Beginning in the 13th century, the Basques were one of the main agents behind oceanic expansion
At the time, Euskadi was home to production of some of the most prized goods in all of Europe, especially steel and whale oil. It was also from this point that the wool produced in Castile, Aragon and Navarre was transported to the rest of Europe. The Basque fleet took over trade between northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and those relationships, forged over centuries, allowed the Basques to grow wealthy with the influences and contributions made by ship building in different places all over the known world. Thanks to this situation, in the early 16th century, the Basques managed to develop the most modern naval technology of the time. Our sailors were called to join the most ambitious expeditions, and their ships, the most effective of their day, could reach any corner of the Atlantic Ocean.