What hemisphere is the African continent located in?
Interestingly, the African continent encompasses the Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern hemispheres!
Why did the Europeans colonize the Americas but not the countries of Asia?
While the economic and influential benefits of maintaining overseas colonies would sound like a useful prospect for any country, the nations of Asia had no interest in colonizing the Americas after the discovery of America by the Europeans. During the 16th and 17th century, when colonization was common among the Western European nations, the Japanese were embroiled in their Sengoku period, in which the central government was in constant conflict between regional warlords who claimed independence. In this time of chaos the Japanese were more focused on reuniting their nation than seeking influence overseas. The various Indian kingdoms, meanwhile, were recovering from the Arab invasion during the 13th century, which left many kingdoms embroiled in religious tensions between Muslims and Hindus. The Chinese, during this time ruled by the Ming Dynasty, were in their golden age, and were not desperate enough to risk expensive expeditions overseas. Furthermore, the frequent border raids by both the nomadic Mongol and Manchu people led to the Ming prioritizing secure borders over territorial expansion.
What are the factors that spurred the age of exploration for the Europeans during the late 15th and early 16th centuries?
The primary factor that inspired the age of exploration for Europe was the fall of the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople, which had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. The Ottomans heavily taxed land trade routes with the Far East and India, preventing the Europeans from acquiring Eastern goods such as spices and gold. Other contributing factors include the Portuguese desire to explore Western Africa to gain quick access to the Slave trade without travelling through the dangerous North African desert routes, as well as many European explorers' desire to find the mythical Kingdom of Prester John, a mythical Christian kingdom supposedly located in uncharted lands.