However, Russia and the Horde closed the way to the East for the West. Russian civilization not only withstood, but also gave the beast such a rebuff that the owners of the West had to look for new places for "hunting." Moreover, the Russian lands began to unite under the rule of the new control center - Moscow (not all of Russia, but already the middle lands), ended the strife and launched a counter-offensive. The enemy was ousted from their ancestral lands - Western and Southern Russia, Livonia (the Baltic States), from the Wild Field, and went to the Crimea and the North Caucasus. Russia went beyond the Ural mountains. There was a restoration of the Russian Empire.
Realizing that in the Russian East there will be no easy mining and there will be a long and dangerous confrontation, the Europeans began to build ships and "discover" new rich lands, where they could plunder, kill and enrich themselves. So, Western predators rushed to "discover" America and India, although in reality they were known about them before. it the main reason for the "great geographical discoveries". The West could no longer rob the Russian lands in full force, so they began to look for a way across the oceans to new victims. As we know, this turned out to be a global bloody tragedy, total robbery and violence for the peoples of America, Africa and Asia. Oceans of blood, tens of millions of dead, starved by hunger and disease, turned into slaves. Western robbers took mountains of gold, silver, jewels, destroyed whole civilizations, ancient cultures, tribes and peoples. They drowned the planet in blood, littered it with bones of conquered peoples. Established the most brutal slave-owning order, sucking all the juices and blood from tens and hundreds of peoples and tribes. Even such ancient and developed civilizations as India and China could not resist. The prosperity of the present West was based on the world slave system and the seas of blood, and not on the superiority of Europeans in wealth creation and creation.
Engraving, "The shortest message of the destruction of India", 1552 year, Bartholomew De La Casas. In the illustration, conquistadors mass slaughter, hanging and burning the adult population, killing babies, cutting their heads on the walls of houses
It is worth noting that Europe at that era was completely different than many people represent it. It was beautifully called the epoch of “Renaissance” and depicted as the heyday of European culture, brilliant artists, architects and thinkers, “great geographical discoveries”. But in reality it was an era of brutal and bloody wars, conspiracies and intrigues, insidious murders and coups. The West began to devour itself, not having new vast lands for plunder. Each of the present-day modern countries was divided into many medium and small possessions. And the development of "high culture" for most Europeans was simply no time. They were engaged in simple survival. France followed the path of centralization. Her kings fought with the great feudal lords of Burgundy, Brittany, Provence, etc. And the wars in Europe were very cruel. Whole areas turned into the desert. In England, supporters of the Yorks and the Plantagens enthusiastically cut each other in the War of the Scarlet and White Rose. It sounds beautiful, but in this slaughter almost all the ancient clans of the English nobility died. In Spain, several Christian states — Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Navarre — waged wars with the remnants of the Muslim caliphate (the Moors).
The epicenter of the so-called. Renaissance became Italy. It was also divided into city-states, fiefdoms. During the Crusades in the Middle East and the plunder of Byzantium, as well as through intermediary, parasitic trade, the Italians (the name is conventional, since there was no unified Italian nation), enormous wealth was seized and accumulated. Rather, several dozens of families, clans of large feudal lords and trade and banking houses. The overwhelming majority of the population, as well as throughout Europe, lived in wild poverty. While crowds of common people, French, English, German and Slavic knights died in exile, “liberated” the Holy Sepulcher, their prey quickly flowed to the Venetian, Genoese, Florentine trading houses. In addition, they sponsored and organized trips, leased their ships, provided maritime communications and supplies. Huge riches accumulated on this. Also, the Italian trading city-states monopolized navigation in the Mediterranean. And on it went to Europe goods from the East, primarily spices and silk. The spices, then, were worth their weight in gold. Italian intermediary merchants made super profits. Banking, in fact, usury, parasitism on loan interest, became another powerful source of profit. It is not surprising that the Venetian "black aristocracy" has become another of the "command posts", the think tanks of the Western world.
Super-profits led to the “Renaissance” - the “revival” of the Great Rome. The richest families of merchants and bankers like the Medici, Barberini, Saketti and others wanted to use their wealth. They gave money to build magnificent palaces, to decorate them with statues and paintings. This allowed talented architects, engineers, sculptures, artists, etc., to prove themselves. Hence the “rebirth”. In the Middle Ages, it was customary to complain about the decline in comparison with the Roman Empire, but now flatterers said that Rome was reborn, compared their wealthy patrons with the Roman emperors and patricians. In Italy, many remnants of ancient Rome survived - the ruins of temples, palaces, statues, mosaics, on the basis of them and began to develop new art. Even the icons began to approach the "antique" standards. The morals of late Rome, the epoch of decay, were also copied. The asceticism of the Middle Ages was completely abandoned. In Italy, sensual pleasures and hedonism flourished. The Catholic Church, which was supposed to deal with such phenomena, is itself mired in sin. The places of legates, canonics, abbots, monasteries, bishops, archbishops and cardinals were sold and donated, considered primarily as a place of profit. It happened that the children of noble and rich parents became abbots and abbess. Church feudal lords, like secular ones, fell into debauchery, hedonism, excessive luxury. It is not surprising that Lorenzo Medici called Rome "a latrine, which united all the vices."
The Roman throne could not stop the decay of the clergy. On the papal throne, each other's personalities replaced each other brighter than the other in terms of degeneration. Pope John XXIII (anti-father) - the former Neapolitan pirate Balthazar Cossa, became famous for being eventually deposed for poisoning the previous Pope Alexander, sexual crimes (for example, rape of nuns), torture of innocent people, etc. Pope Sixt IV was known as a money-taker who tirelessly rapped about the interests of his own family, sodomite and murderer. Pope Alexander VI Borgia, who was nicknamed “the monster of debauchery” and “Satan's pharmacist”, received universal “fame” for poisoning political opponents and rich cardinals, whose property after their death was traditionally returned to the papal treasury, and their post could be sold again.
Thus, the Italian gentlemen flourished completely due to the control of the largest trade route from the East to Western Europe. At the same time, the Italians reached the Crimea, where they contributed to the development of shameful human trafficking. They became partners of the Crimean Khanate, which existed at the expense of predatory raids on the Caucasian, Russian and Slavic lands in order to seize the spoils and, most importantly, the “living goods”. Many thousands of Circassians, Russians and Slavs were sold into slavery and became the “two-legged tools” of the Western nobility.
therefore the pioneers were the Spaniards and the Portuguesewho, in wars with Muslims, took over from the enemy the ability to build large caravel naval ships, to handle navigation instruments - a compass and an astrolabe. It is worth noting that the scientific and geographical discoveries of the Arabs, who previously had extensive possessions on the Iberian Peninsula, had a great influence on the development of Portugal and Spain. All coastal cities, especially Portuguese, did not stop talking about the African coast and overseas countries, full of gold, various riches and wonders. Many stories have sparked curiosity, greed and ambition. The Portuguese, who lived in a poor country, and had no opportunity to seize possessions in Europe, attracted to new countries, allegedly generously studded with gold.
The only way was through the sea, which fed the Portuguese. One of their main industries was piracy. The Portuguese attacked the rich Muslim trading cities of North Africa. Quite often they received strong resistance. Muslims themselves had strong fleets and attacked the Crusaders. Therefore, the Portuguese were looking for less protected places where it would be possible to rob and kill without much risk to life. Moving south along the shores of Africa, they found that other nations live beyond the Arab states. There you can safely land on the beach, seize, establish predatory trade.
The main organizer of the Portuguese expansion was the Infante (crown prince) Henrique, known in stories like Henry the Navigator. He was fond of mathematics and cartography, and founded a navigation school in the city of Sagres. The prince himself did not participate in sea expeditions, but was nicknamed the Navigator for his contribution to their organization and financing, attracting merchants, shipowners and others interested in opening new trade routes to them. In addition, Heinrich was the Grand Master of the knightly-monastic order of Christ, the successor to the Templars in Portugal. The purpose of the order was to fight the "infidels" and spread Christianity. The residence of the Grand Master was Tomar Castle, hence the second name of the order - Tomar. Tomar knights took an active part in the overseas travels of Portuguese navigators. Vasco da Gama and other wandering Tomarite knights sailed with the emblem of the order. Another knightly order, which took an active part in the creation of the Portuguese colonial empire, is the Order of Saint Bennett of Aviz (the Order of Avis). The Order was also created to fight the "infidels." In 1385, the Grand Master of the Order of Avisi, João I, became king of Portugal and founder of the Avisi dynasty (1385 — 1580). The kings of this dynasty led the Avis and Tomar knights to new “crusades” in Africa. With the growth of the colonial empire, knights from warrior monks turned into colonizing landowners.
Two-mast latina caravel The most famous image of the caravel. These were the first “caravels of discoveries” - the ships on which the Portuguese began to explore the west coast of Africa in the early 15th century.
Cross of the Order of Christ
Portuguese nobility and merchants wanted to get to fabulous India, the source of precious spices and other valuable oriental goods. For this it was necessary to find the eastern sea route to India around Africa. In addition, Heinrich was well aware of the profitability and viability of the Trans-Saharan trade. For centuries, the trade routes along which slaves and gold were carried connected West Africa with the Mediterranean through Western Sahara, Enrique wanted to know how far Muslim possessions stretch to southern Africa, hoping to go around them and find lands where it would be easy to establish trade and military posts. Portugal could not independently colonize Africa. For this there were no people and resources. In Africa, besides the Muslim states, there were other countries (Mali, Songhai, Bornu, Mosi, Luba, Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, etc.). In addition, there was a mass of tribes located at different stages of development, down to the lowest, who lived the primitive life of hunters and gatherers. They lived their lives, waged their wars, traded. In the depths of the continent the Portuguese were not going to climb. On the shores of the continent, they captured or "bought" small areas belonging to weaker tribes. Introduced by force or cunning, based trading posts - strong points, cheaply bought gold, ivory and slaves. But greed pushed them further into the "land of spices."
Starting from the 1419 year and right up to his death, Heinrich one after another sent expeditions. The Portuguese discovered a number of islands off the west coast of Africa: Madeira Island (1419), Azores (1427), Cape Verde Islands (Diogo Gomes in 1456). The Portuguese rounded Cape Bochador (Gil Eanesh in 1434), Cape Cape Blanco, explored the mouths of the Senegal and Gambia rivers (Dinis Dias in 1445). Moving further and further, they brought gold from the Guinean coast, created support bases on open lands. Immediately after the appearance of the first lots of black slaves and the beginning of the slave trade, Heinrich introduced a state monopoly on slave trade. As a result, human trafficking has become one of the foundations of the prosperity of the West. Prince Heinrich died in 1460, and by this time Portuguese explorers had reached the coast of present-day Sierra Leone and discovered Cape Verde Islands. After this, the sea trips stopped for some time, but soon they were resumed again. King perfectly understood how important for Portugal is the discovery of new lands. Soon the islands of Sao Tome and Principe were reached, the equator was passed, and in 1482 — 1486. Diogo Kahn discovered a large segment of the African coast south of the equator.
The Portuguese understood that information about such a source of wealth would quickly spread around the world. They did not want to share with anyone and, with the help of Rome, established their monopoly. In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued a corresponding bull. This bull reaffirmed the previously sanctioned right of the Christian powers to enslave non-Christian peoples and approved further colonization. But the most important thing for Portugal was that it forbade other Christian powers to encroach on the rights of the Portuguese in northwestern Africa.
To be continued ...