power exercise, whichenabled it to promote its agendas.

Undeniably,its immediate effect was the way information spread quickly andaccurately. Additionally, this helped to encourage production of morebooks and written materials, as well as, creates a culture of readingin the public. The significance of this technology laid not onlyspread of opinion and information, but also the types of informationspread. To begin with, news reached people faster. Another profoundachievement was the printing and dissemination of science results anddiscoveries that led to the scientific revolution, which altered thepublic perceptions and opinion. The world viewed Europeans as asuperpower. These innovations enabled western Europeans to influenceits policies to Asia, America, Africa, and Oceania8.


Withouta doubt, technological progress is changing the globe at anincredible rate. European technological development significantlycontributed to the positioning of the nation as a superpower inpre-1500. Europe applied both its own inventions, such as Printing,and the knowledge from other countries, such as gunpowder from China,in extraordinary ways. Moreover, Europe invested highly inlaborsaving devices. New tools enabled workers to be more productive.As mentioned earlier in this paper, shipbuilding technology andnavigational skills helped Europeans in discovering sea routespenetrating the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean. The new routesturned sea trade into a global business knowledge of the geography ofthe world. The Gunpowder and firearms provided its military with agreater fighting power. As a result, it became a more egalitariansociety that was able to dominate other cultures. In short, the newtechnologies used in Western Europe such as improved battle ships andcompasses helped the voyages in exploring the world. However, anumber of European adventurers, merchants and missionaries sufferedheavy death tolls from fatal diseases such as yellow fever andmalaria. This hindered their expeditions of discovery and businessoverseas when they traveled to other continents such as Africa.However, medical technology allowed Europeans to go further intotropical regions. For instance, Quinine helped in relieving thesymptoms of yellow fever and malaria. In short, it would have beenhard for Europe to conquer territories without technologicalinnovations.


Epstein,Stephan R., Maarten Roy Prak, and J. L. van Zanden. 2013.&nbspTechnology,skills and the pre-modern economy in the East and the West: essaysdedicated to the memory of S.R. Epstein.

Mokyr,Joel. 1990. The Lever of Riches Technological Creativity and EconomicProgress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.

Robert,Strayer. 2012. &nbspWays of the World: A Brief Global History withSources, Volume 2. Bedford/St. Martin`s

1 Robert, Strayer. 2012. &nbspWays of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, Volume 2. Bedford/St. Martin`s

2 Mokyr, Joel. 1990. The Lever of Riches Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.

3 Mokyr, Joel. 1990. The Lever of Riches Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.

4 Epstein, Stephan R., Maarten Roy Prak, and J. L. van Zanden. 2013.&nbspTechnology, skills and the pre-modern economy in the East and the West: essays dedicated to the memory of S.R. Epstein.

5 Mokyr, Joel. 1990. The Lever of Riches Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA

6 Mokyr, Joel. 1990. The Lever of Riches Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA

7 Mokyr, Joel. 1990. The Lever of Riches Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.

8 Robert, Strayer. 2012. &nbspWays of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, Volume 2. Bedford/St. Martin`s