Products such as silk, spices, and porcelain were traded from china and india to europe overland along a series of trade routes called the silk roads.

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During the Middle Ages, China and India were the wealthiest and most populous countries on earth. Products such as silk, spices, and porcelain were traded from China and India to Europe overland along a series of trade routes called the Silk Roads. However, with rare exceptions such as Marco Polo, who traveled to the court of Kublai Khan in China, Europeans had little direct contact with either China or India. In the fifteenth century, Europeans began to send out voyages of exploration in search of quicker, less costly ocean routes to Asia. Arguably, Christopher Columbus was the most famous of these explorers. Columbus, who sailed west from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 aspired to find a new sea route to Asia. Inadvertently, he discovered the Americas in the process. He even died in 1506 under the impression that he had reached Asia. This essay will require you to reflect on the importance of Asia in the fifteenth century, including how it shaped the expectations and behavior of Europeans such as Christopher Columbus.
SOURCES
https://go.view.usg.edu/d2l/le/content/2632129/viewContent/50257881/View

https://go.view.usg.edu/d2l/le/content/2632129/viewContent/50257956/View

https://go.view.usg.edu/d2l/le/content/2632129/viewContent/50257911/View

https://go.view.usg.edu/d2l/le/content/2632129/viewContent/50257895/View

https://go.view.usg.edu/content/enforced/2632129-CO.540.HIST1112.81596.20232/Primary%20Source%20Documents/Marco%20Polo%20Chapter%20X.pdf

https://go.view.usg.edu/content/enforced/2632129-CO.540.HIST1112.81596.20232/Primary%20Source%20Documents/Marco%20Polo%20Chapter%20XXII.pdf

https://go.view.usg.edu/content/enforced/2632129-CO.540.HIST1112.81596.20232/Primary%20Source%20Documents/columbusletter.pdf
Using the essay instructions included below and the allowed sources, this essay should address all of the following interrelated questions:

What were the main reasons Europeans sought new trade routes to Asia, particularly to China and India?
Give reasons for your answers. In addition, what positive features did Marco Polo describe about Yuan (Mongol) China?
While Europeans were interested in Yuan (Mongol) and Ming China, why on the other hand did China pull back from exploration under the Ming dynasty?
From his letter, where did Columbus believe that his voyage of exploration had arrived?
In what ways did Marco Polo’s account of China appear to influence what Christopher Columbus expected to find during his voyage of exploration?
How did Christopher Columbus describe the New World and the Native peoples he encountered?
How did Columbus’ descriiption of the New World ultimately differ from Marco Polo’s descriiption of China?

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