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63

According to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, one of the first steps from a hunter-gatherer society towards civilization is agriculture. While agricultural societies appeared all over the world, the old world had a more suitable environment, especially with regards to the grains and large animals that lived there. The old world had wheat, which is ...


54

As DevSolar mentioned in his comment, this really depends on how you define 'major', but here are several case of migrants moving from the New to the Old World. From the Caribbean to Europe According the (British) National Archives, between 1948 and 1970, nearly half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain There were ...


49

Yes, there has been. As this infographic shows, there has been a back-migration of the DNA haplogroups C1a and A2a from North America (well, Beringia...) back into Asia. The infographic is sourced as Tamm E, Kivisild T, Reidla M, Metspalu M, Smith DG, et al. (2007) Beringian Standstill and Spread of Native American Founders. PLoS ONE 2(9): e829. doi:10....


28

I believe I found the answer in Wikipedia's article on the Marinid dynasty; quite simply the dynasty was in decline from the 13th century; in the 15th century (OP's reference period), the decline was complicated by a financial crisis. In the 15th century Morocco was hit by a financial crisis, after which the state had to stop financing the different ...


24

In addition to Lars Bosteen's answer about modern migration, several hundred thousand South American people have migrated to Spain in the last decades, and Brazilians have became the largest group of foreigners in Portugal. Other European countries with fewer ties and common background with America seem to host smaller populations. Furthermore, if the "...


22

This is, in fact, the big question of history. Subquestion 1 here: Why didn't Native North Americans (let's say the Mound Builders, for the sake of argument) conquer the world? The problem here, by the very logic you go over in your own question, is that the MB's were inhabiting a continent that was relatively biologically deprived. By comparison to ...


21

The most important "paradigm shift" of the early 19th century was the Industrial Revolution. That was the harnessing of the steam, and later, internal combustion engines, for manufacturing advances that led to an "order of magnitude" gains (five to ten times) in the standard of living. The great powers of the time were also among the earliest beneficiaries ...


21

Citing Ezad Azraai Jamsari / Mohamad Zulfazdlee Abul Hassan Ashari, The Marinid Naval Force According to Historical Perspective (Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 29 | Doi:10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n29p26), emphasis mine: ...after the death of Sultan Abu ‘Inan Faris in the year 759/1358, the Marinid naval force was unable to defeat the ...


20

First off, yes you are wrong. Some kind of long-term record-keeping seems to be a common requirement for civilized people, so both the Maya and the Inca developed something pre-contact. I personally think its likely the Mississippians did as well, but if so it hasn't survived. The Cherokee I believe did something similar to what you are asking. Sequoya, one ...


18

The currently accepted theory for this is that he didn't. Although there is some debate as to what his exact problem was, it doesn't appear to have been Syphilis. The theory that Henry suffered from syphilis has been dismissed by most historians. A more recent theory suggests that Henry's medical symptoms are characteristic of untreated Type II ...


18

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety two; a full 55 years before Henry died in 1547. Henry was not known for his chaste ways, so it is quite conceivable that he would have been an early contractor of a new venereal disease. The most recent excavations at Pompeii have revealed remains two twin teen-aged sisters, apparently in a ...


16

Interesting. I'd never heard this before, so I went digging myself. It appears that Michigan's prehistory of copper working really fired some people's imaginations. If you look there are even fanciful stories about Phonecians crossing the Atlantic to get at Great Lakes copper! There's a great paper online by what appears to be a very frustrated ...


14

"The nail that sticks out gets hammer down" While a Japanese saying, it holds true for all the super powers. Be their outside enemies, inside corruption, or just economic bad luck, the hammers are numerous indeed. Spain in particular, was cripple by mega inflation due to all the gold coming from the Indies. Portugal was assimilated into Spain and then ...


14

Depends on what you mean by advanced. If you mean in terms of metalworking, the lack of easily exploited tin deposits in the Americas means that a bronze age never took off. There was a copper-working culture surrounding the Great Lakes, and it pre-dated the chalcolithic in the old world by a few thousand years, but this lasted only as long as the accessible ...


13

England The city of Bristol was the hub of English expeditions into the Atlantic. Several voyages were launched from her harbours, the second largest in England, around the time of Columbus. Bristol's mariners were inspired by the legendary phantom island of Brasil, which is said to lie off the western coast of Ireland(1). There is some evidence[2] that at ...


13

The Fall of Constantinople had a negligible effect on the launching of the Age of Discovery, school textbooks notwithstanding. It was well under way a generation earlier, due to the perfection of the caravel in Portugal under Prince Henry the Navigator and the explorations he launched down the coast of Africa. The Madeira Islands had been rediscovered in ...


12

They didn't try because it wasn't politically relevant to them (i.e. The Emperor wasn't interested). Chinese dynasties preferred a tributary network instead of European or Pan-Arabic style colonisation. This reasoning worked well enough considering the key motivation for Europeans traders to sail beyond Europe was to bypass Arabic tariffs on the Silk Road ...


11

This is a huge question, one that cannot possibly be covered entirely in a single answer on a website. However, the three points you listed in your question can be addressed, and I've tried to do so below. Please keep in mind that even these could each have whole books written about them, so I'm aiming for the broad strokes here, just to give you an idea ...


11

It had a significant effect. It was not just Constantinople itself that was important but several other strategic areas as well. Constantinople was a key trading center on both the northern and southern silk roads, so that when it fell in 1453 trade was greatly disrupted and goods from the east became much more expensive. The southern silk road route, which ...


11

Slavery in Americas didn't appear in United States in the 18th century; it originates much earlier in Spanish and Portuguese colonies. So we should look whether slavery existed in Christian Iberian kingdoms before the discovery of the New World. And it surely did. Slavery distinct from mere serfdom existed in Europe in medieval era without interruptions. ...


10

As observed above, the only American colonies Spain did not lose to independence movements were Cuba and Puerto Rico, which it lost in the Spanish-American War. Worth noticing is the fact that Cuba was a particularly tempting prize for U.S. imperialists influenced by the Monroe Doctrine. The U.S. desire to control Cuba was so great that the eventual Spanish-...


9

The question is a bit confusing, so I'll give two answers and hope one of them works... First, there have been a couple of instances AFTER contact that Native Americans (or, sometimes, missionaries) developed a writing system for their language that was inspired by European orthography but looks very different. This includes the writing system for Yup'ik ...


9

From the 15th to 20th centuries, the Moroccans had a love-hate relationship (but mostly the former) with the Ottoman Empire. For most of that period, they could get trade goods from India and the rest of Asia through the Ottomans (Saracens) by land. They felt no need to explore for alternate sea routes to "India."


9

Horses evolved on the North American landmass, emigrated across the Bering land bridge, then went extinct in the Americas.


8

Europe was pretty much a poor smelly underdeveloped backwater in global terms for most of history, although the culture and civilization of the middle east and Africa often reached across the Mediterranean and especially into the areas near the middle east. The change from poor backwater to rulers of the world started with the conquering of the Americas, ...


8

I've checked the Spanish primary sources and according to Alonso Peña Montenegro (1596-1688), Itinerario paraparochos, the Taínos were employed as carenadores (repairers of the hull), taking them in the ships. Because he talks about those indios at the same time as other sailors, probably they weren't slaves.


8

Question: In his day, Columbus was considered to be more or less a failure, but he opened the way for the success of others. His death in 1506 was scarcely noted. Are the above remarks true? Answer: Noted by whom? Columbus died in his bed, surrounded by his family and friends, well off due to profits from his discoveries. ...


7

After the voyages of Columbus, who sailed for Spain, the Portuguese and Spanish divided up the new world in the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494). The later pattern of colonization followed this treaty in general outline. Your question has an incorrect assumption, that the Portuguese were only traders. They had a global empire that included Brazil, islands in ...


7

These are both good answers but I think I can offer some extra points not included in them (after I have +1ed them both)! This is all cloaked in the wool of human history (there is always a counter example somewhere and a lot of this deals only in the general cases): The driver seems to be (as stated previously) the multiple states of almost equal power ...


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