The Age of Exploration

By: Katelynn Greatorex and Destiney Bunker


In the 1500s though the 1800s the Portuguese and the Spanish were the leaders of the quest for "God, Glory and Gold". Porutgal had headed East claiming the total control over the Spice Islands. While in the West, both Portugal and Spain claimed new areas of America. But near the end of the sixteenth century more countries such as the Dutch, the French and the English, had entered the competitive search for riches and new land.

Important Terms

Encomienda - The right of landowners to use Native Americans as laborers

Cape of Good Hope - The Southern tip of Africa

East India Company - Competed with the English and Portuguese for the Indian ocean trade

Columbian Exchange - The exchange of plants and animals between Europe and the America's

Conquistadors - Spanish conquerors of the America's

Treaty of Tordesillas - Between Spain and Portugal to resolve their conserns of either country claimin their newly discovered land

Montezuma - An Aztec monarch

Melaka - Spice trade port

Important People and Countries


Christopher Columbus - Persuaded Queen Isabella of Spain to finance his exploration, he believed he could reach Asia by sailing West instead of East around Africa

Hernan Cortez - Spanish conqueror of Mexico

Vasco de Gama - Went around the Cape of Good Hope and cut across the Indian Ocean to the coast of India

Fransisco Pizarro - Landed on Pacific coast of South America

Marco Polo - Traveled with his father and uncle and ended up writing a book about his journy called The Travels

Amerigo Vespucci - Went on several voyages and wrote letters to describe what he saw on them

Ferdinand Magellan - He persuaded the king of Spain to finance his voyage to Asia through the Western Hemisphere

John Cabot - Explored New England coastline for England

Bartholomeu Dias - The first to round the tip of The Cape of Good Hope


Portugal - Took the lead in European exploration

Cuba-Cristopher Conlumbus expolored

Important Events

1420- Portugese fleets began traveling Southwards along the West coast of Africa were they discovered a new source of gold

1488- Bartholomeu Dias founded the Cape of Good Hope

1492 - Christopher Columbs reached America and explored the island of Hispaniola and the coastline of Cuba

1494 - Treaty of Tordesillas was signed

1509 - The Portuguese warships defeated a combined fleet of Turkish and Indian ships off the coast of India

1519 - Hernan Cortez and his crew landed at Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico

1519 -Magellan sailed down the coast of South America in search of a sea passage through America

1520 - Magellan passed through a water way (later called The Straight of Magellan) into the Pacific Ocean, later Magellan was killed by Native people

1530- Fransisco Pizarro landed in South America on the Pacific coast

1535 - Pizzaro established a new capital at a placed called Lima just fo the Spanish Empire

1538 - Only 500 Native Americans had survived due to diseases

1550 - Almost all territory in Mexico, Central America and South America had been put under Spanish control

1595- The first Dutch fleet arrived in India and formed the East India company

1660 - Rivalry between the French and the English caused the Dutch commercial empire to fall

1664 - English seized the colony of New Netherlands from the Dutch and renamed it New York