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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Period 4 Timeline of Major Events 1492 1636 1602 1450' s 1648 1501 Christopher Columbus "discovers" the Americas. Columbus accidentally found the Americas while on a voyage to find a direct route to Asia. He had been sponsored by the Monarchs of Spain to chart a direct route to asian trade markets because the eastern land route had been blocked by the Ottoman Empire. European merchants began to purchase increasing numbers of African slaves and send them to the Americas in what is now known as the Atlantic Slave Trade. Once there these slaves provided a cheap labor source for plantations. They primarily worked on agricultural plantations or in mines. Shortly after taking power the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan banned almost all trade with western nations and made foreign travel illegal. The only exception to their ban on trade was a Dutch port in Nagasaki. They did this in an attempt to preserve Japan from foreign influence. Several treaties known collectively as the Peace of Westphalia are made in Europe. These treaties granted religious tolerance to new branches of Christianity, such as Calvinism. They also put an end to the Thirty Years' War. The Dutch East India Trading Company is formed. It had hundreds of bases throughout Asia and became one of the most powerful companies in the world. It made the Dutch Republic a very prominent economic center. In what is now modern day Iran a second Islamic gunpowder empire know as the Safavid Empire took shape. It's state religion was Sh'ia Islam and other religions and forms of Islam were oppressed. This caused a rivalry against the Ottoman Empire that was primarily Sunni. The Safavid Empire was a center of trade and the arts and culture flourished.
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