The Age of Exploration
Written and Edited By: Candace Myers
How it all started....
Map of the World Before Discovering the New World
Bartolomeu Dias was a Portuguese explorer who was born around 1451 and he died on May 29, 1500. Like John Cabot, he wanted to find a sea route to India. He was sponsored by King John II. He left Portugal and he sailed along the coast of western Africa and around the tip of Africa in 1487. He also wanted to find Prester John who was a mythical Christian priest and ruler. When the Europeans found out that you could trade directly with Asia instead of paying expensive middle men in the Middle East, they were amazed. After that expedition he helped build Sao Gabriel and its sister ship Sao Raefael, which would be Vasco de Gama's ships that he would use to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope and go onto the sea route to India.
Sir Walter Raleigh
John Smith of Jamestown
John Smith was a English explorer, who is mostly known for exploring the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. He was born in 1450 and he died in 1631. He helped established the first permanent English colony in North America. He also was the first person to map out the Chesapeake Bay. He got to America in 1607. He almost was executed for mutiny, but England gave him orders to become one of the leaders of Jamestown. After they arrived in Jamestown in April 1607, by September, 60 people had died from swampy conditions and widespread disease. He once was captured and was taken to the chief of the Powhatans but he said that the chiefs daughter, Pocahontas, saved him from being executed. Some people are not sure that this actually happened and that it might have been a ritual to show his death and rebirth as a member of their tribe. By October 1608, the colony received 220 more settlers. He then tried to steal food from the natives but he was warned after that by Pocahontas that some of the settlers and the native Americans wanted to kill him. In 1609 he had an accidental gunpowder explosion in his canoe and he went back to England for treatment. He never got to return.
The Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange was an exchange of animals, plants, religion, inventions and ideas brought on by the Exploration Age. The Columbian Exchange also brought diseases to the New World brought by explorers, like smallpox and the measles. But when the explorers came back to Europe they brought Syphilis, wich was a disease that came from the New World. Also during all this, the Europeans brought pigs, horses, cows and chickens to the New World. They also brought grapes and wheat. The explorers brought back to Europe tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, turkeys, corn, blueberries, beans, curry, peanuts, sweet potatoes, etc. If the Columbian Exchange hadn't have happened, we would probably still be living in Europe, Africa or Asia. And without the Columbian Exchange we wouldn't have the plants, animals, religion, inventions and ideas that we have today.
- Amerigo Vespucci worked for the Medici's.
- John Smith's adventures with Pocahontas were animated in the movie, Pocahontas.
- Raleigh, the capitol of North Carolina, was named after Sir Walter Raleigh.
- Bartolomeu Dias died because he got stuck in a storm at sea and his ship was wrecked and his crew lost at sea.
- John Cabot's father was a spice trader.