Exploring the Americas. 1400 - 1625. 8H.2 North America, originally inhabited by American Indians, was explored and colonized by Europeans for economic and religious reasons. Terms Circumnavigate – to sail around the world
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1400 - 1625
Circumnavigate – to sail around the world
Astrolabe – an instrument used by sailors to observe positions of stars
Strait – a narrow passageway connection two larger bodies of water
Conquistadors – Spanish explorer in the Americas in the 1500s
Mission – a religious settlement
Encomienda– System of rewarding conquistadors with tracts of land and the right to tax and demand labor from Native Americans who lived on the land.
Columbian Exchange – exchange of goods, ideas, and people between Europe and the Americas
Mercantilism – the theory that a state’s or nation’s power depended on its wealth
Northwest Passage – water route to Asia through North America sought by European explorers
Technology – the application of scientific discoveries to practical use
Ferdinand Magellan first to sail around the world
1610 – 1611
Henry Hudson explored the Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay
Giovanni da Verrazano explored the east coast of North America including New York Harbor
1492 – 1504
Christopher Columbus explored Caribbean Islands
Jacques Marquette/ Louis Joliet explored the Mississippi River
1603 – 1615
Samuel de Champlain explored the St. Lawrence River and Founded Quebec Canada
Vasco da Gama reaches India
1540 – 1542
Francisco Coronado explored southwestern North America
1539 – 1543
Hernando de Soto led expedition to the Mississippi River
1497 – 1501
John Cabot rediscovered Newfoundland (east coast of America
Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River
1542 – 1543
Juan Cabrillo explored the west coast of North America
1666 – 1682
Robert de La Salle explored the Great Lakes and founded Louisiana after reaching the mouth of the Mississippi River
1534 – 1542
Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River
1508 – 1509, 1513
Ponce de Leon explored Puerto Rico and Florida
Cause and Effect
Eriksson vs Columbus
Several centuries before Columbus, northern Europeans called Vikings had sailed west and reached North America landing in present day Newfoundland.
Columbus made three more voyages from Spain in 1493, 1498, and 1502. He explored the Caribbean Islands of present day Haiti and Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica. Columbus sailed along the coasts of Central America and South America claiming the new lands for Spain and establishing settlements. In the following years, the Spanish explored most of the Caribbean region leading to the establishment of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.
Conquistadors – explorers that received grants from the Spanish rulers. They had the right to explore and establish settlements in the Americas. In exchange they agreed to give the Spanish crown 1/5th of any gold or treasure discovered.
Conquistadors were relentless in their pursuit for wealth and power. They brutally eliminated the Aztec and Incan tribes.
The Spanish governed their colonies the way they governed their own country – from the top down. They divided their new lands into 5 provinces. The wealthiest were New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. A Viceroy was appointed to govern the provinces.
In the 1500’s the Spanish government granted each conquistador who settled in the Americas an encomienda, the right to demand taxes or labor from Native Americans living on the land.
To raise crops, Spanish developed the plantation system. A plantation was a large estate run by the owner or a manager and farmed by workers or slaves.
The exchange of plants, animals, slaves and diseases altered life on both sides of the Atlantic. This is referred to the Columbian Exchange.
In 1492, when Columbus landed on Hispaniola, more than 3 million Native Americans lived there. Fifty years later only about 500 remained.
Mercantilism is an economic theory stating, a nation’s power was based on its wealth.
Other European countries watched Spain draw riches from its colonies. There was now a new goal to increase wealth by establishing colonies in the New World. Competition over territories became fierce.
New colonies would provided the mother country with valuable resources, such as gold and silver, or raw materials. The colonies also served as a place to sell European products.
The voyage to Asia – either around the southern tip of Africa or South America was long and difficult. England, France, and the Netherlands pushed to discover a Northwest Passage to Asia.