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5th grade social studies chapter review

Jeri Nettesheim

on 30 March 2011

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In 1271 Marco Polo traveled to China to find and buy spices and silk. Marco Polo wrote a book about his travels called "The Travels of Marco Polo". Marco Polo's book helped create an interest in exploration all over Europe. Chinese Admiral Zheng He read Marco Polo's book. The ideas in Polo's book intrigued Admiral He. He had the largest fleet on the oceans inthe early 1400's. Ghana (Africa) had a lot of gold. Arabia (Africa) had a lot of salt. Arabia and Ghana traded with each other. It was a beneficial relationship for both countries. Marco Polo's adventures led to the establishment of many land routes between European countries and China. These routes were called the SILK ROAD. The 1300's to the 1400's is called the Renaissance because it was a time of great change in Europe. New technology like the printing press led to improved education and sharing of ideas. As ideas were spread, people became more knowledgeable about he world. During this time, better boat building methods helped improve exploration. North Africans taught European explorers to use the astrolabe. Chinese taught Europeans to use a compass. The use of the astrolabe and compass helped
improve navigation. Portuguese explorers (Dias and da Gama) accidently found and then used the sea route between Europe and Asia (China and India). This route was thousands of miles longer than the land route, but it was faster and easier to use. The European kings and queens sent explorers on expeditions to the "New World". They were hoping explorers would find gold and other riches. Wealth meant more power and influence. Hernan Cortes from Spain led an expedition to Mexico. He befriended the Aztec ruler Moctezuma. Later Moctezuma realized Cortes only wanted the Aztec riches. Eventually Cortes and his army defeated the Aztecs. The region became known as New Spain. Not long after Cortes defeated the Aztecs, Francisco Pizarro defeated the Incas of South America. Another influential explorer of this era is Juan Ponce de Leon who landed in Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. De Soto of Spain, further explored North America learning alot about the Mississippi River valley. Due to the Spanish exploration of North America during the 1500's, much of southwest North America and Mexico became known as New Spain. The king and queen of Spain wanted to spread Catholicism throughout New Spain so they paid explorers, missionaries, and early settlers to build missions. They hoped this would strenghthen their rule in the new world. As other European countries started to come to North America to explore this new land, the Spanish became upset. TheSpanish did not want to share the land or resources in this new land. To protect their newly claimed land, the Spanish built forts called presidios in North America. The first was built in St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. Before the year 1500 there was almost no contact between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. There was not much gold to be found in North America, but farming proved to be a successful activity. Haciendas were built. Europeans learned of the trading in Africa. They were interested in getting the gold and salt and other riches from North Africa, China, and India. Haciendas led to successful farming and the establishment of the Columbian exchange. This exchange sent potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, and cacoa to Europe. Unfortunately, it also brought diseases to North America that killed many native groups. the end Other explorers to know:
Columbus - wanted to sail west from Europe to reach Asia.
Magellan - wanted to sail west around the Americas circumnavigating the Earth. He is credited with naming the Pacific Ocean.
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