European Background of American History, 1300-1600

European Background of American History, 1300-1600

European Background of American History, 1300-1600

European Background of American History, 1300-1600

Excerpt

This book by Professor Cheyney supplies the link between the history of Europe and the history of early America; for whether it came through a Spanish, French, English, Dutch, or Swedish medium, or through the later immigrants from Germany, from Italy, and from the Slavic countries, the American conception of society and of government was originally derived from the European. Hence the importance at the outset of knowing what that civilization was at the time of colonization. Professor Cheyney (chapters i. and ii.) fitly begins with an account of mediæval commerce, especially between Europe and Asia, and the effect of the interposition of the Turks into the Mediterranean, and how, by their disturbance of the established course of Asiatic trade, they turned men's minds towards other routes to Asia by sea.

Thence he proceeds to show (chapter iii.) how the Italians in navigation and in map-making exhibited the same pre-eminence as in commerce and the arts, and why Italy furnished so many of the explorers of the western seas in the period of discovery. It is an easy transition in chapter iv. to . . .

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