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European Exploration
SS6H6 The student will analyze the impact of
European exploration and colonization on
various world regions.
a. Identify the causes of European exploration and
colonization including religion, natural resources, a
market for goods, and the contributions of Prince
Henry the Navigator.
Introduction Video
• Discovery Education
The Explorers: The Dawning of the Era of
Exploration (15 minutes)
Reasons for European Exploration:
God (spread Christianity)
Gold (riches and wealth)
Glory (fame and honor)
Goods (cool stuff like silk and spices)
Ground (claim land)
GOD- spread religion
In the late 1400s, the European
rulers were very religious and
wanted to convert everyone to
Christianity, including people
living in the places they explored.
Gold was a hot item that
explorers were looking for,
but remember that it is really
wealth, not just literal gold
that explorers were after.
GOLD would bring
wealth and power to
whatever country
found it!
To be “the first” to find new
land and bring goods and
wealth to your country would
bring FAME and HONOR.
(We’re still talking about these explorers today!)
GOODS- Spices
In the 1400s, there was no
refrigeration. To prevent meat from
spoiling, people drowned their meat in
salt to preserve and dry it (like beef
jerky). They also used a lot of spices
like pepper to cover up the taste of
the salted or spoiled meat.
GOODS- Spices
Unfortunately for Europeans, these
spices did not grow anywhere in
Europe. They were only found in
Asian countries. It was very difficult to
get the spices from Asia to Europe
over land so spices became very
Several European rulers finally
decided to try to find a new routea sea route. If a country could find
a way to get these valuable spices
to Europe, the rulers would be very
larger empires
Some European rulers, especially the King
of Spain and the King of Portugal, wanted
to claim as much land as they could. They
wanted to take all of the natural resources
from the new land and use the people that
lived there as slaves to do their work.
Countries would do anything to
expand their empire to new
Larger empire = More power!
Prince Henry the
(son of King John I)
was from Portugal.
Prince Henry wanted:
• Portugal to be the first to sail
around Africa to get to Asia.
• Portugal to control trade and
get rich.
• to spread Christianity.
Why had no one ever sailed around
the tip of Africa?
• The sailors were afraid of
the unknown and tales they
had heard of strange waters
and creatures.
Would you have been afraid??!
There was much they didn’t know...
It’s kind of funny…
• Prince Henry “The
Navigator” never sailed!!
• Instead of exploring, Prince
Henry established a school
of navigation in Portugal to
train sea captains and
• Prince Henry wanted the sailors
and captains to be prepared.
• He invited cartographers
(mapmakers), geographers,
astronomers, experienced sea
captains, and other experts to
teach at his school.
• His school taught:
• Prince Henry’s school taught sailors to
use this instrument.
• It helped sailors navigate by using
heavenly bodies to find the latitude.
• Another
tool was the
How did the quadrant work?
• In order to determine
his ship's position at
sea, a sailor would
use this instrument to
measure the angle of
the sun over the
horizon at noon, and
then use that
measurement to
calculate his vessel’s
• Under Prince Henry’s direction,
a new and lighter ship was
• The caravel would go faster
and further than other ships.
The Caravel
• had triangular sails that made the
ship easier to sail.
• had more room for storage, so the
sailors could take more food, water,
and supplies for longer voyages.
• Prince Henry arranged
many voyages down the
west coast of Africa.
• He never sailed on any
of the expeditions he
sponsored (paid for).
• Prince Henry died before any Portuguese
sailors made it to the tip of Africa.
• However, his dreams lived on after his
death. Portuguese explorers kept sailing
further and further down the coast of Africa
until Prince Henry’s goals were met.
Prince Henry’s Tomb
• Henry’s tomb is
located in the
Monastery of Batalha
in Portugal.
Results of This Exploration:
• POSITIVE-- Eventually Portugal did gain
great riches and wealth from trade.
• NEGATIVE-- The beginning of slave trade
across the Atlantic was a negative result.
**A study of records by Cambridge
University reports that 81,000 people were
traded and sold between 1450-1500.**
• Portuguese explorer
Bartolomew Dias
reached the tip of Africa
now known as the Cape
of Good Hope.
• He first named the southern tip of Africa
the “cape of storms”.
• Dias died on a later expedition in 1500.
• Vasco Da Gama was the first European to
sail around Africa and reach Asia.
• After a two year expedition his ships
reached the country of India.
• Many people thought this voyage would be
impossible because they thought the
Indian Ocean was not connected to other
bodies of water.
• Although Prince Henry did not live to see it,
his goals were met.
• Portugal became the first country to sail to
the tip of Africa.
• Portugal was the first country to reach Asia
by sailing around Africa.
• Portugal gained wealth because of trading.
• This statue of
Prince Henry
overlooks the New
Bedford Harbor in
• It honors him as
being the “father
of modern celestial
Prince Henry Video
• Discovery Education
Exploring the World: The Portuguese Explorers
Standard SS6H6:
Trace the colonization of
Australia by the United
• The English explored Australia.
• Three British explorers to know:
James Cook (1728-1779)
Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
Arthur Phillip (1738-1814)
James Cook
• Cook was a British
explorer and
• He went on many
expeditions to the
Pacific Ocean,
Antarctica, the
Arctic, Australia and
around the world.
Captain Cook’s Voyages
1st – Red
2nd – Green
3rd – Blue
After Death Voyage – Dashed Blue
A Replica of Captain
Cook’s ship the
Endeavour, anchored
where the original
Endeavour was
beached for 7 weeks in
• On James Cook’s
first voyage, he
sailed to Australia.
• He claimed the
east coast for
Great Britain.
• Captain Cook
named Australia
“New South
• His ship the Endeavor got stuck on the Great
Barrier Reef! The ship was damaged and
almost sank. A piece of the coral broke off and
plugged the hole until it could be repaired in
northern Queensland.
Matthew Flinders
• Flinders was another
English explorer who
mapped parts of
• He was the first to
circumnavigate (sail
completely around)
• What did Flinders
learn from James
• What 2 physical
features are
named after
• By the late 1700’s the British
were ready to start a
permanent settlement (colony)
in Australia.
• Great Britain wanted to start
this colony as a place to send
prisoners from its overcrowded
• Australia was started as a
penal (prison) colony.
Arthur Phillip
• Captain Arthur Phillip was a
naval officer who led the First
Fleet. This group of ships
carried the first English
settlers to Australia.
First Fleet
Arthur Philipp
• Captain Arthur
Phillip had
planned his route
with designated
stops at
established port
• Why do you think
he did this?
• Because the British
established and maintained
permanent settlements in
Australia, British influence is
still present in Australia.
2 British influences in Australia:
• The main language in Australia is English.
• Place names- Look at the map.
Queensland and Victorianamed in honor of the
Queen of England
New South Wales- named
for the UK country of
4 Main Reasons for the British to
colonize Australia:
• They needed a place to send prisoners
from the overcrowded jails
• They wanted a naval base in the southern
• They wanted to expand trade.
• They did not want another country
(especially France) to start a colony there
What was Triangular Trade?
• Triangular Trade (named for
the rough shape it makes on a
map) proved lucrative for
• What areas of
the world were
– Africa
• The FIRST stage of the Triangular Trade
involved taking manufactured goods from
Europe to Africa: cloth, spirits, tobacco,
beads, metal goods, and guns. The guns
were used to help expand empires and
obtain more slaves (until they were finally
used against European colonizers). These
goods were exchanged for African slaves.
• The SECOND stage of the Triangular
Trade (the middle passage) involved
shipping the slaves to the Americas.
• The THIRD and final stage of the
Triangular Trade involved the return to
Europe with the produce from the slavelabor plantations: cotton, sugar, tobacco,
molasses, and rum.
Summary Video
• The Great Age of Exploration: 1400-1550
(30 minutes)
DJiWc or Discovery Education