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So, Why did Europeans
Explore the World?
Factors that led to Exploration
1. Crusades- exposed Europeans to
new ideas & luxury goods.
2. Kings wanted more gold
3. The Renaissance promoted a new
scientific view of the world
4. New technology made exploration
Europeans Explore the World
• The development of trade between
Europe & Asia inspired many
countries to seek faster trade routes.
• Travel by water is faster & safer than
by land- Countries began to seek a
way to get to Asia by water
• PROBLEM- at this time, there was
no boat or navigation instruments
that would allow this type of travel!
Prince Henry of Portugal
• Prince Henry wanted his country to be the
1st to reach Asia by water.
• Under Prince Henry scientist came up with:
– Compass- finds direction using magnetic forces
– Astrolabe- uses the sun to find direction and
the time of the day
– Caravel- double-sailed ship- very fast & durable
• Once he had these items, Henry sent sailors
out to find new trade routes to Asia by sea.
Early Exploration Accomplishments
• Bartolomeu Dias – Portuguese man who
was the 1st to sail from Europe around the
tip of Africa. (1488)
• Vasco de Gama – Portuguese man who
was the 1st to sail from Europe around
Africa and on to India. He made so much
money from this trip that others all over
Europe quickly began to travel the sea.
Columbus Finds America
• 1492 – Nina, Pinta, and the Santa
• Lands in the Bahamas (Caribbean)
and encounters the locals
• Calls them Indians because he b/l he
was in Asia
– He called the land the Indies and called
the locals Indians
– Explore for GOLD!!!
Impact of Columbus
• Other explorers quickly followed
• Everywhere they explored, they
claimed land for Spain. This land
became known as “New Spain”
– The Spanish were the first to colonize
the Americas.
• But…the Vikings were the first to reach
America by sea exploration
• Those who conquered the natives in
this land were called “conquistadors”
Line of Demarcation
• Line of demarcation – an imaginary line
from north to south running down the
middle of the Atlantic
• This line was set up in 1493 by Pope
Alexander VI to prevent war b/w two
rival Catholic nations
• Spain (Columbus) controlled everything
west of the line
• Portugal controlled everything east of
the line
Treaty of Tordesillas
• Signed in 1494 by Spain and
• The treaty…
– Moved the line 1,000 miles west
– Confirmed Portugal’s right to control
the route around Africa to India
– Confirmed Spain’s claim to the new
lands of America
• Spain’s
• Portugal’s
Naming America
• 1501, under the flag of Portugal, an
Italian named Amerigo Vespucci
sailed around the land mass that
Columbus had landed on
• Vespucci realized that Columbus had
not reached the Indies (Asia) like he
thought, Columbus had reached a
new lands
• The new continent was named
America for “Amerigo the discoverer”
Other Spanish Expeditions
• 1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon sailed
north looking for the fountain of youth
– Leon did not find his fountain, but he did
find Florida, he picked that name b/c it
means… “land of flowers”
• 1520 – Ferdinand Magellan – known
for being the first to circumnavigate
(sail around) the world
– Actually Magellan did not finish the
voyage , his crew did
Columbian Exchange
• Interactions between Europeans and
Native Americans
– Exchange of ideas, crops, animals,
technology, diseases which led to
enslaving Africans
– Permanently altered the world’s
ecosystems and changed nearly every
culture around the world
Remember This!!!!
The main reason all countries sent explorers
out was not to make people smarter! It
was to make
They hoped by reaching Asia quickly, they
could purchase goods & bring them back
for trade. The faster you got there, the
faster you could make money.