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European Explorers
Vasco da Gama
• Vasco da Gama's famous voyage was his first in 1497.
• He was sailing for India by traveling around Africa from Portugal.
• King Manuel I told da Gama to find a water route around Africa to India.
• He was heading to India to trade with the Indians.
• His route was to go around Africa.
• He made 2 voyages and on his 2nd returned
to India in 1502.
First da Gama landed in Africa then later traveled to India.
He explored the land of Calcite in India
He met Zamorin the ruler of Calcite, who did not want to trade with da Gama.
He made history discovering a waterway leading to India by travelling around
• Vasco da Gama survived his voyages.
Prince Henry the Navigator
• Henry was born in Portugal in 1394.
• He was the third son of King John I of Portugal
• When he was 21, Prince Henry (with his father and brothers) attacked the Moslem port o in north
Morocco. This successful attack in 1415 inspired Prince Henry to explore Africa, most of which
was unknown to Europeans.
• Prince Henry was determined to see Portuguese sailors sail down the west coast of Africa. These
expeditions were sent to create:
• much-needed maps of the West African coast,
• to defeat the Muslims, and spread Christianity,
• and to establish trade routes
• He decided that he wanted to start a school of navigation. In 1418 he started such a school in
Sagres. The school would be a place where people could learn lots more about exploration. The
school brought many people together to share their knowledge about ship building and sailing.
Astronomers gave lessons on how to read the stars like a map. The students also learned how to
make maps of their own of the new places they explored so that when they returned home they
have memories of where they were. (Christopher Columbus was one of his students)
Prince Henry the Navigator
• Henry sponsored many sailing expeditions down Africa's west coast.,
• Thanks to Prince Henry's patronage, Portuguese ships sailed to the
Madeira Islands and rounded Cape Bojador.
• After his death, Portuguese sailors who trained in his school, would
continue the exploration for better water routes to Asia. (Eventually
two very famous Portuguese sailors would make trips that would lead
the Portuguese finally around the tip of Africa.)
• Though he never sailed himself, Prince Henry helped begin the Great
Age of Discovery that lasted from the 1400's to the early 1500's.
• Do you think that Henry the Navigator should have a holiday because
if he didn’t teach people like Christopher Columbus how to sail then
we wouldn’t be living in America.
Bartholomew Dias
• Bartolomeu Dias was a great Portuguese navigator
and explorer who explored Africa's coast.
• In 1488, Dias led the first European expedition to sail
around Africa's Cape of Good Hope
• This breakthrough of circumnavigating (going around)
the Cape of Good Hope opened up profitable trading
routes from Europe to Asia.
• This was very important to Portugal because they
wanted to be an important part of the trade system,
sharing in the riches of Asia.
• Dias may have originally called the southern tip of
Africa the "Cape of Storms"; it was later renamed the
Cape of Good Hope.
Bartholomew Dias
• On a later expedition, in 1500, Dias sailed near South America on the
way to Africa
• land was spotted at Espírito Santo in Brazil. The Europeans called it
the "Land of the True Cross."
• Although they thought it to be an island, Dias was still among the first
Europeans to see Brazil.
• Dias died during this expedition; he was lost at sea near the Cape of
Good Hope in 1500.
• Sailed for Spain
• Went on 3 Voyages
• In his 3 journeys he went to Hispaniola, Panama, Darien, San Sebastian, and Acia
• 1st Voyage: Started in 1500 on boat going Westward to Spain and then North to
Hispaniola that took 2 years.
• 2nd Voyage: Started in 1510 on boat he went South to Darien that took one year
• 3rd Voyage: Started in 1513 on foot that took a year to reached the Pacific Ocean
• His 3rd Voyage was his most famous when he landed in Panama and went through 45
miles of dense jungles and atop a mountain to find the Pacific Ocean.
• His reason was that he always wanted to be an explorer and reach Hispaniola because
he wanted to find riches and gold
• Went on 3 Voyages
• In his 3 journeys he went to Hispaniola, Panama, Darien, San Sebastian, and Acia
• First he landed in Hispaniola where he had seen and 2 years he would go on a trip
• Second he landed in Darien where he conquered Darien for 3 years
• Third he landed in Panama which he went through 45 miles of dense jungles and over a
mountain to find the Pacific Ocean
• Claimed Pacific Ocean for Spain
• The Pacific Ocean was important because it gave Peru and other places in the Carribean
water and more space
• Conquered Darien for 3 years
• Darien is an island in the Caribbean's near San Sebastian
• Explored jungles and mountains
• He found riches and resources that he found from the jungle he explored
• His discoveries were for travel, communication, and most important trading
• He survived but got beheaded with four other friends when he went back to Hispaniola
Amerigo Vespucci
• On his first voyage he sailed from May 10 to about June
• He sailed in service of Spain
• While on a business trip in Spain King Ferdinand had asked
him to check what Columbus had claimed
• The New World was west across the Atlantic so Vespucci
headed there
• He took a route taken earlier by another Spanish explore
Christopher Columbus, but took a turn south to the
undiscovered South America
• He sailed four times from Europe to the Americas
Amerigo Vespucci
• Amerigo Vespucci had landed in South America
but it was unidentified so that means he discovered it
• He discovered places like Venezuela ,The Amazon River, and
where these two important regions are South America
• Him and his crew ran into some Native Venezuelans and at
first they acted normal ,but every now and then they would
attack to protect their land
• Discovering a new continent is a very important thing also
he had proved that the two new continents weren’t Asia.
• You must be brave to go on a long trip like that and luckily
Vespucci survived them all
Ponce de Leon
Ponce de Leon sailed for the country of Spain
 He sailed to Puerto Rico after arriving in the New World
 Leon sailed North of Puerto Rico and through the Atlantic Ocean to
arrive at Florida
 His journey lasted from late March, 1513-Easter Sunday April, 1513
 He tried sailing to Bimini, but landed on the coast of Florida
 He was searching for the Fountain of Youth, great lands, and large
amounts of treasures in Bimini (not a real place)
 Ponce de Leon traveled on 4 different voyages- New World with
Christopher Columbus, Puerto Rico after arriving in the New World,
first expedition to Florida, and second trip to Florida
Ponce de Leon
 Ponce de Leon landed on the coast of Florida in 1513
 He claimed the land for Spain
 Ponce de Leon found great amounts of land and met many Indians,
Calusa Indians, and they were extremely brutal to the Europeans
 Ponce de Leon’s discoveries were important, because if he hadn’t
found Florida than there would only be 49 states ands not 50
 He set up the first European settlement on this continent
 He also found a numerous amount of gold which then made him rich
 Importance gave Spain land on the east coast of the new continent
 Leon survived his first expedition to Florida, but on his second
journey he got shot by an arrow from an Indian
 He returned to Cuba after that and then peacefully died there
• Sailed for Spain
• Journey was from September 20, 1519 – September 8, 1522
• Asked King Manuel I for money
• He went on the voyage to find a quicker route to the Spice Islands in Asia
• Was looking for the valuable spices that grew there
• His route was west around the southern tip of South America to the
• Headed west to the Philippines thinking it was the Spice Islands because, the
natives there spoke the same language as in the Spice Islands
• While in the Philippines he found spices
• The impact was that there was a war between the natives of the Philippines
and his crew and him
• All the Filipinos liked him and his crew but the leader didn’t like him and
thought something was going on which caused the war
Ferdinand Magellan
• Landed on Brazil and Patagonia in South America while passing by
• He also explored Brazil and Patagonia
• He claim then small strip of water that needed to be crossed to go around
So. America for Spain
• This was later called the Strait of Magellan
• In the middle of the journey he and his crew ran out of food and they
had to eat rats, sawdust, and leather straps
• Also landed on the Philippines
• He explored Brazil, Patagonia, and the Philippines
• He claimed the Strait Of Magellan
• They found the Filipinos (the natives of the Philippines)
• He did not survive the exploration he died in the Philippines by a poisoned
arrow in the war on April 27, 1521
Hernan Cortes
• Hernan Cortes famous voyage was in 1519 for seeking the
Yucatan Peninsula.
• Cortes sailed for Spain and was successful.
• The reason for his trip was to be rich, he wanted a lot of fame.
• The part of the world he sailed to was Mexico.
• Hernan's route was from the Caribbean sea to Mexico.
• Hernan Cortes made three voyages.
Hernan Cortes
Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico.
• He conquered the Aztec Empire and stole all gold in
• Hernan found gold, silver, feathers, food, and many
slave women.
• Cortes discoveries were important because none of
them had been found yet and they wouldn't of defeated
the Aztec empire he also got a lot of gold for Spain.
• Hernan did survive his expedition.
• Spain began to control Central America.
Francisco Pizarro
Pizarro sailed for Spain
He made two voyages
His famous voyage was in 1532
He sailed with his partner Diego de Almargo
Got permission from Emperor Charles V
Pizarro had been to the New World before as a member of
Balboa’s crew
On his trip he heard of rich civilizations in the south
He headed towards Peru from Panama
His route was south
Francisco Pizarro
 While he was there he encountered the Incas
 His discoveries were important because he found lots of gold and jewels and he found a
 Pizarro picked the perfect time to take over the Incas because the Incas were in a civil war
over which son would become the Inca (Incan ruler)
 He had the ruler captured and said he would let the ruler go if The Incas filled one room
with gold and two rooms with silver
 When the rooms were filled Pizarro had the ruler killed
 Pizarro’s greed was never satisfied so, he went from Incan city to city pillaging and raging
 After Pizarro conquered the Incas he came up with a system called the Encomiendo system
 The Spaniards also told the Incas they had to be catholic
 He then headed to the capital Cuzco and became in charge
 It was used to regulate the Incas and reward Pizarro did survive the expedition but was
later killed by his partner’s fans after because when Almargo demanded land Pizarro had
him killed
Hernando de Soto
 Sailed for Spain
 Was tired of being a gentleman
 Wanted to govern own colony
 Made one voyage
 Sailed from April, 1538-June, 1538
 Went southeast across Atlantic Ocean then headed to Cuba and southeast
United States
 North, west, south, west, southwest, west, then died
 Rest of the crew went east, south, west, and back south again
 Headed to southeastern America and western Cuba
Hernando de Soto
 Landed in Cuba, then traveled north to Florida
 Traveled through ten states in the U.S.A. including Tennessee, the Carolinas,
Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia
 First European to encounter and cross the Mississippi River
 Encountered Timucauns
 Timucauns fought Europeans before
 Caught de Soto off guard
 De Soto eventually won the war
 Found corn, cabbage, and grains.
 Found largest river in North America
 A few months after crossing the Mississippi River, he died of a fever
• Coronado’s expedition took place in 1540.
• He explored for New Spain, a colony of Spain.
• New Spain is what is now Mexico.
• The reason for the trip was to find the Mythical Golden
• He headed Northeast up America on his trip.
• The route was through California, Arizona , New
Mexico , Texas , Oklahoma , Arkansas , and Kansas.
• Coronado only had one voyage.
• Coronado landed in California.
• He found California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas,
Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas.
• Coronado’s trip was the first contact between Spanish
and the southwestern natives. He found the Teyas,
Quivirans, and the Harahan.
• His discoveries were important because he and his men
found 7 American states and 3 landmarks in North
• Coronado barely survived the trip because he fell of his
horse and got badly injured.
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier is a French explorer that wanted to find a northwest passage to
In 1531 King Francis sent Jacques on his 1st voyage to find a Northwest passage
to Asia which would allow France to cross through the new continent
The part of world he headed to was West off the Canadian Islands
His route was a northwest passage
Jacques made 3 voyages but the 3rd one was planned but he never went on the
3rd voyage
The second voyage he wanted to explore the area around the St. Lawrence River
He claimed all the areas he explored for France.
Jacques Cartier
Jacques landed in western Canada
Jacques met the Micmac’s on July 6
When Jacques met the Micmac's and traveled to their village called
Kanata. Jacques couldn’t pronounce it right so he said Canada
 Jacques were important was the one who gave Canada its name
Jacques Cartier did survive his journey but then died right after in
Saint-Malo on September 1 ,1557
Samuel de Champlain
Champlain’s famous voyage was in 1608 to what now is Quebec, Canada.
He was born on August 13, in Brouage,France.
Champlain sailed for his beloved France during King Henry IV was in the throne.
Champlain was invited by Amar de Chaste, a fur trader to join a voyage to Canada in 1603.
When he came back he showed illustrations, and maps that he showed to King Henry IV.
Since the king was so impressed in 1604 he sent Champlain back with 28 colonists ready to
start a new colony.
He tried establishing a colony called Port Royal, on the island of Nova Scotia, hoping to
make a larger impact.
He sailed along the very Atlantic coast all the way south to what is now Martha’s Vineyard.
He had made many maps of that area but, unfortunately in 1607 the Port Royal colony
failed so, they went back home to France.
 Champlain landed in what is now Quebec, Canada.
 In 1608 he was in the New World and found out that the land wasn’t claimed so, at that very moment he claimed it for France.
 He has lead an expedition during 1635 – 1615, becoming the first European to explore interior rivers in the hope of cutting through the
continent and reaching the Pacific Ocean.
 Also while exploring he had found Native Americans by, the name Algonquins and the Hurons.
 Since they were in war with the Iroquois at the time Champlain came he decided to help them because he had served the army.
 That’s, when in return they started a fur trading relationship together, mostly because they won the war.
 Now they were truly allies of each other.
 Champlain’s discoveries are really important today because he has colonized and also Founded Quebec which means he has made history.
 He has also guided many French settlers to start a new life in Quebec, and has inspired others to keep up the explorations that would
hopefully lead France through the new continent and find their way to Asia.
 In 1633 he became governor of Quebec.
 He traveled back to France from time to time to get supplies for the colony of New France.
 But sadly in 1635 On December 25 (Christmas Day Morning) Champlain died from a stroke in Quebec.
 He is remembered every day because of such important discoveries that have been made only because of himself Samuel de Champlain.
LaSalle's ship the
Griffon was built
right before his
Robert LaSalle
 Robert LaSalle Started his voyage in 1678 and ended his long 4 year voyage in 1682.
 Robert LaSalle sailed for King Louis of France.
 Robert LaSalle sailed to build a series fur trade forts along the Mississippi River and the Great
Lakes. Making a shorter route for the French to cut through the new continent.
 LaSalle wanted to sail through the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River for a shorter route to
the Gulf of California. But he ended up figuring out that it only led him to the Gulf of Mexico.
 Robert LaSalle traveled through most of the Great Lakes and through the Mississippi River to
where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
 LaSalle took one voyage through the Great Lakes and the Mississippi river. But when trying to
return to where the Mississippi river flows into the Gulf of Mexico gets lost and is killed by his
crewman due to anger.
The Great Lakes
Robert LaSalle
The Mississippi River
 Robert LaSalle landed where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
 LaSalle discovered and claimed areas along the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Which
than after made the French a great deal of money.
 LaSalle found new land and a lot of different natives on his long journey.
 Robert LaSalle’s journey was important because he had made many forts along the Mississippi
River and the Great lakes.
 LaSalle did survive his expedition, but when trying to return he gets lost and is killed by his crew.
Marquette and Jolliet
• These two men sailed off in the year of 1672.
• Marquette and Jolliet sailed for France under the orders of the French lieutenant
governor in New France which is now Quebec (in Canada).
• The two men were looking to explore the Mississippi River.
• They thought it would lead to China from the Gulf of California.
• Marquette and Jolliet paddled in rivers starting on the Wisconsin River with help
from two Indian guides
• This led them to the Mississippi River on June 17th, 1673.
• They only took one voyage.
Marquette and Jolliet
• Marquette and Jolliet explored the end of the Mississippi and figured out that this river doesn’t empty into
the Gulf of California, it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
• Yes, they did survive their trip and made it back safely, but on the way back Marquette got sick and perished
on May 17, 1675(not on the trip home) , and Jolliet perished in the year of 1700.
• When Marquette and Jolliet first landed in entree to the Gulf of Mexico they claimed all of the rich land for
France and gave the not as good land to England.
• They saw the Illinois Indians and they ended up smoking a calumet(KAL-yuh-met) to show that they had
made peace.
• Their discoveries were important because if they had made the very first trading route for the French.
John Cabot
• his first voyage was on may 2, 1497 and landed on June 24,1497
• He sailed for England(king henry the third)
• route without having to pay the Turks taxes (the silk road was to dangerous
His reason for his voyage was because, he wanted to find a sea )
• He tried to go to china but, ended up off the coast of new foundland
• Cabot’s plan was to head west, like Columbus, but intended to head in a more
northerly route
• Cabot made “2” voyages
John Cabot
• Cabot landed in new foundland
• He found a needle, traps, and a lot of fish from the Beothuk people
• he explored new foundland and the other islands around there
• His discoveries were Important because, he claimed land for England in the
new world. even though he did not find a sea route to Asia, he gave the English
foothold in the new world, which would become their most important colony
• Cabot dies his second voyage (he was never heard of again)
John Cabot’s ship the
“Matthew” named after his
John Cabot’s
Henry Hudson
• Sailed from England and Holland
• First two voyages sailed for England and went to the North Pole looking
for orient. First going west then east and got trapped in ice both times
• Sailed for Holland for his third voyage and headed to North America in
• Went out to look for a river that connected the Atlantic and pacific
• Landed in the state of Maine in July of 1609 and stole from the friendly
• He left Maine after a short while and then went down to the state
Virginia and Chesapeake Bay, which he claimed for Holland
• In September of 1609 he reached what is now the state of new York and
sailed up the Hudson River, which he also claimed for Holland
• He was attacked by Natives and him and his crew went back to Holland
still unable to find access through the continent
• Hudson took 2 voyages that reached the new world
Henry Hudson
• In April of 1610 Hudson went back to England and sailed for them once
• This time he went up over America and into northern Canada
• He found a waterway straight which he named the Hudson Straight
• The Hudson Straight ended up leading to a large body of water which
he claimed for England and named the Hudson Bay
• The way was dangerous, the crew was running out of food, and the crew
believed there was no way across the continent
• ON June 21, 1611 HE along with his son and seven other crew members
were put in a boat with no supplies and he was never heard of again
• henry hudson’s disCoveries were very important beCause he Claimed the
Hudson bay in Canada for England so most of Canada speak English and
the Chesapeake Bay and Hudson river for Holland so they could colonize
it before England took over
Sir Francis drake
• in 1577 the queen sent him to break up the Spanish
• he went to south America to attack the Spanish
settlements in Chile and in Peru, he was forced to
sail westward and return to England in 1580
• He had poor sailing conditions he was forced to sail
north and clamed land for England In what is now
• He kept going westward on his journey and returned
back to England in 1580
Sir Francis drake
• He is from England and sailed to Panama so he could
get all of the hidden riches
• He learned how to navigate his ship when he was ten
years old
• he was famous for getting attacked by slaves and
still survived
• Drake is important because when he landed in
California he clamed parts of the west coast for
• They had holdings on both coasts of the continent
Sir Walter Raleigh
• Sailed for England
• Wanted to colonize parts of the new world
• 1st voyage he discovered and named Virginia, also discovered Roanoke Island in
1584, also in 1596, he had traveled to El Dorado in search of the golden city, which
supposedly overflowed with gold and riches
• Headed west to the east coast of the new world
• West across the Atlantic ocean
• Took at least 4 voyages, to Virginia, Orinoco River, El Dorado, and Roanoke Island
Sir Walter Raleigh
• He first landed in the new world in Virginia and Roanoke island 1584
• Virginia was claimed and named after the Virgin Queen, and he sent 15 crew members to go and
live on Roanoke Island to try and start a new colony
• He found a interesting fruit and named it the Pineapple, also when he wanted most of his men to
go and start a new colony on Roanoke Island there were Indians who threatened to kill them
if they did not leave, he also found the potato and tobacco, the potato was brought back to
Ireland and became a important food source, the tobacco will lead great wealth for many
farmers coming to the new world
• His discoveries were important because it gave England land on the east coast of the
mainland of North America, also future in this area would become the original 13 colonies,
which will centuries later will become the original 13 states of the United states
• Yes, but he was executed by King James the 1st for disobeying him and fighting the Spanish