The exploration which was made by Columbus contributed a lot to the expansion of Europe, but there are other factors that also contributed to this expansion (Tim, 2011). There are several developments which contributed to the exploration and expansion for Europe. One of the major developments was agricultural capabilities (Duiker, 2006). Farming became increasingly important after the retreat of glaciers. New systems of farming were created and farming influenced or rather reshaped the social life. People started gathering together as well as less mobile. They also built significant residences near their crops and developed effective ways of storing their harvests. Due to this closeness residential areas developed into villages and villages developed into towns.
Technological innovations such as iron plows, water mills; improved devices for harnessing ox and horse power, and crop rotational systems influenced productivity greatly (Spielvogel, 2010). As a result of these technological innovations, the quantity of land that was under cultivation increased greatly. Catholic Church leaders were the powerful landowners in Europe. Europe agricultural economy recovered quickly as a result of technological developments.
Economic growth as a result agricultural capabilities lead to the development and expansion of commerce. On the other hand commercial expansion contributed to the growth of towns and markets. The developed markets also contributed to economic growth. Another development that led to Europe economic growth is the birth of renaissance. Muslim population led to the birth of this period. Europeans accessed ancient texts that were preserved in the libraries of Baghdad (Iraq) and Alexandria (Egypt) (Falola, 2008). Free will, which was motivated by Pico opinions contributed to the exploration of Americas. Portugal commanded the exploration and they became the first renaissance kingdoms to dispatch explorers away. During this period, political and social chaos began which led to the replacement of lords by monarchs as the new centers of power (Duiker, 2006).
Technological innovations made longer sea voyages possible. These innovations contributed a lot to Portuguese explorations. Prince Henry, also known as the Navigator played a critical role in sponsoring exploration (Geise, 1992). Portuguese managed to build strategic trading forts along the coasts of India, Africa, China and Indonesia.