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The Age of Discovery
Lecture 02
Search for Western Route to the East
Mediterranean Sea in 15th Cent.
cotton, precious stones, spices from Asia
of miles to European market
Venice and Genoa controlled trade
Portuguese and Exploration
Henrique, Prince Henry the Navigator
Leone, beyond “Sea of Darkness”
John II, Portugal
Dias around Cape of Good Hope
1497-99—Vasco da Gama to India
New navigational aids
Compass (China)
Astrolabe & cross staff
1509—first navigational manual (Portugal)
Spanish caravels, lateen sails (Arab)
Mapping developed
Rediscovery of Claudius Ptolemy’s Geography,
oWorld is round
oSystem of latitudes
2nd Century
and longitudes—360 degrees
Christopher Columbus
Born in Genoa, Italy in 1451 (location and date uncertain)
Merchant seaman on Mediterranean & Atlantic coast
To Iceland in early 20s
Could reach Asia by sailing west
Sponsored by Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon
September, 1492—sailed from Spain, via Canary Islands
October—Bahamas, then Cuba, Dominican Republic/Haiti (Hispaniola)
Colony of La Navidad—destroyed
Colony of Isabela, also failed
4 voyages, no lasting colonial success
Died in 1506, never knowing exactly what he had “found”
Columbus’ Norse Predecessors
Ca. 981 AD--Erik the Red sailed to Greenland
Settlement there lasted 500 years
1002 AD—son Leif Ericson sailed to Newfoundland
995 AD—to L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland; 9 dwellings of stone
found by archaeologists
Descriptions in Norse sagas match this area as well
Used for only two or three years
Columbus’ English & French Successors
1497-98—John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto)– New Found Land
1504, 1508-09—Son Sebastian—Hudson Bay
1524—French sent Italian Verrazano along Carolina coast
1534, 1536—Jacques Cartier up St. Lawrence River to future Montreal
Columbus’ Spanish & Portuguese Successors
Interests more in the southern New World
1499-1502—Amerigo Vespucci’s accounts of voyages in south
Convinced Columbus had not landed in Asia, but a New World
1507—atlas included his writings and naming New World “America”
1513—Ponce de León—coast of Florida
1516—Vasco Nuñez de Balboa—viewed East Pacific
1519-22—Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal—circumnavigation of globe
1528-1536—Cabeza de Vaca wandered between Florida and Texas, then
into Mexico
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado—1540-1542 in the Southwest
Hernando de Soto—1539-1542, Southeast