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Take your time and try to draw a freehand map of the world. Do you
think it's pretty close? Is the scale right - too big, too small? If this was
the 1490s, do you think you could get others to go along exploring with
you, based on your map?
The Expansion of Western Europe
 Motives for Exploration
Trade and the desire for wealth.
Trade was controlled by Venetian and Muslim traders. European
countries wanted to avoid the Italians and Muslims. Other Europeans
wanted to bypass them to get to the silk, spices, and other luxury items
in Asia.
 Religious Motives
Christianity is a missionary religion.
With Europe Christianized, they wanted to spread the Gospel to the rest
of the world.
 Gold, Glory, and God
There were other motives including: riches and money, glory, and God.
Plus, there was the adventure of it all.
 Technological Advances
There were advances in ship construction (bigger, faster, and sturdier)
and there were new navigation aids. Now, there was a new compass (in
the 1300s they used a magnetized needle floating on a straw in a bucket
of water). The astrolabe was used to determine latitude; longitude was
less accurate.
 Knowledge of Geography
In the 15th Century maps were still crude and inaccurate. Early explorers
like Marco Polo added to geographic knowledge, but it was still limited.
By this time, most people knew the earth was round - they just didn't
know that the Americas existed.
 Portugal
Prince Henry the Navigator explored Africa and some of the Atlantic
Islands (the Azores, the Madeiras, and the Cape Verde Islands). The
Portuguese in Africa profited from the slave trade, gold, ivory, ebony,
and exotic animals and birds. These profits distracted them from further
exploration for awhile.
 Portuguese Explorers
Diaz (1487 - 1488)
Diaz rounded the Cape of Good Hope. A storm at the bottom of Africa
caught them and twirled them around to the East coast of Africa. When
the storm was over, and the men saw that land was to the other side of
them, they thought they had been thrown to another planet.
De Gama (1497)
De Gama made it to India and returned to Lisbon with his ship full of
Cabral (1500)
Cabral set out for India, but instead, he reached the coast of Brazil. The
Portuguese explorers also reached China and Japan.
 Spain
Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506)
Columbus claimed land for Spain even though, if it was in the Indies, it
belonged to the Great Khan of China.
Christopher Columbus discovered America for Spain in 1492. Columbus
thought that he could reach the Indies quicker if he sailed west. The
islands that he first reached are still called the West Indies. Although
Columbus returned to America three more times, he died believing that
the land he had reached was Asia.
Columbus made four voyages to the Americas. On his third voyage, he
landed on the mainland of South America on the coast of Venezuela. The
colony Columbus had founded on Hispanola on his second voyage
rebelled. This revolt by the colonists put him in disgrace. He died
without regaining his fortune or his prestige, but today his voyages are
recognized as being among the most important events in history.
 The „Indians” that Columbus discovered smoked „tabac” in cigar-like
things through their noses. Caribbean Indians were cannibals - once they
ate a priest, but it made them sick, so they never ate religious people
Christopher Columbus on Santa Maria in 1492.
 Lines of Demarcation
Lines of demarcation were drawn due to conflicting claims. Both Spain
and Portugal assumed they had a right to divide up the "New World."
 The Papal Line of Demarcation
In 1493 Pope Alexander VI, a Spaniard, established a line of
demarcation in response to arguments over who could have what. Spain
got all lands discovered and to be discovered west of Europe. He
assigned Spain all newly discovered lands 100 leagues west of the
Azores. East of the line belonged to Portugal - the Portuguese
 Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas (tor-day-SEE-ahs). King John of Portugal
threatened war and moved the line to 370 leagues (1,100 miles) west of
the Azores. Portugal got Brazil.
 The Spanish Empire in America
During the Early 16th-Century, Spain followed up on the discoveries of
Ponce de Leon
Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513. Balboa In 1513, Vasco de
Balboa crossed Panama to the Pacific Ocean.
 Cortés
Cortés conquered the Aztecs in Mexico, 1519 - 1521. Cortés was a
typical conquistador; he was courageous, charming, and ruthless.
Montezuma thought that the Spaniards were gods, or messengers from
Quetzalcoatl. The Aztecs out-numbered the Spaniards. Cortés made his
men burn their own ships so they wouldn't try to sail away.
Cortés gave the Aztecs gifts so they would be friendly. And, Cortés
found that conquering the Aztecs was easy. Spain had gunpowder, steel,
and horses. The Aztecs thought the Spaniards might be gods and didn't
want to harm them. The Aztecs were susceptible to European diseases
(smallpox) that they had no immunity to.
Aztecs were also cruel rulers, and the other Indians were happy to see
them taken over. The Spanish were seen by them as liberators.
 Pizarro
 Pizarro conquered the Incas. In 1531 Pizarro got permission from
Charles V to conquer the South American coast. In 1532 he met Inca
ruler, Atahualpa, and took him prisoner. In the ensuing fight, 100s of
Incas were killed, but not any Spanish. Ranson for Atahualpa was set at a
roomful of gold. When it was delivered, the Spanish strangled Atahualpa.
As the Spanish fought over the gold, Pizarro was killed.
 Coronado (From 1540 - 1542)
Coronado explored what became the southwest United States, going as
far north as Kansas. He took lots of pigs along, some got loose and
evolved into big boars.
 Magellan
Magellan was the first to circumnavigation of the globe. This removed
any doubts about the world being round. Magellan's voyages showed that
the world was much larger than originally thought.
The Name,
Where Did It Come From?
Amerigo Vespucci 1454 - 1512
 Amerigo Vespucci (an Italian) was a map maker. During Christopher
Columbus' voyages, Amerigo drew the maps. After Gutenberg's
invention, the printing press, the vernacular was generally used - things
were no longer printed in Latin.
During the Renaissance, individualism was an important ideal. So,
Amerigo Vespucci signed his map work as one would sign a piece of art.
The New World was dubbed "America" due to the fact that the first
maps, printed using the printing press and mass produced, attributed the
name "Amerigo" to the new land. These maps were mass-produced.
After printing, it was too late to change the name (to "Columbia").
Amerika a felfedezések előtt