The Explorer's Journal

By Samantha Furtado, Jane Burton, and Allison Michaud

15th-17th Century


International News

The dividing line

Pope Alexander VI has established the new Line of Demarcation! This line will divide the non-European world into two distinct zones; one controlled by Spain and the other to be controlled by Portugal. Spain has recently been making strides to claim the lands of the new world, the lands east of Europe. Italian navigator Christopher Columbus was sponsored by Spain on his voyage to reach the Indies by sailing west, and accidentally discovered the Americas in the process. With this new Line of Demarcation, Spain will have trading and exploration rights to undiscovered non-Christian lands west of the line (the Americas), and Portugal will have the same except with lands east of the line (Europe and Africa).

However, since this line was established Portugal has been voicing their concerns. There has been much talk about a “Treaty of Tordesillas” to be established, because Portugal is not satisfied with the position of the line. Portugal would like to move the line further west, so that they might also have control over the Cape Verde Islands. But, there is hesitation for a treaty because this shift in the location of the line could possibly foreshadow even further shifts to be made by Portugal, in their quest for land and power.


As we all know, slaves are the most vital component of the African trade; and ever since the Portuguese have joined in on this trade, many other european traders have been joining as well. European traders are buying large numbers of these African slaves and selling them to work on plantations, mainly in the Americas. However, these traders don’t often venture into Africa in search of slaves, but rely on African traders to bring them to their trading ports. Slaves can be traded for textiles, metalwork, rum, tobacco, weapons and gunpowder. This trade has been growing into a widely profitable business.


The Astrolabe

The astrolabe is a device for solving problems related to the position of the sun and stars. This device is now being used by sailors. This helps them know their latitude and the time. It may be hard to tell the time in the middle of the day or the night without an astrolabe. Navigating is much easier with the help of this tool, which is known as the Mariner’s Astrolabe. To use this, a person must adjust the components to a specific time and date. Once this is set, both the visible and invisible sky can be seen on the face of it. A Mariner’s Astrolabe is a ring marked in degrees to measure celestial altitudes.


Osei Tutu

As of the year 1717, Osei Tutu has died. Osei Tutu was a military leader and the first ruler of the Asante Kingdom. Osei Tutu led his Kingdom to victory in many battles; he did this through the principle of unity. Under his ruling, Tutu unified the people of the Asante Kingdom, in turn, making them stronger. He was a deeply spiritual man, believing that the people of his kingdom were unified through spiritual bonds and that his right to rule came from Heaven. The Asante Kingdom was also able to become successful and thriving under Osei Tutu’s leadership. The Asantes managed the royal monopolies on gold mining and slave trade, as well as traded with Europeans. However, Osei Tutu unfortunately died recently as result of a gunshot wound. Osei Tutu was an incredible leader who will be dearly missed by the people of the Asante Kingdom.


Qianlong, Emperor of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, died February 7, 1799 as result of a cold. Qianlong was the grandson of former Emperor Kangxi. Qianlong reigned for a total of 60 years (1736-1796). Under her reign, China was able to expand its borders, providing the largest land area they’ve ever had in the nation of China’s history. Not only did land area expand, but also the economy. Crops such as potatoes and corn, introduced from the Americas, increased farm output. This spurred a population boom, increasing China’s population by over 2x for a total of 300,000,000 by the year 1800. International trade also grew, leading to an increased demand for Chinese goods all around the world. In essence, Qianlong was a wise and intelligent leader, who, under his leadership, expanded China for the better. The Chinese people will always remember him as a strong leader.

vasco da gama

Vasco da Gama, Portuguese nobleman and navigator, died in India of illness in the year 1524. Da Gama’s voyages are primarily the reason why Portugal is such a world power. In 1497, sailed from Lisbon with hopes of reaching India - this would prove to open up a new sea route from Europe to the East. After a 10 month voyage, Vasco da Gama reached the port of Calicut, India. There, da Gama acquired a vast supply of spices, in which he sold high amounts. Soon, Portuguese merchants were brought to Calicut. And before you know it, Portugal had control over numerous ports around the Indian Ocean. This, in turn, led to the development of an enormous Portuguese trading empire. Portugal would not be as great of a world power as it is today if it were not for his voyages. Vasco da Gama will go down forever in Portuguese history.


slaves for sale

Have a plantation and no one to work on it? Have a house and no one to work in it? Sick of doing your own work? Ever wished there was a way you could make someone else do it for free? Well now there is! Introducing the African Slave Trade. The african trade slave has provided a great way to get your work done without actually doing any work! With only one simple payment of $300, a slave can be all yours.

Furtado tobacco inc.

Here at Furtado Tobacco Inc., we have the finest tobacco in all of Europe. We have only the strongest slaves working on our plantations. Out tobacco is not only proven to improve your health, but also prevents disease and helps you live a longer life. So stop by Furtado tobacco inc. today for some of the highest quality tobacco in the whole world. Our tobacco can be used in all sorts of tobacco products, from cigarettes to cigars and pipes. Heck, you can even plainly chew it if you like! We offer incredible deals on bulk purchases of tobacco. You won't find more reasonable prices anywhere else.

Burton & Burton blacksmith

At B&B blacksmith, we repair and create all kinds of goods: from horseshoes to weapons. All of our items are of only the finest quality and handcrafted from the most precious metals. We import all our metals from the most remote areas of Africa. Our prices are very fair and we are willing to accept goods or services in place of money. Come to B & B blacksmith and see the fine quality of our products for yourself! We offer amazing deals. Stop on by for our buy one hammer, get one free deal - perfect for the holidays! Our staff here at Burton&Burton Blacksmith will be more than happy to accommodate all of your metalwork needs.


a discussion with a native

Interviewer: How do you feel about all these new people settling on your home land?

Native: I think it is very unfair to us. No one asked us if it was okay. This is our home, our only place to live. We have nowhere to go. You and your people should go back to Europe.

Interviewer: This land is now in control of Europe. We have the right to settle here. Our ruler stated this before we came here.

Native: Why should we listen to someone who never seen or heard of before? Our land is our land. We were here first. I think that your ruler will have a very difficult time controlling this land in addition to his own. What if a war was to arise between us? Could this ruler lead you to victory?

Interviewer: I do believe that he will lead us to victory. He has many strong European allies that would help us to win. You and your people stand no chance against us.

Native: After all these years of living here, I would have never imagined someone would come to my land and call it their own. This land has been in our people’s hands for centuries and now some Europeans are settling on it. Don’t get too comfortable here.


Visit the Philippines!

After Magellan claiming the archipelago, Spain has made short work of uniting the islands of the Philippines and renaming them for King Philip II. The Philippines were conquered easily because the people were not united, unlike most other peoples in Southeast Asia. Spanish priests have been visiting the Philippines in attempts to convert Filipino people to Christianity. This has worked so well that some missionaries from the Philippines have spread Catholicism to China and Japan. This territory, the Philippines, has proved very important in Spain’s trading empire. The Spanish mined silver in Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines, where it is used to buy goods in China. This is leading to a large amount of American silver in East Asia.

daily puzzle

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1. to travel completely around the world

2. a distant military station or a remote settlement

3. having full, independent power

4. an Indian soldier who served in an army set up by the french or English


1. a mapmaker

2. a large estate run by an owner and worked by laborers who live there

3. someone sent to do religious work in a territory or foreign country

4. Dutch people who settled in Cape Town

5. a region of China made up of a peninsula, and two islands, and was a Portuguese territory



1. circumnavigate

2. outpost

3. sovereign

4. sepoy


1. cartographer

2. plantation

3. missionary

4. Boers

5. Macao

the daily meme

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Works Cited