The Age of Exploration marks a time period stretching from the 15th through 17th centuries as a result of mankind's quest for knowledge, riches, and fame. Prince Henry the Navigator took the knowledge gained from the Crusades and Renaissance and brought together people who had experience in cartography, navigation, and shipbuilding to help foster the age. Inventions such as the caravel, astrolabe, and the magnetic compass helped explorers sail the open seas.
Mercantilism, or the concept of colonies existing for the benefit of the mother country fuels the desire for new trade routes. Explorers such as Christopher Columbus led expeditions that resulted in the "discovery" of the Americas and the contact with the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Columbian Exchange that resulted in this interaction between the "old" and "new" world left positive and negative impacts on both societies and on society today.