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Columbus, de Gama, and Zheng He! 15th Century Mariners. Crash Course: World History #21

by CrashCourse • 1,076,958 views

In which John Green teaches you about the beginning of the so-called Age of Discovery. You've probably heard of Christopher Columbus, who "discovered" America in 1492, but what about Vasco da Gama?...

Age Of Empire alredy learn me this xD miss the game.....
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+Leorenzi Dangoy You are free to speak in any language that you like. I speak 3 languages in which I am classified as a native speaker. They all have different rules and so on. Language is a part of communication and if you want to deliver your message, then master the rules. Otherwise, you will have no one to complain to when people do not listen to you. By the way language has nothing to do with skin color.
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thats not my point. for as long as it is understandable that will be fine
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NaMo is the modern day mariner... :p
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Hi +CrashCourse  I am wondering, you should make social history videos. I think it's important how people lived in the past. Yes it's boring compared to history of warfare and general human world history but you have a great sense of humour to make it interesting. Also I believe that it's important to understand how people think in the past and what their norms are. Knowing our ancestors lived differently it would be interesting to see and compare on how they lived in the past and how we live today. Maybe mentioned how technologies improved our daily lives? Thank you. Regards, Kenneth
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At the time of Zheng He Chinese have mastered that technique of building giant ships other countries cannot achieve. Then why China kept losing navel warfare with British and French in 19th centuries?
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+creepermachine9000 Wrong Ming Dynasty had cannons which were more advance then European cannons at the time.
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+creepermachine9000 By the time Europeans came to China in the 1900s. China was a backwater and less advance civilizations thinks to those Manchus.
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But the vikings was the first to european to discover americas 500 years before coloumbus C:
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+katten elvis that is why they say "... and discovered america, a land that was discovered only by millions of people after him" referring vikings and... natives! they may have come from somewhere too!
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+Zach Smith just because natives didn't know what discover means :D
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The BIGGEST mistake that done by Chinese(Ming Dynasty) during that period of time was not conquering the world while we can...I mean fuck we invented Gunpowder, compass and many others things that surpass the rest of the world for decades or even centuries. Instead of killing the natives, raping the local women, looting all the treasures and natural resources and colonising anywhere we went, forcibly install our language and philosophy to the local population while sailing bon voyage around the world we went everywhere and make friends with EVERY FUCKING ONE !!! Heck imagine what happens if Chinese did the exact same things that the British, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch done during this age of discovery... We were too kind and civilized ... I blame Confusionism and Buddhism in this matter.... Because of him now we Chinese have to face the shame and humiliation that are avoidable since the early mid 19th century cause by the western Europeans and fucking Japs !
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+CrazySoon9413 that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard. Peace and harmony brought prosperity to the land, while war and maintaining the empire cost tons of resources/moneys and brought chaos to the States, this is a fact as history proved many times via the British Empire, Roman Empire, Mongol Empire etc and etc.  The reason China was so massive in economy and power becuz they didnt wage war on others sovereign states in the first place. Since it allow wealth to grow and other foreign countries are also more likely to trading with a country dat is non-aggressive to them rather than a violent one like the Mongol. Another reason is dat China was constantly in the state of Divided,Chaotic and even Civil War since the nation was just too fucking big! therefore they had very little opportunity or even bother to conquest other nations while they can't even keep their own nation in one place. This is why China have many dynasties and civil wars.
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THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE FORCED EUROPEANS TO FIND A NEW WAY TO ASIA BY CONQUERING CONSTANTINOPLE!!
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+Søren S Constantinople was a trade city between asia. And Europe. It was 2/3 of asian silk or spices or other asian goods came to Constantinople and send it to Europe. Not all like 2/3 of the goods. And the wealth of Europe was in danger so Christopher Columbus was going all over Europe. And no one agreed until they came to Spanish. And they didn't agreed for 7 years. But then they had tk agree because their debt was going so high.
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+Ayhan Aydin It was in Portugal Colombus knew of land in the american continent. He was born in Italy, came to study to Portugal, were got his Nautical Permit/License, and later married a Portuguese. Portugal already knew of existence of land in that part of the world due to maps compiled from the otoman empire, in modern day turkey. Portugal fished that north american/canada area for cod fish.
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well...I would rather love to be the British who would capitalise on such discoveries and learnings and rise well enough to be the foremost Imperial Superpower for three centuries......:)
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Vasco Da Gama kills alot of muslim merchant and destroy alot of muslim traders ship especially in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. Portugal also destroy many muslim kingdom such as Malacca Sultanate etc
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+afifi hasan True, the same was done by muslims against Portugal. For example before Portugal conquering Ceuta it is reported that muslim slavers normally attacked the coast of southern europe to get slaves or even to get prisoners for ransom.
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The Wall began construction around 200 BC. The majority of today's wall was built in the Ming era.
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Such ignorance! You talk about "beginning" of the Age of Discovery and you only talk about Vasco da Gama?  After the conquest of Ceuta in 1415 (which cut the slave trade of Europeans in those areas) the Age of Discovery began for the Portuguese. Vasco da Gama reached India in 1498. It was several years of exploration and learning. Not to talk about Pedro Álvares Cabral, the one that reached Brasil. Too much information not told, most of it before Vasco da Gama. "Scrappy little Portugal" is just idiotic. Portugal has the oldest frontiers as a country in Europe. Before Spain existed as a unified country. I almost bet the info you got was from wikipedia or less. I know you are u.s.american but still... Columbus was Portuguese trained. He went to Lisbon in 1476 and remained there for several years, seeking the support of the Portuguese king and gathering nautical and geographic intelligence from the returning sailors. He even married a Portuguese woman; obtained navigation charts and related information from his father-in-law, >>>Bartholomew Perestrelo<<<, who was the governor of the island of Porto Santo in Madeira (just an island we discovered). You don't even talk the why we went to India by that route and the importance of that maritime route. Your words are well suited for you "if you are not an expert in something do not pretend to be an expert in something".
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Historical fact, Christopher Columbus enjoyed raping 9 year old girls as did many of the members of his crew. They would cut the hands off of natives for no crime whatsoever, they would then force the natives to wear their severed hands around their necks. This served as a warning to other natives, to do as you were told and to submit to power. This is the legacy of Christopher Columbus, this is the truth.
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+TrueTreeRadio such a cruel legacy, it is really sad to look a the mirror and know one don't belong here.
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+TrueTreeRadio - oh my god what are you... 10 ? - yes, she is so old hear those guys talking!
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Simple Vasco da Gama the creator of the modern trade, besides the Spanish, British, French and Dutch, always came after the pioneer nation of discoveries, Portugal. 
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De Gamo had a beard, obvious winner!
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And he died having testicles
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The Lusiad´s imortalized Da Gama lol
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Just wandering, for an alternate history experiment.... what if Zheng He discovered Australia?
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Everyday is a bad day 
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Que canal tan malo. Como se nota que no hacen una investigación seria y objetiva.
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Columbus didn't discover America in 1492; that's when America discovered white people
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Wow, so deep, so edgy. People will always want power, saying it's only white people is ignorant.
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I start watching this to study for history midterms realize halfway thru tht it doesnt have all the info i need yet continue watching it cuz its interesting and awesome. 😀
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I'm so glad you don't give in to the angsty teenagers who read something on reddit and think it is real history.
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they all wanted to search India bcause they were crazy for the spices that we sell in return of GOLD. we Indian were very rich and powerful at that time, we had KOHINOOR diamond.. which later stolen by outsiders !
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So Portuguese are just as bad as Venetians. Pirates scum! Nehru sure teach them a lesson by forcefully reclaiming the trading post of Goa for India, which then  scared the Portuguese so much that decades afterwards convinced them to give up Macau and return it to China.
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+theboyuan0jcfan You're getting it wrong, but that's up to you. Macau was rented to Portugal the same way Hong Kong was rented to England. It had an expiration date, so they just left after the deal was over.
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yeah, you know what "China" means in Chinese ? "Middle Earth". Torkien would say, "What ?!!!"
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technically it's "middle country" or state, whatever you want to translate 国 into, anyway it's not earth
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Waitasec, NOW it's truly world history? Where's the segment about the great ancient civilizations of North and South America?
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Mmm, Spain was already the leading power in Europe before the New World's resources had a significant impact. One could say that, altogether with the colonization of the new world, the other events (After the unification of Castile and Aragon and the reconquest of Granada) that made Spain the top power were the Italian Wars and the Habpsburg heritage through Charles the Vth, both of which were achieved up to the 1520s, that is before even the conquests of the Aztecs or the Incas were conducted or before any significant base of power and trade could be established. The Spanish Kingoms were largely ignored by central european powers because they were focused on their southern front (aka, the muslims) and also because they were divided and were often rivals. But when there were no more moors to conquer, they turned their attention to Europe, and the 2 major kingdoms in the peninsula united, creating a strong competitor in the European theatre, and let's not mention they later inherited the Burgundian territories and became rulers of the HRE,  and all that would had happened even if the discovery of America had not happened.  To be honest, the wealth of the Americas mostly contributed to inflation problems and to encourage the rulers of spain into getting involved into costly and pointless conflicts...
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+Joel Santos I wouldn't consider Portugal "trumped" by Spain. Felipe had a legitimate direct claim to the throne of Portugal, he just inherited it after a succesion war (which was pretty common at the times, her very grandomother, Queen Isabella, had to fight one to get to her throne). Nationalism was borderline unexistant at the time, there were just several valid claimants, and they all pressed their advantages. In fact, there were portuguese troops and ships fighting for Felipe (like at the Battle of the Terceira Islands). The Spanish Empire at the time was not Spain with subjugated vassals, but rather a multinational blend in which germans, burgundians (dutch, belgians), italians, spaniards and later portuguese fought among each other, there was no particular preeminence of one nationality over the other (Emperor Charles himself being a native french-speaker from what today is Belgium), and you had Germans fighting for the interests of Spain in the middle of the Atlantic same as spaniards fighting for the interest of the HRE as far as Prague or Vienna themselves. The vast majority of the Spanish/Imperial dominions (save for Portugal and northern Italy) were inherited peacefully through diplomacy and strategic marriages, it was not preciselly a single nation vanquishing others. The only real common enemies were the French, the Turks and the Protestants. Spain and Portugal have had a very long and linked history, and both nations have had their times. Portugal had Aljubarrota, Spain had Alcántara and Terceira, and they also fought together in several ocassions.  I personally would have prefered that both crowns had remained together, and not as a Spanish conquest, but as the sisters both nations have always been. Together Portugal and Spain would have probably avoided to fade from history after the XIXth. century and remain a relevant nation in Europe (and maybe worldwide) today. It was not about conquests or religions. In the 16th. century Europe wasted a chance that wouldn't regain until our times with the European Union.
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+· HigoChumbo · I know a lot of portuguese people, some are friends and some not so much, but its easy to see that portuguese people have a very similar way of life, same religion a language witch for my expirience can be understood without even learning it and vice versa... they are really like sisters and I sure would be happy if they had united back then, or actually stood united and I sure would be happy to see a united iberian peninsula.
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How about America Vuspaci?
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cough ITS AMERIGO cough
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Oh sorry my bad, I meant to type Americo, as it's spelled in my country haha
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Along the way, on the outgoing voyage, Gama's fleet opened contact with the East African gold trading port of Sofala, and reduced the sultanate of Kilwa to tribute, extracting a substantial sum of gold. On reaching India in October 1502, Gama's fleet set about capturing any Arab vessel he came across in Indian waters, most notoriously the Miri, a pilgrim ship from Mecca, whose passengers he had massacred in open water.[24] He then appeared before Calicut, demanding redress for the treatment meted out to Cabral. While the Zamorin was willing to sign a new treaty,[25] Da Gama made a preposterous call to the Hindu king to expel all Muslims from Calicut before beginning negotiations, which was naturally turned down. The Portuguese fleet then bombarded the city for nearly two days from the sea shore, severely damaging the unfortified city. He also captured several rice vessels and barbarously cut off the crew's hands, ears and noses, dispatching them with an insulting note to the Zamorin.[26] A depiction of da Gama's fleet (from the Livro das Armadas). The violent treatment meted out by da Gama quickly brought trade along the Malabar Coast of India, upon which Calicut depended, to a standstill. But the Zamorin nonetheless refused to submit to Portuguese terms, and even ventured to hire a fleet of strong warships to challenge da Gama's armada (which da Gama managed to defeat in a naval battle before Calicut harbor). Da Gama loaded up with spices at Cochin and Cannanore, small nearby kingdoms, half-vassal and half-at-war with the Zamorin, whose alliances had been secured by prior Portuguese fleets. The 4th armada left India in early 1503. Da Gama left behind a small squadron of caravels, under the command of his uncle, Vicente Sodré, to patrol the Indian coast, continue harassing Calicut shipping and protect the Portuguese factories at Cochin and Cannanore from the Zamorin's inevitable reprisals.
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turn on captions its much funnier that way
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Is there not a theory that Zheng He landed in western South America?
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Age of Empires III?
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Immortality is not being good at what you do or being a good administrator like Zheng He or Vasco da Gama. Immortality is being controversial (history's bad boy or bad girl), so conroversial that people remember you. Colombus is a good example. So is Cleopatra. Sorry, Zheng He, nice guys finish last.
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It was in Portugal Colombus knew of land in the american continent. He was born in Italy, came to study to Portugal, were got his Nautical Permit/License, and later married a Portuguese. Portugal already knew of existence of land in that part of the world due to maps compiled from the otoman empire, in modern day turkey. Portugal fished that north american/canada area for cod fish. And don't forget also the portuguese, you may want the check the roots of the name newfoundland and labrador (modern day canada). In 1499 and 1500, Portuguese explorers João Fernandes Lavrador and Pêro de Barcelos mapped the coast of Labrador, thus naming the land "Labrador" on topographical maps of the period. European settlement was largely concentrated in coastal communities, particularly those south of St. Lewis and Cape Charles, and are among Canada's oldest European settlements. The name Newfoundland is derived from English as "New Found Land" (a translation from the Portuguese Terra Nova, still reflected in the province's French language name, "Terre-Neuve"). The origin of Labrador is credited to João Fernandes Lavrador, the Portuguese navigator who explored the region.
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The most educational statement on youtube (maybe the internet) for History majors or aspiring ones. Incase you think that you can mask expertise by broad generalizations and oversimplifications hopefully you'll have a professor who takes as much joy in humiliating her students as I did. "If you're not an expert in something don't pretend to be an expert . . ." - J Green.
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To you folks that are defending Europeans colonizing, saying that if other empires around the world had the technology to conquer countries overseas then then they would. Just have a look at Zheng He's armada which could rival all of Europe combined, they didn't go off on large conquest.
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+Christian Nava I agree with you Christian Nava.
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I strongly recommend a movie called "Y también la lluvia" (even the rain) with Gael García Bernal.
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So curious fact: the Line of Demarcation is the reason why the Western Australian border is where it is. The British only initially claimed the eastern part of Australia as the west was in Portugal's zone and they were an ally (up until the great earthquake of 1777 when they ceased to be as important).
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Fun and fascinating. Kenneth McIntyre's book " the Secret Discovery of Australia" discusses his theory that the Portugese circumnavigated Aus just after Vasco da Gama made it into the Indian Ocean. There are interesting maps, tantalising archaeological finds and the story of the mahogany ship wrecked on the west coast of Victoria. But I think his theory remains an outlier. The achievements of the Ming Dynasty exploits are particularly astonishing to those of us who grew up in a time when China was uncharacteristically weak.
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I would definitely be the administrator because you get to control the people who leave the legacies and the daring captains.
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I'm pretty sure a 400 foot wooden ship wouldn't be seaworthy. It might work in coastal waters but it would flex too much on the open sea. Also it's generally accepted among the scientific community that the main reason China slipped behind Europe technologically was because they produced fine china. They had no need to use glass. To them it was merely a curiosity. Whereas it was a cheap alternative to porcelain for Europeans. The use of glass led to hundreds of new products, the discovery of chemistry and the periodic table. Like the soon to end period of European/white "supremacy" it's a product of lucky accidents rather than any kind of intellectual superiority. It's also worth noting that the Chinese culture values conformity more whereas the European culture values individualism more. Which is possibly why they discovered so many things but never developed them to the extent Europe did.
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I still don't see Columbus as all that great. The Americas are rather long, and if you sail from Spain west, then you'll probably hit them eventually. I think he was dumb because he used maps that were out of date, even when he was alive.
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Spain was just the most powerful Maritiman force in 16th and 17th cuz Portugal lost the king and the Spanish kings (3) started governate it , so all the colonies and the largest maritime territory in world, from Portugal, started to belong to them for that period, they didn't did anything.
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As a descendant of Leif Ericson I still have little respect for that man [Columbus]
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This video gave me goosebumps.
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"Which meant that christian crusading spirit was quite strong there presumably because muslims had brought so much stability and prosperity to the region". Only if you don't take into account that the capture of Ceuta in Morocco in 1415 was in part meant to fight Granadine and North African pirates who in some cases plundered the Iberian coastline all the way till northern Spain ever since the start of the Reconquista. For this reason Portugal has in fact the oldest operating navy in the world. "Vasco da Gama was the first of Henry's protégés to make it around Africa and into the Indian Ocean". Prince Henry died in 1460 and Vasco da Gama was born in 1469.
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why do u say scrappy little portugal, im from portugal and like that wasn't really funny for me... like I ADORE U like ur my favorite writter and ur books are my favorite books i've read them all like 6 times but.. ugh i was just like.... No please no... PORTUGAL IS AMAZING hhahhaha still i love u :)
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Colombus did some terrible things in the West Indies..... that said he still had both his balls.
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haha spain was the greatest power in europe... yeah right
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+André Gaspar portugal never beated spain in a 1v1. but I'm not sayng portugal was not really strong, but probably not better than spain.
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I guess Churchill was right after all "History is written by the victors"
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Jflem and the WHAPstars would like to be like Columbus because we want to have a lasting impact on the world. We watch your videos all the time. Keep up the good work, John! 
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I'm still pretty puzzled. The Portugese robbed the Porteges of their cartaz so they could trade with Portugese? Did i get it right?
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Good video, but it would have been cool if you you mentioned the the Azores, Canaries, etc. That paved the way for transatlantic trade.
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Hey, reduce your speed. That's too fast to be able to catch the points.
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I would want to be like Zheng!
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The Portuguese tried to capture Mogadishu but they were pushed back. Mogadishu is truly a historic place Ibn battuta travelled there at its height and Zheng he ,even tried to take over but just gave up and traded with them. It was never apart of the Swahili coast it was always controlled by Somalis and spoke Somali which is just as old if not older than Arabic.
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Zheng He's armada never had an idea of taking any land that they found... dont bullshit here
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+CrazySoon9413 somalis are natural born warriors we defended our land from portuguese invaders in the 16th century and liberated the swahili and arabian coast from them for a brief period and captured and killled 1 of vasco da gama sons 
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John, when you said red corner, and then refer to Zheng He, and he was Chinese, was that a joke on communism? 
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Probably Zheng He, to be honest. Seems the least evil.
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please do Australian world history! 
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So ignorant people we can find in internet.. doesnt know whats talking about, at least about Portuguese (not portugese) empire, and put here videos to mistake the people. Bravo!
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7:21 may be my favorite John Green moment ever.
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Vasco da Gama rules !!!
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Yeah.. more on Australia.. but it might only take you about 15 seconds.. on second thought you can leave us as an Annex. Keep up the good work! 
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Zheng He all the way I'd rather be remembered as smart by a few, than remembered by all for being a fool.
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Also, Columbus was working for the Portuguese
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How did they measure speed on a boat? I'm curious.
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+Filipe Sampaio Araújo  Oh yeah, I remember something like this. thanks =)
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+Filipe Sampaio Araújo Hence why we still use the term to this day. 
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All of your videos are awesome! Can you make one for the Qing Dynasty?
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I would definitely want to be Zheng He. He was, as John said, a smart administrator with excellent sailing skills.
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Team Zhang He! ....Just kidding. I only like him because he visited Indonesia, even though the idea of a nation-state called Indonesia wasn't exists back then.
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Lol, Zheng He is too fucking kind and friendly compared to the Dutch
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I'd rather be Columbus!
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De Gama and the Zheng He didn't do anything that anybody else has not done before. They only followed the coast. Columbus did something new, he dare to sail on the open ocean. This was unknown and unexplored. Not many people would do that. I is a gigantic acomplishment.
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I don´t think any smart people in Europe thought that world was flat. Maybe some really stupid people but the most of the scientists and even in church knew the world was round. There were much of the jewish and muslim litterature copied and distributed in Europe, and many maps of turkish Piri Reis and other explorers like Ibn Batuta, so the world knew what is the truth but the problem was they couldn't say it publicly, and they didn't know about the details, how big the world was...the proportions of the sea and land.
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+JEBIVJETAR PRCOJEVIC Piri Reis map only was useful to Columbus because it shows america localization, that has nothing to do with Vasco da Gama route. None of those ancient maps had shown a connection between atlantic ocean and indian ocean. The route followed for Vasco da Gama was based on previous exploration on africa coast. The Portuguese started to explore the atlantic ocean in early 14 century (somewhere between 1325 and 1345) and after a lot of exploring near to africa they got the information that was a connection between oceans. Vasco Da gama was the first to survive by passing the Cape of Good Hope, in south Africa. Alot of previous explorers tried and failed paying with their lives. Muslim knowledge was important, because it taught to the portuguese about new techniques of sailing, orientation and cartography, but didn't teach them about any secret route to india. You're right about the belief of round earth.
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What is general anistesia? Do I want to know?
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0:43. Subtitles. Comment on what YOU see.
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The Kingdom of Prestor John was mentioned in legend as being located somewhere in Asia, possibly India.  This video is in fact the first time I've ever heard of Prestor John being in Africa.
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his name is Vasco da Gama and not de Gama
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as cool as it is to think that Zheng-he had epic mecha flagships, from an engineering standpoint those things would be damn near impossible to take on rougher seas. They found the rudder for one of those supposed flagships and it was a rudder sized for a ship of about 60m (which was average ship for the Western countries) instead of the supposed legendary 180m ships that Zheng-he might have had. Shame on you, John! I expected you to mention that.
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+Some Guy somewhere By 'huge' you mean significantly smaller than the flagship of Henry V, laid down in 1416? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Dieu_%28ship%29
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I'd want to be Zheng He. He hurt the least number of people. Also, he wasn't a Christian. (But that's really just a side note since he was still a monotheist.)
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+十八画生 So... he was one of those guys that blended in Islamic beliefs with their own native religion?
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This video makes me proud for being Portuguese.
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By the time columbus reach america the portuguese had already disvovered brazil. Bullshit video
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+Hugo Meireles of some weird movie you saw  in the tv I hope....
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I would want to be a daring captain. I may not be rich or famous but I'd never be bored.
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I just want to dress up in a bear costume and shit on your chest.  Call me strange but in my culture, this is seen as a clean and healthy pursuit.
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Who gives a fuck about de or da. What matters is that people know what happened in history
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+Afonso Goncalves And who did the things that happened in history. Yeah. Might as well call him Boso the Pope, what does it matter?
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Gotta love playing the Ming in Europa Universalis 4
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+vadas pikas yeah, if russia gets time of troubles, you can take them over in a few wars.  I once did a world conquest as Lithuania, i can give you some pictures if you want
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i did it myself:D got all the russia  and half of japan just becouse;D
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Neighbour Spain? I thought Spain did not exist at the time... And Isabella of Spain?
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De Gama brought diseases to the native amazon. Columbus is an idiot. The Vikings attacked the native americans for being native americans but lost the battle then went back to europe with 0 treasure. Zheng Ha had a huge fucking fleet and can easily destroy a continent and went to the unknown waters without balls. I would join Zheng Ha`s fleet!!
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+Deepak Sharma Another childish response from you. What else is new. 
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A couple mistakes that u say: A.great wall was built in qing dynasty B.zheng he actual name is Zheng ho
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Because of Chinese dialects mandarin - zheng he Cantonese - zheng hoe Hokkien - cheng ho
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Can you make a video on Ivan the terrible or Ivan IV?
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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+Amaya White or Putin its actually kind of the sameerdegasdlbglGLSNBVLNVSNGVDLB dies by a super lethal punch from putin
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