The Pioneer

The Dawn of Exploration

Portuguese on Rage

Last week, on the 24th of August, 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque and his Portuguese fleet captured the city of Malacca in Asia. This win for the Portuguese secured the victory of the war on trade between the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the Muslims.
Malacca, a former center of the spice trade, was not always so sought by other countries, and began its history in the 1200s as a small fishing village. As the years went by and the trade industry began growing, Malacca became more prosperous, until the 1400s when Malacca became a huge center for trade. In the mid-1400s, Malacca became a Muslim Kingdom and Muslims started controlling the trade game. This large city became the largest center of spice trade in the region mainly because of its geological position in relation to the rest of the world. It is right on the coast with clear routes to India and China. Because of this, Malacca became very a wealthy trade port.
From 1500 until recently, Malacca was at the height of its trade power. Malacca was the most influential port in Southeast Asia and this soon made the Europeans jealous. The Portuguese were the first to be lured into Malaysia because of the spice trade, and in doing so, nearly defeated the Malays and captured the city of Malacca. The Portuguese are now planning to build a fort there and are predicted to control the trade routes in the east.

The Most Earth-Shattering Inventions of our Time

In the 1400s, European knowledge of the world and how to navigate it greatly expanded. Geographers gave navigators more accurate maps, and ship makers built ships more suitable for crossing the ocean. The light, fast carvel ship was developed in the 1400s. It was easily maneuvered along coasts and could travel long distances, unlike most heavy European ships. Navigators began to use existing instruments like the compass and astrolabe in new ways. The Chinese had used the compass for centuries, but the magnetic compass did not become a customary navigational tool until the 1400s. The magnetic compass used an iron needle, magnetized by a mineral called lodestone, that aligns with Earth's north-south poles. Navigators could use it to find their bearings and chart courses. More accurate maps were created along with new and improved astrolabes. Astrolabes were used to look a the sun or a star, and determine its angle using the degrees marked in the instrument. With each voyage, navigators added to their knowledge, resulting in even better maps and improved technology.

International Politics

Recently, Pope Alexander VI stated in the bull inter caetera that all lands west and south of a line known as the "line of demarcation", one hundred leagues west and south of any islands, should be owned by Spain. This is very convenient, seeing as the Pope was Spanish-born. It is believed he is trying to expand his home country. This meant that the Azores, or the Cape Verde islands should be owned by Spain. The country of Portugal did not like the idea of this line and the rules the Pope had made, because Portugal's status and rights had been not taken into consideration. The King of Portugal, John, immediately started negotiations with the Pope and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The King of Portugal wanted the line of demarcation to be moved west. This would allow the Portuguese to keep the Azores and Cape Verdian islands. The negotiations led to the Treaty of Tordesillas.

The treaty was signed in Spain on June 7, 1494. The treaty was made 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands. This treaty allowed the Portuguese to keep their land. However, Spain attained most of the Americas. This line did not have a set longitude or latitude, so different ideas and interpretations of this line were created. Also, this line does not circle the entire Earth.

"Demarcation Lines." Demarcation Lines. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Interview Reveals All

Our reporter interviewed a surviving native member of the people that inhabited Malacca. The Portuguese invaded Malacca yesterday, in the year 1511, and killed almost all of the city's Muslims. Malacca was a thriving port city before it was taken and many of its inhabitants massacred. I am here with survivor Khalid Mandvi.

"How big of an impact did the Portuguese invasion have on your life?”

“The impact has been tremendous. Many of the people I care the most about were brutally massacred by the invaders. My home was destroyed and many of my belongings were taken. I do believe we are going to have a very difficult time living under our new rulers.”

“Have you heard what the Portuguese plan to do with your city?”

“I have heard that they plan to turn it into a merchant or military outpost. They will use it to supplement their already thriving trading empire.”

“Thank you for your time today. I’m sorry for your loss and hope you can recover from it in the future.”

“You’re welcome, and thank you. We as a people will try to recover.”

Business Update

The slave trade has been going on between three major land masses; these places involve Africa, Europe, and America. This trip was horrible for the slaves. A lot of people died due to sickness or disease. They were all stuffed into tiny spots on the ship, and forced to watch their neighbors die and suffer. They all did not know where they were headed and were often so afraid they fought, or killed themselves. They would kill themselves by jumping overboard, and drown themselves. Also, many slaves thought it was better to die than be a slave. The ships brought way more people on the trip then they were meant to carry. In addition, these slaves were given very little food on the slave trade voyage. However, right before they reached their destination on the voyage, they would feed them extra to make them look better so they would earn more money at the slave auction. Even though a lot of people agree with the idea of slaves, I am opposed to the idea of slavery. It is an inhumane act that goes against even the most basic human right that every human being should have no matter who you are or where you come from. Slaves are not even thought of as people. On the contrary, if they were to look inside of them, they would find a heart and the same internal structure as everybody else. The entire idea of slaves, I feel, is morally wrong.

"Slave Trade." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.



Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus died on May 20, 1506. The exact cause of his death is not entirely known but analysts claim that he probably died of a strange illness called Reiter's Syndrome. It was only two years since his final voyage when he died. He was fifty-four years old and his place of death was Valladolid, Spain. Initially he was placed in a Valladolid cemetery but, shortly, his remains were taken to Seville in 1526, upon his oldest boy, Diego's, death.

Matteo Ricci

Matteo Ricci died in 1610, leaving behind 2,500 Chinese Catholics, with many in the educated classes. After Ricci’s, death certain of his decisions were questioned by Church authorities. Especially questioned was Matteo Ricci’s acceptance of Chinese ancestor worship as a legitimate, nontheological memorial to their ancestors that Catholic converts could practice. Later missionaries, not as schooled in Chinese culture, questioned this interpretation and brought their case to the Vatican. The Vatican decided that the Chinese practice of ancestor worship rites was incompatible with Catholic doctrine and was forbidden.

Prince Henry

Prince Henry the Navigator died in 1460. Prince Henry the Navigator was the third son of King John I of Portugal. He is widely credited with being the mastermind to the exploration of the African coast undertaken by Portugal during the 15th century, which led first to the discovery of a sea-route from Europe to Asia and shortly thereafter to the discovery of the New World. He died almost 30 years before the southern tip of Africa was discovered, but the legacy he left, of fearless and persistent exploration, enabled the Portuguese to achieve his dream of finding a sea-route to Asia, and ending dependence on the Muslems for trade.


The Lord Ligonier is now hiring men to work as laborers on their slave ship. Little to no experience is needed, we just want men ready to work hard. The pay will be decided upon hiring. The opportunity will end when the ship leaves for Africa in two weeks.