Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What value does the Florentine Codex hold? Is the Florentine Codex a reliable primary source document, why or why not. *(because, I read it somewhere, etc. will not suffice, d - Writingforyou

What value does the Florentine Codex hold? Is the Florentine Codex a reliable primary source document, why or why not. *(because, I read it somewhere, etc. will not suffice, d


1.Click on this link to an external site. and watch the video at the top, in its entirety and read the article below the link, feel free to use chapter 12 readings as well to answer the below questions.

What value does the Florentine Codex hold?

Is the Florentine Codex a reliable primary source document, why or why not. *(because, I read it somewhere, etc. will not suffice, detailed analysis of the conclusion you have come to will be needed).

2.  After reading Michiel’s account, who do you think who is responsible for the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre?What was the nature of the violence?Why did the massacre happen? Think of the different points of conflict that Michiel describes to formulate your answer.

You can use these sources along with this weeks reading to answer this DQ: to an external site. 

Giovanni Michiel, “A Venetian Ambassador’s Report on the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre,”


Contact, Commerce, and Colonization


Copyright © 2021, W. W. Norton & Company

Ottoman expansion and Portuguese overseas ventures begin a complex process that changes the way peoples around the world interact with one another.

For the first time, major world empires are oceanic, overseas empires rather than continental empires.

Despite the long-term significance of European activity in the Americas, most Africans and Asians are barely aware of the Americas or the expansion of long-distance trade.

Within Europe, dynastic states concentrate attention and resources on their own internal rivalries. Religious revolts, especially the Protestant Reformation, intensify those rivalries.

Asian empires thrive in the sixteenth century, thanks to commercial expansion and political consolidation.

Global Storyline


What were the broad patterns of world trade after 1450? How were major features of world trade in Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Europe alike and different?

What factors that enabled Europeans to increase their trade relationships with Asian empires in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? How significant was each factor?

In what ways did European colonization of the Americas affect African and Amerindian peoples? How did those groups respond?

How similar and different were the practices of European explorers in Asia and the Americas?

Within Afro-Eurasian polities, what types of social and political relationships developed during this period? What were the sources of conflict?

Focus Questions

By the mid-fifteenth century, the major rising world power was the Ottoman Empire.

Projected power by sea with the world’s largest armada and the latest advances in geography and cartography

Ottoman expansion prompted Europeans to seek alternative routes to access Asian luxury goods

Portuguese entered Indian Ocean

Accidental discovery of the Americas

Merging of two biomes

Significance of European exploration initially unclear

Contact, Commerce, and Colonization

Around the 1450s, the major rising power in the world was not Spain or Portugal, but the Ottoman Empire. During this time, the Ottomans were expanding rapidly in the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans, conquering Arab lands and even advancing into Europe.

Ottoman success in gaining control over land-based trade routes to Asia prompted Europeans to find a direct route to Asia by sea. After Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1498, Portuguese navigators entered the Indian Ocean and attempted to dominate its thriving trade networks. At first, the Ottomans did not see these newcomers as a significant threat to their influence in South Asia.  However, a major Portuguese naval victory against the Ottomans allowed the Portuguese to further consolidate control. Still, European presence in the Indian Ocean at the time was minimal and limited to a few strategically situated port cities. No one could have predicted what later developments would bring. 

European attempts to find new routes to Asia led to the accidental discovery of the Americas. Separated since the Ice Age, Afro-Eurasia and the Americas had formed two distinct biomes, or biological systems. When Europeans stumbled onto the Americas, they initiated momentously consequential exchange of people, animals, plants, commercial products, and deadly diseases that brought these biomes together. 

Although the impact of these events was dramatic, most people at the time were barely aware of them or could not have appreciated their full significance. Most empires in Afro-Eurasia were focused on territorial expansion by land; Europe was embroiled in the religious conflicts surrounding the Protestant Reformation; and the majority of Africans, Asians, and Amerindians were barely aware of the events taking place on the other side of the globe. However, as time passed, these encounters would bring profound changes to economies and cultures worldwide. 


Ottoman expansion on land and European expansion by sea occurred roughly at the same time and were interconnected.

The Ottomans established control over trade routes interrupted by the Mongols and the Black Death, which helped spur their political expansion.

Despite dominance of the Mediterranean, Ottomans did not rethink older forms of imperial expansion and long-distance trade

Europeans experimented with a new form of expansion by sea

Aided by a series of accidents

Both forms of expansion created a more connected world.

The Old Expansionism and the New

Ottoman expansion on land and European expansion by sea happened at the same time and were interconnected. Europeans began probing westward in response to growing Ottoman presence in the east. The Ottomans’ expansion was aided by their consolidation of control over land-based trade routes to Asia. This process reestablished connections that had been disrupted by Mongol invasions and the Black Death. To maintain their territorial gains, the Ottomans relied on a strategy of co-opting local elites and maintaining a tolerant attitude toward other religious beliefs. Such strategies were so effective that the Ottomans had conquered Egypt and pushed into Europe by 1529. However, they were halted in the east by the Safavid Empire.  

The Ottomans had become the preeminent power in the Mediterranean and dominated the Afro-Eurasian caravan trades. However, they made few changes to their trading methods. Older forms of imperial expansion and long-distance trade continued to be effective. 

Europeans, however, felt the need to find new strategies. Their relatively weak position encouraged a willingness to experiment. This new expansion benefited enormously from unexpected accidents. First, that Columbus failed in his attempt to find a new route to Asia but encountered a “New World” in the process. Second, that the peoples of this New World were devastated by European pathogens, opening the way for large-scale conquest and settlement.  

While both forms of expansion—new and old—created a more connected world, most people continued to focus on problems closer to home. 


By the early sixteenth century, the Ottomans controlled Constantinople and expansive territories in southeastern Europe, Anatolia, and the eastern Mediterranean.

The multiethnic Ottoman elite

Ottoman Empire became increasingly diverse as it spread

Subject peoples could rise to high positions in the empire

For many local elites, conversion was not required

Ottoman conquests in Egypt (1516–1517)

Allowed Ottomans to think of themselves as preeminent Muslim empire

Provided substantial revenues

Ottoman Expansion (1 of 2)

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Ottomans possessed the most powerful military in the world. They controlled Constantinople, much of southeastern Europe, Anatolia, and the eastern Mediterranean. By 1550, the Ottoman empire extended from Hungary and Crimea in the north, to the Arabian Peninsula in the south, from Morocco in the west to the border with Safavid Iran in the east.

As it expanded, the Ottoman empire became increasingly diverse. With effective institutions for creating a loyal imperial elite, the Ottomans proved successful at incorporating new peoples. A majority of the grand viziers that served between 1453–1515 were drawn from the devshirme system or from the Byzantine and Balkan elites. Only three were of Muslim Turkish descent. Other local elites were not required to convert and were allowed to govern their own communities with relative autonomy. 

The conquests of Syria and Mamluk Egypt in the early sixteenth century brought new ideological and economic benefits to the empire.  These conquests allowed the Ottomans to consider themselves the preeminent Muslim empire. At the same time, Egypt’s immense agricultural wealth provided the empire with its largest revenue source. However, these conquests were undertaken at an enormous cost, as the Mamluk rulers of Egypt mounted fierce resistance.   


Ottoman expansionism stalls in Iran

Unable to sustain conquest of Safavid Empire

Rivalry deepened religious commitments

The Ottomans in Europe

1450s: Constantinople and Athens

1520s: Balkans

1529: Siege of Vienna

1541: Budapest

Despite naval loss at Lepanto, retained control over Eastern Mediterranean 

Became key players in European politics

Ottoman Expansion (2 of 2)

By conquering Arab lands, the Ottomans had become a majority Muslim empire. However, their expansion to the east was checked by the Safavid empire in Iran. As a Shiite state, the Safavids added a religious dimension to this geopolitical rivalry. Although Selim II had successfully defeated the Safavids in battle, the Ottomans failed to subdue the Safavids for good.  

This rivalry intensified religious commitments on both sides. While the Ottomans began as a relatively tolerant state comprising mostly conquered Christian populations, it began to see itself as a champion of Sunni Islam. At the same time, the Shiite identity of the Safavid rulers became all the more significant.  

Blocked to the east by the Safavids, the Ottomans expanded westward into Europe. Beginning the 1450s with the conquests of Constantinople and Athens, the Ottomans added large parts of the Balkans in the 1520s and reached the gates of Vienna in 1529.  Although the siege of Vienna was unsuccessful, the Ottomans took Budapest in 1541. 

These Ottoman advances, which threatened the Venetian and Habsburg Empires, alarmed many Europeans. But efforts to unite Europe on religious grounds were hampered by the deep divisions caused by the Protestant Reformation.  

A major European naval victory at Lepanto helped check Ottoman naval power, but the empire retained control over much of the Eastern Mediterranean and became a key player in European politics. 


Emergence of Ottoman Empire and its control of overland trade routes from Europe to Asia prompted exploration of new sea routes

Portuguese took the lead, entered Indian Ocean

The Portuguese in Africa and Asia

Sought precious metals

Navigation and military advances

New maritime technologies and information from other mariners helped Portuguese navigate along the treacherous African coast.

New vessels, the carrack and caravel, increased mobility.

The compass and the astrolabe helped determine latitude.

New artillery

European Exploration and Expansion (1 of 2)

The consolidation of Ottoman power in western Eurasia caused Europeans to seek alternative routes into Asia. The Portuguese led the way, exploring the African coast in search of precious metals. Ultimately, the Portuguese made their way around Africa and into the Indian Ocean. There, they established themselves as pirates or middlemen in a trade dominated by Arab, Persian, Indian, and Chinese merchants.  

Europeans believed that Africa contained a vast supply of precious metals. Increases in the price of gold and silver led some Europeans to seek out new sources of these commodities in Africa. At the time, Europeans had little knowledge of African societies. 

New advances in maritime technology increased the mobility of the Portuguese. Three- or four-masted carracks were built to withstand rough waters in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Caravels, with special triangular sails, were highly maneuverable and could manage more delicate navigation. Finally, instruments such as the compass and the astrolabe helped sailors determine latitude, allowing them to navigate more precisely. At the same time, they adapted new artillery technologies to suit their ships. 


Map 12.1 | European Exploration, 1420–1580

Map 12.1 | European Exploration, 1420–1580

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, sailors from Portugal, Spain, England, and France explored and mapped the

coastline of most of the world. Their activities took place in the shadow of the leading empires of the day, with the

Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals, and Ming largely unconcerned and unthreatened by them. They established contacts and

made connections that, over time, became increasingly important.

• Explain why Europeans would have chosen sea routes to reach Asia rather than land routes.

• Trace the voyages that started from Portugal, and then the voyages that started from Spain. Explain why Portuguese

explorers concentrated on Africa and the Indian Ocean, whereas their Spanish counterparts focused on the Americas.

• Contrast the different patterns of exploration in the New World with those in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.


Sugar and slavery

Experimented with sugar plantations on African islands

Used labor of enslaved people from the African mainland

Plantation model would be exported across the Atlantic

Commerce and conquest in the Indian Ocean

Goal was access to commercial networks and trading systems.

Vasco da Gama: first Portuguese mariner to reach Cape of Good Hope

Encountered skilled Muslim sailors with valuable knowledge of currents, winds, and geography

Used violence to assert supremacy in the Indian Ocean

Established at Aden, Hormuz, Melaka

No ability or desire to establish full colonies

European Exploration and Expansion (2 of 2)

For the Portuguese, the coast of Africa quickly became a valuable trading area. After seizing islands of the African coast, the Portuguese experimented with large-scale sugar plantations worked by enslaved people from the African mainland. This model proved enormously profitable and would soon be exported across the Atlantic. 

Once the Portuguese had found their way into the Indian Ocean, their goal was not to establish direct rule. Instead, they wanted to take advantage of the booming sea trade that already existed. Vasco da Gama was the first Portuguese captain to round the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. Once in the Indian Ocean, he found skilled Muslim sea traders with knowledge of the currents, winds, and ports. 

The Portuguese used violence to assert their supremacy in the Indian ocean. They established themselves at the key ports of Aden, Hormuz, and Melaka. In those places, they attempted to control the trade or tax local merchants. They also introduced a pass system that required ships to pay for documents that identified the ship’s captain, its crew, and its cargo.  

The Portuguese did not have the capacity to impose their control over major rulers or powerful merchants. Nor were they interested in establishing full-scale colonies. Rather, they sought to insert themselves as middlemen in the flourishing trade and take a share of its profits.  


Crossing the Atlantic changed the course of world history

Discovery of the Americas happened by accident

Opened new trade routes

Biological consequences

Amerindians lacked immunity to Afro-Eurasian diseases

Catastrophic population decline

Lack of labor force from Amerindians led to large-scale introduction of African enslaved laborers

The Atlantic World

Although the “discovery” of the Americas was of monumental importance, it happened by accident. Columbus did not set out to discover new lands. Instead, he was looking for new ways to reach lands already well-known to Europeans: Japan and China. No one expected he would encounter a “New World.”

But he did. And soon after more ambitious Europeans began arriving. This sharpened rivalries as European powers began competing for dominance in both the Indian Ocean and in the Americas.  

Although this competition shaped world history, the biological consequences of the convergence of the American and Afro-Eurasian biomes were far more important. Amerindians lacked immunity to Afro-Eurasian diseases. When they encountered pathogens brought by the newcomers, their populations were decimated. 

The enormous losses of Amerindian populations meant that Europeans needed to look elsewhere for the enslaved labor force they wanted. This led them to import enslaved laborers from Africa. These large-scale populations shifts and exchanges of plants and animals led to an epochal transformation.  


October 12, 1492, on behalf of Spain, Columbus reached Caribbean lands

Columbus’s goals were shaped by his historical context

Break into long-established trade routes

Finance conquests of Muslim lands

First encountered a people called the Tainos

Columbus mislabeled Tainos as “Indians,” as he believed he had reached India

Described the Tainos as a childlike people with no religion, ready for conversion

Tainos possessed gold

Tainos told them of “savage” Caribs, a neighboring tribe

Contrasting images of innocents and savages structured European (mis)understanding of Amerindian peoples for centuries

First Encounters (1 of 2)

In 1492, Columbus landed on an island he called San Salvador, in what is now the Bahamas. This moment marked the beginning of a new era in world history. But Columbus did not intend to find new lands or trade routes. Instead, he wanted to break into old, long-established routes in order to finance wars against Muslim rulers in Granada and the Holy Land. 

The first peoples that Columbus encountered were called the Tainos. Columbus perceived these people as naïve and childlike. He thought that they had no religion, and could easily be converted to Christianity. Other explorers shared this perception. At the same time, the Europeans developed a contradictory image of the natives as wild, savage, and even cannibalistic. These contrasting images structured European perceptions of the Amerindian peoples for centuries. 


Historians know less about Amerindian perceptions of Europeans.

European metal goods and military prowess impressed them.

European hair, beards, breath, and bad manners often repulsed them.

Europeans were unable to live off the land.

First Encounters (2 of 2)

Historians know less about what the Amerindians thought of the Europeans. They were certainly impressed by European metal goods and military prowess. At the same time, they were repulsed by the Europeans’ physical appearance and behavior. They did not especially notice the Europeans’ different skin color. Only the Europeans were in the habit of making such a distinction. Instead, Amerindians took note of the newcomers’ hairiness, breath, and bad manners. They also noticed how hopeless Europeans were at living off the land. 


Columbus claimed there was gold on Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Spain therefore invested in further expeditions with Columbus.

The Spanish experimented with institutions of colonial rule, ultimately creating a model for the rest of the New World colonies.

Encomiendas and encomenderos: favored settlers granted the “right” to coerce Indian labor

Amerindian resistance

Spaniards responded by enslaving Indians to work in gold mines.

Encomenderos paid special taxes on extracted precious metals.

Resistance from within

Dominican friars protested abuses

First Conquests

After his first expedition, Columbus claimed that he had found gold on Hispaniola. This led the Spanish crown to give financial support for Columbus to carry out further expeditions. The expeditions grew larger. In 1492, Columbus made the voyage with 87 men in three small ships. However, ten years later 2,500 men crossed the Atlantic.

During the first few decades of conquest, the Spanish experimented with institutions of colonial rule. These institutions would ultimately become a model for the rest of the New World colonies. But in the beginning there were setbacks.

One major obstacle was Amerindian resistance. Just two years after Columbus’s first contact, starving Spaniards raided Amerindian villages. When the native peoples fought back, the Spaniards responded by enslaving them for work in the gold mines.

Conquistadors and their royal patrons soon established a system called encomiendas. In this system, the crown granted certain men, called encomenderos, the right to coerce Amerindian labor in exchange for special taxes on precious metals. This practice led to the rise of a new social class of rich encomenderos. 

Some Spaniards protested the abuse of Amerindians. Dominican Friars saw the exploitation of Amerindians as contradictory to the goal of conversion. 


As resources depleted, Spaniards sought new territories.

Encountered some larger, more complex and more militarized societies on the mainland

Such societies were unprepared for European assaults.

The Aztec Empire and the Spanish Conquest

The extraction of precious metals in the Caribbean was not sustainable. As resources depleted, the Spanish sought out new territories to conquer. When they began to explore the mainland of Central America, they encountered larger, more complex, and more militarized societies.

Powerful empires had existed amongst these societies for centuries. Yet, they were unprepared for European assaults. One particular disadvantage was that warfare among these peoples was more ceremonial. It was not intended to totally destroy enemies. Rather, it was meant to subdue them and force them to pay tribute. As a result, the wealthy Mesoamerican peoples were vulnerable to European attacks.


The Mexica gradually united numerous independent states under a single monarch along with counselors, military leaders, and priests.

Empire—known as “Aztec”—of up to 25 million

Based around Tenochtitlán on Lake Texcoco

Religious and political buildings in the center

Well-irrigated and prosperous agriculture

The Aztec state was based on extensive kinship networks, with marriages solidifying alliances.

Lineage of “natural” rulers

Priests legitimized new emperors.

The Aztec Empire spread through conquest and the creation of tributary states, bringing with it great wealth but also military instability.

Conquests provided a steady stream of humans for sacrifice.

From 1440 onward, the Aztec Empire faced constant turmoil as elites and subject populations rebelled.

Aztec Society

In Mesoamerica, a group of people called the Mexica had created an empire known as “Aztec.” This empire was built first through the confederation of Mexica city-states, then through unification with other formerly independent states. It is estimated that the total population of the empire was up to 25 million.

The capital of the Aztec Empire was Tenochtitlán, on the site of present-day Mexico City. In the fifteenth century, this city was built on an immense island at the center of Lake Texcoco. At its height, it was one of the largest cities in the world. The city was built in concentric circles. Canals tied the city together, serving as transportation thoroughfares, supporting floating gardens, and irrigating fields.

The Aztec state was built on kinship networks. Marriages between people of different villages produced clan-like social units. Ultimately, one of these lineages rose to become the ruling family. These “natural” rulers benefited from rituals of legitimization performed by priests, who helped present an image of rulers in touch with the divine.

Aztec expansion proceeded through the conquest of neighboring tribes. Once defeated, these tribes were forced to pay tribute in the form of crops, precious metals, textiles, and other goods. Conquered states also provided the Aztecs with a steady stream of humans for sacrifice. The Aztecs believed that human sacrifice was necessary to keep the sun burning and to replenish the blood given by the gods in the form of rain.

Aztec empire building caused resentment among conquered peoples. From 1440 onward, the Aztecs faced constant rebellions against their rule. 


Debate over extent to which Aztecs believed Cortés and his men were the god Quetzalcoatl

Emperor Moctezuma III sent emissaries with gifts, but the Aztecs didn’t prepare for military engagement.

Hernán Cortés arrived with eleven ships, 500 men, sixteen horses, and arms: became model conquistador

Doña Marina, from a local Amerindian noble family, became Cortés’s interpreter. 

Cortés and soldiers were impressed with Tenochtitlán.

Cortés and Conquest (1 of 3)

In the early sixteenth century, a ruler named Moctezuma III took the Aztec throne. Soon after, a conquistador named Hernán Cortés arrived. What the Aztecs thought about these newcomers is difficult to tell. According to some accounts, some thought that Cortés and his men were the god Quetzalcoatl and his entourage. However, some historians argue that these omens were the efforts of factions trying to undermine the throne. 

When Cortés arrived, he set about finding locals who could be interpreters and allies. One of his translators was the daughter of a local noble family who later became known as Doña Marina, also known as La Malinche. Gathering allies and supporters, Cortés marched to Tenochtitlán. Once they arrived, the conquistadors were stunned by the size and magnificence of the city. 


Spaniards able to conquer Aztecs because:

Spanish formed alliances with Aztec enemies, the Tlaxcalans

Aztec warfare involved capturing enemies, whereas the Spanish fought to kill.

Aztecs weren’t familiar with Spanish technology, such as gunpowder, steel swords, horses, or war dogs.

Aztecs allowed Cortés to enter their city of Tenochtitlán.

In 1519, Cortés captured Tenochtitlán and Moctezuma, who then ruled as a Spanish puppet.

Cortés and Conquest (2 of 3)

How were the Spaniards able to conquer the Aztecs? Fi