Discovery Of African Cape Of Good Hope
We don’t know much about India’s maritime history because, for the last 1000 years, Indians outsourced sea trade. It was initially dominated by Arab people. Arab used to take advantage of the monsoon winds to travel to India and traded in spices. These Arab spread Islam to coastal India and South-East Asia. They brought wealth to the Muslim world, that overshadowed global politics from 700 AD to 1500 AD.
Europeans realized that the wealth of the Muslim world came from the spice trade. They had been cut off from that wealth because the Muslims controlled the sea route. This was one of the motivations that led the Portuguese and Spanish of the 15th century to by-pass old route by establishing new sea route. So, Europeans discovered a way across the African Cape Of Good Hope.
The motivation was not just economic. The Portuguese kings were desperate to find the Eastern Christians kingdoms. They had heard during the crusade ( 11th-13th century ) that India was a land where a great Christian empire existed. That empire was ruled by Prester John (PJ). Portuguese king hoped that with the help of Prester John, they would attack the Muslim kingdom from the west & east and recover the Holy land Palestine. That was not true of course. But the story of Prester John inform us how mythology, like politics & economics, contributes to the development of science & technology.
To conclude, the discovery of African Cape Of Good Hope had changed the course of European history.