Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Age of Discovery

       Leif Erikson  

                      Leif Erikson, who was a Viking, was an explorer. He was born around the year 975 and dwelled in Iceland. Like his legendary father, Eric the Red, he had a knack for exploring. In 1002, Leif, the daring viking ,sailed on a long boat to Canada, North America. Leif Erikson called this unexplored territory Vinland after the amount of vines he saw. Although many people believe that Christopher Columbus founded America, we now know that Leif Erikson is the real forefather.
Marco Polo

                             Born in 1254 and travelling 24,240 miles in all, Italian explorer Marco Polo zig-zagged throughout Asia for 20 years of his lifetime while working for the Asian ruler, Kublai Khan.

Prince Henry the Navigator

                                     In the year 1394, a prince of Portugal was born. He would become a master of navigation and started the Age of Discover. Since he was not sailing on his ships, he sent a crew to do the work. With Prince Henry's navigational skills and a quality crew, they were the first European explorers to discover Liberia, which is at the bulge of Africa.

Bartholomew Dias

                          Sent out by King John II of Portugal to sail around the tip of Africa, Bartholomew Dias made it, and, on coming back, told the king he had partially the water route to the Indies, a sought-after destination because of its richness in popular spices.

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John Cabot

                                   John Cabot, who was sponsored by the English king, Henry the VII, had an idea of going north to the Indies instead of east. Without knowing the fact that North America was in the way, Cabot sailed toward it. When he landed, Cabot thoroughly believed that he had found the Indies. On a different voyage to the suspected "Indies," Cabot and his ships were caught up in a storm and were NEVER heard from again. They probably died never knowing they didn't actually discover a route north to the Indies, but instead North America. 

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Christopher Columbus 

                      After years of waiting for Queen Ysbella and King Ferdinand's consent to embark in a journey to the west instead of the usual East, Christopher Columbus finally set sail for the west looking for a new water route to the Indies for Spain. Although he was convinced to his very death that he had located Asia, Columbus had actually reached the Caribbean Islands of North America. 

Amerigo Vespucci

                  Does the word Amerigo sound familiar? Well, if it does than great! America was credited to an Italian explorer named Amerigo Vespucci. When he sailed to the New World, which consisted of the Americas, he realized that it wasn't  Asia but a whole new land instead! Before, many people believed that North America was the Indies but now Amerigo proved it to be wrong.

Vasco da Gama

While Christopher Columbus was sailing westward to the "Indies," Portuguese Vasco da Gama was continuing to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, looking for a water route to the Indies, where, earlier, Bartholomew Dias had turned back his crew. Not only did he get around Africa, but he also sailed straight to India, finally discovering the water route to the Indies. 

Vasco Nunez de Balboa

                   Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who was a Spaniard, was an explorer during the Golden Age of Discovery. He is best known for being the first European to see the Pacific Ocean. Once seeing this sea, Balboa called it peaceful for the calm waves.
Giovanni de Verrazzano

                      King Francis I of France had a different idea. Instead of typically sending explorers around North America to reach the East, he chose to send an explorer through the New World, as the Americas were called. That explorer was Giovanni da Verrazzano. Giovanni completed two voyages searching for the ever-elusive route to China but failed. On his second exploration, he never returned; likely he was captured by some local Indians, the Cuna. 
Hernan Cortes

                                            Cortes was a conquistador. He conquered the Aztecs Indians in Mexico. This was one of his biggest accomplishments. He destroyed their population because he wanted their wealth.

Jacques Cartier

                        French Jacques Cartier, like Verrazano, was seeking a passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. However, Cartier's voyage was a flop. A flip flop. Instead of discovering the passage, Jacques found a vast expanse of land absolutely teeming with fish, as well as furs, which, in a way, brought a fortune to the French. 

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado

           Sponsored by Spain, Coronado was a ruler, explorer, and finally a conquistador. He is known for being the first European to explore North America's Southwest. To this very day, Coronado is credited for discovering the Grand Canyon and other famous landmarks. 

Sir Francis Drake

                                                         Sent by England's Queen, Elizabeth I, as a privateer, Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated Earth in one voyage from 1577-1580, and was the first Englishman to do so. 
William Baffin

                              William Baffin was a English explorer and navigator. He was one of many explorers to search for the Northwest Passage. Although he did not discover the sought after passage, he did find the Canada Arctic seaway, and Baffin Island. 
Henry Hudson 

                When English explorer Henry Hudson made his fourth and final voyage, he didn't predict that he wouldn't return. Hudson was a adept seaman working for his grandfather's company, The Muscovy Company, who sponsored his later voyages.  All of his voyages were directed toward his goal of discovering a path from Europe to Asia though the Arctic Ocean. On his first exploration, he attempted to go directly over the North Pole. Unluckily, although Henry Hudson believed he discovered a route through the Arctic Ocean, he never actually did, and on his last journal, his un-loyal second-mate cast him along with his song and sick crew mates, amount a small boat and stranded him in the sea. 

Ferdinand Magellan

                               Portuguese explore Ferdinand Magellan sailed the ocean in the year 1519. He traveled on ship through a strait, which would later be called Magellan's Strait, and was the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean. 

Francisco Pizarro

                      Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro is best known for unveiling the Incan empire with the help of his half brothers and then, in 1532, gruesomely killing all Incans and claiming their native land, Peru, for Spain.