This proposal to the patron shows a brief of some of the objectives, challenges and benefits of navigating the waters near the coast of Africa. The continent promises large amounts of potential, thus exploring and possibly ruling over the land may be of considerable prestige and honor as well as a benefit to his majesty the king. It is wise to highlight some of the major aspects of the trip.
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This will show the details to the possibilities that are available to have a successful journey. His majesty Prince Henry has set the pace for this “Age of Discovery” (Ennals, 2007), and we as loyal servants and workmanship are ready to go beyond the known borders of our Portuguese kingdom, in orders to discover what our gracious Lord made on this world.
Specifically, I intend to lay out some of the technological barriers that we are going to overcome as we travel. Some new technological discoveries have made this happen, giving the travelers an easier moment as they gear up to venture unknown lands. At the same time, we do realize that there are some political and cultural challenges that we will have to overcome before, during and after the expedition in Africa.
This proposal also seeks to address the economic ramifications of the whole voyage. I hope that it will be convincing enough and that it will give a clear guideline to the importance of the excursion.
Travellers who use the sea will always be at the mercy of the raging waters. In our case, we are to travel round through the eastern sea route that lies south of the Mediterranean Sea, which brings about a few issues (O’Connor, 1995). The route is relatively new to us, and we will be in need of guiding aid.
Losing our direction in unknown waters is the main technical challenge that we will have to work our way around. The other challenge that arises is the ability to travel fast. The reason why we need to travel at a fast pace is because it will save us on resources. This will require a system that will assist us in using the eight winds to optimum capacity.
In order for the expedition team to know the direction to a finer detail, the development laboratory has come up with advancements of some of our rudimentary navigational tools. One of these tools is the known magnetic compass. Since the crew has knowledge of where the magnetic north is, it is going to be easier to navigate our way out of a situation. In addition to this, we are going to employ the use of the lead line.
This instrument measures the depth of the sea relative to some markings on the lead line (Burke, 2007). Combining the two instruments will give more guided information about our position in the sea. Our challenge in knowing the direction will also be overcome if we will use the cross staff and the astrolabe.
These are instruments that when used together will give us the latitude that we are travelling in relative to the position of the sun. Rudimentary navigational tools have made previous travelling expeditions a disaster. For example, the clocks used are inefficient since they lose up to 10 minutes a day, translating to more than 150miles lost in the sea.
The speed at which the ship will travel will also be a determining factor while considering our safety, our load and the general planning of our exploration.
For us to overcome the technicalities of speed, we will have to employ the use of caravels, which are faster, safer and contain wind sails and rope tying methods that are appropriately placed in order to maximize the effect of prevailing winds. The towers on the bows and sterns of the caravel will optimize the wind capacity.
As much as we are going to face all these challenges while travelling the western waters of Africa, we must focus on some of the economic benefits that we as a kingdom gain from such an expedition. As we know, this massive piece of land can be of use if some valuable minerals are present.
Since we have the capacity of searching for locating and excavating some of the minerals like gold iron ore, copper and silver, the team will bring back to the kingdom some of these possessions. The amount of supplies we will get will be beneficial to our kingdom.
In addition, we may have the capability of conquering the land there; especially if the residents of the land are not as equipped as we are. First, the team will interact with the environment, and understand the behavioral patterns of the natives of the land.
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If, in any case, there is a reason to make a conquest in the land, we shall sermon our motherland, informing it of the possibilities thereof.
Trading is also another way in which our people can benefit economically. Portugal is rich in technological advancement and heavy equipment, which is useful to the natives of Africa. In the past, we have had trouble in doing our trade with other communities since we had to deal with the Muslim intermediaries (Watson, 2009).
Having new conquest or discovering new lands means that the kingdom will discover a broader market for its traders. Trading partners in the Far East need the assistance of Arab intermediaries in order to complete their business with us. This poses a challenge to us since intermediaries interfere with relationship between consumer and producer.
In addition, trade becomes more expensive. The best way out is to find another route besides inland caravan distribution. The exploration that we are about to undertake has a high chance of providing this route for us.
We shall also benefit from the slave trade. The human resource necessary to run many of the affairs of the colony and the motherland will be of enormous use. After discovering and interacting with the natives, we will find out whether there is a system of trading slaves. If there is none, we will have the option of sparking conflict amongst the natives, or even conquering the land itself.
We shall do so by initiating the trade of firearms for goods that are of value to us. The natives shall destabilize since they will be living in fear of the neighboring communities. This way, it will be easy to subdue the few powerful strongholds, which rise against other people.
Slaves will be of use as human resource, since they will work with minimum wages or no pay at all. This reduces the kingdom’s expenditure while increasing the work force needed to accomplish some of the tasks done. Prisoners of war will be our slaves, and we shall ship them back in large numbers to commission them for their various activities.
Another way in which this exploration will benefit the economic state of Portugal is through amassing vast chunks of land, through conquering nations. If we get to subject nations under our authority, it will be easy to impose certain rules on them.
We shall have a taxing system whereby these nations will have to pay taxes to Portugal in order to run their activities. Certain trusted men who are aware of the activities of these conquests shall stand as governors over these lands, and will coordinate these activities on behalf of Portugal.
The expedition is expensive. Nevertheless, anyone can agree that Portugal will gain positively form venturing these new lands. Nations shall respect and fear ours since the economic turnover is astounding. The long-term economic benefits nullify any prospects of the journey taking up too much resource from the motherland.
The expedition also seeks to confirm or even challenge some of the political and cultural norms that we have held on to for some time. There has been a belief that the earth-water ratio of the world is not as it seems. There are scientists in our time who have reason to believe that there is more land mass than waster mass.
We as a crew will want to challenge that line of thought by exploring how far our south Mediterranean waters reach. This is the only way we can prove the authenticity of this theory. There is also a belief that the earth is round, unlike the understanding that so many of us have.
The trip will also help us understand some of the geographic features of the earth, giving concrete proof as to whether or not this theory is true. Some certain factors will confirm this theory as true to us.
Our political stability as a nation is highly determined by our numbers against the fast growing Muslim nations. They pose a formidable threat to us as a Christian kingdom. If they increase their numbers through their conquests, we shall be weak against them.
One of our greatest gambles lays largely with the speculation of a Christian kingdom in Africa. As we all are aware of, there is a rumor that there might be a mythical kingdom run by a Christian called Prester John somewhere in Africa (Heng, 2003). This, if confirmed true, might be positive news for our kingdom.
It is politically strategic for us to gain more ground than our competitors or our enemies do since it places us at a position of command and respect. This position gives the kingdom the much-needed stability that it requires since the nations around will fear us.
The East Mediterranean area is currently under Muslim control. This seems to be the only route to the market in the Far East, yet they having this control interfere with our trade.
As speculated, the exploration is expensive. Since we are venturing grounds that we are not aware about, we may have to take precautionary measures, some of which may amount to heavy costs. We will have to employ the latest in our technology and use the best people in the land as human resource.
We have to take risks beyond our imagination, exposing ourselves to the harsh climates that are full of deadly diseases, only to achieve some of these goals.
Nevertheless, we have one focus in mind. We want to secure the future of our magnificent land. The input we make at this time will result in a secure future for our children. This is the reason why we are investing large amounts of time, money and technological resource into this excursion. If we do not do this, the Muslims will do it as they have already done in the northern area Africa.
Burke, J., (2007). Pete Culler on Wooden Boats: The Master Craftsman’s Collected Teachings. Chicago, IL:McGraw Hill Professional.
Ennals, J., R., (2007). From Slavery to Citizenship. Third Avenue, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
Heng, G., (2003). Empire of magic: medieval romance and the politics of cultural fantasy. New York, NY:Columbia University Press.
O’Connor, T., H., (1995). America is. Riverside, NJ: Glencoe.
Watson, A., (2009). The evolution of international society: a comparative historical analysis. Routledge, USA: Taylor & Francis.