in Two Maps
I think you've missed some nuances of geography that we miss because they're not obvious to modern people.
When it comes to travel, in the age of sailing ships the shortest route wasn't always the quickest route. Instead the quickest routes were dictated by the prevailing winds which meant it was far quicker to cross the South Atlantic by heading southwest across the ocean before tacking southeast than the alternative of creeping down the west coast of Africa. Although counterintuitive, with this understanding it becomes inevitable that the Portuguese would make landfall in Brazil in their quest to find the quickest route around Africa.
The influence of the technology of sailing and its constraints on the exploration of the world by European navigators is covered well in Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 by Alfred W. Crosby (1986).
The importance of disease in the delayed scramble for Africa is definitely paramount. But whilst dealing with the proximate causes in the form of malaria and yellow fever you haven't asked the more interesting question of why it was that disease resisted the invaders in Africa and tropical Asia but not in the Americas and Australia. A discussion of this topic is also covered in the above book, and in more depth in Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years (1998). I think this deeper historical perspective has been missing from some of your analyses. I noticed its absence when you rightly pointed out the strategic geographical blessings of North America in the context of an interconnected globe, but didn't ask why those same features weren't advantages for Native Americans in their resistance to European colonialism.
Hi Tomas, you might check out Dan Carlin’s Hard Core History podcast. The last episode dealt with the transatlantic slave trade. Towards the end it covers the revolution in what would become Haiti - with a major focus on diseases that greatly hampered the French.
Will be interesting to see how the next wave of colonialism plays out and what its most strategic levers will turn out to be.
Hi, Tomas: You wrote "America", but I think you meant "the Americas". Your account of history is good because you focus on factors that allowed (or prevented) colonization (the Sahara, malaria, etc.). That's very useful for understanding what happened. However, your account is focused on Europe. Step back further and look at the interaction (or lack of) between China, India, and Islam: they affected the development of Europe. See andreas.com/global-history.html Let me know what you think. -- andreas
Fascinating description of how colonization happened as it has. 🙏🙏
tell the truth
the truth is never told truthfuly, tell the world aficans civilized the entire world 28,000 years ago 1842 europe evaded the world
Why was there no malaria in Latin America? It also lies close to the equator right?