John Cabot

By George S

John Cabot: The Story Begins

When he was 11, he moved to Venice with his family. In Venice, he learned sailing, and map making. He was taught by Italian merchants and seamen. He became an official Venetian citizen in 1476. Then, he began conducting trade in the eastern Mediterranean. He got into some financial trouble and left Venice as a debtor. He got inspired by the discoveries of Dias and Columbus, and believed that sailing west to Asia from Europe was a faster route. After he heard about opportunities in England, he traveled there and met with King Henry VII. By 1495, he moved to Bristol, England with his family. The king gave him a grant to seek, discover, and find new lands for England. Then, he started his journey.

Journey to...

In 1497, he left England on the ship Matthew. It was a fast ship that weighed 50 tons and carried a crew of 18 men. On June 24, 1497, the 50th day of the voyage, he landed on the east coast of North America. It is controversial where he landed, some say Cape Breton Island, others say Nova Scotia. Some other place that people think he landed were Newfoundland, Labrador, or Maine. He went ashore with a small party. Then, he claimed the land for the king of England most think, because the ship’s logs are incomplete. The ship sailed for England in July of 1497 and reached Bristol on August 6, 1497. He was rewarded with a pension of £20 and he earned the gratitude of King Henry VII. In February of 1498, he got permission to make a new voyage to North America.

Voyage fun facts:

  • It was the 1st recorded voyage across the Atlantic since the vikings in 1000 A.D

  • He wanted to reach Asia the same way that Columbus did, by sailing west

  • He explored the island of Newfoundland, and the coast of Labrador and Cape Breton island, in what is now Canada

  • He didn’t know that America was in his way

The New and Improved Technology

Technology is constantly changing, and improving to this day. I think that exploration in the period when John Cabot explored (1490-1500’s) would have been much easier if they had the technology that we have today. For example, today we have motorized boats. If John Cabot had a motorized ship, he would’ve been able to make many more journeys because he would be able to get there and return faster, but how would he know where to go?

Which brings us to our next topic. Back when he explored, there were compasses, however, they were probably very hard to navigate, unless you learned how to use one, like John Cabot did. Anyway, he would’ve had a much easier time if they had a GPS. This would tell him exactly where to go, and how far or close he was to approaching land.

But he would need something easier than just maps. How about google maps. He would’ve been able to save so much time with google maps, because the time that he spent learning how to make a map, could’ve been used to learn how to sail, or any other things that would’ve got him closer to exploring, faster.

Next, if he had our knowledge that we have know, he would never have had any conspiracy theories, or any troubles making it to land. For example, our world now, is pretty much mapped out. We have structures set up, and we know where everything is located, we even have new ways of travel that makes it so much easier to get from one place to another.

Which finally, brings us to our final topic, new travel. This includes anything from trains, to airplanes, to buses, to cars. All of these things would’ve helped John Cabot and the other explorers from his time by, making easier faster travel, making easier skills, saving time, and so much more.

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John Cabot's Statue in Newfoundland

John Cabot - Mini Biography