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Chapter 2 Section 1
First Visitors from Europe
 Vikings – There is evidence that the only people to
reach the Americas before Columbus were the Vikings.
 The Vikings were a seagoing people who originally
lived in the part of northern Europe known as
 In 1693, scientist found evidence that early Viking
settled in Newfoundland.
 According to one story, a Viking named Leif Erikson
and 35 others sailed from a colony on Greenland to
investigate land farther west.
Christopher Columbus
-Columbus grew up on the west coast of Italy.
-In the 1470’s he moved to Portugal where he sailed
Portuguese ships, studied maps, and charts.
- Columbus moved to Spain because Portugal’s king
showed little interest in Columbus’ plan to find Asia
because he believed the world was much bigger than
Columbus and refused to fund his trip.
- King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella liked Columbus’
plan and after 6 six years agreed to provide ships for
his voyage.
Columbus Sets Sail!
1492 – Columbus and 90 men (mostly from Spain)
planned to make the voyage.
- planned to reach the East Indies by sailing west on the
Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria in 21 days.
- On October 12, he finally reached land it was the West
Indies. Believing he was on the islands known as
Indies, he called the people Indians.
- Columbus then sailed southwest to a large island. He
thought it was Japan but it was actually Cuba.
Columbus founded the colony of Hispaniola in the
Americas on a his next Voyage.
Second Voyage
 Columbus sailed back to Spain and told of huge amounts
of gold in the land he referred to as the West Indies.
In September of 1493, Columbus sailed back to the West
Indies with 17 ships and 1500 men.
The Spanish planned to colonize and rule the land and
convert the people to Christianity.
Columbus discovered that the Indians had killed all of his
men left in Hispaniola.
Columbus built another settlement and enslaved the local
Indians to dig for gold.
Columbus returned to Spain with cold trinkets and
Third Voyage
 In 1498, Columbus reached the northern coast of
South America and decided it was the Asian mainland.
 In 1502, Spain allowed him to try to prove his claims in
a 4th voyage.
 Two years later he returned to Spain and died in 1506
still convinced that he had reached Asia.
Continuing to Search for Asia
 Vasco Nunez de Balboa – In 1510, a Spanish colonist,
Balboa, explored the Caribbean coast of Panama.
 Hacking his way across the jungle, he became the first
explorer to see the Pacific Ocean.
 Ferdinand Magellan – In 1519, Portuguese explorer
Magellan set sail to find an Atlantic-Pacific passage.
 For more than a year, the Magellan and his small fleet,
moved slowly down the South American coast looking for a
A strait is a narrow passage that connects two large bodies
of water.
It encountered penguins and other animals never seen
Near the southern tip of present-day Argentina, Magellan
found a narrow passage.
After 38 days of battling winds, tides, and currents, his
ships exited what we now call the Strait of Magellan.
The Philippine Islands
 Magellan finally reached the Philippine Islands where
he and several others were killed in a battle with
 The survivors fled in two ships and one ship finally
reached Spain in September 1522.
 Three years after they had begun, the 18 men aboard
became first to circumnavigate the entire Earth.
 Circumnavigate means to travel around.
The Columbian Exchange
 These early Spanish voyages set the stage for a great
exchange between the Western and Eastern
 The next century began what is now known as the
Columbian Exchange or a transfer of people, products,
and ideas between hemispheres.
Positive Effects of Columbian
 Europeans introduced cows, hogs, and other domestic
animals to the Western Hemisphere.
 Many food plants, such as wheat and oats, also arrived
on the ships that brought the Europeans.
Negative Effects of Columbian
 Europeans brought germs to the Native Americans
who had no immunity (natural resistance.)
 Diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox, measles, and
other contagious diseases killed thousands of Native
Impact of Americas on Europeans
 Europeans found plants and animals in the Americas
that they had never seen before.
 For example, the Americas introduced llamas, turkeys,
squirrels, and muskrats to the world.
 More important, were the crops that Native Americans
taught the Europeans to cultivate.
 Today, plants that once were found only in the
Americas account for nearly one third of the world’s
food supply.