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Christopher Columbus: The Age of Discovery During the 15th and 16th centuries, leaders of several European nations sponsored expeditions abroad in the hope that explorers would find great wealth and vast undiscovered lands. The Portuguese were the earliest participants in this “Age of Discovery.” Starting in about 1420, small Portuguese ships known as caravels zipped along the African coast, carrying spices, gold, slaves and other goods from Asia and Africa to Europe. Christopher Columbus: Early Life Christopher Columbus, the son of a wool merchant, was born in Genoa in about 1451. When he was still a teenager, he got a job on a merchant ship. He remained at sea until 1470, when French privateers attacked his ship as it sailed north along the Portuguese coast. The boat sank, but the young Columbus floated to shore on a scrap of wood and made his way to Lisbon, where he studied mathematics, astronomy, cartography and navigation. He also began to hatch the plan that would change the world forever. Christopher Columbus: The First Voyage At the end of the 15th century, it was nearly impossible to reach Asia from Europe by land. The route was long and arduous, and encounters with hostile armies were difficult to avoid. Portuguese explorers solved this problem by taking to the sea: They sailed south along the West African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope. But Columbus had a different idea: Why not sail west across the Atlantic instead of around the massive African continent? The young navigator’s logic was sound, but his math was faulty. He argued (incorrectly) that the circumference of the Earth was much smaller than his contemporaries believed it was; accordingly, he believed that the journey by boat from Europe to Asia should be not only possible but comparatively easy. He presented his plan to officials in Portugal and England, but it was not until 1491 that he found a sympathetic audience: the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Columbus’ contract with the Spanish rulers promised that he could keep 10 percent of whatever riches he found, along with a noble title and the governorship of any lands he should encounter. On August 3, 1492, Columbus and his crew set sail from Spain in three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. On October 12, the ships made landfall--not in Asia, as Columbus assumed, but on one of the Bahamian islands. For months, Columbus sailed from island to island in what we now know as the Caribbean, looking for the “pearls, precious stones, gold, silver, spices, and other objects and merchandise whatsoever” that he had promised to his Spanish patrons, but he did not find much. In March 1493, leaving 40 men behind in a makeshift settlement on Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic), he returned to Spain. Christopher Columbus: Legacy Christopher Columbus did not “discover” the Americas, nor was he even the first European to visit the “New World.” (Viking explorers had sailed to Greenland and Newfoundland in the 11th century.) However, his journey kicked off centuries of exploration and exploitation on the American continents. The consequences of his explorations were severe for the native populations of the areas he and the conquistadores conquered. Disease and environmental changes resulted in the destruction of the majority of the native population over time, while Europeans continued to extract natural resources from these territories. Today, Columbus has a mixed legacy—he is remembered as a daring and pathbreaking explorer who transformed the New World, yet his actions also unleashed changes that would eventually devastate the native populations he and his fellow explorers encountered

Factors favoring Europe European explorers started to lead the way in global exploration, timidly hugging the coasts at first, but gradually getting bolder and striking out across the open seas. There were four main factors that led to Europeans opening up a whole new world at this time. Portugal and Spain led the way in early exploration for two main reasons. First, they were the earliest European recipients of Arab math, astronomy, and geographic knowledge based on the works of the second century A.D. geographer, Ptolemy. Second, their position on the southwest corner of Europe was excellent for exploring southward around Africa and westward toward South America. 1. The rise of towns and trade along with the Crusades in the centuries preceding the age of exploration caused important changes in Europeans' mental outlook that would give them the incentive and confidence to launch voyages of exploration in three ways. First, they stimulated a desire for Far Eastern luxuries. Second, they exposed Europeans to new cultures, peoples and lands. Their interest in the outside world was further stimulated by the travels of Marco Polo in the late 1200's. 2. Medieval religious fervor also played its part. While captains such as Columbus, da Gama, and Magellan had to rely on their own skills as leaders and navigators, they also had an implicit faith in God's will and guidance in their missions. In addition, they felt it was their duty to convert to Christianity any new peoples they met. Once again we see Renaissance Europe caught in the transition between the older medieval values and the new secular ones. Together they created a dynamic attitude that sent Europeans out on a quest to claim the planet as their own. 3. Europe’s geographic position also drove it to find new routes to Asia in three ways. First of all, Europe's geographic position at the extreme western end of the trade routes with the East allowed numerous middlemen each to take his cut and raise the cost of the precious silks and spices before passing them on to still another middleman. Those trade routes were long, dangerous, and quite fragile. It would take just one strong hostile power to establish itself along these routes in order to disrupt the flow of trade or raise the prices exorbitantly. For Europeans, that power was the Ottoman Empire. The fall of the Byzantine Empire and the earlier fall of the crusader states had given the Muslims a larger share of the trade headed for Europe. Thus Europe's disadvantageous geographic position provided an incentive to find another way to the Far East. 4. Ships and navigation technology had seen some dramatic leaps forward. The most striking of these was the compass, which had originated in China around 200 B.C. This allowed sailors to sail with much greater certainty that they were sailing in the right direction. Instruments such as the quadrant, crosstaff, and astrolabe allowed them to calculate latitude by measuring the elevation of the sun and North Star, although the rocking of ships at sea often made measurements taken with these instruments highly inaccurate. Columbus, one of the best navigators of his day, took readings in the Caribbean that corresponded to those of Wilmington, North Carolina, 1100 miles to the north! As a result of such imperfect measurements, sailing directions might be so vague as to read: "Sail south until your butter melts. Then turn west." Compounding this was the lack of a way to measure longitude (distance from east to west) until the 1700's with the invention of the chronometer.

Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan was born in 1480 in Sabrosa, Portugal to Rui de Magalhaes and Alda de Mesquita. Because his family had ties to the royal family, Magellan became a page to the Portuguese queen after his parents' untimely deaths in 1490. This allowed him the opportunity to become educated and learn about the various Portuguese exploration expeditions- possibly even those conducted by Christopher Columbus. Similar to his predecessor Columbus, Magellan believed that the Spice Islands could be reached by sailing west through the New World. He proposed this idea to Manuel I, the Portuguese king, but was rejected. Looking for support Magellan moved on to share his plan with the Spanish king. On March 22, 1518, Charles I was persuaded by Magellan and granted him a large sum of money to find a route to the Spice Islands by sailing west, thereby giving Spain control of the area, since it would in effect be "west" of the dividing line through the Atlantic. Using these generous funds, Magellan set sail going west toward the Spice Islands in September 1519 with five ships (the Conception, the San Antonio, the Santiago, the Trinidad, and the Victoria) and 270 men. The Early Portion of the Voyage Since Magellan was a Portuguese explorer in charge of a Spanish fleet, the early part of the voyage to the west was riddled with problems. Several of the Spanish captains on the ships in the expedition plotted to kill him but their plans were never realized and many of them were held prisoner and/or executed. In addition, Magellan had to avoid Portuguese territory since he was sailing for Spain. After months of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, the fleet anchored at what is today Rio de Janeiro to restock its supplies on December 13, 1519. From there, they moved down the coast of South America looking for a way into the Pacific. As they sailed farther south however, the weather got worse so the crew anchored in Patagonia (southern South America) to wait out the winter. As the weather began to ease in the spring, Magellan sent the Santiago on a mission to look for a way through to the Pacific Ocean. In May, the ship was wrecked and the fleet did not move again until August 1520. Then, after months of exploring the area, the remaining four ships found a strait in October and sailed through it. This portion of the journey took 38 days, cost them the San Antonio (because its crew decided to abandon the expedition) and a large amount of supplies. Nevertheless, in the end of November, the remaining three ships exited what Magellan named the Strait of All Saints and sailed into the Pacific Ocean. Later Voyage and Magellan's Death From here, Magellan mistakenly thought it would only take a few days to reach the Spice Islands, when it instead took four months, during which time his crew suffered immensely. They began to starve as their food supplies were depleted, their water turned putrid, and many of the men developed scurvy. The crew was able to stop at a nearby island in January 1521 to eat fish and seabirds but their supplies were not adequately restocked until March when they stopped in Guam. On March 28, they landed in the Philippines and befriended a tribal king, Rajah Humabon of Cebu Island. After spending time with the king, Magellan and his crew were persuaded into helping the tribe kill their enemy Lapu-Lapu on Mactan Island. On April 21, 1521, Magellan took part in the Battle of Mactan and was killed by Lapu-Lapu's army. Magellan's Legacy Though Magellan died before the voyage was completed, he is often credited with the first circumnavigation of the earth as he initially led the voyage. He also discovered what is now called the Strait of Magellan, named the Pacific Ocean, and South America's Tierra del Fuego. Magellanic Clouds in space were also named for him, as his crew was the first to view them while sailing in the Southern Hemisphere. Most important to geography though, was Magellan’s realization of the full extent of the earth- something that significantly aided in the development of later geographic exploration and the resulting knowledge of the world today.

Why Europeans Explored GOLD Europeans want to get rich by: 1.Getting gold 2.Trading spices 3.Finding natural resources GLORY Europeans compete to be richest GOD Europeans want diffusion of Christianity and biggest LENGTH OF EUROPEAN VOYAGES Christopher Columbus’ voyage took a total of 33 days. He landed on San Salvador, Cuba, and Hispaniola. Vasco Da Gama's voyage took ninety-three days. The sheer distance covered by da Gama was three times the distance traveled by Christopher Columbus during his first voyage to Hispaniola in 1492. Sir Francis Drake’s voyage lasted from November 15, 1577 to September 20, 1520 Giovanni da Verrazano’s voyage was from September 1523 to July 1524. He was eaten by cannibals on his second voyage Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage lasted three years 1519-1522. Living conditions on the ships Aboard ships, especially on long voyages, was appalling. Ships constantly leaked and were crawling with rats, lice, and other creatures. They were also filthy, with little or no sanitation facilities. Without refrigeration, food and water spoiled quickly and horribly. Disease was rampant, especially scurvy, caused by a vitamin C deficiency. A good voyage between Portugal and India would claim the lives of twenty per cent of the crewmen from scurvy alone. It should come as no surprise then that ships' crews were often drawn from the dregs of society and required a strong and often brutal, hand to keep them in line.

Giovanni da Verrazano Giovanni da Verrazano was born around 1485 near Val di Greve, 30 miles south of Florence, Italy. Around 1506 or 1507, he began pursuing a maritime career, and in the 1520s, he was sent by King Francis I of France to explore the East Coast of North America for a route to the Pacific. He made landfall near what would be Cape Fear, North Carolina, in early March and headed north to explore. Verrazano eventually discovered New York Harbor, which now has a bridge spanning it named for the explorer. After returning to Europe, Verrazano made two more voyages to the Americas. On the second, in 1528, he was killed and eaten by the natives of one of the Lower Antilles, probably on Guadeloupe. THE FIRST EXPEDITION OF THE NEW WORLD Verrazano and Francis I met between 1522 and 1523, and Verrazano convinced the king that he would be the right man to undertake exploratory voyages to the West on behalf of France, and Francis I signed on. Verrazano prepared four ships, loaded with ammunition, cannons, lifeboats, and scientific equipment, with provisions to last 8 months. The flagship was named Delfina, in honor of the King’s firstborn daughter, and it set sail with the Normanda, Santa Maria and Vittoria. The Santa Maria and Vittoria were lost in a storm at sea, while the Delfina and the Normanda found their way into battle with Spanish ships. In the end, only the Delfina was seaworthy, and it headed to the new World during the night of January 17, 1524. Like many explorers of the day, Verrazano was ultimately seeking a passage to the pacific Ocean and Asia, and he thought that by sailing along the northern coastline of the New World he would find a passageway to the West Coast of North America. After 50 days at sea, the men aboard the Delfina sighted land—generally thought to be near what would become Cape Fear, North Carolina. Verrazano first steered his ship south, but upon reaching the northern tip of Florida, he turned and headed north, never losing sight of the coastline. On April 17, 1524, the Delfina entered the Bay of New York. He landed on the southern tip of Manhattan, where he stayed until a storm a pushed him toward Martha’s Vineyard. He finally came to a rest at what is known today as Newport, Rhode Island. Verrazano and his men interacted with the local population there for two weeks, before returning to France in July 1524. THE FINAL VOYAGE AND GRIM DEATH In March 1528, Verrazano left France on his final voyage, yet again seeking the passage to India (after not having found it via a South American voyage the year before). The expedition, which included Verrazano’s brother, Girolamo, sailed along the coast of Florida before drifting into the Caribbean Sea. This turned out to me the last mistake the explorer would ever make. While sailing south of Jamaica, the crew spotted a heavily vegetated, seemingly unpopulated island, and Verrazano dropped anchor to explore it with a handful of crewmen. The group was soon attacked by a large assemblage of cannibalistic natives who killed them and ate them all as Girolamo and the rest of the crew watched from the main ship, unable to help. Verrazano’s Legacy Giovanni da Verrazano added greatly to the knowledge base of mapmakers in terms of the geography of the East Coast of North America. In honor of the famed explorer, the bridge spanning the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island now bears his name.

Sir Francis Drake: Explorer Sir Francis Drake (1545-1596) was a British explorer, slave-trader, privateer (a pirate working for a government) in the service of England, mayor of Plymouth, England, and naval officer (he was an Admiral). Drake led the second expedition to sail around the world in a voyage lasting from 1577 to 1580 (Magellan led the first voyage around the world). Queen Elizabeth I comissioned Drake to command the expedition together with John Winter and Thomas Doughty. They left Plymouth, England, on December 13, 1577, with six ships (including the Golden Hind). They sailed to Brazil, and through the perilous Strait of Magellan (between August 20 and September 6, 1578). At Tierra del Fuego (located at the southern tip of South America), natives gave Drake and his crew food and water. They sailed by Panama (1579), where he pirated Spanish ships and settlements for food and treasures. He landed on the island of Cano, off the coast of southern Mexico. In North America, he claimed the land he called "Nova Albion" for the Queen (his exact location was kept secret, but he may have sailed as far north as northern California or even Vancouver Island, Canada). They then crossed the Pacific Ocean and sailed by Indonesia, through the Indian Ocean, past the Cape of Good Hope, and back to Plymouth, England, in 1580. Upon his return, the Queen rewarded Drake with a large sum of money ( 10,000). Drake was also involved in the slave trade and was a fierce warrior and privateer. Drake and John Hawkins were on a slave-trading trip to the West Indies (backed by Queen Elizabeth) that ended with an attack by the Spanish fleet at San Juan de Ulua, near Veracruz, Mexico. The six English slave-trading ships were in the harbor for repairs, and only two ships survived the attack, those commanded by Hawkins and Drake; the Spanish did not want the English competing in their highly profitable slave-trading business. This battle led to a series of battles that later resulted in a war between Spain and England. In this war, England crushed the Spanish Armada in 1588 and became the dominant world power. Drake helped the British defeat the Spanish Armada; he was second in command. The Spanish called him El Draque, meaning "The Dragon." Drake died of fever at sea near Panama; he was on a voyage intending to attack Spanish colonies in the West Indies.

Vasco da Gama Biography Vasco da Gama (1469?-December 24, 1524), was a Portuguese explorer who was the first person to sail from Europe to India. From the early 15th century, the nautical school of Henry the Navigator had been extending Portuguese knowledge of the coast of Africa. From the 1460s, the goal had become one of rounding that continent's southern extremity and gaining direct access to the riches of India, mainly black pepper and other spices. Born in Sines, Portugal, da Gama was just shy of thirty years old as these long-term plans were coming to fruition. Bartolomeu Dias had returned from rounding the Cape of Good Hope and exploring as far as the Fish River in modern-day South Africa, while from India Pedro de Corvilhã had explored south for some of the distance intervening between Dias' explorations and the subcontinent. It remained only for the two segments to be joined into one voyage. This task was given to Da Gama's father, Estêvão da Gama, but he died before he could begin. Vasco was then given the job on the strength of his work for the Portuguese crown along the Gold Coast of Africa. On July 8, 1497 four ships (the São Gabriel, the São Rafael, the Berrio, and a storage ship of unknown name) left Lisbon and the voyage began. By December 16 they had passed the Fish River and continued on into waters unknown to Europeans. With Christmas pending they gave the coast they were passing the name Natal, which it retains to this day. By January they had reached modern-day Mozambique, Arab-controlled territory on the East African coast that was part of the Indian Ocean's network of trade. Having got that far, da Gama was able to employ a pilot at Malindi, who brought the expedition the rest of the way to Calicut (the exact Malayalam name is Kozhikode) on the southwest coast of India on May 20, 1498. Sometimes violent negotiations with the local ruler (the samoothiri raja, usually anglicized as Zamorin) ensued in the teeth of resistance from Arab merchants. Eventually da Gama was able to gain an ambiguous letter of concession for trading rights, but had to sail off without warning after the Zamorin insisted on his leaving behind all his goods as collateral. Da Gama kept his goods, but left behind a few Portuguese with orders to start a trading post. Upon his return to Portugal in September 1499, da Gama was richly rewarded as the man who had brought to fruition a plan that had taken eighty years. He was given the title "Admiral of the Indian Ocean", and on February 12, 1502 he sailed again with a fleet of twenty warships to enforce Portuguese interests. Pedro Álvares Cabral had been sent out two years earlier (on which voyage he incidentally discovered Brazil) and found that those at the trading post had been murdered, encountered further resistance and bombarded Calicut. Da Gama assaulted and exacted tribute from the East African Arabian port of Kilwa, which had been one of those involved with frustrating the Portuguese, played privateer amongst Arab merchant ships, then finally smashed a Calicut fleet of twenty-nine ships and essentially conquered that port city. In return for peace, he received valuable trade concessions and a vast quantity of plunder that put him in extremely good odor with the Portguese crown. Returning to Portugal, he was made Count Vidigueira out of lands that had previously belonged to the royal Bragança family. As much as anyone after Henry the Navigator, da Gama was responsible for Portugal's success as an early colonizing power. Besides the first voyage itself, it was his astute mix of politics and war on the other side of the world that placed Portugal in a prominent position in the Indian Ocean trade. The Portuguese "national epic", the Lusiadas of Luís Vaz de Camões largely concerns Vasco da Gama's voyages.

Christopher Columbus: Early Life Christopher Columbus, the son of a wool merchant, was born in Genoa in about 1451. When he was still a teenager, he got a job on a merchant ship. He remained at sea until 1470, when French privateers attacked his ship as it sailed north along the Portuguese coast. The boat sank, but the young Columbus

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