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Discovery & the Age of Exploration
Transcript of Discovery & the Age of Exploration
of the caravel, which was a faster ship with a combination of square and triangular sails that could sail into the wind. Marco? Polo! The travel writings of Marco Polo and other European travelers in Asia and Africa created interest in other lands, their cultures, and their resources. The astrolabe (measures the height of the sun above the horizon), the compass (indicates magnetic North), and the reading of the stars aided sailors in plotting their location and course. Cartography, map making skills, helped explorers share their
knowledge and was taught at the Portuguese School of Navigation. Vasco de Gama Leif Ericsson was a Viking from Greenland who sailed the northern Atlantic Ocean and settled briefly in
North America, which he called Vinland. However, the Vikings did not stay long and knowledge of the discovery did not reach other Europeans. Christopher Columbus sailed for Spain looking for a new and faster route to the Far East. Columbus
sailed west because the Portuguese controlled the eastern route around Africa. Columbus also believed
the world was small enough that he could reach the Far East by sailing west. [Columbus was not the first
person to believe the world was round. Most educated people of the time held this belief. This is a
common misconception.] Columbus did not reach his goal to bring back the many riches from the Far
East. Instead he discovered the lands and wealth of North and South America. Eric the Red’s family was exiled from Norway because his father killed someone in an argument. They were exiled from Norway and sailed west to Iceland, which was a colony of Norway, around 965 A.D.. Leif Ericcson was born in Iceland around 980 A.D.
Eric the Red killed two men in an argument in 985, Alf the Foul and Hran the Duelist (with names like that, they were probably really bad guys). He and his family sailed west to Greenland, which captain Gunborn Ulfsson had sighted but not visited. When Eric's exile was over, he returned to Iceland long enough to try to convince other families to help colonize "Green"land by telling them about good land for farms (a very narrow strip on Greenland's coast--most of Greenland is covered in ice). Leif didn’t seem to have killed anybody (his nickname was “Leif the Lucky,” so he was probably very cool to be around).
As a young man, he heard the story captain Barni Herjolfsson about being blown past Greenland during a storm and seeing land west of Greenland. Leif bought Barni’s ship, gathered a crew of 35, and went west. The first place Leif landed was covered in flat rocks and was very cold. He named it “Helluland,” or “Land of Flat Rocks.” He turned south.
The second place Leif landed was covered in dense forest, and was still very cold. He named it “Markland,” or “Land of Forests.” He kept following the coast east and south.
The third place Leif landed had wild grapes growing at the edge of the forest. The weather was warmer and there were many fish in the water and a river for fresh water. He named it “Vinland,” or “Land of Grape Vines,” and made a camp for the winter. The Vikings met and traded with Native Americans, who they called “Skraelings,” who may have been
Iroquois or Inuit. The Vikings in Greenland had met the Inuit in Greenland already, though, so this seems to have been a different culture Leif did not recognize.
After winter was over, Leif sailed back to Greenland with grapes and timber (there were not many trees in Greenland, so wood was expensive). His brother, Thorvald, returned to Vinland to make a colony there, but was killed in a battle with the Native Americans.
That ended Viking efforts to settle North America, but they continued to visit to gather wood and fish for
about 100 years. By 1400, Vikings no longer visited North America and had abandoned Greeenland colony. Portugal (medium blue at lower left of map) had little choice but to explore by sea, because it was surrounded by Spain on land and all trade had to come through Spain or over the ocean. King’s son,responsible for exploration 1420-1460
Gathered sea captains, mapmakers, ship designers, and other experts
Hired crews and designed ships
Sent Portuguese ships south along Atlantic coast of Africa for trade and exploration
Explored further and further with each voyage
Established a tradition of Portuguese exploration Led 3 ships very close to southern tip of Africa in 1488
Violent storms pushed ships around tip
Reached the Indian Ocean
Cabo das Tormentas “Cape of Storms” became Buena Esperanza, "Cape of Good Hope" on map Led 4 ships and reached India in 1498
Began trading with India and the Spice Islands of Indonesia
Portuguese continued to live and work in India until 1961 (463 years) Christopher Columbus sailed for Spain looking for a new and faster route to the Far East. Columbus sailed west because the Portuguese controlled the eastern route around Africa. Columbus also believed the world was small enough that he could reach the Far East by sailing west.
Columbus was not the first person to believe the world was round. Most educated people of the time held this belief.
Columbus did not reach his goal to bring back the many riches from the Far East. Instead he discovered the lands and wealth of North and South America. Going South Giovanni Caboto, an Italian navigator, sailed for England. Cabot was looking for a quicker route to the Far East known as the Northwest Passage. Cabot sailed near the Arctic Circle, but he had no success. Giovanni Caboto's voyage would become important when England established the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts in 1620, along the coast Cabot explored in 1498. Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition was the first to sail around (circumnavigate) the world in 1519 - 1522.
Although Magellan died before the journey was complete, the expedition claimed more lands for Spain.
His crew proved that sailing west around the world to reach the spice islands could be achieved, but only at great cost. Henry Hudson was an explorer who sailed for both the Netherlands and England from 1609 - 1611. While searching for a
Northwest Passage for the Dutch East India Company, he claimed and mapped what is now New York for the Dutch. The Hudson River is named for him. These claims allowed the Dutch to begin New Amsterdam in 1625. While searching for the Northwest Passage, he claimed lands in Canada for the English. Hudson Bay is named for him. The English competed with the French in this area until the end of the French and Indian War in 1763. Hernando de Soto was a Spanish conquistador who explored the southeastern United States in 1539 - 1540 and claimed this land for Spain.
De Soto's explorations allowed Spain to claim most of the modern Southeastern United States for Spain, called "La Florida."
This created conflict later when the English established the Carolina colony in 1663 and the Georgia colony in 1733. The French explorations took stock of the natural resources (especially fur and lumber) of the North American continent instead of searching for a passage around it. Robert LaSalle explored the Mississippi River valley and named the area Louisiana, in honor of Louis XIV. European settlers introduced plants and animals to the new colonies in the Americas, and took American plants and animals back to Europe.
Historians call this exchange of plants,
animals and disease the Columbian Exchange. The introduction of the horse changed the way that the Native Americans of the Plains were able to hunt bison, greatly impacting their lives.
Pigs provided a dependable source of protein for Native American tribes without the danger of an unsuccessful hunt. The European settlers learned to grow corn, potatoes, peanuts, and squash through observation and working alongside of the Native Americans.
Europeans then carried the crops home to Europe, improving the diet of many Europeans.
Introducing tobacco to Europe created a great demand and high prices for the "noxious weed."
American cocoa, when combined with sugar cane from Asia and Africa, created a very popular taste--sweetened chocolate! Diseases carried by the European explorers, such as diphtheria, measles, smallpox, and malaria, killed many Native Americans.
When Native Americans in New Spain died from disease, another source of slaves was needed to labor in the mines and fields. As a result, the demand for African slaves increased. European settlers introduced plants to the Americas as "cash crops," to be sold for a profit back in Europe rather than just eating them for survival. Bananas, sugar cane, and coffee were rare in Europe because they could not be grown in that environment. In the American colonies, these plants became a source of money. They Called Me a Turkey! European explorers, convinced America was part of Asia, called the large birds of the American forests "Turkey fowl," because they thought they were exploring the lands of the Turks (modern-day Turkey).