Featured Answers

Active contributors today


Wealth is power and trade is a means of accumulating wealth, At the time of Sir Walter Raleigh ocean travel was the main means of international trade.


Sir Walter Raleigh was influence by both his time and the nation of his birth. England being an island was totally dependent on the ocean for trade with other nations. This caused him to regard the ocean as the only means of trade and transportation.

Actually the Silk Road and the trans Sahara gold salt trade are examples of land routes that brought wealth. Ghana by controlling the trans Sahara trade route commanded the wealth produced by this trade and consequently the world of sub-Sahara western Africa.
Islam when it conquered Constantinople gained complete control of the Silk Road providing the Ottoman Turkish Empire with great wealth and power.

The successful effort by the Portuguese to find a sea route to India quickly took the place of the silk road as a means of transportation eliminating the monopoly that the Islamic Ottoman Empire had for a short time. The small nation of Portugal became a world power because of its control of the trade route to India.

The English after their defeat of the Spanish Armada were becoming the dominant naval power in the world. By controlling the ocean England control much of the trade of the world. This made England both wealthy and powerful, resulting in a British Empire where the sun never set.


The Roman Catholic Church would have maintained its dominance of Western Europe for a longer period of time.


Previous attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church and its control of Western Europe had failed.

The Waldensians of France were destroyed by a Crusade against them. Their translation of the Bible into Provincial French from the Old Latin challenged many of the doctrines of the Catholic church. The Waldensians practice of lay preachers and Bible studies challenged the authority of the priests and bishops. The Waldensians were killed in mass and their translations burned.
The revolt against the church started in 1173 failed

The Lollards of England using a translation of the Bible in English by John Wycliff challenged the authority of the Catholic Church. The Lollards were declared heretics as such could be raped, robbed and murdered without penally. The possession of a an English Bible was a death sentence. Both the Bible and the person were burned. The Lollards failed and their movement of 1384 was stamped out.

Jon Huss of Czech fame, again challenged the authority of the Catholic Church. He was burned alive in 1415 along with his translation of the Bible in the Czech language. Armies were sent to stamp out his followers.

If Martin Luther had failed there would have been another translation of the Bible into the local languages, There would have been another revolt against the authority of the Catholic Church. Eventually one of the revolts like Martin Luther's would have succeeded. It just might have taken another 100 years of so beyond 1522 when Luther translated the Biblical New Testament into German.


It changed the dietary habits of europeans and boosted european finances with huge imports of bullion.


Sometime when I walk a European open market and I look at the produce exhibited by the vendors, I wonder: What on Earth people eat before the Discovery of America !

Europe did not have potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, maize, beans, avocadoes, all sorts of berries and nuts, nor did we have cane-sugar and turkeys...
Potatoes changed Europe in several ways. The War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779) came to be known to historians as the Kartoffelkrieg (Potato War). Antoine Parmentier (1737-1813) realised that potatoes were the best crop to feed an army.
Ireland became so dependent on potatoes to feed its population that after a few years of bad potato crops (1848), that came to be known as the Potato Famine, a third of the population migrated to avoid starvation.

As for Bullion, the Spaniards went to America searching for gold. And they found it. Latin American gold financed most of Charles V wars and military campaigns. He borrowed cash from Lombard and Flemish bankers and paid them back with Mexican and Peruvian gold and silver. Philip II could extend his domain as far as the Philippines (the name of the islands is the name of that king) because of the slave labour of American natives in their own mines.

A third contribution to European way of life (or death), is a less spoken of one: syphilis, a venereal disease imported by Spanish mariners returning to the kingdom of Naples from South America.
A small repayment for the massive number of viruses and bacteria that Europeans exported with their weaponry to the American continent.


D) “Both emperors unifi[ed China after years of war and rebellion]” is correct.


Some background information:
Shi Huangdi, also known as Qin Shi Huang, was the emperor who unified China and made it a centralised empire.
Li Yuan, also known as Gaozu of Tang, was the founder of the Tang dynasty in China.

On with the question! :)

Firstly, we need to cancel A), because Li Yuan was never known to have burned any books. Shi Huangdi, on the other hand, arguably did because he wanted to encourage the philosophy he believed in, Legalism, over everything else.

Secondly, we need to cancel B).
The Silk Road was really cultivated (not built, because it wasn't an actual road) during three periods: the Han dynasty, the Tang dynasty, and the Pax Mongolica—but not the Qin dynasty. Yes, Li Yuan helped facilitate the Silk Road, but Shi Huangdi didn't.

Thirdly, we need to cancel C). Yes, Shi Huangdi’s tomb is large, notably being divided into inner and outer cities. However, Li Yuan’s tomb does not occupy such a vast territory; therefore this is incorrect.

Finally, D) “Both emperors unifi[ed China after years of war and rebellion]” is correct.
(The full part wasn’t displayed in the question, so I went ahead and found the full question on Google.)
Shi Huangdi was the first emperor to turn China into a centralised empire, forming the Qin dynasty.
The fall of the Sui dynasty, the dynasty before the Tang, caused China to be decentralised for years. It was finally united again under the Tang—under Li Yuan, after years of civil war in the aftermath of the fall of the Sui dynasty.


The Chinese Mandarins curtailed China's brief period of maritime exploration because it was expensive, yielded little and threatened social order. The European maritime powers were eager for trade.


You may want to read Victor Davis Hanson's "Carnage and Culture" -- for more on some of the fundamental cultural differences between different civilizations and how they manifest in policy, practice, and warfare.

China has essentially always been about central control and social order, primarily to ensure the stability and political unity that keeps the risk of massive flooding and invasions at bay. The maritime explorations of Zheng He in the 1430s were impressive accomplishments, but they were meant to overawe other kingdoms with the might and wealth of China. They proved expensive, yielded little in new revenue to China, and were bringing in new ideas (usually most unwelcome in Chinese history) and were disrupting social order.

The other point is that China had just spent a considerable fortune on a new internal canal system that could enhance internal trade and reduce the danger of major famines. The canal system needed a lot of sailors, and to the Mandarinate, the answer was obvious.

Europe was always politically fragmented, with every country looking for advantage and new trade opportunities. With the Turkish Empire levying extremely heavy taxes on East-West trade, Portugal in particular decided to find a new route to Asia. Merchants soon followed the mariners, yielding new products and revenues to the Portugese Crown. Their success soon meant that Spain, France, England and the Dutch -- Europe's main Atlantic nations -- soon strove to follow the Portuguese example.


There were two Turkish sieges of Vienna -- 1529 and 1683. The first marked the apex of Turkish expansionism in Europe; the second marked the end of Turkey's place as a major power.


Following their arrival in Europe in the 14th Century, the Turks proved to be an aggressive imperial power -- sustained both by their own martial traditions, and the impulse to domination that sometimes pops up in Islam. Following the 1453 fall of Constantinople, the Turks moved north through the Balkans. The Turks were well organized, disciplined, and more modern than Europeans give them credit for -- particularly with respect to firearms, military music, and logistical organization.

Much of Western Europe (Spain, France, and England) considered the Turks to be a remote problem. Central and Eastern Europe saw a relentless march that was hard to stem. In 1529, Suleiman the Magnificent sought to complete the conquest of Hungary, but also well knew that Vienna was the gateway from the Hungarian plains into Southern Germany, as well as being the Hapsburg Capital.

The Turks always had problems with European fortifications (as witnessed in Rhodes and Malta), and logistical difficulties compounded the problem. The 1529 siege of Vienna failed, and Sulieman had other foes to confront and his successors had less taste for conquest. In 1682, border conflicts all along the northern edge of the Polish Empire with Poles and the Hapsburgs, sparked a Turkish plan to capture Vienna again. They spent a year making careful plans and working on their logistics and Sultan Mehmet IV allowed his Grand Vizier Mustafa Pasha to begin the campaign.

However, the Europeans had undergone a military revolution in the last 150 years, with substantial improvements in weaponry, tactics, and military organization. Although the Turks reached Vienna and were on the edge of breaching the walls, Hapsburg and Polish reinforcements reached Vienna and administered a crushing defeat.

The defeat proved a clear signal that Turkish military superiority had been eclipsed. Thereafter, the Turkish control in Eastern and Central Europe ebbed away,

View more
Ask a question Filters
This filter has no results, see all questions.
Question type

Use these controls to find questions to answer

Need double-checking
Practice problems
Conceptual questions