Age of Exploration
At the end of the 15th century, Europe's drive for Asian luxury goods, and a desire to bypass the Ottoman Empire and Islam, pushed it look for a new routes to Asia. Led by Portugal and Spain, and fueled by Catholic zealotry to avoid Muslim lands, Europe will accidentally reorder the world on an unprecedented scale. Europe will reverse the historical trend which saw it as the lesser of the Eurasian cultural and geographic areas, and become the dominate culture in world. It will not find a New World, but make one.
This covers Chapter 14.
In which John Green explores how Spain went from being a middling European power to one of the most powerful empires on Earth, thanks to their plunder of the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries. Learn how Spain managed to destroy the two biggest pre-Columbian civilizations, mine a mountain made of silver, mishandle their economy, and lose it all by the mid-1700s. Come along for the roller coaster ride with Charles I (he was also Charles V), Philip II, Atahualpa, Moctezuma, Hernán Cortés, and Francisco Pizarro as Spain rises and falls, and takes two empires and China down with them.
This site focuses on the explorers from Spain and Portugal.
This is a nice 6 minute review of the Colombian Exchange.