Think about the clothes you’re wearing right now. Do you know where in the world they were made?
Today, the things we buy, eat, and use every day come from all over the world, but back in the 1500s, most people only used things that were made close to where they lived. Products from far away were rare and expensive.
Travel by sea was the fastest way to go long distances, but it could be very dangerous. It could take a ship up to a year to travel to Asia and back, which made products from Asia, such as silk and spices, very valuable. The Spanish began shipping goods back and forth between New Spain and Asia in the middle 1500s.