Great as has been the influence of conquest and religion upon travel, a greater impulse and one leading to even wider results has been that of trade and commerce. In earlier times in search of foreign commodities and products, in modern days of new markets to which to export the products of home manufacture, men have penetrated to the ends of the earth, and to this commercial impulse is attributable most of the great travels and explorations from the thirteenth century to the beginning of modern scientific exploration at the end of the eighteenth. To the merchant traveler, even more than to the missionary, observation of the country and its products, its peoples and their needs, is important. The easiest and safest roads by which his merchandise may be transported, new materials, new sources, new markets, are the basis of his success; and the character and customs of the people are of vital import in the prosecution of his work. A new and shorter road gives him an advantage over his competitors, and it was this search for new ways to reach the Indies which led to the greatest fifty years in the whole history of travel—a period in which the area of the world as known to civilized Europe was far more than doubled.〖See Harvard Classics, xliii, 21, 28, 45; xxxiii, 129, 199, 229, 263, 311; and the lecture below on “The Elizabethan Adventurers.”〗

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