Age of Exploration

Julie Curtin, Skyler Callahan, Peyton Reuter,Lauren Strangis


Around the 1500s and 1600s, Europeans invested in slave trade from Africa. Rich Europeans bought slaves from Africa and utilized them by having them work on their plantations and also as "exotic house servants." This meant that they were essentially butlers for their owners; they served household needs. This was business labor fufilled by the slaves. Some people were not happy with slave trading, one of these being King Affonso I. He was the ruler of Kongo and spoke out against slave trading. He became a Christian when he was taught by Portuguese missionaries. Another factor that contributed to slave trade was the triangular trade formed from the Atlantic slave trade and consisted of three legs. In the first leg, goods from Europe shipped to Africa. The goods were traded for African slaves and then the slaves shipped to the Americas. The slaves were exchanged for goods from plantations to Europe. Overall, slave trade brought great wealth to Europe, eventhough it was cruel.


An interview With a Native from Mbanda, Africa

Characters featured in interview:

Native: Kolfi

Interviewer: Lady Skyler Callahan, London, England

Lady Skyler: It is the year 1700, and European traders have been taking thousands of Africans into

slavery. Oh look, there is an African native, there. Maybe we can have a few words. Hello there! May I speak to you for a moment?

Kolfi: Yes, I have a short amount of time.

Lady Skyler: Do you have any friends in your village back home, and where are you from?

Kolfi: I come from West Central Africa, Mbanda, in the Kongo Kingdom. I have lots of friends that live

in my village. There is Kobbi, Bobbo, and Kojo. However, when I am not outside playing with them, I

assist my mother and look after our goats and chickens.

Lady Skyler: Tell me more about your family.

Kolfi: My mother is a beautiful, hardworking woman, whom I look up to, and someday strive to be.

My uncle sometimes shows us how to play his drum. He plays for the chief of the tribe and is very,

very good. We love music in our tribe. We wear a long piece of fabric called calico around our body. I love the color blue. The women work together and make baskets. We are connected to the earth and have a strong spirit connection to one another.

Lady Skyker: How did you find out you were being brought into slavery?

Kolfi: Well, I wasn't told directly. My uncle told me I would be brought to a special place, however,

when I asked to bring my friend Kobbi, he said I could not. That made me very suspicious. Also, as my uncle was telling me this, my sister and mother were screaming and crying. I found out I was sold for 100 gallons of rum.( learn

Lady Skyler: That is very sad. How did you get here? What happened when you arrived?

Kolfi: They brought me to a boat. When I arrived I was very tired. I played a game with a man there. How many steps can we take before we get tired. I think my uncle tricked me. I was very excited until they brought us into a dark hole in the basement. It was hot and it smelled terribly. All of the people there were angry. I cried a lot. The trip took a long time.I was very scared of the water that surrounded us. It was very frightening. Whenever I went to the top deck, my eyes hurt and my knees were achy. They called the trip The Middle Passage. Many people were sick and many died on the trip. We were dirty and hungry and scared. They finally brought us to a big house on the plantation.

Interviewer: What food did they feed you?

Kolfi: They feed us rice food, which I enjoy, but sometimes we find insects in the rice. I dreamt of

having a nice refreshing piece of fruit. Sometimes when we sat on the top of the boat we see some of the men sitting near us suddenly attacking the white men. We were immediately pushed back into the hole and again, and screaming began. I covered my ears.

Interviewer:It sounds very scary. How are you adjusting?

Kolfi: I miss my family. I miss my tribe and my mother especially. I work hard here and we try to

laugh but it is hard. We have to work many long hours and the owner is not always kind.

Lady Skyler: What happened when you arrived here, on the plantation?

Kolfi: We arrived at the tobacco plantation in what felt like years. It has been a miserable year. It is very hot with no shade, and the masters treat us poorly. Maybe I can escape in the night. I have heard that our communities at home are suffering because they are losing their workers. There are many wars over slave trading.

Lady Skyler: I hope someday you can be free and see your family again. Please be careful, I know

Slaves can be treated very badly if they escape.

International News

The Dividing Line
How the treaty of Tordesilles Has Changed Our World

by Lady Skyler Callahan, London, England
In this year, 1494, in the month of June, a treaty was signed by Spain and Portugal. This treaty changes our world and will continue to change our world. We are all very proud of Christopher Columbus. He went out on four voyages and was able to discover new lands and new routes. He thought he had reached East Asia yet we all now know it was new land he found. Ferdinand of Castile and Isabel of Aragon were proud. King Joao II of Portugal was mad. King Joao felt these " heathen lands" as described by Columbus belonged to him.(The He set out a fleet because he wanted to claim the Indes for Portugal. There was threat of war. Ferdinand and Isabel went to Pope Alexander VI of Spain. There were also issues around Isabel’s half sister being Portugese. The Pope issued the rules, " by the authority of almighty God".( Ferdinand and Isabel had rights to land found by Columbus. The Pope forbid anyone to go to these new lands no matter who they were unless they were Portugal or Spain. He created an imaginary line in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, called the line of demarcation. The land east of line belonged to the Portuguese and land west belonged Spain. Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesilles in Spain in June 1494. The line moved west, and Brazil moved into Portuguese land and protected the Portugueses’ African trade route. They wanted to prevent war from two powerful nations. The treaty was supposed to be for peace. I fear it may lead to many more problems like piracy, smuggling, and warfare. People love the Church and do not want to go against it. They may be excommunicated. I fear that Portugal and Spain will become too powerful and wealthy. Portugal can go to the Spice Islands and have control there. Spain will go to the empires of the Aztecs and Incas and have control there. Other countries such as England, France and the Netherlands may not have a chance or will have to go elsewhere. If Portugal and Spain have all the control their language culture and religions will be well established. Columbus opened the doors to voyage but our seas are at stake. Power and cliques have divided the world in half.(


Obituary 1:

Ferdinand Magellan, age 41, of Sabrosa, Portugal died on April 27, 1521. He died a rough death in the Philippines, where he became involved in a local war, and was killed in battle. Magellan gave the Pacific Ocean it's name, which translates to peaceful in latin. He was very important in the Age of Discovery and will be remembered for leading the first European voyage to circumnavigate the globe.

Obituary 2:

Christopher Columbus, age 55, of Genoa, Italy, died on May 20th 1506. He died in Valladolid, Spain of poor health with his sons Diego and Ferdinand, his brother Diego and a few shipmates by his bedside. He set out to reach the East Indies, but underestimated the size of the earth and ended up in previously unknown continents. He was credited with discovering the Americas on an expedition in 1492.

Obituary 3:

Christopher Columbus, age 55, of Genoa, Italy, died on May 20th 1506. He died in Valladolid, Spain of poor health with his sons Diego and Ferdinand, his brother Diego and a few shipmates by his bedside. He set out to reach the East Indies, but underestimated the size of the earth and ended up in previously unknown continents. He was credited with discovering the Americas on an expedition in 1492.


The Spanish took over the Philippines which were claimed by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Within the time span of about 50 years, the Spanish had defeated and colonized the islands, which was easy for them because the Filipinos were not united like most of the people of Southeast Asia . They renamed the Islands for King Philip II. Because of the Catholic Reformation, Spanish priests embarked on a journey to convert Filipino people to Christianity, which turned out successful. This then led to Filipino missionaries trying to spread Catholic teachings to China and Japan. The Philippines became very important in Spain's overseas trading empire. The Spanish shipped Mexican and Peruvian silver over the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines, and from there the Philippines used the silver to buy Chinese goods. As a result of this, large amounts of American silver greatly benefited the economies of the East Asian Nations. This trade was important to both the East Asian Nations and Spain.


There are many technological innovations that were used in this time, including tools such as the astrolabe, the ka-mal, the caravel, and the traverse board. There are many more, but I am going to talk about these few. First off, the Ka-Mal was a tool that determined latitude. It was a piece of wood that would sight the horizon at the bottom of it and the Polaris at the top of it. The person using this would know their latitude after everything is lined up perfectly. Another tool that was openly used was the astrolabe. It is an altitude and angle measuring tool. It was used for astronomy and astrology, and was invented by Hipparchus. Hipparchus was a mathematician and a Greek astronomer, but this tool that he originally kade for astronomy and astrology was later used for sailors to measure the angle of then sun. Furthermore, another tool is the traverse board. It helped people who were out at sea stay on track and stay organized. It was used by helping sailors record the speed of their ship and the direction the ship had been traveling in. Finally, the last tool is a caravel. It is a small ship that was used as a cargo, a warship, a dispatch boat, pirate ships or a patrol ship! It was weighed at about 50 to 200 tons and they were quite cheap. It was mostly known for its extraordinary speed and maneuverability.