Beginning in the 1400s the Age of Exploration was when
European countries expanded outside of its borders.
Before the time Europe remained isolated from the rest of the
world except for Marco Polo’s explorations in China in 1275.
Europeans were motivated by the 3Gs
God- Spread Christianity
Glory- Find new territories for the monarchs
Gold- Obtain wealth
Europeans had been introduced to spices such as
nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, and ginger during the
Crusades. Demand was higher than supply.
Merchants were able to make great profits from the
sale of spices.
Following the Crusades Europeans believed it was their duty to
continue to spread Christianity by converting non-Christians
and fight the Muslims.
Technology allowed for easier exploration for the Europeans
The caravel was a new sturdier vessel.
Triangular sails allowed for sailing against the wind.
The astrolabe was used to calculate latitude.
Also the magnetic compass was used for direction
Portugal was the leader in using the innovations.
They were also the first to establish trading outposts in West Africa.
Governmental support helped with resources.
Prince Henry the Navigator used his own
fortune to fund 14 voyages and died in debt.
Spain and Portugal became rivals in exploration.
Pope Alexander created a dividing line. Spain would claim all land to
the west-Portugal to the east
The Treaty of Tordesilla moved the line farther west causing
Portugal to fall off course landing in Brazil
Portuguese Explorers
Gaspar Corte Real: 1450-1501: Explored Greenland
Bartolomeu Dias: 1457-1500: The first European explorer to lead a voyage
around the Cape of Good Hope on the Southern most tip of South Africa.
Pedro Alvares Cabral: 1467-1520: The first European explorer to reach Brazil
Vasco da Gama: 1469-1524: Discovered and ocean route from Portugal to
the East
Ferdinand Magellan: 1480-1521: First to circumnavigate the world
Spanish Explorers
Christopher Columbus: 1451-1506: On his way to find India, discovered
the New World, the West Indies.
Francisco Pizarro: 1478-1541: Conquered the Incas in Peru
Vasco Nunez de Balboa: 1475-1519: First European to see the Pacific Ocean
from its eastern shore
Juan Ponce de Leon: 1460-1521: First to reach Florida
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado: 1510-1554: First to explore southwestern
North America
Hernando Cortes: 1485-1547: Conquered the Aztecs in Mexico
Cabeza de Vaca: 1490-1557: First to explore Texas and the Southwest
Panfilo de Narvaez: 1470-1528: explored Cuba
Alfonso Pineda: 1494-1519: proved Florida was not an island
Juan de Onate: 1550-1630: established the colony of New Mexico for Spain
Juan Cabrillo: 1499-1543: First to explore to navigate the coast of
English Explorers
Sir Francis Drake: 1540-1597: Circumnavigated the world
Sir Walter Raleigh: 1552-1618: Discovered Guiana and established the
Virginia colony of Roanoke Island
Sir Humphrey Gilbert: 1539-1583: established St. Johns and Newfoundland
Sir Richard Grenville: 1542-1590: Explored Virginia, Roanoke Island and
the Azores
Sir John Hawkins: 1532-1595: Explored South America and West Africa
John Cabot: 1450-1499: Second to found North America, colonized Canada
Sebatian Cabot: 1474-1557: Searched for Northwest Passage across North
America and made expeditions to Russia
Henry Hudson: 1565-1611: Discovered the what came to called the Hudson
French Explorers
Jacques Cartier: 1491-1557: Led three expeditions to Canada
Jacques Marquette: 1637-1675: Along with Louis Joliet, discovered the
Mississippi River.
Samuel de Champlain: 1567-1635: Known as the Father of Canada was the
founder of Quebec City
Italian Explorers
Marco Polo: 1254-1324: China and parts of Asia
Christopher Columbus was Italian but sailed for Spain
Amerigo Vespucci was Italian but sailed for Spain
Giovanna da Verrazzano: 1485-1528: was Italian but sailed for Franceexplored the Northeast coast of North America from Cape Fear to Maine
Fray Marcos de Niza: 1496-1558: Discovering the Pueblo tribe called the
Zuni Indians. Made to believe the myth of the "Seven Golden Cities
of Cibola"
Leif Eriksson
The second son of Erik the Red, Leif Eriksson was on his
way back home to Greenland, where Norway's King Olaf
I had sent him to Christianize the natives, when he sailed
off course and landed at what is now Nova Scotia, which
he called Vinland. This account comes from the Icelandic
Eiríks saga. Another account, the Groenlendinga saga,
says he learned of Vinland from an Icelandic trader who
had been there 14 years earlier.
He never colonized the land he discovered, and he
would never return to it once he headed back to
Greenland after the winter was over.
Explorer Amerigo Vespucci was born March 9, 1451, in Florence,
Italy. On May 10, 1497, he embarked on his first voyage. On his third
and most successful voyage, he discovered present-day Rio de
Janeiro and Rio de la Plata. Believing he had discovered a new
continent, he called South America the New World. In 1507, America
was named after him. He died of malaria in Seville, Spain, on
February 22, 1512.
Zheng He
Commanded a fleet of more than 300 ships, 50 treasure
The fleet included more than 20,000 sailors and
hundreds of ships.
The ships were as long as 400 feet. (Columbus's ships,
were less than 100 feet long.)
Zheng He and his fleet went to on Seven Voyages to
places like India, Ceylon, Arabia, Africa, and many other
places, spreading the word about the glory of China. He
brought back with him many tributes and many strange
animals and plants.
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