137 Foreword Witnessing the Coming of the Ocean Era Minister Sang-Woo Shin Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Korea The unique vision of some members of a given generation has been known to change dramatically the cultural history of humankind. Such was the case during the great age of exploration of the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus landed upon American shores, and Ferdinand Magellan proved the Earth to be round after having circumnavigated it. Although the work leading up to an important invention or discovery is generally undertaken for personal, intellectual, or moral reasons, realizing an ambitious experimental vision often requires material incentives from the highest level of the social structure. While the kings of Spain and Portugal and their ministers might have been excited about the idea of importing rare and exotic spices from foreign lands for use in their own nations, only the prospect of enormous financial gain from such a venture would compel them to underwrite travels to Asia for this purpose. After the first great age of ocean exploration, the states possessing formidable sea power came to master ocean trade, and finally commanded the riches of the world, and consequently the world
The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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