Throughout human history, there have been many empires that have seemingly conquered the world. Some have done it through peaceful means. While others have done it through war. Some have done it through technology. And others have done it through exploration.
Regardless, each one of these empires was able to become the most powerful civilization in the world by spreading their influence throughout the entire human population.
But now we are entering a new age of empires…that the world has never seen before.
An era of unbound potential and possibilities where we might be seeing a new kind of empire being built… in a brand new economic, technological, and political frontier.
What would you do if your population was rapidly growing and you were running out of land for people to live on?
What would you do if wanted your country to become wealthy beyond its wildest dreams?
And lastly, what would you do if you wanted your country to be known as the most innovative and culturally superior people of your time?
Well these are the questions that European nations in the 15th Century were asking themselves.
And there was one single answer to all of these questions. And that, was the age of discovery.
In the early 15th century, The portugese began sending ships along the african coast and into the atlantic for 3 reasons. The first was to take control of the african coast for militaristic purposes. The second was to find better trade routes and resources, and the third was to spread christianity.
They ended up Discovering the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores in 1420, and 1427 respectively. They discovered that Wheat and Sugarcane were easy to grow on these islands, and these islands ended up making portugal significantly wealthier, while helping feed its citizens.
Despite discovering these islands in the middle of the atlantic, the portugese, and all european nations had no idea what existed past Cape Bojador, which is northwestern Africa. In fact, there was a fear that anything past Cape Bojador was the end of the world and wouldn’t allow for any explorers to return. So exploration past northwest Africa Did not occur until 1434 around the time of the invention of the new ship technology, called the Caravel.
This led to a dramatic increase in exploration where the Portugese found and settled in many parts of Africa such as Ghana, the Gulf of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Mombasa…while also settling in part of india, southern asiai, and Brazil.
The addition of these lands to the portugese empire ended up giving portgual a dramatic increase in trade and resources, which made the country go through an economic boom.
During this time, other european nations began to notice the success of the portugese empire. So the other european nations began exploring as well, in hopes of increasing their wealth, and military power, while spreading their culture.
The Spanish settled in the Canary islands in 1436, then conquered the Caribbean in 1502, Panama in 1513, Mexico in 1519, Peru in 1531, Most other south american coutnries by 1582, And Florida and Texas by 1622. This led to an economic boom for the spanish where they gain access to many valuable resources such as gold and spices.
The british in the 17th Century captured Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, Maryland, Rhode Island, Conneticut, Caronlina, and New York were all settled by the british between 1624 and 1663. And eventually by 1913 The British empire would expand to Canada, Australia, India, East and South Africa, Parts of east Asia, New Zealand, Several South American Countries, and much more. The British Empire had 23% of the worlds population under its ruling, while having control of over 25% of the land on earth,
This rapid colonization of the world led to the saying “The Empire on which the sun never sets” meaning that the empire was so big that the sun was always shining on atleast one of its territories at all times.
And this led to an unprecedented power imbalance in the world where 25% of the worlds GDP in 1870 came from the British, meanwhile other empires such as the United States only had 9% of the worlds GDP.
Too long for youtube, end of transcript.