Late 15th - 16th centuries
The Great Discoveries
Christopher Columbus arrived in America in 1492 and Vasco da Gama opened up the route to India in 1498. Under the impetus of Portugal and Spain, new trade routes were opened to reach the « Indies » without having to pass through the intermediaries what were then the Arab countries and Venice. The Portuguese chose to go round Africa via the Cape of Good Hope to reach India; this was done by Vasco da Gama in 1498. The Kingdom of Spain supported the project of Genoese Christopher Columbus to open a western route to India, which would eventually link Europe up to the Americas in 1492. These « Great Discoveries » mark the start of a globalization process by contributing to the strong growth of trade between continents: the « triangular trade » between Europe, Africa and the Americas, the trade between Europe and Asia thanks to the precious metals mined in the « new world » colonies.