By John Farndon
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Additional resources for 1000 Facts on Modern History
T Nearly all European explorers sailed In caravels. These ships were rarely more thnn 20-30 long and weighed under 150 tonnes. But they could cope with rough seas and head imo the wind, so could sail in 11I0St directions. They were also fast - vital when crossing vast oceans. Big square sails on the fore and main masts filled like parachutes for high-speed sailing A lookout in the crow's nest often saw new land first 111 A triangular lateen sail on the mizzen (rear) mast helped the ship sail into the wind and manoeuvre along coasts • gave extra storm protection and extra accommoda tion • • • • • • • • • • , 52 The caravel's strong deck was a platform for guns and made it very storm-proof The caravel had a deep, narrow hull and a strong, straight keel for speed and stability A small poop (raised deck) held the captain's cabin 1000 Facts on Modern History • ••• • • • ••••••••• ••••••••••••• ••• • At first, they tried to go round Africa, and voyages ventured down Africa's unknown west coast.
From the BOOs) many serfs gained freedom and became prosperous 'yeoman' farmers. They needed merchants to sell their produce. • After the Crusades) silks, spices and riches from the east were traded in the Mediterranean for cloth, hides and iron. In northern Europe, the wool trade thrived. • Trading towns began to grow across western Europe in the 1300s and 1400s - Antwerp, Flanders, Bruges, Bristol, Norwich, York, Florence, Venice, Milan and many others. • Trading towns grew powerful. In England, many became boroughs with charters giving them some self-rule.
They were the only libraries. Most great works of medieval art, literature and scholarship came from monasteries. 6. Like most English monasteries, the great 12th-century Cistercian monastery at Tllllcm III II/lib 11'115 IICSIW)'CII iJ)' ficllr)' \'111. 40 1000 Facts on Modern History • Monasteries were great landowners with immense power and wealth. In England, monasteries owned a third of the land and a quarter of the country's wealth. They were also Europe's biggest single employers. • Many monasteries oppressed the poor by taking over land and taking a heavy toll in tithes (church taxes).