World History, Assignment Ten, The Age of Exploration and the Reformation


Assignment Ten
Exploration and Reformation
Packet, Deadline November 19, 80 points

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Who and what were major players in the Age of Exploration and the Protestant Reformation?

How did their actions impact the world?




Between 1350 and 1550 the world turned upside down. The plague, the power of the Church, exploration, technology, artwork, science - all of it changed in a few generations. It's impossible to determine a single factor in all this. For example, you have the demand for new cloth boosting the Florentine textile trade that in turn expanded the income for the Florentine families that hired the great artists. The great artists inspired changes in studies of the human condition and form. That in turn led to studies in medicine and questions about the nature of disease. That changed how people thought about themselves and God and asking questions about the order of the universe. So, did the Florentine cloth trade create the Reformation. Well, the answer is yes and no, but it was part of the process. For his packet we are going to study that process.


Students will identify and explain the effects of the key events and people listed in the assigned questions.

Assignment questions

  1. How did the voyages of Zheng He show China's importance as a maritime power? How did his voyages differ from those of the Portuguese?
  2. What key technologies made the European voyages of discovery so possible? Describe two of them with detail.
  3. In what ways did changes the Silk Road trade create a demand for shipping to the Orient?
  4. Why were teh voyages of de Gama and Dias so important?
  5. Both Luther and Henry VIII were important religious reformers, but for very different reasons. What were some of their similarities and differences?
  6. Briefly describe the conditions of the Latin American empires prior to 1492. What technological advances had they achieved? What were relations between the empires? What factors left the mighty Aztecs vulnerable to Spanish attack?
  7. Create a timeline of the following events. It must be proportional. You may use the hard copy template you received in class.
    Black Plague, Avignon Split, The Crusades, Marco Polo, 100 Years War, Voyages of Zheng He; The Lives of Henry the Navigator, Columbus, Martin Luther, and Henry VIII.
  8. How did the actions of Martin Luther weaken the hold of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Europe?

Special instructions

For this assignment you will create a well written answer of  a paragraph or two to each of the above questions. The assignment will be submitted in printed form. It will not be submitted electronically. Your assginment needs to include contextual answers to the questions. Below is the rubric for the questions.


Is each answer complete? Is the language use correct and easy to follow?
10 points possible per answer

Are the answers essentially correct, but key points are missing? Is the language use correct and easy to follow?
8 points possible per answer

Do the answers use generic statements without clear conclusions and are the points vague and difficult to understand? Is the language use obscure and does it contain frequent errors?
7 points possible per answer

Are the answers random and vague? Does the language use containg frequent errors? Are the answers pointless statement that could be applied under any set of circumstances?
6 points or less per answer




Printed files


Media files

To view the PowerPoint file about my essay observations in class, click here.

Click here to access the reading about the Age of Exploration we used in class.

Click here to open the PowerPoint file about European expansionism that we used in class.

Here is the link to the PowerPoint about Two Religious Reformers.

Online files

Zheng He
1, 2, 3

Technology in the Age of Exploration
1, 2, 3

The Silk Road
1, 2, 3

Portuguese Voyages
1, 2, 3

Latin America Before Columbus
1, 2, 3

Martin Luther
1, 2, 3

Sound files