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Transcript of European Explorers
1000 a.d. - 1500 a.d.
Cape of Bojador
Horn of Africa
The Vikings came from Scandinavia, the area now known as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
The reasons they explored was because they needed to provide resources to their community.
There was very little wood in Iceland and Greenland, so they had to look elsewhere for wood to build ships.
They also fished, traded, and committed acts of piracy to obtain the goods they needed.
Many Vikings, like Leif Erickson explored for fame. It is believed Lief was the first person to discover the New World.
Exotic goods and spices were very important to the people of Europe. Spices were used for medicine and to keep meat from spoiling. The wealthy people of Europe also wanted beautiful silks for clothing. These items were difficult to get because of the long and dangerous route from Europe to The Indies. Spices and silks only came from South East Asia at that time.
Due to a religious war between the Muslims and Christians, Turkey refused to allow Europeans to travel through their country.
Prince Henry and Vasco da Gama
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore beyond the known world. In 1419 Prince Henry the Navigator decided to find a sea route to The Indies around Africa.
No one had ever sailed beyond the Cape of Bojador. People feared that the sea beyond was boiling hot and contained sea serpents. They also believed the people beyond the cape had the heads of dogs!
After sending ships south for 12 years, only to have their crews return because they feared for their lives, one ship finally sailed around the Cape of Bojador. Finally they proved that the seas did not boil and there were no sea monsters.
Future Portuguese sailors
came into contact with tribes
along the southern coast of Africa.
They begin buying slaves from the
tribes they came in contact with. In Africa if your tribe was conquered in a war with another tribe, you would become slaves to
your conqueror. If you lost the war. This was the beginning
of the slave trade.
The Portuguese felt that it was fine to take slaves because they were not Christian. Soon the demand for slaves began to grow in Europe. To answer this demand, Portuguese slavers began to kidnap Africans to boost their slave sales.
14 years later, Vasco da Gama sails around The Cape of Good Hope in search of a water route to The Indies.
Vasco da Gama
discovers the Muslim city of Malindi. The Sultan of Malindi refuses to trade with the Portuguese, but he does show them on their map the location of India.
Columbus and Cortes
1492 a.d. -1547 a.d.
Christopher Columbus believed there was a western route to The Indies. After securing financing from the King and Queen of Spain, he set off.
Columbus landed in what is now the Bahamas. He thought he had found The Indies. So when he met the natives, he called them Indio (Indians). Columbus left empty-handed without finding any gold and he returned to Spain.
He made several more trips back and forth to Spain, but he never found any gold. This search for gold left the Taino people wiped out over the course of the next 30 years. When he later returned to Spain after his third trip, he was removed as Governor of Hispaniola and arrested. This was due to his involvement with the torture of the citizens of Hispaniola.
In 1519, after hearing tales of the Aztecs and their gold, Hernan Cortes organized a trip to secure the interior of Mexico. he took 11 ships, 500 troops, 13 horses and several cannons.
Cortes captured the leader of the Aztecs and ruled through him. Soon after when the people found out about this, they revolted and killed their leader. Cortes fled and returned a year later to lay siege to the capital city of the Aztecs. Soon the city fell and the Spanish took control of it. This was the beginning of the end of the Aztec empire.
In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan believes he can find a way to The Indies by sailing around South America.
Magellan discovers a channel that leads them across the Pacific ocean.
When Magellan lands in the Phillipines, he is killed in The Battle of Mactan with natives. He will never see his dream of circumnavigating the globe be fulfilled.
Magellan's crew arrived back in Spain with only one ship left of the original five. Magellan's crew were then first men to travel all the way around the globe.
Vasco da Gama arrived in Calicut, India hoping to create a trade route between Portugal and India. The Indian leader refused and Vasco returned home. Two years later Portugal sent a huge fleet of ships to India, where they proceeded to forcefully take control of the spice trade after many battles.