The Age of Discovery, or the Age of
Exploration (approximately from
the beginning of the
15th century until the end of the 18th century)
is an informal and loosely defined term for the period in European
history in which extensive overseas exploration emerged as a powerful
factor in European culture and was the beginning of globalization. It
also marks the rise of the period of widespread adoption in
colonialism and mercantilism as national policies. Many lands
previously unknown to Europeans were discovered by them during this
period, though most were already inhabited. From the perspective of
many non-Europeans, the
Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery marked the arrival of
invaders from previously unknown continents.
Global exploration started with the
Portuguese discoveries of the
Atlantic archipelagos of
Madeira and the Azores, the coast of Africa,
and the discovery of the sea route to
India in 1498; and, on behalf of
Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile (Spain), the trans-Atlantic Voyages of
Christopher Columbus between 1492 and 1502, and the first
circumnavigation of the globe in 1519–1522. These discoveries led to
numerous naval expeditions across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific
oceans, and land expeditions in the Americas, Asia, Africa and
Australia that continued into the late 19th century, and ended with
the exploration of the polar regions in the 20th century.
European overseas exploration led to the rise of global trade and the
European colonial empires, with the contact between the Old World
(Europe, Asia and Africa) and the
New World (the Americas and
Australia) producing the Columbian Exchange; a wide transfer of
plants, animals, food, human populations (including slaves),
communicable diseases and culture between the Eastern and Western
Hemispheres. This represented one of the most-significant global
events concerning ecology, agriculture and culture in history. The Age
of Discovery and later European exploration allowed the global mapping
of the world, resulting in a new world-view and distant civilizations
coming into contact, but also led to the propagation of diseases that
decimated populations not previously in contact with
Africa and to the enslavement, exploitation, military conquest and
economic dominance by
Europe and its colonies over native populations.
It also allowed for the expansion of
Christianity throughout the
world, with the spread of missionary activity, it eventually became
the world's largest religion.
2.1 Technology: ship design and the compass
2.2 Geography and maps
2.3 Medieval travel (1241–1438)
2.4 Chinese missions (1405–1433)
3 Atlantic Ocean (1419–1507)
3.1 Portuguese exploration
3.1.1 Portuguese exploration after Prince Henry
3.2 Spanish exploration: Columbus and the West Indies
Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
3.4 A New World: Americas
3.4.1 North America
3.4.2 The "True Indies" and Brazil
Indian Ocean (1497–1513)
4.1 Gama's route to India
4.2 The "
Spice Islands" and China
Pacific Ocean (1513–1529)
5.1 Discovery of the Pacific Ocean
5.2 Subsequent developments to the east
5.3 First circumnavigation
5.4 Westward and eastward exploration meet
6 Inland Spanish conquistadores (1519–1532)
Mexico and the Aztec Empire
Peru and the
7 New trade routes (1542–1565)
8 Northern European involvement (1595 – 17th century)
8.1 Exploring North America
8.2 Search for a northern route
8.3 Dutch Australia and New Zealand
9 Russian exploration of
9.1 Conquest of the Khanate of Sibir
9.2 Siberian river routes
9.3 Russians reach the Pacific
10 Global impact
10.1 Economic impact in Europe
11 See also
12.1.1 Primary sources
12.1.3 Web sources
13 Further reading
14 External links
Map with the main travels of the Age of Discovery. See details in
John II of Portugal
Cape of Good Hope
John II of Portugal
Ferdinand and Isabella
Vasco da Gama
Australasia (Western Pacific Ocean)
Albuquerque, Abreu and Serrão
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Strait of Magellan
Charles I of Spain
Magellan and Elcano
Charles I of Spain
The Portuguese began systematically exploring the Atlantic coast of
Africa from 1418, under the sponsorship of Prince Henry. Under Henry's
direction, a new and much lighter ship was developed, the caravel,
which could sail further and faster, and, above all, was highly
manoeuvrable and could sail much nearer the wind, or into the wind. In
Bartolomeu Dias reached the
Indian Ocean by this route. In
Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon funded Christopher
Columbus's plan to sail west to reach the
Indies by crossing the
Atlantic. He landed on a continent uncharted by Europeans and seen as
a new world, the Americas. To prevent conflict between
Castile (the crown under which Columbus made the voyage), the Treaty
of Tordesillas was signed dividing the world into two regions of
exploration, where each had exclusive rights to claim newly discovered
In 1498, a Portuguese expedition commanded by
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama reached
India by sailing around Africa, opening up direct trade with Asia.
While other exploratory fleets were sent from
Portugal to northern
North America, in the following years
Portuguese India Armadas
Portuguese India Armadas also
extended this Eastern oceanic route, touching sometimes South America
and by this way opening a circuit from the
New World to Asia (starting
in 1500, under the command of Pedro Alvares Cabral), and explored
islands in the South Atlantic and Southern Indian Oceans. Soon, the
Portuguese sailed further eastward, to the valuable
Spice Islands in
1512, landing in China one year later. In 1513, Spanish Vasco Núñez
de Balboa crossed the
Isthmus of Panama
Isthmus of Panama and reached the "other sea"
from the New World. Thus,
Europe first received news of the eastern
and western Pacific within a one-year span around 1512. East and west
exploration overlapped in 1522, when a Castilian (Spanish) expedition,
led by Portuguese navigator
Ferdinand Magellan and later by Spanish
Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano, sailing westward, completed
the first circumnavigation of the world, while Spanish
conquistadors explored the interior of the Americas, and later, some
of the South Pacific islands.
Since 1495, the French and English and, much later, the Dutch entered
the race of exploration after learning of these exploits, defying the
Iberian monopoly on maritime trade by searching for new routes, first
to the western coasts of North and South America, through the first
English and French expeditions (starting with the first expedition of
John Cabot in 1497 to the north, in the service of England, followed
by the French expeditions to South America and later to North
America), and into the
Pacific Ocean around South America, but
eventually by following the Portuguese around Africa into the Indian
Ocean; discovering Australia in 1606,
New Zealand in 1642, and Hawaii
in 1778. Meanwhile, from the 1580s to the 1640s, Russians explored and
conquered almost the whole of Siberia, and Alaska in the 1730s.
Early world maps
Early world maps and Chronology of European exploration of
Technology: ship design and the compass
A large dhow with two lateen sail rigs and a headsail. Dhows had
superior maneuverability and were used in the
Indian Ocean before
being built in Italy in the 13th century.
Technological advancements that were important to the Age of
Exploration were the adoption of the magnetic compass and advances in
ship design. The compass allowed ships to sail shorter open water
routes and avoid the dangers hugging of the shore, such as rocks and
pirates. The compass had been used for navigation in China by the 11th
century and was adopted by the Arab traders in the Indian Ocean. It
Europe by the late 12th or early 13th century.
Pintle-and-gudgeon stern-post rudder of the
Hanseatic league flagship
Adler von Lübeck
Adler von Lübeck (1567–1581
The Chinese also made several important improvements in ship design,
such as the sternpost rudder, multiple masts and lateen sails. These
improvements gave greater maneuverability and allowed ships to sail at
any time of the year. These new style ships were produced in Italian
states between 1280 and 1330, resulting in boost in trade and
connectivity between northern and southern Europe.
Geography and maps
European medieval knowledge about Asia beyond the reach of the
Byzantine Empire was sourced in partial reports, often obscured by
legends, dating back from the time of the conquests of Alexander
the Great and his successors. Another source was the
trade networks of merchants established as go-betweens between Europe
Muslim world during the time of the Crusader states.
Ptolemy's world map
Ptolemy's world map (2nd century) in a 15th-century reconstruction
In 1154, the Arab geographer
Muhammad al-Idrisi created a description
of the world and a world map, the Tabula Rogeriana, at the court of
King Roger II of Sicily, but still Africa was only partially
known to either Christians, Genoese and Venetians, or the Arab seamen,
and its southern extent unknown. There were reports of great African
Sahara, but the factual knowledge was limited for the Europeans to the
Mediterranean coasts and little else since the Arab blockade of North
Africa precluded exploration inland. Knowledge about the Atlantic
African coast was fragmented and derived mainly from old Greek and
Roman maps based on Carthaginian knowledge, including the time of
Roman exploration of Mauritania. The
Red Sea was barely known and only
trade links with the Maritime republics, the Republic of Venice
especially, fostered collection of accurate maritime knowledge.
Indian Ocean trade routes were sailed by Arab traders. Between 1405
and 1421, the
Yongle Emperor of Ming China sponsored a series of long
range tributary missions under the command of
Zheng He (Cheng Ho).
The fleets visited Arabia, East Africa, India, Maritime Southeast Asia
and Thailand. But the journeys, reported by Ma Huan, a
and translator, were halted abruptly after the emperor's death and
were not followed up, as the Chinese
Ming Dynasty retreated in the
haijin, a policy of isolationism, having limited maritime trade.
By 1400 a Latin translation of Ptolemy's
Geographia reached Italy
coming from Constantinople. The rediscovery of Roman geographical
knowledge was a revelation, both for mapmaking and worldview,
although reinforcing the idea that the
Indian Ocean was landlocked.
Medieval travel (1241–1438)
Silk Road and spice trade routes later blocked by the Ottoman
Empire in 1453 spurring exploration to find alternative sea routes
Marco Polo travels (1271–1295)
A prelude to the
Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery was a series of European expeditions
Eurasia by land in the late Middle Ages. Although the
Mongols had threatened
Europe with pillage and
destruction,[clarification needed] Mongol states also unified much of
Eurasia and, from 1206 on, the
Pax Mongolica allowed safe trade routes
and communication lines stretching from the Middle East to
China. A series of Europeans took advantage of these to
explore eastwards. Most were Italians, as trade between
Europe and the
Middle East was controlled mainly by the Maritime republics.[citation
needed] The close Italian links to the
Levant raised great curiosity
and commercial interest in countries which lay further
Christian embassies were sent as far as
Karakorum during the Mongol
invasions of the Levant, from which they gained a greater
understanding of the world. The first of these
travellers was Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, dispatched by Pope
Innocent IV to the Great Khan, who journeyed to
Mongolia and back from
1241 to 1247. About the same time, Russian prince Yaroslav of
Vladimir, and subsequently his sons
Alexander Nevsky and Andrey II of
Vladimir, travelled to the Mongolian capital. Though having strong
political implications, their journeys left no detailed accounts.
Other travellers followed, like French
André de Longjumeau
André de Longjumeau and
Flemish William of Rubruck, who reached China through Central
Asia. Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant, dictated an account of
journeys throughout Asia from 1271 to 1295, describing being a guest
Yuan Dynasty court of
Kublai Khan in Travels, and it was read
In 1291, in a first Atlantic exploration attempt, merchant brothers
Vadino and Ugolino Vivaldi sailed from Genoa with two galleys but
disappeared off the Moroccan coast, feeding the fears of oceanic
travel. From 1325 to 1354, a Moroccan scholar from Tangier,
Ibn Battuta, journeyed through North Africa, the
Sahara desert, West
Africa, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Horn of Africa, the
Middle East and Asia, having reached China. After returning, he
dictated an account of his journeys to a scholar he met in Granada,
Rihla ("The Journey"), the unheralded source on his
adventures. Between 1357 and 1371 a book of supposed travels compiled
John Mandeville acquired extraordinary popularity. Despite the
unreliable and often fantastical nature of its accounts it was used as
a reference for the East, Egypt, and the
Levant in general,
asserting the old belief that Jerusalem was the centre of the world.
Following the period of Timurid relations with Europe, in 1439
Niccolò de' Conti
Niccolò de' Conti published an account of his travels as a Muslim
India and Southeast Asia and, later in 1466–1472,
Afanasy Nikitin of
Tver travelled to India, which he
described in his book A Journey Beyond the Three Seas.
These overland journeys had little immediate effect. The Mongol Empire
collapsed almost as quickly as it formed and soon the route to the
east became more difficult and dangerous. The
Black Death of the 14th
century also blocked travel and trade. The rise of the Ottoman
Empire further limited the possibilities of European overland trade.
Chinese missions (1405–1433)
Treasure voyages and Chinese exploration
"Mao Kun map", believed to be based on Zheng He's travels, showing
sailing directions between ports of SE Asia and as far as Malindi, in
Wu Bei Zhi
Wu Bei Zhi (1628)
The Chinese had wide connections through trade in Asia and had been
sailing to Arabia, East Africa, and
Egypt since the
Tang Dynasty (AD
618–907). Between 1405 and 1421 the third Ming emperor Yongle
sponsored a series of long range tributary missions in the Indian
Ocean under the command of admiral
Zheng He (Cheng Ho).
A large fleet of new junk ships was prepared for these international
diplomatic expeditions. The largest of these junks—that the Chinese
termed bao chuan (treasure ships)—may have measured 121 metres
(400 feet) stem to stern, and thousands of sailors were involved.
The first expedition departed in 1405. At least seven well-documented
expeditions were launched, each bigger and more expensive than the
last. The fleets visited Arabia, East Africa, India, Malay Archipelago
Thailand (at the time called Siam), exchanging goods along the
way. They presented gifts of gold, silver, porcelain and silk; in
return, received such novelties as ostriches, zebras, camels, ivory
and giraffes. After the emperor's death,
Zheng He led a final
expedition departing from Nanking in 1431 and returning to Beijing in
1433. It is very likely that this last expedition reached as far as
Madagascar. The travels were reported by Ma Huan, a
Muslim voyager and
translator who accompanied
Zheng He on three of the seven expeditions,
his account published as "Ying-Yai Sheng-Lam" (Overall Survey of the
Ocean's Shores) (1433).
These long distance journeys were not followed up, as the Chinese Ming
dynasty retreated in the haijin, a policy of isolationism, having
limited maritime trade. Travels were halted abruptly after the
emperor's death, as the Chinese lost interest in what they termed
barbarian lands turning inward, and successor emperors felt the
expeditions were harmful to the Chinese state;
Hongxi Emperor ended
further expeditions and
Xuande Emperor suppressed much of the
information about Zheng He's voyages.
Atlantic Ocean (1419–1507)
Maritime history of
Europe § The European Age of
Discovery (1400–1600), and Portuguese discoveries
Genoese (red) and Venetian (green) maritime trade routes in the
Mediterranean and Black Sea
From the 8th century until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice
and neighbouring maritime republics held the monopoly of European
trade with the Middle East. The silk and spice trade, involving
spices, incense, herbs, drugs and opium, made these Mediterranean
city-states phenomenally rich. Spices were among the most expensive
and demanded products of the Middle Ages, as they were used in
medieval medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics, perfumery, as
well as food additives and preservatives. They were all imported
from Asia and Africa.
Muslim traders—mainly descendants of Arab sailors from
Oman—dominated maritime routes throughout the Indian Ocean, tapping
source regions in the
Far East and shipping for trading emporiums in
India, mainly Kozhikode, westward to
Ormus in the
Persian Gulf and
Jeddah in the Red Sea. From there, overland routes led to the
Mediterranean coasts. Venetian merchants distributed the goods through
Europe until the rise of the Ottoman Empire, that eventually led to
the fall of Constantinople in 1453, barring Europeans from important
Forced to reduce their activities in the Black Sea, and at war with
Venice, the Genoese had turned to North African trade of wheat, olive
oil (valued also as an energy source) and a search for silver and
gold. Europeans had a constant deficit in silver and gold, as coin
only went one way: out, spent on eastern trade that was now cut off.
Several European mines were exhausted, the lack of bullion leading
to the development of a complex banking system to manage the risks in
trade (the very first state bank, Banco di San Giorgio, was founded in
1407 at Genoa). Sailing also into the ports of
Bruges (Flanders) and
England, Genoese communities were then established in Portugal,
who profited from their enterprise and financial expertise.
European sailing had been primarily close to land cabotage, guided by
portolan charts. These charts specified proven ocean routes guided by
coastal landmarks: sailors departed from a known point, followed a
compass heading, and tried to identify their location by its
landmarks. For the first oceanic exploration Western Europeans
used the compass, as well as progressive new advances in cartography
and astronomy. Arab navigational tools like the astrolabe and quadrant
were used for celestial navigation.
Portuguese discoveries and European exploration of Africa
Saharan trade routes c. 1400, with modern
In 1297, with the Portuguese part of the reconquista completed, King
Dinis of Portugal
Dinis of Portugal took personal interest in exports and in 1317 he
made an agreement with Genoese merchant sailor Manuel Pessanha
(Pesagno), appointing him first admiral of the Portuguese navy, with
the goal of defending the country against
Muslim pirate raids.
Outbreaks of bubonic plague led to severe depopulation in the second
half of the 14th century: only the sea offered alternatives, with most
population settling in fishing and trading coastal areas. Between
1325 and 1357
Afonso IV of Portugal
Afonso IV of Portugal encouraged maritime commerce and
ordered the first explorations. The Canary Islands, already known
to the Genoese, were claimed as officially discovered under patronage
of the Portuguese but in 1344 Castile disputed them, expanding their
rivalry into the sea.
Ceuta was conquered by the Portuguese aiming to control
navigation of the African coast. Young prince
Henry the Navigator
Henry the Navigator was
there and became aware of profit possibilities in the Trans-Saharan
trade routes. For centuries slave and gold trade routes linking West
Africa with the Mediterranean passed over the Western
controlled by the Moors of North Africa.
Henry wished to know how far
Muslim territories in Africa extended,
hoping to bypass them and trade directly with West Africa by sea, find
allies in legendary Christian lands to the south like the
long-lost Christian kingdom of Prester John and to probe whether
it was possible to reach the
Indies by sea, the source of the
lucrative spice trade. He invested in sponsoring voyages down the
coast of Mauritania, gathering a group of merchants, shipowners and
stakeholders interested in new sea lanes. Soon the Atlantic islands of
Madeira (1419) and the
Azores (1427) were reached. In particular, they
were discovered by voyages launched by the command of Prince Henry the
Navigator. The expedition leader himself, who established settlements
on the island of Madeira, was João Gonçalves Zarco.
At the time, Europeans did not know what lay beyond
Cape Non (Cape
Chaunar) on the African coast, and whether it was possible to return
once it was crossed. Nautical myths warned of oceanic monsters or
an edge of the world, but Prince Henry's navigation challenged such
beliefs: starting in 1421, systematic sailing overcame it, reaching
Cape Bojador that in 1434 one of Prince Henry's
captains, Gil Eanes, finally passed.
A major advance was the introduction of the caravel in the mid-15th
century, a small ship able to sail windward more than any other in
Europe at the time. Evolved from fishing ships designs, they were
the first that could leave the coastal cabotage navigation and sail
safely on the open Atlantic. For celestial navigation the Portuguese
used the Ephemerides, which experienced a remarkable diffusion in the
15th century. These were astronomical charts plotting the location of
the stars over a distinct period of time. Published in 1496 by the
Jewish astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician Abraham Zacuto, the
Almanach Perpetuum included some of these tables for the movements of
stars. These tables revolutionized navigation, allowing the
calculation of latitude. Exact longitude, however, remained elusive,
and mariners struggled to determine it for centuries. Using
the caravel, systematic exploration continued ever more southerly,
advancing on average one degree a year.
Senegal and Cape Verde
Peninsula were reached in 1445 and in 1446,
Álvaro Fernandes pushed
on almost as far as present-day Sierra Leone.
In 1453 the fall of Constantinople to the hands of the
Ottomans was a
blow to Christendom and the established business relations linking
with the east. In 1455
Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V issued the bull Romanus
Pontifex reinforcing the previous
Dum Diversas (1452), granting all
lands and seas discovered beyond
Cape Bojador to King Afonso V of
Portugal and his successors, as well as trade and conquest against
Muslims and pagans, initiating a mare clausum policy in the
Atlantic. The king, who had been inquiring of Genoese experts
about a seaway to India, commissioned the Fra Mauro world map, which
Lisbon in 1459.
Diogo Gomes reached the
Cape Verde archipelago. In the next
decade several captains at the service of Prince Henry – including
Antonio da Noli and Venetian
Alvise Cadamosto –
discovered the remaining islands which were occupied during the 15th
Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea would be reached in the 1460s.
Replica of caravel ship introduced in the mid-
15th century for oceanic
Portuguese exploration after Prince Henry
Pedro de Sintra reached Sierra Leone. Prince Henry died in
November that year after which, given the meagre revenues, exploration
was granted to
Fernão Gomes in 1469, who in exchange
for the monopoly of trade in the
Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea had to explore 100
miles (161 kilometres) each year for five years. With his
sponsorship, explorers João de Santarém, Pedro Escobar, Lopo
Gonçalves, Fernão do Pó, and
Pedro de Sintra made it even beyond
those goals. They reached the Southern Hemisphere and the islands of
the Gulf of Guinea, including
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe and
the Gold Coast in 1471. (In the Southern Hemisphere, they used the
Southern Cross as the reference for celestial navigation.) There, in
what came to be called the "Gold Coast" in what is today Ghana, a
thriving alluvial gold trade was found among the natives and Arab and
In 1478 (during the War of the Castilian Succession), near the coast
Elmina was fought a large battle between a Castilian armada of 35
caravels and a Portuguese fleet for hegemony of the Guinea trade
(gold, slaves, ivory and melegueta pepper). The war ended with a
Portuguese naval victory followed by the official recognition by the
Catholic Monarchs of Portuguese sovereignty over most of the disputed
West African territories embodied in the Treaty of Alcáçovas, 1479.
(See entry on Elmina.) This was the first colonial war among European
In 1481 the recently crowned João II decided to build São Jorge da
Mina factory. In 1482 the
Congo River was explored by Diogo Cão,
who in 1486 continued to
Cape Cross (modern Namibia).
The next crucial breakthrough was in 1488, when Bartolomeu Dias
rounded the southern tip of Africa, which he named "Cape of Storms"
(Cabo das Tormentas), anchoring at
Mossel Bay and then sailing east as
far as the mouth of the Great Fish River, proving that the Indian
Ocean was accessible from the Atlantic. Simultaneously Pêro da
Covilhã, sent out travelling secretly overland, had reached Ethiopia
having collected important information about the
Red Sea and Quenia
coast, suggesting that a sea route to the
Indies would soon be
forthcoming. Soon the cape was renamed by king John II of Portugal
the "Cape of Good Hope" (Cabo da Boa Esperança), because of the great
optimism engendered by the possibility of a sea route to India,
proving false the view that had existed since
Ptolemy that the Indian
Ocean was land-locked.
Based on much later stories of the phantom island known as
the carvings on
Dighton Rock some have speculated that Portuguese
João Vaz Corte-Real discovered
Newfoundland in 1473, but the
sources cited are considered by mainstream historians to be unreliable
Spanish exploration: Columbus and the West Indies
See also: Voyages of
Christopher Columbus and Spanish colonization of
The four voyages of
Christopher Columbus 1492–1503
Portugal's neighbouring fellow Iberian rival, Castile, had begun to
establish its rule over the Canary Islands, located off the west
African coast, in 1402, but then became distracted by internal Iberian
politics and the repelling of Islamic invasion attempts and raids
through most of the 15th century. Only late in the century, following
the unification of the crowns of Castile and Aragon and the completion
of the reconquista, did an emerging modern
Spain become fully
committed to the search for new trade routes overseas. The Crown of
Aragon had been an important maritime potentate in the Mediterranean,
controlling territories in eastern Spain, southwestern France, major
islands like Sicily, Malta, and the
Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples and Sardinia,
with mainland possessions as far as Greece. In 1492 the joint rulers
conquered the Moorish kingdom of Granada, which had been providing
Castile with African goods through tribute, and decided to fund
Christopher Columbus's expedition in the hope of bypassing Portugal's
monopoly on west African sea routes, to reach "the Indies" (east and
south Asia) by travelling west. Twice before, in 1485 and 1488,
Columbus had presented the project to king John II of Portugal, who
On the evening of 3 August 1492, Columbus departed from Palos de la
Frontera with three ships; one larger carrack, Santa María, nicknamed
Gallega (the Galician), and two smaller caravels, Pinta (the Painted)
and Santa Clara, nicknamed Niña. Columbus first sailed to the Canary
Islands, where he restocked for what turned out to be a five-week
voyage across the ocean, crossing a section of the Atlantic that
became known as the Sargasso Sea.
Land was sighted on 12 October 1492, and Columbus called the island
(now The Bahamas) San Salvador, in what he thought to be the "West
Indies". Columbus also explored the northeast coast of
Cuba (landed on
28 October) and the northern coast of Hispaniola, by 5 December. He
was received by the native cacique Guacanagari, who gave him
permission to leave some of his men behind.
Replicas of Niña, Pinta and Santa María at Palos de la Frontera,
Columbus left 39 men and founded the settlement of
La Navidad in what
is now Haiti. Before returning to Spain, he kidnapped some ten to
twenty-five natives and took them back with him. Only seven or eight
of the native 'Indians' arrived in
Spain alive, but they made quite an
impression on Seville.
On the return, a storm forced him to dock in Lisbon, on 4 March 1493.
After a week in Portugal, he set sail for
Spain and on 15 March 1493
arrived in Barcelona, where he reported to Queen Isabella and King
Ferdinand. Word of his discovery of new lands rapidly spread
Columbus and other Spanish explorers were initially disappointed with
their discoveries—unlike Africa or Asia, the
Caribbean islanders had
little to trade with the Castilian ships. The islands thus became the
focus of colonization efforts. It was not until the continent itself
was explored that
Spain found the wealth it had sought.
Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
Main article: Treaty of Tordesillas
The 1494 Tordesilhas Treaty meridian (purple) and the later Maluku
Islands antimeridian (green), set at the
Treaty of Zaragoza
Treaty of Zaragoza (1529)
Shortly after Columbus's return from what would later be called the
"West Indies", a division of influence became necessary to avoid
conflict between the Spanish and Portuguese. On 4 May 1493, two
months after Columbus's arrival, the
Catholic Monarchs received a bull
(Inter caetera) from
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI stating that all lands west and
south of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of the Azores
Cape Verde Islands should belong to Castile and, later, all
mainlands and islands then belonging to India. It did not mention
Portugal, which could not claim newly discovered lands east of the
John II of Portugal
John II of Portugal was not pleased with the arrangement, feeling
that it gave him far too little land—preventing him from reaching
India, his main goal. He then negotiated directly with King Ferdinand
and Queen Isabella of
Spain to move the line west, and allowing him to
claim newly discovered lands east of it.
An agreement was reached in 1494, with the
Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas that
divided the world between the two powers. In this treaty the
Portuguese received everything outside
Europe east of a line that ran
370 leagues west of the
Cape Verde islands (already Portuguese), and
the islands discovered by
Christopher Columbus on his first voyage
(claimed for Castile), named in the treaty as Cipangu and Antilia
Cuba and Hispaniola). This gave them control over Africa, Asia and
eastern South America (Brazil). The Spanish (Castile) received
everything west of this line. At the time of negotiation, the treaty
split the known world of Atlantic islands roughly in half, with the
dividing line about halfway between Portuguese
Cape Verde and the
Spanish discoveries in the Caribbean.
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral encountered in 1500 what is now known as the
Brazilian coast, originally thought to be a large island. Since it was
east of the dividing line, he claimed it for
Portugal and this was
respected by the Spanish. Portuguese ships sailed west into the
Atlantic to get favourable winds for the journey to India, and this is
where Cabral was headed on his journey, in a corridor the treaty was
negotiated to protect. Some suspect the Portuguese had secretly
Brazil earlier, and this is why they had the line moved
eastward and how Cabral found it, but there is no reliable evidence of
this. Others suspect
Duarte Pacheco Pereira
Duarte Pacheco Pereira secretly discovered Brazil
in 1498, but this not considered credible by mainstream historians.
Later the Spanish territory would prove to include huge areas of the
continental mainland of North and South America, though
Brazil would expand across the line, and
settlements by other European powers ignored the treaty.
A New World: Americas
Detail of 1507
Waldseemüller map showing the name "America" for the
Very little of the divided area had actually been seen by Europeans,
as it was only divided by a geographical definition rather than
control on the ground. Columbus's first voyage in 1492 spurred
maritime exploration and, from 1497, a number of explorers headed
That year John Cabot, also a commissioned Italian, got letters patent
from King Henry VII of England. Sailing from Bristol, probably backed
by the local Society of
Merchant Venturers, Cabot crossed the Atlantic
from a northerly latitude hoping the voyage to the "West Indies" would
be shorter and made a landfall somewhere in North America,
possibly Newfoundland. In 1499
João Fernandes Lavrador was licensed
by the King of
Portugal and together with
Pêro de Barcelos they first
sighted Labrador, which was granted and named after him. After
returning he possibly went to
Bristol to sail in the name of
England. Nearly at the same time, between 1499 and 1502 brothers
Gaspar and Miguel Corte Real explored and named the coasts of
Greenland and also Newfoundland. Both explorations are noted in
the 1502 Cantino planisphere.
The "True Indies" and Brazil
In 1497, newly crowned King
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal sent an exploratory
fleet eastwards, fulfilling his predecessor's project of finding a
route to the Indies. In July 1499 news spread that the Portuguese had
reached the "true indies", as a letter was dispatched by the
Portuguese king to the Spanish
Catholic Monarchs one day after the
celebrated return of the fleet.
The third expedition by Columbus in 1498 was the beginning of the
first successful Castilian (Spanish) colonization in the West Indies,
on the island of Hispaniola. Despite growing doubts, Columbus refused
to accept that he had not reached the Indies. During the voyage he
discovered the mouth of the
Orinoco River on the north coast of South
America (now Venezuela) and thought that the huge quantity of fresh
water coming from it could only be from a continental land mass, which
he was certain was the Asian mainland.
As shipping between
Seville and the
West Indies grew, knowledge of the
Caribbean islands, Central America and the northern coast of South
America grew. One of these Spanish fleets, that of
Alonso de Ojeda
Alonso de Ojeda and
Amerigo Vespucci in 1499–1500, reached land at the coast of what is
now Guyana, when the two explorers seem to have separated in opposite
directions. Vespucci sailed southward, discovering the mouth of the
Amazon River in July 1499, and reaching 6°S, in present-day
north east Brazil, before turning around.
In the beginning of 1500
Vicente Yáñez Pinzon was blown off course
by a storm and reached what is now the north east coast of
26 January 1500, exploring as far south as the present-day state of
Pernambuco. His fleet was the first to fully enter the Amazon River
estuary which he named Río Santa María de la Mar Dulce (Saint Mary's
River of the Freshwater Sea). However, the land was too far east
for the Castilians to claim under the Treaty of Tordesillas, but the
discovery created Castilian (Spanish) interest, with a second voyage
by Pinzon in 1508 (an expedition that coasted the northern coast to
the Central American coastal mainland, in search of a passage to the
East) and a voyage in 1515–16 by a navigator of the 1508 expedition,
Juan Díaz de Solís. The 1515–16 expedition was spurred on by
reports of Portuguese exploration of the region (see below). It ended
when de Solís and some of his crew disappeared when exploring a River
Plate river in a boat, but what it found re-ignited Spanish interest,
and colonization began in 1531.
In April 1500, the second Portuguese
India Armada, headed by Pedro
Álvares Cabral, with a crew of expert captains, including Bartolomeu
Dias and Nicolau Coelho, encountered the Brazilian coast as it swung
westward in the Atlantic while performing a large "volta do mar" to
avoid becalming in the Gulf of Guinea. On 21 April 1500 a mountain was
seen and was named Monte Pascoal, and on 22 April Cabral landed on the
coast. On 25 April the entire fleet sailed into the harbour they named
Porto Seguro (Port Secure). Cabral perceived that the new land lay
east of the line of Tordesillas, and sent an envoy to
the discovery in letters, including the letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha.
Believing the land to be an island, he named it Ilha de Vera Cruz
(Island of the True Cross). Some historians have suggested that
the Portuguese may have encountered the South American bulge earlier
while sailing the "volta do mar", hence the insistence of John II in
moving the line west of Tordesillas in 1494—so his landing in Brazil
may not have been an accident; although John's motivation may have
simply been to increase the chance of claiming new lands in the
Atlantic. From the east coast, the fleet then turned eastward to
resume the journey to the southern tip of Africa and India. Cabral was
the first captain to touch four continents, leading the first
expedition that connected and united Europe, Africa, the New World,
At the invitation of King Manuel I of Portugal, Amerigo
Vespucci—a Florentine who had been working for a branch of the
Medici Bank in
Seville since 1491, fitting oceanic expeditions and
travelling twice to
The Guianas with
Juan de la Cosa in the service of
Spain—participated as observer in these exploratory voyages to
the east coast of South America. The expeditions became widely known
Europe after two accounts attributed to him, published between 1502
and 1504, suggested that the newly discovered lands were not the
Indies but a "New World", the Mundus novus, Latin title of a
contemporary document based on Vespucci letters to Lorenzo di
Pierfrancesco de' Medici, which had become widely popular in
Europe. It was soon understood that Columbus had not reached Asia
but had found a new continent, the Americas. The Americas were named
in 1507 by cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann,
probably after Amerigo Vespucci.
In 1501–1502, one of these Portuguese expeditions, led by Gonçalo
Coelho (and/or André Gonçalves or Gaspar de Lemos), sailed south
along the coast of South America to the bay of present-day Rio de
Janeiro. Amerigo Vespucci's account states that the expedition reached
the latitude "South Pole elevation 52° S", in the "cold" latitudes of
what is now southern
Patagonia (possibly near the Strait), before
turning back. Vespucci wrote that they headed toward the southwest and
south, following "a long, unbending coastline" (apparently coincident
with the southern South American coast). This seems controversial,
since he changed part of his description in the subsequent letter,
stating a shift, from about 32° S (Southern Brazil), to
south-southeast, to open sea; maintaining, however, that they reached
50°/52° S (if it was by his own decision or by D. Manuel's censors
who had to pressure him to alter his account, because he had revealed
far too much to Lorenzo de' Medici and into the public domain, is
In 1503, Binot Paulmier de Gonneville, challenging the Portuguese
policy of mare clausum, led one of the earliest French Normand and
Breton expeditions to Brazil. He intended to sail to the East Indies,
but near the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope his ship was diverted to west by a
storm, and landed in the present day state of Santa Catarina (southern
Brazil), on 5 January 1504.
Americae Sive Quartae Orbis Partis Nova Et Exactissima Descriptio, the
largest map of the Americas until the 17th century and the first map
to use the name "California".
In 1511–1512, Portuguese captains
João de Lisboa
João de Lisboa and Estevão de
Fróis reached the River Plate estuary in present-day
Argentina, and went as far south as the present-day Gulf of San Matias
at 42°S (recorded in the Newen Zeytung auss Pressilandt meaning "New
Tidings from the Land of Brazil"). The expedition reached a
cape extending north to south which they called Cape of "Santa Maria"
(Punta del Este, keeping the name the Cape nearby); and after 40°S
they found a "Cape" or "a point or place extending into the sea", and
a "Gulf" (in June and July). After they had navigated for nearly
300 km (186 mi) to round the cape, they again sighted the
continent on the other side, and steered towards the northwest, but a
storm prevented them from making any headway. Driven away by the
Tramontane or north wind, they retraced their course. Also gives the
first news of the White King and the "people of the mountains" to the
Inca Empire), and a gift, an ax of silver, obtained from
Charrúa natives on their return ("to the coast or side of
Brazil"), and "to West" (along the coast and the River Plate estuary),
and offered to King Manuel I. Christopher de Haro, a Flemish of
Sephardic origin (one of the financiers of the expedition along with
D. Nuno Manuel), who would serve the Spanish Crown after 1516,
believed that the navigators had discovered a southern strait to west
In 1519, an expedition sent by the Spanish Crown to find a way to Asia
was led by the experienced Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.
The fleet explored the rivers and bays as it charted the South
American coast until it found a way to the
Pacific Ocean through the
Strait of Magellan.
In 1524–1525, Aleixo Garcia, a Portuguese conquistador (possibly a
veteran of the Solís expedition of 1516), led a private expedition of
a few shipwrecked Castilian and Portuguese adventurers, that recruited
about 2000 Guaraní Indians. They explored the territories of
present-day southern Brazil,
Paraguay and Bolivia, using the native
trail network, the Peabiru. They were also the first Europeans to
cross the Chaco and reach the outer territories of the
Inca Empire on
the hills of the Andes, near Sucre.
Indian Ocean (1497–1513)
Gama's route to India
See also: Portuguese
Vasco da Gama's 1497–1499 travel to
India (black). Previous travels
Pêro da Covilhã
Pêro da Covilhã (orange) and
Afonso de Paiva (blue), and their
common route (green)
Protected from direct Spanish competition by the treaty of
Tordesillas, Portuguese eastward exploration and colonization
continued apace. Twice, in 1485 and 1488,
Portugal officially rejected
Christopher Columbus's idea of reaching
India by sailing westwards.
King John II of Portugal's experts rejected it, for they held the
opinion that Columbus's estimation of a travel distance of 2,400 miles
(3,860 km) was undervalued, and in part because Bartolomeu
Dias departed in 1487 trying the rounding of the southern tip of
Africa, therefore they believed that sailing east would require a far
shorter journey. Dias's return from the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope in 1488, and
Pêro da Covilhã's travel to
Ethiopia overland indicated that the
richness of the Indian Sea was accessible from the Atlantic. A
long-overdue expedition was prepared.
Outward and return voyages of the
Portuguese India Armadas
Portuguese India Armadas in the
Atlantic and the Indian oceans, with the
North Atlantic Gyre
North Atlantic Gyre (Volta do
mar) picked up by Henry's navigators, and the outward route of the
South Atlantic westerlies that
Bartolomeu Dias discovered in 1488,
followed and explored by the expeditions of
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama and Pedro
Under new king Manuel I of Portugal, on July 1497 a small exploratory
fleet of four ships and about 170 men left
Lisbon under the command of
Vasco da Gama. By December the fleet passed the Great Fish
River—where Dias had turned back—and sailed into unknown waters.
On 20 May 1498, they arrived at Calicut. The efforts of Vasco da Gama
to get favourable trading conditions were hampered by the low value of
their goods, compared with the valuable goods traded
there.[page needed] Two years and two days after departure,
Gama and a survivor crew of 55 men returned in glory to
the first ships to sail directly from
Europe to India.
In 1500, a second, larger fleet of thirteen ships and about 1500 men
were sent to India. Under command of
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral they made a
first landfall on the Brazilian coast; later, in the Indian Ocean, one
of Cabral's ships reached
Madagascar (1501), which was partly explored
Tristão da Cunha
Tristão da Cunha in 1507;
Mauritius was discovered in 1507,
Socotra occupied in 1506. In the same year
Lourenço de Almeida landed
in Sri Lanka, the eastern island named "Taprobane" in remote accounts
of Alexander the Great's and 4th-century BC Greek geographer
Megasthenes. On the Asiatic mainland the first factories
(trading-posts) were established at
Kochi and Calicut (1501) and then
Spice Islands" and China
Flor de la Mar
Flor de la Mar carrack housing the Maritime Museum of
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque conquered
Malacca for Portugal, then
the centre of Asian trade. East of Malacca, Albuquerque sent several
Duarte Fernandes as the first European envoy to
the Kingdom of
Siam (modern Thailand).
Getting to know the secret location of the so-called "spice
islands"—the Maluku Islands, mainly the Banda, then the single world
source of nutmeg and cloves, was the main purpose for the travels in
the Indian sea—he sent an expedition led by
António de Abreu to
Java and the Lesser Sunda Islands), where they were the
first Europeans to arrive in early 1512, after taking a route through
which they also reached first the islands of Buru, Ambon and
Seram. From Banda Abreu returned to Malacca, while his
vice-captain Francisco Serrão, after a separation forced by a
shipwreck and heading north, reached once again Ambon and sank off
Ternate, where he obtained a license to build a Portuguese
fortress-factory: the Fort of São João Baptista de Ternate, which
founded the Portuguese presence in the Malay Archipelago.
In May 1513 Jorge Álvares, one of the Portuguese envoys, reached
China. Although he was the first to land on Lintin Island in the Pearl
River Delta, it was Rafael Perestrello—a cousin of the famed
Christopher Columbus—who became the first European explorer to land
on the southern coast of mainland China and trade in
1516, commanding a Portuguese vessel with a crew from a Malaysian junk
that had sailed from Malacca.
Fernão Pires de Andrade
Fernão Pires de Andrade visited
Canton in 1517 and opened up trade with China. The Portuguese were
defeated by the Chinese in 1521 at the
Battle of Tunmen
Battle of Tunmen and in 1522 at
the Battle of Xicaowan, during which the Chinese captured Portuguese
breech-loading swivel guns and reverse engineered the technology,
calling them "Folangji" 佛郎機 (Frankish) guns, since the
Portuguese were called "Folangji" by the Chinese. After a few decades,
hostilities between the Portuguese and Chinese ceased and in 1557 the
Chinese allowed the Portuguese to occupy Macau.
To enforce a trade monopoly, Muscat, and Hormuz in the Persian Gulf,
were seized by
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque in 1507 and in 1515,
respectively. He also entered into diplomatic relations with Persia.
In 1513 while trying to conquer Aden, an expedition led by Albuquerque
Red Sea inside the Bab al-Mandab, and sheltered at Kamaran
island. In 1521, a force under António Correia conquered Bahrain,
ushering in a period of almost eighty years of Portuguese rule of the
Gulf archipelago. In the Red Sea,
Massawa was the most northerly
point frequented by the Portuguese until 1541, when a fleet under
Estevão da Gama penetrated as far as Suez.
Pacific Ocean (1513–1529)
Vasco Núñez de Balboa's travel to the "South Sea", 1513
Discovery of the Pacific Ocean
In 1513, about 40 miles (64 kilometres) south of Acandí, in
present-day Colombia, Spanish
Vasco Núñez de Balboa
Vasco Núñez de Balboa heard unexpected
news of an "other sea" rich in gold, which he received with great
interest. With few resources and using information given by
caciques, he journeyed across the
Isthmus of Panama
Isthmus of Panama with 190
Spaniards, a few native guides, and a pack of dogs.
Using a small brigantine and ten native canoes, they sailed along the
coast and made landfalls. On September 6, the expedition was
reinforced with 1,000 men, fought several battles, entered a dense
jungle and climbed the mountain range along the
Chucunaque River from
where this "other sea" could be seen. Balboa went ahead and, before
noon September 25, he saw in the horizon an undiscovered sea, becoming
the first European to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New
World. The expedition descended towards the shore for a short
reconnaissance trip, thus becoming the first Europeans to navigate the
Pacific Ocean off the coast of the New World. After travelling more
than 110 km (68 mi), Balboa named the bay where they ended
up San Miguel. He named the new sea Mar del Sur (South Sea), since
they had travelled south to reach it. Balboa's main purpose in the
expedition was the search for gold-rich kingdoms. To this end, he
crossed through the lands of caciques to the islands, naming the
largest one Isla Rica (Rich Island, today known as Isla del Rey). He
named the entire group Archipiélago de las Perlas, which they still
Subsequent developments to the east
In 1515–1516, the Spanish fleet led by
Juan Díaz de Solís sailed
down the east coast of South America as far as Río de la Plata, which
Solís named shortly before he died, while trying to find a passage to
the "South Sea".
At the same time, the Portuguese in Southeast Asia made the first
European report on the western Pacific, having identified
Borneo and named its inhabitants the "Luções", in the modern
Route of Magellan-Elcano world circumnavigation (1519–1522)
By 1516 several Portuguese navigators, conflicting with King Manuel I
of Portugal, had gathered in
Seville to serve the newly crowned
Charles I of Spain. Among them were explorers Diogo and Duarte
Barbosa, Estêvão Gomes,
João Serrão and Ferdinand Magellan,
Jorge Reinel and Diogo Ribeiro, cosmographers Francisco
and Ruy Faleiro and the Flemish merchant Christopher de Haro.
Ferdinand Magellan—who had sailed in
Portugal up to 1513,
Maluku Islands were reached, kept contact with Francisco
Serrão living there—developed the theory that the islands
were in the Tordesillas Spanish area, supported on studies by Faleiro
Aware of the efforts of the Spanish to find a route to
sailing west, Magellan presented his plan to Charles I of Spain. The
Christopher de Haro financed Magellan's expedition. A fleet
was put together, and Spanish navigators such as Juan Sebastián
Elcano joined the enterprise. On August 10, 1519, they departed from
Seville with a fleet of five ships—the flagship
Magellan's command, San Antonio, Concepcion, Santiago and Victoria,
the first being a caravel, and all others rated as carracks or
"naus"—with a crew of about 237 men from several nations, with the
goal of reaching the
Maluku Islands by travelling west, trying to
reclaim it under Spain's economic and political sphere.
Victoria, the single ship to have completed the first world
circumnavigation. (Detail from
Maris Pacifici by Ortelius, 1589.)
The fleet sailed further and further south, avoiding the Portuguese
territories in Brazil, and become the first to reach Tierra del Fuego
at the tip of the Americas. On October 21, starting in Cape Virgenes,
they began an arduous trip through a 373-mile (600 km) long
strait that Magellan named Estrecho de Todos los Santos, the modern
Strait of Magellan. On November 28, three ships entered the Pacific
Ocean—then named Mar Pacífico because of its apparent
stillness. The expedition managed to cross the Pacific. Magellan
died in the battle of Mactan in the Philippines, leaving the Spaniard
Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano the task of completing the voyage, reaching the
Spice Islands in 1521. On September 6, 1522 Victoria returned to
Spain, thus completing the first circumnavigation of the globe. Of the
men who set out on five ships, only 18 completed the circumnavigation
and managed to return to
Spain in this single vessel led by Elcano.
Seventeen others arrived later in Spain: twelve captured by the
Cape Verde some weeks earlier, and between 1525 and
1527, and five survivors of the Trinidad. Antonio Pigafetta, a
Venetian scholar and traveller who had asked to be on board and become
a strict assistant of Magellan, kept an accurate journal that become
the main source for much of what we know about this voyage.
This round-the-world voyage gave
Spain valuable knowledge of the world
and its oceans which later helped in the exploration and settlement of
the Philippines. Although this was not a realistic alternative to the
Portuguese route around Africa (the
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan was too
far south, and the
Pacific Ocean too vast to cover in a single trip
from Spain) successive Spanish expeditions used this information to
Pacific Ocean and discovered routes that opened up trade
New Spain (present-day Mexico) and
Manila in the
Westward and eastward exploration meet
Tidore islands in the Maluku, where Portuguese
Eastward and Spanish Westward explorations ultimately met and clashed
between 1522 and 1529
Saavedra's failed attempts to find a return route from the Maluku to
New Spain (Mexico) in 1529
Soon after Magellan's expedition, the Portuguese rushed to seize the
surviving crew and built a fort in Ternate. In 1525, Charles I of
Spain sent another expedition westward to colonize the Maluku Islands,
claiming that they were in his zone of the Treaty of Tordesillas. The
fleet of seven ships and 450 men was led by García Jofre de Loaísa
and included the most notable Spanish navigators: Juan Sebastián
Elcano and Loaísa, who lost their lives then, and the young Andrés
Strait of Magellan
Strait of Magellan one of the ships was pushed south by a
storm, reaching 56° S, where they thought seeing "earth's end": so
Cape Horn was crossed for the first time. The expedition reached the
islands with great difficulty, docking at Tidore. The conflict
with the Portuguese established in nearby
Ternate was inevitable,
starting nearly a decade of skirmishes.
As there was not a set eastern limit to the Tordesillas line, both
kingdoms organized meetings to resolve the issue. From 1524 to 1529
Portuguese and Spanish experts met at Badajoz-Elvas trying to find the
exact location of the antimeridian of Tordesillas, which would divide
the world into two equal hemispheres. Each crown appointed three
astronomers and cartographers, three pilots and three mathematicians.
Lopo Homem, Portuguese cartographer and cosmographer was in the board,
along with cartographer
Diogo Ribeiro on the Spanish delegation. The
board met several times, without reaching an agreement: the knowledge
at that time was insufficient for an accurate calculation of
longitude, and each group gave the islands to its sovereign. The issue
was settled only in 1529, after a long negotiation, with the signing
of Treaty of Zaragoza, that attributed the
Maluku Islands to Portugal
Philippines to Spain.
Between 1525 and 1528
Portugal sent several expeditions around the
Gomes de Sequeira and Diogo da Rocha were sent north
by the governor of
Ternate Jorge de Menezes, being the first Europeans
to reach the Caroline Islands, which they named "Islands de
Sequeira". In 1526, Jorge de Meneses docked on
Biak and Waigeo
islands, Papua New Guinea. Based on these explorations stands the
theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia, one among several
competing theories about the early discovery of Australia, supported
by Australian historian Kenneth McIntyre, stating it was discovered by
Cristóvão de Mendonça and Gomes de Sequeira.
Hernán Cortés fitted out a fleet to find new lands in the
"South Sea" (Pacific Ocean), asking his cousin Álvaro de Saavedra
Cerón to take charge. On October 31 of 1527 Saavedra sailed from New
Spain, crossing the Pacific and touring the north of New Guinea, then
named Isla de Oro. In October 1528 one of the vessels reached the
Maluku Islands. In his attempt to return to
New Spain he was diverted
by the northeast trade winds, which threw him back, so he tried
sailing back down, to the south. He returned to
New Guinea and sailed
northeast, where he sighted the
Marshall Islands and the Admiralty
Islands, but again was surprised by the winds, which brought him a
third time to the Moluccas. This westbound return route was hard to
find, but was eventually discovered by
Andrés de Urdaneta
Andrés de Urdaneta in
Inland Spanish conquistadores (1519–1532)
Rumours of undiscovered islands northwest of
Hispaniola had reached
Spain by 1511 and king
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon was interested in
forestalling further exploration. While Portuguese were making huge
gains in the Indian Ocean, the Spanish invested in exploring inland in
search of gold and valuable resources. The members of these
expeditions, the "conquistadors", came from a variety of backgrounds
including artisans, merchants, clergy, lesser nobility and freed
slaves. They usually supplied their own equipment in exchange for a
share in profits, having no direct connection with the royal army, and
often no professional military training or experience.
In the Americas the Spanish found a number of empires that were as
large and populous as those in Europe. However, small bodies of
conquistadors, with large armies of Indigenous Americans groups,
managed to conquer these states. During this time, pandemics of
European disease such as smallpox devastated the indigenous
populations. Once Spanish sovereignty was established, the Spanish
focused on the extraction and export of gold and silver.
In 1512, to reward
Juan Ponce de León
Juan Ponce de León for exploring
Puerto Rico in
1508, king Ferdinand urged him to seek these new lands. He would
become governor of discovered lands, but was to finance himself all
exploration. With three ships and about 200 men, Léon set out
Puerto Rico in March 1513. In April they sighted land and named
it La Florida—because it was
Easter (Florida) season—believing it
was an island, becoming credited as the first European to land in the
continent. The arrival location has been disputed between St.
Ponce de León Inlet
Ponce de León Inlet and Melbourne Beach. They headed
south for further exploration and on April 8 encountered a current so
strong that it pushed them backwards: this was the first encounter
Gulf Stream that would soon become the primary route for
eastbound ships leaving the Spanish
Indies bound for Europe. They
explored down the coast reaching Biscayne Bay,
Dry Tortugas and then
sailing southwest in an attempt to circle
Cuba to return, reaching
Grand Bahama on July.
Mexico and the Aztec Empire
Spanish conquest of Yucatán
Spanish conquest of Yucatán and Spanish conquest of
Route of Cortés inland progress 1519–1521
In 1517 Cuba's governor
Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar
Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar commissioned a
fleet under the command of Hernández de Córdoba to explore the
Yucatán peninsula. They reached the coast where
Mayans invited them
to land, but were attacked at night and only a remnant of the crew
returned. Velázquez then commissioned another expedition led by his
nephew Juan de Grijalva, who sailed south along the coast to Tabasco,
part of the Aztec empire. In 1518 Velázquez gave the mayor of the
capital of Cuba, Hernán Cortés, the command of an expedition to
secure the interior of
Mexico but, due to an old gripe between them,
revoked the charter.
In February 1519 Cortés went ahead anyway, in an act of open mutiny.
With about 11 ships, 500 men, 13 horses and a small number of cannons
he landed in Yucatán, in Mayan territory, claiming the land for
the Spanish crown. From
Trinidad he proceeded to
Tabasco and won a
battle against the natives. Among the vanquished was La Malinche, his
future mistress, who knew both (Aztec)
Nahuatl language and Maya,
becoming a valuable interpreter and counsellor. Through her, Cortés
learned about the wealthy Aztec Empire.
In July his men took over
Veracruz and he placed himself under direct
orders of new king Charles I of Spain. There Cortés asked for a
meeting with Aztec Emperor Montezuma II, who repeatedly refused. They
Tenochtitlan and on the way made alliances with several
tribes. In October, accompanied by about 3,000
Tlaxcaltec they marched
to Cholula, the second largest city in central Mexico. Either to
instill fear upon the Aztecs waiting for him or (as he later claimed)
wishing to make an example when he feared native treachery, they
massacred thousands of unarmed members of the nobility gathered at the
central plaza and partially burned the city.
Map of the island city
Mexico gulf made by one of
Cortés' men, 1524, Newberry Library, Chicago
Tenochtitlan with a large army, on November 8 they were
peacefully received by Moctezuma II, who deliberately let Cortés
enter the heart of the Aztec Empire, hoping to know them better to
crush them later. The emperor gave them lavish gifts in gold
which enticed them to plunder vast amounts. In his letters to King
Charles, Cortés claimed to have learned then that he was considered
by the Aztecs to be either an emissary of the feathered serpent god
Quetzalcoatl himself—a belief contested by a few
modern historians. But he soon learned that his men on the coast
had been attacked, and decided to hostage Moctezuma in his palace,
demanding a ransom as tribute to King Charles.
Meanwhile, Velasquez sent another expedition, led by Pánfilo de
Narváez, to oppose Cortès, arriving in
Mexico in April 1520 with
1,100 men. Cortés left 200 men in
Tenochtitlan and took the rest
to confront Narvaez, whom he overcame, convincing his men to join him.
Tenochtitlán one of Cortés's lieutenants committed a massacre in
the Great Temple, triggering local rebellion. Cortés speedily
returned, attempting the support of Moctezuma but the Aztec emperor
was killed, possibly stoned by his subjects. The Spanish fled for
Tlaxcaltec during the Noche Triste, where they managed a narrow
escape while their backguard was massacred. Much of the treasure
looted was lost during this panicked escape. After a battle in
Otumba they reached Tlaxcala, having lost 870 men. Having
prevailed with the assistance of allies and reinforcements from Cuba,
Tenochtitlán and captured its ruler
August 1521. As the
Aztec Empire ended he claimed the city for Spain,
Peru and the
Francisco Pizarro's route of exploration during the conquest of Peru
A first attempt to explore western South America was undertaken in
1522 by Pascual de Andagoya. Native South Americans told him about a
gold-rich territory on a river called Pirú. Having reached San Juan
River (Colombia), Andagoya fell ill and returned to Panama, where he
spread news about "Pirú" as the legendary El Dorado. These, along
with the accounts of success of Hernán Cortés, caught the attention
Francisco Pizarro had accompanied Balboa in the crossing of the
Isthmus of Panama. In 1524 he formed a partnership with priest
Hernando de Luque and soldier
Diego de Almagro
Diego de Almagro to explore the south,
agreeing to divide the profits. They dubbed the enterprise the
"Empresa del Levante": Pizarro would command, Almagro would provide
military and food supplies, and Luque would be in charge of finances
and additional provisions.
On 13 September 1524, the first of three expeditions left to conquer
Peru with about 80 men and 40 horses. The expedition was a failure,
reaching no farther than
Colombia before succumbing to bad weather,
hunger and skirmishes with hostile locals, where Almagro lost an eye.
The place names bestowed along their route, Puerto deseado (desired
port), Puerto del hambre (port of hunger) and Puerto quemado (burned
port), attest to the difficulties of their journey. Two years later
they began a second expedition with reluctant permission from the
Governor of Panama. In August 1526, they left with two ships, 160 men
and several horses. Upon reaching San Juan River they separated,
Pizarro staying to explore the swampy coasts and Almagro sent back for
reinforcements. Pizarro's main pilot sailed south and, after crossing
the equator, captured a raft from Tumbes. To his surprise, it carried
textiles, ceramic and much-desired gold, silver, and emeralds,
becoming the central focus of the expedition. Soon Almagro joined with
reinforcements and they resumed. After a difficult voyage facing
strong winds and currents, they reached
Atacames where they found a
large native population under
Inca rule, but they did not land.
Pizarro remained safe near the coast, while Almagro and Luque went
back for reinforcements with proof of the rumoured gold. The new
governor outright rejected a third expedition and ordered two ships to
bring everyone back to Panama. Almagro and Luque grasped the
opportunity to join Pizarro. When they arrived at the Isla de Gallo,
Pizarro drew a line in the sand, saying: "There lies
Peru with its
Panama and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best
becomes a brave Castilian." Thirteen men decided to stay and became
known as The Famous Thirteen. They headed for La Isla Gorgona, where
they remained for seven months before the arrival of provisions.
They decided to sail south and, by April 1528, reached the
Tumbes Region and were warmly received by local
Tumpis. Two of Pizarro's men reported incredible riches, including
gold and silver decorations around the chief's house. They saw for the
first time a llama which Pizarro called "little camels". The natives
named the Spanish "Children of the Sun" for their fair complexion and
brilliant armours. They decided then to return to
Panama to prepare a
final expedition. Before leaving they sailed south through territories
they named such as Cabo Blanco, port of Payta, Sechura, Punta de
Aguja, Santa Cruz, and Trujillo, reaching the ninth degree south.
In the spring of 1528 Pizarro sailed for Spain, where he had an
interview with king Charles I. The king heard of his expeditions in
lands rich in gold and silver and promised to support him. The
Capitulación de Toledo authorized Pizarro to proceed with the
conquest of Peru. Pizarro was then able to convince many friends and
relatives to join: his brothers Hernándo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro,
Gonzalo Pizarro and also Francisco de Orellana, who would later
explore the Amazon River, as well as his cousin Pedro Pizarro.
Pizarro's third and final expedition left
Peru on 27
December 1530. With three ships and one hundred and eighty men they
landed near Ecuador and sailed to Tumbes, finding the place destroyed.
They entered the interior and established the first Spanish settlement
in Peru, San Miguel de Piura. One of the men returned with an Incan
envoy and an invitation for a meeting. Since the last meeting, the
Inca had begun a civil war and
Atahualpa had been resting in northern
Peru following the defeat of his brother Huáscar. After marching for
two months, they approached Atahualpa. He refused the Spanish,
however, saying he would "be no man's tributary." There were fewer
than 200 Spanish to his 80,000 soldiers, but Pizarro attacked and won
the Incan army in the Battle of Cajamarca, taking
Atahualpa captive at
the so-called ransom room. Despite fulfilling his promise of filling
one room with gold and two with silver, he was convicted for killing
his brother and plotting against Pizarro, and was executed.
In 1533, Pizarro invaded Cuzco with indigenous troops and wrote to
King Charles I: "This city is the greatest and the finest ever seen in
this country or anywhere in the Indies ... it is so beautiful and
has such fine buildings that it would be remarkable even in Spain."
After the Spanish had sealed the conquest of Peru,
Jauja in fertile
Mantaro Valley was established as Peru's provisional capital, but it
was too far up in the mountains, and Pizarro founded the city of Lima
on 18 January 1535, which Pizarro considered one of the most important
acts in his life.
New trade routes (1542–1565)
Portuguese trade routes (blue) and the rival Manila-
trade routes (white) established in 1568
In 1543 three Portuguese traders accidentally became the first
Westerners to reach and trade with Japan. According to Fernão Mendes
Pinto, who claimed to be in this journey, they arrived at Tanegashima,
where the locals were impressed by firearms that would be immediately
made by the Japanese on a large scale.
The Spanish conquest of the
Philippines was ordered by Philip II of
Andrés de Urdaneta
Andrés de Urdaneta was the designated commander. Urdaneta
agreed to accompany the expedition but refused to command and Miguel
López de Legazpi was appointed instead. The expedition set sail on
November 1564. After spending some time on the islands, Legazpi
sent Urdaneta back to find a better return route. Urdaneta set sail
from San Miguel on the island of
Cebu on June 1, 1565, but was obliged
to sail as far as 38 degrees North latitude to obtain favourable
Portuguese carrack in Nagasaki, Nanban art attributed to Kanō Naizen,
He reasoned that the trade winds of the Pacific might move in a gyre
as the Atlantic winds did. If in the Atlantic, ships made the Volta do
mar to pick up winds that would bring them back from Madeira, then, he
reasoned, by sailing far to the north before heading east, he would
pick up trade winds to bring him back to North America. His hunch paid
off, and he hit the coast near Cape Mendocino, California, then
followed the coast south. The ship reached the port of Acapulco, on
October 8, 1565, having travelled 12,000 miles (19,312 kilometres) in
130 days. Fourteen of his crew died; only Urdaneta and Felipe de
Salcedo, nephew of López de Legazpi, had strength enough to cast the
Thus, a cross-Pacific Spanish route was established, between Mexico
and the Philippines. For a long time these routes were used by the
Manila galleons, thereby creating a trade link joining China, the
Europe via the combined trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic
Northern European involvement (1595 – 17th century)
In 1570 (May 20) Gilles Coppens de Diest at
Antwerp published 53 maps
created by Abraham
Ortelius under the title Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,
considered the "first modern atlas". Three Latin editions of this
(besides a Dutch, a French and a German edition) appeared before the
end of 1572; the atlas continued to be in demand till about 1612. This
is the world map from this atlas.
Nations outside Iberia refused to acknowledge the Treaty of
Tordesillas. France, the
England each had a long
maritime tradition and had been engaging in privateering. Despite
Iberian protections, the new technologies and maps soon made their way
In 1568 the Dutch rebelled against the rule of Philip II of Spain
leading to the Eighty Years' War. War between
broke out. In 1580 Philip II became King of Portugal, as heir to the
Crown. The combined empires were simply too big to go unchallenged by
Philip's troops conquered the important trading cities of
Ghent. Antwerp, then the most important port in the world, fell in
1585. The Protestant population was given two years to settle affairs
before leaving the city. Many settled in Amsterdam. Those were
mainly skilled craftsmen, rich merchants of the port cities and
refugees that fled religious persecution, particularly Sephardi Jews
Spain and, later, the Huguenots from France. The
Pilgrim Fathers also spent time there before going to the New World.
This mass immigration was an important driving force: a small port in
Amsterdam quickly transformed into one of the most important
commercial centres in the world. After the defeat of the Spanish
Armada in 1588 there was a huge expansion of maritime trade even
though the defeat of the
English Armada would confirm the naval
supremacy of the Spanish navy over the emergent competitors.
The emergence of Dutch maritime power was swift and remarkable: for
years Dutch sailors had participated in Portuguese voyages to the
east, as able seafarers and keen mapmakers. In 1592, Cornelis de
Houtman was sent by Dutch merchants to Lisbon, to gather as much
information as he could about the
Spice Islands. In 1595, merchant and
explorer Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, having travelled widely in the
Indian Ocean at the service of the Portuguese, published a travel
report in Amsterdam, the "Reys-gheschrift vande navigatien der
Portugaloysers in Orienten" ("Report of a journey through the
navigations of the Portuguese in the East"). This included vast
directions on how to navigate between
Portugal and the East
to Japan. That same year Houtman followed this directions in the Dutch
first exploratory travel that discovered a new sea route, sailing
Sunda Strait in Indonesia and signing a
treaty with the
Dutch and British interest, fed on new information, led to a movement
of commercial expansion, and the foundation of English (1600), and
Dutch (1602) chartered companies. Dutch, French, and English sent
ships which flouted the Portuguese monopoly, concentrated mostly on
the coastal areas, which proved unable to defend against such a vast
and dispersed venture.
Exploring North America
Map of Henry Hudson's 1609–1611 voyages to North America for the
India Company (VOC)
The 1497 English expedition led by Italian Venetian John Cabot
(Giovanni Caboto) was the first of a series of French and English
missions exploring North America.
Spain put limited efforts into
exploring the northern part of the Americas, as its resources were
concentrated in Central and South America where more wealth had been
found. These expeditions were hoping to find an oceanic Northwest
Passage to Asian trade. This was never discovered, but other
possibilities were found, and in the early 17th century colonists from
a number of Northern European states began to settle on the east coast
of North America. In 1520–1521 the Portuguese João Álvares
Fagundes, accompanied by couples of mainland
Portugal and the Azores,
Nova Scotia (possibly reaching the Bay of
Fundy on the Minas Basin), and established a fishing colony on
the Cape Breton Island, that would last until at least the 1570s or
near the end of the century.
In 1524, Italian
Giovanni da Verrazzano
Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed at the behest of
Francis I of France, who was motivated by indignation over the
division of the world between Portuguese and Spanish. Verrazzano
explored the Atlantic Coast of North America, from
South Carolina to
Newfoundland, and was the first recorded European to visit what would
later become the
Virginia Colony and the United States. In the same
year Estevão Gomes, a Portuguese cartographer who had sailed in
Ferdinand Magellan's fleet, explored Nova Scotia, sailing South
through Maine, where he entered New York Harbor, the
Hudson River and
Florida in August 1525. As a result of his
expedition, the 1529
Diogo Ribeiro world map outlines the East coast
of North America almost perfectly. From 1534 to 1536, French explorer
Jacques Cartier, believed to have accompanied Verrazzano to Nova
Scotia and Brazil, was the first European to travel inland in North
America, describing the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which he named "The
Country of Canadas", after Iroquois names, claiming what is now Canada
for Francis I of France.
Henry Hudson's ship
Halve Maen in the Hudson River
Europeans explored the Pacific Coast beginning in the mid-16th
Francisco de Ulloa explored the Pacific coast of present-day
Mexico including the Gulf of California, proving that Baja California
was a peninsula. Despite his discoveries, the myth persisted in
Europe that California was an island. His account provided the first
recorded use of the name "California". João Rodrigues Cabrilho, a
Portuguese navigator sailing for the Spanish Crown, was the first
European to set foot in California, landing on September 28, 1542 on
the shores of
San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay and claiming California for Spain. He
also landed on San Miguel, one of the Channel Islands, and continued
as far as Point Reyes. After his death the crew continued exploring as
far north as Oregon.
The English naval commander
Francis Drake sailed along the coast in
1579 somewhere north of Cabrillo's landing site—the actual location
of Drake's landing was secret and is still undetermined
—and claimed the land for England, calling it Nova
Albion. The term "Nova Albion" was therefore used on many European
maps to designate territory north of the Spanish settlements.
Between 1609 and 1611, after several voyages on behalf of English
merchants to explore a prospective
Northeast Passage to India, Kingdom
of England's Henry Hudson, under the auspices of the Dutch East India
Company (VOC), explored the region around present-day New York City,
while looking for a western route to Asia. He explored the Hudson
River and laid the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.
Hudson's final expedition ranged farther north in search of the
Northwest Passage, leading to his discovery of the
Hudson Strait and
Hudson Bay. After wintering in the James Bay, Hudson tried to press on
with his voyage in the spring of 1611, but his crew mutinied and they
cast him adrift.
Search for a northern route
1599 map of
Arctic exploration by
Willem Barentsz in his third voyage
France, the Netherlands, and
England were left without a sea route to
Asia, either via Africa or South America. When it became apparent that
there was no route through the heart of the Americas, attention turned
to the possibility of a passage through northern waters, which English
called the Northwest Passage. The desire to establish such a route
motivated much of the European exploration of both coasts of North
America and in Russia. In Russia the idea of a possible seaway
connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific was first put forward by the
diplomat Gerasimov in 1525, although Russian settlers on the coast of
the White Sea, the Pomors, had been exploring parts of the route as
early as the 11th century.
In 1553 English explorer
Hugh Willoughby with chief pilot Richard
Chancellor were sent out with three vessels in search of a passage by
London's Company of
Merchant Adventurers to New Lands. During the
voyage across the Barents Sea, Willoughby thought he saw islands to
the north, and islands called
Willoughby's Land were shown on maps
published by Plancius and Mercator into the 1640s. The vessels
were separated by "terrible whirlwinds" in the
Norwegian Sea and
Willoughby sailed into a bay near the present border between Finland
and Russia. His ships with the frozen crews, including Captain
Willoughby and his journal, were found by Russian fishermen a year
Richard Chancellor was able to drop anchor in the
White Sea and
trudge his way overland to Moscow and Ivan the Terrible's Court,
opening trade with Russia and the Company of
became the Muscovy Company.
5 June 1594, Dutch cartographer
Willem Barentsz departed from
a fleet of three ships to enter the Kara Sea, with the hopes of
Northeast Passage above Siberia. At Williams Island
the crew encountered a polar bear for the first time. They managed to
bring it on board, but the bear rampaged and was killed. Barentsz
reached the west coast of
Novaya Zemlya and followed it northward,
before being forced to turn back in the face of large icebergs.
The following year, Prince Maurice of Orange named him chief pilot of
a new expedition of six ships, loaded with merchant wares that the
Dutch hoped to trade with China. The party came across Samoyed
"wild men" but eventually turned back upon discovering the Kara Sea
frozen. In 1596, the States-General offered a high reward for anybody
who successfully navigated the Northeast Passage. The Town Council of
Amsterdam purchased and outfitted two small ships, captained by Jan
Rijp and Jacob van Heemskerk, to search for the elusive channel, under
the command of Barents. They set off on May, and on June discovered
Bear Island and Spitsbergen, sighting its northwest coast. They saw a
large bay, later called
Raudfjorden and entered Magdalenefjorden,
which they named Tusk Bay, sailing into the northern entrance of
Forlandsundet, which they called Keerwyck, but were forced to turn
back because of a shoal. On 28 June they rounded the northern point of
Prins Karls Forland, which they named Vogelhoek, on account of the
large number of birds, and sailed south, passing Isfjorden and
Bellsund, which were labelled on Barentsz's chart as Grooten Inwyck
Willem Barentsz fighting a polar bear
The ships once again reached Bear Island on 1 July, which led to a
disagreement. They parted ways, with Barentsz continuing northeast,
while Rijp headed north. Barentsz reached
Novaya Zemlya and, to avoid
becoming entrapped in ice, headed for the
Vaigatch Strait but became
stuck within the icebergs and floes. Stranded, the 16-man crew was
forced to spend the winter on the ice. The crew used lumber from their
ship to build a lodge they called Het Behouden Huys (The Kept House).
Dealing with extreme cold, they used the merchant fabrics to make
additional blankets and clothing and caught
Arctic foxes in primitive
traps, as well as polar bears. When June arrived, and the ice had
still not loosened its grip on the ship, scurvy-ridden survivors took
two small boats out into the sea. Barentsz died at sea on 20 June
1597, while studying charts. It took seven more weeks for the boats to
reach Kola where they were rescued by a Russian merchant vessel. Only
12 crewmen remained, reaching
Amsterdam in November. Two of Barentsz'
crewmembers later published their journals, Jan Huyghen van
Linschoten, who had accompanied him on the first two voyages, and
Gerrit de Veer
Gerrit de Veer who had acted as the ship's carpenter on the last.
Henry Hudson made a second attempt, trying to go across the
top of Russia. He made it to
Novaya Zemlya but was forced to turn
back. Between 1609 and 1611, Hudson, after several voyages on behalf
of English merchants to explore a prospective
Northern Sea Route
Northern Sea Route to
India, explored the region around modern New York City while looking
for a western route to Asia under the auspices of the Dutch East India
Dutch Australia and New Zealand
The route of Abel Tasman's 1642 and 1644 voyages in New Holland
(Australia) in the service of the VOC (Dutch East
Terra Australis Ignota (Latin, "the unknown land of the south") was a
hypothetical continent appearing on European maps from the 15th to the
18th centuries, with roots in a notion introduced by Aristotle. It was
depicted on the mid-16th-century Dieppe maps, where its coastline
appeared just south of the islands of the East Indies; it was often
elaborately charted, with a wealth of fictitious detail. The
discoveries reduced the area where the continent could be found;
however, many cartographers held to Aristotle's opinion, like Gerardus
Mercator (1569) and
Alexander Dalrymple even so late as 1767
argued for its existence, with such arguments as that there should be
a large landmass in the Southern Hemisphere as a counterweight to the
known landmasses in the Northern Hemisphere. As new lands were
discovered, they were often assumed to be parts of this hypothetical
Juan Fernandez, sailing from Chile in 1576, claimed he had discovered
the Southern Continent. Luis Váez de Torres, a Galician
navigator working for the Spanish Crown, proved the existence of a
passage south of New Guinea, now known as Torres Strait. Pedro
Fernandes de Queirós, a Portuguese navigator sailing for the Spanish
Crown, saw a large island south of
New Guinea in 1606, which he named
La Australia del Espiritu Santo. He represented this to the King of
Spain as the
Terra Australis incognita. In fact, it was not Australia
but an island in present-day Vanuatu.
Duyfken replica, Swan River, Australia
Dutch navigator and colonial governor,
Willem Janszoon sailed from the
Netherlands for the East
Indies for the third time on December 18,
1603, as captain of the
Duyfken (or Duijfken, meaning "Little Dove"),
one of twelve ships of the great fleet of Steven van der Hagen.
Once in the Indies, Janszoon was sent to search for other outlets of
trade, particularly in "the great land of Nova Guinea and other East
and Southlands." On November 18, 1605, the
Duyfken sailed from Bantam
to the coast of western New Guinea. Janszoon then crossed the eastern
end of the Arafura Sea, without seeing the Torres Strait, into the
Gulf of Carpentaria. On February 26, 1606, he made landfall at the
Pennefather River on the western shore of Cape York in Queensland,
near the modern town of Weipa. This is the first recorded European
landfall on the Australian continent. Janszoon proceeded to chart some
320 kilometres (199 miles) of the coastline, which he thought was a
southerly extension of New Guinea. In 1615, Jacob le Maire and Willem
Schouten's rounding of
Cape Horn proved that
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego was a
relatively small island.
In 1642–1644 Abel Tasman, also a Dutch explorer and merchant in the
service of the VOC, circumnavigated New Holland proving that Australia
was not part of the mythical southern continent. He was the first
known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land
(now Tasmania) and
New Zealand and to sight the
Fiji islands, which he
did in 1643. Tasman, his navigator Visscher, and his merchant
Gilsemans also mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand
and the Pacific Islands.
Russian exploration of
Main articles: Russian conquest of Siberia, Conquest of the Khanate of
Sibir, Siberian River Routes, and List of Russian explorers
Siberian river routes
Siberian river routes were of primary significance in the process of
In the mid-16th century the
Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia conquered the Tatar
khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan, thus annexing the entire Volga Region
and opening the way to the Ural Mountains. The colonization of the new
easternmost lands of Russia and further onslaught eastward was led by
the rich merchants Stroganovs. Tsar
Ivan IV granted vast estates near
the Urals as well as tax privileges to Anikey Stroganov, who organized
large scale migration to these lands. Stroganovs developed farming,
hunting, saltworks, fishing, and ore mining on the Urals and
established trade with Siberian tribes.
Conquest of the Khanate of Sibir
Around 1577, Semyon
Stroganov and other sons of Anikey
Cossack leader called
Yermak to protect their lands from the attacks
of Siberian Khan Kuchum. By 1580 Stroganovs and
Yermak came up with
the idea of the military expedition to Siberia, in order to fight
Kuchum in his own land. In 1581
Yermak began his voyage into the
depths of Siberia. After a few victories over the khan's army,
Yermak's people defeated the main forces of
Irtysh River in
Battle of Chuvash Cape
Battle of Chuvash Cape in 1582. The remains of the khan's army
retreated to the steppes, and thus
Yermak captured the Siberia
Khanate, including its capital
Qashliq near modern Tobolsk. Kuchum
still was strong and suddenly attacked
Yermak in 1585 in the dead of
night, killing most of his people.
Yermak was wounded and tried to
swim across the Wagay River (Irtysh's tributary), but drowned under
the weight of his own chain mail. The
Cossacks had to withdraw from
Siberia completely, but thanks to Yermak's having explored all the
main river routes in West Siberia, Russians successfully reclaimed all
his conquests just several years later.
Yermak Timofeyevich and his band of adventurers crossing the Ural
Mountains at Tagil, entering Asia from Europe
Siberian river routes
In the early 17th century the eastward movement of Russians was slowed
by the internal problems in the country during the Time of Troubles.
However, very soon the exploration and colonization of the huge
Siberia was resumed, led mostly by
Cossacks hunting for
valuable furs and ivory. While
Cossacks came from the Southern Urals,
another wave of Russians came by the
Arctic Ocean. These were Pomors
from the Russian North, who already had been making fur trade with
Mangazeya in the north of the Western
Siberia for quite a long time.
In 1607 the settlement of
Turukhansk was founded on the northern
Yenisei River, near the mouth of Lower Tunguska, and in 1619
Yeniseysky ostrog was founded on the mid-Yenisei at the mouth of the
Between 1620 and 1624 a group of fur hunters led by
Demid Pyanda left
Turukhansk and explored some 1,430 miles (2,301 kilometres) of the
Lower Tunguska, wintering in the proximity of the
Vilyuy and Lena
rivers. According to later legendary accounts (folktales collected a
century after the fact), Pyanda discovered the Lena River. He
allegedly explored some 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometres) of its length,
reaching as far as central Yakutia. He returned up the Lena until it
became too rocky and shallow, and portaged to the Angara River. In
this way, Pyanda may have become the first Russian to meet
Buryats. He built new boats and explored some 870 miles (1,400
kilometres) of the Angara, finally reaching
Yeniseysk and discovering
that the Angara (a Buryat name) and
Upper Tunguska (Verkhnyaya
Tunguska, as initially known by Russians) are one and the same river.
Pyotr Beketov was appointed Yenisei voevoda in Siberia. He
successfully carried out the voyage to collect taxes from Zabaykalye
Buryats, becoming the first Russian to step in Buryatia. He founded
the first Russian settlement there, Rybinsky ostrog. Beketov was sent
Lena River in 1631, where in 1632 he founded
Yakutsk and sent
Cossacks to explore the Aldan and farther down the Lena, to found
new fortresses, and to collect taxes.
Yakutsk soon turned into a major starting point for further Russian
expeditions eastward, southward and northward. Maksim Perfilyev, who
earlier had been one of the founders of Yeniseysk, founded Bratsky
ostrog on the Angara in 1631, and in 1638 he became the first Russian
to step into Transbaikalia, travelling there from Yakutsk.
A map of
Lake Baikal in its neighbourhood, as depicted in
the late-17th-century Remezov Chronicle
Kurbat Ivanov led a group of
Yakutsk to the
south of the
Baikal Mountains and discovered Lake Baikal, visiting its
Olkhon Island. Later Ivanov made the first chart and description of
Russians reach the Pacific
In 1639 a group of explorers led by
Ivan Moskvitin became the first
Russians to reach the
Pacific Ocean and to discover the Sea of
Okhotsk, having built a winter camp on its shore at the Ulya River
Cossacks learned from the locals about the large Amur River
far to the south. In 1640 they apparently sailed south, explored the
south-eastern shores of the Okhotsk Sea, perhaps reaching the mouth of
Amur River and possibly discovering the
Shantar Islands on their
way back. Based on Moskvitin's account,
Kurbat Ivanov drew the first
Russian map of the
Far East in 1642.
Vasily Poyarkov crossed the
Stanovoy Range and reached the
Zeya River in the country of the Daurs, who were paying tribute
Manchu Chinese. After wintering, in 1644 Poyarkov pushed down
the Zeya and became the first Russian to reach the Amur River. He
sailed down the Amur and finally discovered the mouth of that great
river from land. Since his
Cossacks provoked the enmity of the locals
behind, Poyarkov chose a different way back. They built boats and in
1645 sailed along the
Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk coast to the
Ulya River and spent
the next winter in the huts that had been built by
Ivan Moskvitin six
years earlier. In 1646 they returned to Yakutsk.
A 17th-century koch in a museum in Krasnoyarsk.
Kochi were the
earliest icebreakers and were widely used by Russians in the Arctic
and on Siberian rivers.
Mikhail Stadukhin discovered the
Kolyma River and founded
Srednekolymsk. A merchant named
Fedot Alekseyev Popov
Fedot Alekseyev Popov organized a
further expedition eastward, and
Semyon Dezhnyov became a captain of
one of the kochi. In 1648 they sailed from
Srednekolymsk down to the
Arctic and after some time they rounded Cape Dezhnyov, thus becoming
the first explorers to pass through the
Bering Strait and to discover
Chukotka and the Bering Sea. All their kochi and most of their men
(including Popov himself) were lost in storms and clashes with the
natives. A small group led by Dezhnyov reached the mouth of the Anadyr
River and sailed up it in 1649, having built new boats from the
wreckage. They founded
Anadyrsk and were stranded there, until
Stadukhin found them, coming from Kolyma by land. Subsequently,
Stadukhin set off south in 1651 and discovered
Penzhin Bay on the
northern coast of the Okhotsk Sea. He also may have explored the
western shores of Kamchatka.
Yerofey Khabarov became the second Russian to explore the
Amur River. Through Olyokma,
Tungur and Shilka Rivers he reached Amur
(Dauria), returned to
Yakutsk and then back to Amur with a larger
force in 1650–53. This time he was met with armed resistance. He
built winter quarters at Albazin, then sailed down Amur and found
Achansk, which preceded the present-day Khabarovsk, defeating or
evading large armies of Daurian
Manchu Chinese and
Koreans on his way.
He charted the Amur in his Draft of the Amur river. Subsequently,
Russians held on to the Amur Region until 1689, when by the Treaty of
Nerchinsk this land was assigned to Chinese Empire (it was returned,
however, by the
Treaty of Aigun
Treaty of Aigun in 1858).
Kurbat Ivanov was the next head of Anadyrsky ostrog after
Semyon Dezhnyov. In 1660 he sailed from
Anadyr Bay to Cape Dezhnyov.
Atop his earlier pioneering charts, Ivanov is credited with creation
of the early map of Chukotka and Bering Strait, which was the first to
show on paper (very schematically) the yet undiscovered Wrangel
Diomede Islands and Alaska, based on the data collected
from the natives of Chukotka.
So, by the mid-17th century, Russians established the borders of their
country close to modern ones, and explored almost the whole of
Siberia, except the eastern
Kamchatka and some regions north of the
Arctic Circle. The conquest of
Kamchatka later would be achieved in
the early 1700s by Vladimir Atlasov, while the discovery of the Arctic
coastline and Alaska would be completed by the Great Northern
Expedition in 1733–1743.
Further information: Major explorations after the Age of Discovery
Main articles: Columbian Exchange, History of colonialism, and
New World crops. Clockwise from top left: 1.
Corn (Zea mays) 2. Tomato
(Solanum lycopersicum) 3.
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) 4.
Vanilla planifolia) 5. Pará rubber tree (Hevea
brasiliensis) 6. Cacao (Theobroma cacao) 7.
European overseas expansion led to the contact between the Old and New
Worlds producing the Columbian Exchange, named after Columbus. It
involved the transfer of goods unique to one hemisphere to another.
Europeans brought cattle, horses, and sheep to the New World, and from
New World Europeans received tobacco, potatoes and maize. Other
items becoming important in global trade were the sugarcane and cotton
crops of the Americas, and the gold and silver brought from the
Americas not only to
Europe but elsewhere in the Old World.
The new trans-oceanic links and their domination by the European
powers led to the Age of Imperialism, where European colonial powers
came to control most of the planet. The European appetite for trade,
commodities, empire and slaves greatly affected many other areas of
Spain participated in the destruction of aggressive empires
in the Americas, only to substitute its own, and forcibly replaced the
original religions. The pattern of territorial aggression was repeated
by other European empires, most notably the Dutch, Russian, French and
Christianity replaced older "pagan" rituals, as were new
languages, political and sexual cultures, and in some areas like North
New Zealand and Argentina, the indigenous peoples
were abused and driven off most of their lands, being reduced to
small, dependent minorities.
Portuguese Nanbanjin arriving at Japan much to the surprise of locals,
detail from a Nanban panel of the Kanō school, 1593–1600
Similarly, in coastal Africa, local states supplied the appetite of
European slave traders, changing the complexion of coastal African
states and fundamentally altering the nature of African slavery,
causing impacts on societies and economies deep inland. (See Atlantic
Aboriginal peoples were living in North America at this time and still
do today. There were many conflicts between Europeans and Natives. The
Europeans had many advantages over the natives. They gave them
diseases that they had not been exposed to before and this wiped out
50–90% of their population. (See Population history of indigenous
peoples of the Americas.)
Maize and manioc were introduced into Africa in the 16th century by
the Portuguese. They are now important staple foods, replacing
native African crops.
Alfred W. Crosby speculated that
increased production of maize, manioc, and other
New World crops led
to heavier concentrations of population in the areas from which
slavers captured their victims.
In the 16th-century economy of China, the
Ming Dynasty was stimulated
by trade with the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. China became
involved in a new global trade of goods, plants, animals, and food
crops known as the Columbian Exchange. Trade with European powers and
the Japanese brought in massive amounts of silver, which then replaced
copper and paper banknotes as the common medium of exchange in China.
During the last decades of the Ming the flow of silver into China was
greatly diminished, thereby undermining state revenues and indeed the
entire Ming economy. This damage to the economy was compounded by the
effects on agriculture of the incipient Little Ice Age, natural
calamities, crop failure, and sudden epidemics. The ensuing breakdown
of authority and people's livelihoods allowed rebel leaders such as Li
Zicheng to challenge Ming authority.
Jesuit scholars collaborated extensively with Chinese astronomers,
introducing Copernican principles. Top: Matteo Ricci, Adam Schaal and
Ferdinand Verbiest (1623–88); Bottom: Paul Siu (Xu Guangqi), Colao
or Prime Minister of State, and his granddaughter Candide Hiu
New crops that had come to Asia from the Americas via the Spanish
colonizers in the 16th century contributed to the Asia's population
growth. Although the bulk of imports to China were silver, the
Chinese also purchased
New World crops from the Spanish Empire. This
included sweet potatoes, maize, and peanuts, foods that could be
cultivated in lands where traditional Chinese staple crops—wheat,
millet, and rice—could not grow, hence facilitating a rise in the
population of China. In the Song Dynasty (960–1279), rice
had become the major staple crop of the poor; after sweet
potatoes were introduced to China around 1560, it gradually became the
traditional food of the lower classes.
The arrival of the Portuguese to Japan in 1543 initiated the Nanban
trade period, with the Japanese adopting several technologies and
cultural practices, like the arquebus, European-style cuirasses,
European ships, Christianity, decorative art, and language. After the
Chinese had banned direct trade by Chinese merchants with Japan, the
Portuguese filled this commercial vacuum as intermediaries between
China and Japan. The Portuguese bought Chinese silk and sold it to the
Japanese in return for Japanese-mined silver; since silver was more
highly valued in China, the Portuguese could then use Japanese silver
to buy even larger stocks of Chinese silk. However, by
1573—after the Spanish established a trading base in Manila—the
Portuguese intermediary trade was trumped by the prime source of
incoming silver to China from the Spanish Americas.
Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) was the first European
allowed into the Forbidden City. He taught the Chinese how to
construct and play the spinet, translated Chinese texts into Latin and
vice versa, and worked closely with his Chinese associate Xu Guangqi
(1562–1633) on mathematical work.
Economic impact in Europe
Main articles: Commercial Revolution, Renaissance,
Renaissance in the
Low Countries, and Great Divergence
"The School of Athens", Raphael, 1509–1511
Age of Discovery
Criticism outside of Fine Arts
World map from Johannes Kepler's
Rudolphine Tables (1627),
incorporating many of the new discoveries.
As a wider variety of global luxury commodities entered the European
markets by sea, previous European markets for luxury goods stagnated.
The Atlantic trade largely supplanted pre-existing Italian and German
trading powers which had relied on their Baltic, Russian and Islamic
trade links. The new commodities also caused social change, as sugar,
spices, silks and chinawares entered the luxury markets of Europe.
The European economic centre shifted from the Mediterranean to Western
Europe. The city of Antwerp, part of the Duchy of Brabant, became "the
centre of the entire international economy, and the richest city
Europe at this time. Centred in
Antwerp first and then in
Amsterdam, "Dutch Golden Age" was tightly linked to the Age of
Discovery. Francesco Guicciardini, a Venetian envoy, stated that
hundreds of ships would pass
Antwerp in a day, and 2,000 carts entered
the city each week. Portuguese ships laden with pepper and cinnamon
would unload their cargo. With many foreign merchants resident in the
city and governed by an oligarchy of banker-aristocrats forbidden to
engage in trade, the economy of
Antwerp was foreigner-controlled,
which made the city very international, with merchants and traders
from Venice, Ragusa,
Portugal and a policy of toleration,
which attracted a large Orthodox Jewish community. The city
experienced three booms during its golden age, the first based on the
pepper market, a second launched by
New World silver coming from
Seville (ending with the bankruptcy of
Spain in 1557), and a third
boom, after the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis, in 1559, based on the
Despite initial hostilities, by 1549 the Portuguese were sending
annual trade missions to
Shangchuan Island in China. In 1557 they
managed to convince the Ming court to agree on a legal port treaty
that would establish
Macau as an official Portuguese trade
colony. The Portuguese friar
Gaspar da Cruz
Gaspar da Cruz (c. 1520 February 5,
1570) wrote the first complete book on China and the
Ming Dynasty that
was published in Europe; it included information on its geography,
provinces, royalty, official class, bureaucracy, shipping,
architecture, farming, craftsmanship, merchant affairs, clothing,
religious and social customs, music and instruments, writing,
education, and justice.
Delftware depicting Chinese scenes, 18th century. Ernest Cognacq
From China the major exports were silk and porcelain, adapted to meet
European tastes. The Chinese export porcelains were held in such great
Europe that, in English, china became a commonly–used
synonym for porcelain.
Kraak porcelain (believed to be named after the
Portuguese carracks in which it was transported) was among the first
Chinese ware to arrive in
Europe in mass quantities. Only the richest
could afford these early imports, and Kraak often featured in Dutch
still life paintings. Soon the Dutch East
established a lively trade with the East, having imported 6 million
porcelain items from China to
Europe between the years 1602 to
1682. The Chinese workmanship impressed many. Between 1575
Medici porcelain from
Florence was the first successful
attempt to imitate Chinese porcelain. Although Dutch potters did not
immediately imitate Chinese porcelain, they began to do it when the
Europe was interrupted, after the death of
Wanli Emperor in
1620. Kraak, mainly the blue and white porcelain, was imitated all
over the world by potters in Arita, Japan and Persia—where Dutch
merchants turned when the fall of the
Ming Dynasty rendered Chinese
originals unavailable—and ultimately in Delftware. Dutch and
Delftware inspired by Chinese designs persisted from
about 1630 to the mid-
18th century alongside European patterns.
Jan Davidsz. de Heem, detail of silverware from "A Richly Laid Table
with Parrots", c. 1650
Antonio de Morga
Antonio de Morga (1559–1636), a Spanish official in Manila, listed
an extensive inventory of goods that were traded by Ming China at the
turn of the 16th to 17th century, noting there were "rarities which,
did I refer to them all, I would never finish, nor have sufficient
paper for it". After noting the variety of silk goods traded to
Europeans, Ebrey writes of the considerable size of commercial
transactions: In one case a galleon to the Spanish territories in the
New World carried over 50,000 pairs of silk stockings. In return China
imported mostly silver from Peruvian and Mexican mines, transported
via Manila. Chinese merchants were active in these trading ventures,
and many emigrated to such places as the
take advantage of the new commercial opportunities.
The increase in gold and silver experienced by
Spain coincided with a
major inflationary cycle both within
Spain and Europe, known as the
Spain had amassed large quantities of gold and
silver from the New World. In the 1520s large scale extraction of
silver from Mexico's
Guanajuato began. With the opening of the silver
Zacatecas and Bolivia's
Potosí in 1546 large shipments of
silver became the fabled source of wealth. During the 16th century,
Spain held the equivalent of US$1.5 trillion (1990 terms) in gold and
silver from New Spain. Being the most powerful European monarch at a
time full of war and religious conflicts, the Habsburg rulers spent
the wealth in wars and arts across Europe. "I learnt a proverb here",
said a French traveller in 1603: "Everything is dear in
silver". The spent silver, suddenly spread throughout a
previously cash-starved Europe, caused widespread inflation. The
inflation was worsened by a growing population with a static
production level, low salaries and a rising cost of living, which
damaged local industry. Increasingly,
Spain became dependent on the
revenues flowing in from the mercantile empire in the Americas,
leading to Spain's first bankruptcy in 1557 due to rising military
costs. Phillip II of
Spain defaulted on debt payments in 1557,
1560, 1575 and 1596. The increase in prices as a result of currency
circulation fuelled the growth of the commercial middle class in
Europe, the bourgeoisie, which came to influence the politics and
culture of many countries.
One effect of the inflation, particularly in Great Britain, was that
tenant farmers who held long term leases from lords saw real decreases
in rent. Some lords opted to sell their leased land, giving rise to
small land-owing farmers such as yeoman and gentlemen farmers.
Age of Sail
Atlantic slave trade
Catholic Church and the Age of Discovery
Chinese maritime exploration
Chronology of European exploration of Asia
European exploration of Australia
History of navigation
L'Anse aux Meadows
List of explorations
Major explorations after the Age of Discovery
Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact
Scramble for Africa
Timeline of European exploration
Winds in the Age of Sail
^ Adherents.com, Religions by Adherents
^ BBC Documentary: A History of
Christianity by Diarmaid MacCulloch,
^ Merson, John (1990). The Genius That Was China: East and West in the
Making of the Modern World. Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press.
p. 72. ISBN 0-87951-397-7A companion to the PBS Series The
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^ "Bartolomeu Dias". infoplease. Sandbox Networks, Inc. Retrieved 29
^ "Columbus to the Caribbean". fsmitha.com.
Christopher Columbus – Exploration". history.com.
^ Diffie, Bailey W. and George D. Winius, "Foundations of the
Portuguese Empire, 1415–1580", p. 176
^ Zweig, Stefan, "Conqueror of the Seas – The Story of Magellan",
Read Books, 2007, ISBN 1-4067-6006-4
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^ Houben, 2002, pp. 102–04.
^ Harley & Woodward, 1992, pp. 156–61.
^ Abu-Lughod 1991, p. 121.
^ a b Arnold 2002, p. 7.
^ a b Mancall 2006, p. 17.
^ Arnold 2002, p. 5.
^ Love 2006, p. 130.
^ silk-road 2008, web.
^ a b DeLamar 1992, p. 328.
^ Abu-Lughod 1991, p. 158.
^ Crowley, Roger (2011). City of Fortune (Main ed.). Faber &
Faber. ISBN 9780571245956.
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^ Mancall 2006, p. 3.
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^ Dunn 2004, p. 310.
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^ DeLamar 1992, p. 329.
^ Tamura 1997, p. 70.
^ Cromer 1995, p. 117.
^ Tsai 2002, p. 206.
^ Mancall 2006, p. 115.
Spice importance for medieval humorism principles of medicine was
such that shortly after entering the trade, apothecaries and
Tomé Pires and Garcia da Orta (see Burns 2001, p. 14)
were sent to
India having studied spices in works like Suma Oriental
(see Pires 1512, p. lxii) and Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India
("Conversations on the simples, drugs and materia medica of India)
^ ScienceDaily 1998, news.
^ "Byzantine-Ottoman Wars:
Fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople and spurring "age of
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^ "Overview of Age of Exploration". Archived from the original on July
9, 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
^ Spufford 1989, pp. 339–49.
^ Spufford 1989, p. 343.
^ Abu-Lughod 1991, p. 122.
^ Parry 1981, p. 33.
^ Diffie 1977, p. 210.
^ Newitt 2005, p. 9.
^ Diffie 1960, p. 49.
^ Diffie 1977, pp. 29–31.
^ Butel 1999, p. 36.
^ DeLamar 1992, p. 333.
^ Anderson 2000, p. 50.
^ Joaquinn Pedro Oliveira Martins, The Golden Age Of Prince Henry The
Navigator. (New York: Dutton), p. 72.
^ Locke 1824, p. 385.
^ Boxer 1969, p. 29.
^ Nissan Mindel, Rabbi
Abraham Zacuto – (1450–1515),
^ Parry 1981, p. 145.
^ Diffie 1977, pp. 132–34.
^ Russell-Wood 1998, p. 9.
^ Daus 1983, p. 33.
^ Bagrow 1964, p. 72.
^ Diffie 1977, pp. 145–48.
^ DeLamar 1992, p. 335.
^ Anderson 2000, p. 59.
^ Lusa. "Portugueses chegaram à América 19 anos antes de Colombo".
^ DeLamar 1992, p. 341.
^ Maclean 2008, web.
^ Forbes 1993, p. 22
^ Mancall 1999, p. 26.
^ DeLamar 1992, p. 345.
^ Davenport 1917, pp. 107–11.
^ Croxton 2007, web (on subscription)
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^ Diffie 1977, pp. 464–65.
^ Diffie 1977, p. 185.
^ Pohl, Frederick J. (1966). Amerigo Vespucci: Pilot Major. New York:
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^  Arciniegas, German (1978) Amerigo and the New World: The Life
& Times of Amerigo Vespucci: Octagon Press
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Portugal in the New World:
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^ Crow 1992, p. 136.
^ Foundations of the Portuguese Empire, 1415–1580, Bailey Wallys
Diffie and George D. Winius. University of Minnesota Press, 1977 p.
^ The Coming of the Portuguese by Paul Lunde, London University's
School of Oriental and African Studies, in Saudi Aramco World –
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^ Diffie 1977, pp. 456–62.
^ Catholic Encyclopædia 2, web.
^ Arciniegas 1978, pp. 295–300.
^ Diffie 1977, p. 458.
^ The Invention of America. Indiana University Press. pp. 106–07, by
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Stokholm – New light on Vespucci's third voyage, By R. Levillier
^ Bethell, Leslie (1984). The Cambridge History of Latin America,
Volume 1, Colonial Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press. p. 257.
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^ Newen Zeytung auss Presillg Landt
^ Peabiru, the route lost in English
^ Morison 1942, pp. 65–75.
^ Bernstein, William J. (2008). A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped
the World. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 9780802144164.
^ Milton 1999, pp. 5–7.
^ Cortesão, Armando (1944). The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires: an
account of the east, from the
Red Sea to Japan, written in
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^ Nowell 1947, p. 8.
^ Cole 2002, p. 37.
^ Otfinoski 2004, p. 33
^ Lach 1998, p. 626
^ Zweig 1938, p. 51.
^ Donkin 2003, p. 29.
^ DeLamar 1992, p. 349.
^ Catholic Encyclopædia 2007, web.
^ Fernandez-Armesto 2006, p. 200.
^ a b c Newitt 2005, p. 104.
^ Lach 1998, p. 1397
^ Lach 1998, p. 1397.
^ Diffie 1977, p. 375.
^ Diffie 1977, pp. 368, 473.
^ Galvano 1563, p. 168
^ Fernandez-Armesto 2006, p. 202.
^ U.C. 2009, web
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^ Lawson 2007, pp. 29–32.
^ Weddle 1985, p. 42.
^ a b c d e f Grunberg 2007, magazine
^ Restall 2004, pp. 659–87.
^ Castillo 1963, p. 294.
^ Cervantes web, original text.
^ Pacey 1991, p. 88
^ N. McAlister, Lyle. (1984)
Portugal in the New World:
1492–1700. p. 316.
^ Boxer 1977, p. 18.
^ Linschoten 1598, original book
^ Boxer 1969, p 109.
^ a b Paine 2000, p. xvi.
^ Mount Allison University, Marshlands: Records of Life on the
Tantramar: European Contact and Mapping, 2004
^ Tratado das ilhas novas e descombrimento dellas e outras couzas,
1570 Francisco de Souza, p. 6 
^ Cartier E.B. 2009, web.
^ Histori.ca 2009, web.
^ Gutierrez 1998. pp. 81–82.
^ San Diego HS, web.
Francis Drake Association
^ Drake N.Guild, web.
^ Edward Wright's World Chart 1599 documents a Land Claim
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^ Hacquebord 1995,
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^ ULT 2009, web
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^ Medina 1918, pp. 136–246.
^ Mutch 1942, p. 17.
^ Lincoln 1994, p. 62
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^ Spence 1999, pp. 19–20.
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^ Braudel 1985, p. 143.
^ Dunton 1896, p. 163.
^ Brook 1998, p. 124.
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2007, Still life and trade in the Dutch golden age.
^ Volker 1971, p. 22.
^ Brook 1998, p. 206.
^ Howard 1978, p. 7.
^ Brook 1998, pp. 205–06.
^ Walton 1994, pp. 43–44
^ Braudel 1979, p. 171.
^ Tracy 1994, p. 655.
^ Braudel 1979, pp. 523–25
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