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Early Explorer’s Timeline By Ms. Schoettlin
1000 ADLeif Erickson Accomplishment First European to set foot in North American, around Newfoundland in Canada. Reason for Exploration Wanted to find wood for Viking settlements in Greenland.
1270Marco Polo Accomplishment After 17 years in China, he wrote a book about his travels and inspired future explorers. Reason for Exploration Wanted to travel to China to get spices, jewels, perfumes, and silks to take back to Italy.
1492Christopher Columbus Accomplishment He proved that ocean travel across the Atlantic was possible. Reason for Exploration Wanted to head west across the Atlantic Ocean to find an all-water route to Asia.
1497Vasco de Gama Accomplishment First person to find an all-water route around Africa to Asia. Reason for Exploration Wanted to find an all-water route to Asia by heading around Africa.
1497John Cabot Accomplishment Explored the waters off Canada and claimed land for England. Reason for Exploration Wanted to find an all water route to Asia by traveling north and west across the Atlantic.
1499Amerigo Vespucci Accomplishment He realized that Columbus had discovered a world unknown to Europeans. America was named after him. Reason for Exploration He was inspired by the stories of Columbus. (curiosity)
1513Vasco Nunez de Balboa Accomplishment He was the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean by traveling west. Reason for Exploration He wanted to find riches and a way across America
1513Juan Ponce de Leon Accomplishment He claimed Florida for Spain. Reason for Exploration He was looking for gold and the fountain of youth.
1519Hernando Cortes Accomplishment Conquered the Aztecs, stole their gold and silver, and claimed their land for Spain. Reason for Exploration He wanted to conquer the Aztecs for their gold and silver.
1519-1522Ferdinand Magellan Accomplishment Though he was killed, his crew reached the Indies and sailed around the world. Reason for Exploration He wanted to reach the Indies by sailing west.
1524Giovanni da Verrazano Accomplishment He explored the coast of North America from North Carolina up to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in Canada. Reason for Exploration He wanted to find a Northwest Passage to Asia
1531Francisco Pizarro Accomplishment He conquered the Incas, took their riches, and claimed land (Peru) for Spain. Reason for Exploration He wanted to conquer the Incas in Peru and take all of their gold and silver
1534Jacques Cartier Accomplishment He discovered the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River and claimed the area for France. Reason for Exploration He wanted to find a Northwest Passage to Asia
1539Hernando de Soto Accomplishment Claimed S.E. part of United States for Spain. 1st European to see Mississippi River. Reason for Exploration He was looking for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold
1540Francisco Coronado Accomplishment He claimed much of the southwestern part of today’s United States for Spain. Reason for Exploration He was looking for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold
1540 Henry Hudson Accomplishment Claimed the Hudson River area for the Netherlands. Claimed the Hudson Bay area for England. Crew mutinied. Reason for Exploration 4 Voyages Searched for NW Passage for Dutch East India Company
1608 Samuel de Champlain Reason for Exploration Hired by merchants to build a settlement for the fur trade. Accomplishment Founded Quebec (in Canada). It was the 1st French settlement.