Age of Exploration News
Newly Discovered: Cape Town
Cape Town was discovered in the late 1400s by Portuguese explorers: Vasco de Gama and Bartolomeu Dias. Cape Town was used as a trading post by many European nation, such as Portugal, France, England, Holland, etc. Here, Copper, Iron, and food were traded. Then, the Dutch were sent to make a permanent settlement and it continued to grow overtime. With all of Europe's lasting influences, Cape Town grew into a strong settlement and during this time it became exposed to many new things.
Astrolabe: A Chance for Explorers Everywhere
In the early 15th century a new device emerged that is sure to change travel by sea, forever. This new device Is known as an astrolabe. This device will aid in travel across the seas, which means for all sea fairers that safer and more accurate journey. This device is able to use the relative position of different celestial bodies to determine the position of a ship and its crew. This device is also able to tell the time of day by measuring the distance of the sun to the horizon. The astrolabe is usually made of a metal or wooden disk that is suspended by a ring. The disks can be simple or very elaborate and have the zodiac signs painted or engraved on the side. This device will allow ships to know there position which means that they will get lost less often so in turn more riches and spices will be able to reach the European lands making the entirety of Europe richer. The astrolabe also has a function in astronomy. It is able to measure the distance of different celestial bodies in their relationship to the earth. This may allow for the development of more accurate time keeping and calculating ones distance while at sea will become more accurate and precise. This instrument will have a monumental impact on the world of travel.
An Interview with Mr. Akolo
N- Good evening, my name is Christopher Desmaris and I am with Mr. Akolo. Good evening.
I- Good evening.
N- Now you grew up in Africa in a village that was affected by colonization, am I right?
I- Yes, my village was affected by colonization in my late teen years. When I was young, my people would be sold to other colonies to become slaves. But when I grew older, what I thought were strange people, came to the shores in big wooden boats. They set up their own camps right next to the shore, and traded with us.
N- What did your village do to these people, did you hide from them, or try to drive them out?
I- Well we had heard stories of these men coming and setting up camps along the shore just like these men, but they were a little different.
N- So how do you think they were they different?
I- Well the other peoples had set up trading posts and made their own villages. A king named Affonso sent a letter to the leader of the people's to stop them from taking slaves, but nothing happened. Then the men came to my village, they weren't here just to trade, they had weapons.
N- Wow, if I was in your shoes, I would be running for the hills. What did your village do?
I- Well one of the first nights then men were there, they rushed into our village. They weren't trying to kill us, but more to take over our village. They wanted to expand their land, and take over ours. Since they had guns, and we didn't have any firepower to defend ourselves with, we didn't really fight back.
N- I can't believe you guys went through this, how old did you say you were you when this happened?
I- I was sixteen when this happened.
N- Sixteen, that's crazy and his old are you know?
I- I am seventy-seven.
N- So now these men took over you village, what happened next?
I- Well, the next few days, they made us build shelters for them and move all their stuff. After that, they took a whole bunch of us, put us in a big boat, and we were shipped to a new land.
N- What were the conditions on the boat like?
I- It was horrendous, we were all chained together, and the floor was just, I can't even describe how bad it was. Many people died on the way there. Once we stopped, we were taken through this whole process and then sold as slaves.
N- I'm so sorry you and your village had to go through that. I just have one last question, how did you escape?
I- Well the new land wasn't really guarded that well, and one night a whole bunch of us just walked away and lived out our own life.
N- Well thank you for sharing your past experiences, and I wish you the best of luck. That is all we have time for tonight, thank you for tuning in and we'll see you next week with a new story.
Captain Fernão "Ferdinand Magellan" de Magalhães
died in active combat on April 27,1521 in the Philippines at the age of 41.
Fernão is survived by wife, Maria Magalhães (née Barbosa); children,
Carlos and Rodrigo; siblings, Diogo, Aires, Genebra, Duarte, and Isabel.
Fernão was born in 1480 in Sabrosa, Portugal to Rodrigo and Alda de
Magalhães. After the death of his parents in his tenth year, Fernão began
working for the Royal Court as a page. Over period of time, he joined the
Navy and rose through the ranks, achieving the title of Captain.
Fernão was an accomplished navigator and sailor who circumnavigated
the globe. He was an active and dedicated member of the Catholic
Church and a daily communicant.
He was slaughtered by the savages in the Philippines and his remains are
missing. A memorial service shall be held in the Queen's Cathedral
tomorrow. May his soul rest in peace.
Count Vasco "Admiral of the Indian Seas" Da Gama died of malaria in
Cochin, India on December 24, 1524 at the age of 55.
Vasco is survived by his seven children, Cristovao, Estevao, Paolo,
Francisco, Pedro, Isabel, and Alvaro.
Vasco was born in 1460 in Sines, Portugal to Estevao Da Gama, a
wealthy merchant and knight. He married Catarina de Ataide in an
arranged marriage. Through his familial connections, he quickly
accumulated important missions from the king. From there, he navigated
a direct ocean route from Europe to India. He was appointed Viceroy of
India and helped in claiming land for Portugal. He died in Cochin, India of
malaria in 1524.
May he rest in peace.
Bartolomeu Dias, of Algarve, Portugal, died on May 29, 1500 at Cape of
Good Hope in Africa He was 49. He was born in Algarve in 1450. He
became a knight of the King's court. Although it is known that he married,
we do not know the wife's name. He was assigned originally to find the
kingdom of Prester John, but eventually became the first European to sail
around the tip of South Africa. He became an advisor to Vasco da Gama
and died on the Cape of Good Hope at the age of 49. Que sua alma
descanse em paz
The Slave Trade
For as long as civilization existed, so did slaves. From Mesopotamia to
the Ancient Romans, slaves have been bought and sold. So why all the
hullabaloo about the African slave trade? The slave traders capitalized on
the fact that slave trade had become a norm and got away with putting
slaves through hell just to save money. No body looked into the
conditions that the slaves were in and gave a second thought. People just
Slave trade had become a huge source of income for the kingdoms of
Portugal and the Netherlands. Though people were aware of the atrocities
going on around them, their logic and empathy were skewed. Greed and
prejudice dulled their already dull minds. As long as there was a profit
being made for themselves, people turned the other cheek. What is really
ironic is the fact that these black slaves were once a hot commodity. It
was rare to have a black slave. Now it was over the top. Once slave
traders figured out that there was a whole continent full of black people,
they thought,"Hey! I could make money off of this!" And it all went
downhill from there. The once coveted commodity was being treated like
a can of sardines, being stuffed in inhumane conditions and being
exposed to sadism, hatred, and downright cruelty. Exploitation of a once
coveted good. Kind of like salt and pepper.
Line of Demarcation and the Potential of Peace
On this day of June 7th 1494 in tordasillas Spain a new treaty was signed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain as well as King John II of Portugal. This new treaty changed the previously dictated line which stated that all lands that are located 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands, which are under Portuguese rule already, are to be controlled by the Portuguese. It also stated that all lands east of this line are to be under spanish rule. However this line may be difficult to i force due to the fact it is not marked exactly and it is out of the power of the pope and most of the European forces. This newly marked line is hoped to bring peace to the various countries that have been at war over these territories. This line was made to prevent the countries from engaging in a war. It is designed to save the lives of countless Roman Catholics who are both Portuguese and Spanish. The total impact of this line will be felt as time goes on.