The Land Based Empires are the major players in this period. It’s easy to jump to Columbus et al and assume the Europeans are taking over. They’re not. They are moving into the outer reaches that are not already dominated by major Land Based Empires. Look at the map below. Now compare that to the Maritime Empires. There is virtually no overlap (outside of the Americas). Another knock against the Europeans in this period (1450-1750), is to look at when the Land Based Empires finally fell. Mughals, 1857. Tokugawa, 1868. Manchu Empire, 1911. Ottoman Empire, 1919. So, pump your brakes on the European Empires. They are still back seat to the Land Based empires.