Age of Exploration
The Age of Discovery is a historical period of European global exploration that started in the early 15th century with the first Portuguese discoveries in the Atlantic archipelagos and Africa, as well as the discovery of America by Spain in 1492, and the discovery of the ocean route to the East in 1498, and by a series of European naval expeditions across the Atlantic and later the Pacific, which continued until the 18th century. It is sometimes regarded as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era, along with its contemporary Renaissance movement. European overseas expansion led to the rise of colonial empires, with the contact between the Old and New Worlds producing theColumbian Exchange: a wide transfer of plants, animals, foods, human populations (including slaves), communicable diseases and culture between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. This represented one of the most-significant global events concerning ecology, agriculture, and culture in history. European exploration allowed the global mapping of the world, resulting in a new world-view and distant civilizations acknowledging each other, reaching the most remote boundaries much later.