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Lesson 1 European
Exploration Begins
1400’s-Europeans took interest in exploration.
1. Interest in faraway lands and desire to
learn about them
2. Merchants were looking for ways to
increase trade and wealth
3. Kings and Queens were looking for ways to
increase power and glorify their God
B. What led Europeans to know about
wonders of the East?
1. The Crusades
2. Marco Polo’s journey and book about
3. Italian Merchants who had become
rich selling goods from parts of Asia
A. Portugal got involved in exploration first
because of a desire to find a quicker and
cheaper way to Asia
B. Going overland was a long and expensive
C. Prince Henry the Navigator-major force
behind Portuguese exploration
1. Third son of King John I, born in 1394
2. Took part in conquest of North Africa-served
as its governor and saw the wealth/ trade
3. He began to push Portugal’s exploration of Africa’s
coast to learn more about it and its wealth-1419
4. He started a Navigation school in Portugal and
invited the best navigators, mapmakers, sailors ,
shipbuilders, etc. to come
5. His goal-*Find an ALL water route around Africa to
Asia. He financed many of the early trips
6. Fear was a big factor to success. Rough water, wind,
fog, and shallow water prevented many of the early
trips from sailing past Cape Bojodor, Africa (Gil Eanes,
7. Henry never sailed on a trip but he provided
financial and emotional support to the sailors.
He died (1460) before seeing his goal reached
D. Bartholomew Dias would round the southern
tip of Africa in 1487 (he named the tip the
Cape of Storms, his king would rename Cape
of Good Hope)
E. Vasco da Gama- would sail around the Cape
of Good Hope and into the Indian Ocean
reaching the port of Calicutt, India in 1498.
A. After Henry’s death, sailors who wanted to
explore had to find financial backing for their
trip. Explorers looked to kings
B. If they were given the money, any new land
found would be claimed for the country that
provided support
C. Christopher Columbus
1. skilled sailor, developed a plan to reach
India in the east by sailing west (world is
2. Tried for many years to get support for plan and trip
(turned down by at least 2 kings)
3. 1492- King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain
agreed to provide support ($$). Any new land found
would be claimed for Spain
4. Columbus estimated in a few months time he would
reach the Indies (island of Asia)
5. Columbus led his three ships(Nina, Pinta, and Santa
Maria) to an island in what is now the Carribbean
(Hispaniola) 10/12/1492
6. Later it was proven that he was not in Indies but had
discovered new land. Would try 3 more times to prove
A. Amerigo Vespucci1. Italian trader who wrote a book
claiming he reached and explored the
coast of South America in 1497
2. German mapmaker read book about
the time he was adding the new continent
to map and called it America
B. Vasco
Nunez de Balboa
1. Spanish explorer who arrived on the Isthmus
of Panama in 1511. Heard from natives about
an ocean and a land of gold-went in search of
2. No gold but found a body of water that had
different characteristics than the Atlantic
3. He claimed the water, called it the South Sea,
and the lands that touched it for Spain
C. Ferdinand
1. 1519- set out to achieve Columbus’s
unfulfilled goal (thought it would take a year)
2. After many problems, he and his crew
reached the Pacific Ocean by 1520
3. In 1521, they landed in the Philippines to get
supplies. They got involved in a local war and
Magellan got killed
4. His crew continued the journey and returned to
Spain in 1522. Returned with 1 ship, 17 men,
no Magellan, and no riches
5. His crew was the first to circumnavigate the world and
learned a lot about it
a. America is not one body of land but two
b. Earth is bigger than first thought
c. Another ocean exists with its own characteristicsPacific Ocean
D. Henry Hudson
1. To avoid a long journey, explorers began to look
for a shortcut through North America
2. The shortcut was called the Northwest PassageHenry Hudson, an Englishman, searched for it
3. Did not find it, but discovered a river that ran
through what is now New York state and named
it Hudson River
4. Would not be until 1900’s that a ship would
sail from Atlantic to Pacific by sailing north of
3. Did not find it, but discovered a river that ran
through what is now New York state and
named it Hudson River
4. Would not be until 1900’s that a ship would
sail from Atlantic to Pacific by sailing north of