Making use of the contacts acquired along the silk route, Europe, and especially Spain, was learning several things from Asia, China and the Islamic world. Europeans tried to learn the craft of textile weaving and dyeing from Indians and Chinese (Pomeranz, 45). Africa was the most skilled manufacturer of steel and iron (Pomeranz, 45). In health care also, Europe had one or two things to learn from the Asian cities (Pomeranz, 46). There was technology transfer happening along the silk road from Europe to Asia and Africa as well. The spread of printing technology was an example. Cultural exchanges also enriched different civilisations along this trade route. But the fall of Mongol empire was fatal to the travels and transactions through this route and soon it disintegrated.
The silk road was abandoned by European nations by sixteenth century as “lack of a unifying political authority in Central-Asia made long-distance overland trade in expensive goods less and less viable” (Foltz, 143). The Islamization of the silk road and the rising conflicts between Islamic world and the Christian world made Europeans think of viable trade alternatives (Foltz, 143). China and India were the new avenues to be explored but Europe yet had not access to these lands unless through Central Asia. The voyages to find a sea route to China and Asia accidentally led to the discovery of the New World, the Americas. The civilisation of Europe had a great cultural history to its credit until then.But gradually Europeans turned into the greatest colonisers and exploiters of the world. The material wealth and trade economy gained importance in the society than culture and human values.
Atlantic islands were gaining importance in the life of Europe owing to three reasons. Many of these islands were virgin and extremely fertile and could become the backdrop for highly productive agriculture (Parry, 121). The