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You are an explorer living in the fifteenth century.
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Ashford 6: - Week 5 - Discussion 1
The Explorer
You are an explorer living in the fifteenth century. Think about what that means for empires that are in decline as well as the emergence of ambitious rising powers that aspire to profit from the Silk Road. This situation presents you with an opportunity to amass a fortune, assuming you know enough about the geographic, economic, and political realities of your times that you can translate this dream into reality. How you go about that task depends on you, your bravery, and your cunning.
For the elites of fifteenth-century Western Europe, the task is a daunting one: they must reopen the Silk Road at all costs. But, who is going to sell a feasible plan to potential investors? The Crusades, though far from over, have tapered off having sustained heavy recent losses. The Papacy was preoccupied with scandal and schism. Circumnavigating the horn of Africa to reach the Indian Ocean is possible, but it is costly, and the journey is a long and arduous one. Simply put, there must be a shorter, faster way to get to Asia. 
Your job is to write a proposal to a group of wealthy investors who are willing to advance vast sums of money to fund your expedition. How would you go about doing that? 
Keep in mind that these investors belong to a new, emerging group of potential power brokers: bankers. The rise of Venice and other commercial city-states throughout Europe witnessed the rise of the great banking houses. Kings and dukes must borrow money from them to finance wars. However, do not think you must approach royalty only to secure the financial resources you are going to need. 
When formulating your proposal, make sure you consider the following questions:
a.What will your efforts bring them as rewards? 
b.Once you secure financing, what shipwrights and shipyards do you plan to visit? 
c.Who in Europe at this time makes the best, most accurate maps? 
d.How you recruit your crew? 
e.What “prize” will you offer them (e.g., spiritual reward, gold, glory)? 
f.When do you plan to set sail? 
g.Will part of your journey be over land? 
h.Have you secured permission to enter certain realms?
Your initial post should be a minimum of 300 words. Remember that you are drawing up a proposal. Be persuasive by supplying specific examples drawn from course materials, sources produced by your own research, or sources included in the collaborative annotated bibliography to support your position. Cite all sources according to APA style guidelines as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center, using both in-text citations and providing full references at the bottom of your post.
Ashford 6: - Week 5 - Discussion 2
Historical Imagination
We have studied the rise of famous civilizations. Now, we will utilize what we have learned, as well as what a famous historian named Collingwood called historical imagination, to make some forecasts about our future. 
In one or two paragraphs (totaling at least 250 words), address the following questions:
a.Do you think civilization is worth the price in blood and treasure? 
b.Are cultures that do not have cities inherently better off? 
c.Are we destined to live in cities forever? 
d.How can humans enjoy the benefits of urban life without crowding, crime, and alienation? 
e.How can we use history to inform our vision the future?
Guided Responses: Respond to two colleagues in a discussion with a minimum of 100 words. 

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