Age of Exploration

Unit 9: Age of Discovery
• SSWH10 The student will analyze the impact
of the age of discovery and expansion into
the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
• a. Explain the roles of explorers and
conquistadors; include Zheng He, Vasco da
Gama, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand
Magellan, James Cook, and Samuel de
• b. Define the Columbian Exchange and its global
economic and cultural impact.
• c. Explain the role of improved technology in
European exploration; include the astrolabe.
Explorers and Conquistadors
• For thousands of years the
major civilizations of the world
thrived in isolation from one
another. These civilizations had
very little contact with one
another, and in many cases had
no knowledge of each other.
• This all began to change during the Dark Ages.
Both Western Europe and China began to send
out explorers in an effort to learn about the
world around them. These explorers helped to
expand the knowledge of their people.
• As a result of their explorations, trade
routes opened up between civilizations.
Each nation specialized in certain types
of products and goods. These goods
would be shipped to far away nations in
exchange for the goods that they
specialized in.
• Spain and Portugal sent
out these
Soldier/Explorers called
Conquistadors meaning
• The Conquistadors'
mission was to find gold,
convert new souls to
Christianity, and claim
new territories for the
King and the glory of
their country.
• As they explored the
new lands, they
gained personal fame
and wealth by taking
a share of the riches
they could plunder
from the local tribes.
Rather than settle,
their desire was to
make a quick fortune,
and they often
stopped at nothing to
accomplish this.
Zheng He
• He sailed from China to
many places throughout
South Pacific, Indian
Ocean, Taiwan, Persian
Gulf and distant Africa in
seven epic voyages from
1405 to 1433. His voyages
with the "Treasure Fleet“
solidified Chinese control
over much of Asia in the
15th century, some 80
years before Columbus's
Vasco Da Gama
• Following in the
footsteps of
Bartholomeu Dias,
another explorer left
Portugal in 1497 A.D.,
hoping to sail around
Africa and reach India.
• He did so and was the
first man to sail around
the tip of Africa and
reach India by sea.
Christopher Columbus
• Traveling to India around
the southern tip of Africa
was dangerous and
• Christopher Columbus
proposed finding a new route
by sailing west.
• Columbus thought that if
they sailed west, they would
eventually circle the globe
and arrive in eastern Asia.
• 1492, Columbus left Spain in
the Santa Maria, with the
Pinta and the Nina along side.
He has been credited for
opening up the Americas to
European colonization.
Ferdinand Magellan
• In 1519, a Portuguese
sailor set sail from
Seville, Spain, in an
effort to sail around
the globe.
• He discovered the
southern tip of South
America, which is now
known as the
Straight of Magellan.
Ferdinand Magellan
• He made it to the Philippines where he was
• His remaining crew of 18 men sailed back
to Spain, arriving home after being gone
for three years.
• It was the first time anyone had managed
to sail around the entire globe.
• They proved once and for all that what
Columbus had discovered was indeed a new
• They also discovered just how large the
Earth really was.
James Cook
James Cook
• 1st Voyage (1768-1771) He charted New Zealand and
the east coast of Australia (known as New Holland at
the time; New South Wales today).
• 2nd Voyage (1772-1775) circumnavigating the
southern waters around Antarctica, he indisputably
determined that there was no habitable southern
continent. During this voyage he also discovered
several island chains in the Pacific Ocean to include
Easter Island.
• 3rd Voyage (1776-1779) He sailed along the coast of
what would become Oregon, British Columbia and
Alaska and proceeded through the Bering Straight.
His last stop was in February, 1779 at the Sandwich
Islands (Hawaii) where he was killed in a fight with
islanders over the theft of a boat.
• Cook's explorations dramatically increased European
knowledge of the world. As a ship captain and skilled
cartographer, he filled in many gaps on world maps.
His contributions to eighteenth century science
helped propel further exploration and discovery for
many generations.
• Cook’s voyages are generally recognized as one of the
last frontiers in the age of exploration.
Samuel de Champlain
• Samuel de Champlain (1567 1635) was a French explorer
• He explored eastern Canada
• He founded the city of Quebec as
the first permanent French colony
in North America
• He established trading companies
in Quebec that sent goods to
• He was known as the father of
New France
• His maps and charts were used by
many explorers for years to come.
• b. Define the Columbian Exchange and
its global economic and cultural impact.
Columbian Exchange
• The Columbian Exchange refers to a period
of cultural and biological exchanges
between the New and Old
Worlds. Exchanges of plants, animals,
diseases and technology transformed
European and Native American ways of
life. Beginning after Columbus' discovery in
1492 the exchange lasted throughout the
years of expansion and discovery. The
Columbian Exchange impacted the
economical and cultural makeup of both
sides of the Atlantic. One important part
was the exchange of food plants.
Cultural Impact on the
Old World
• The Diet and nutrition in Europe and Africa was
• Starvation, which had long limited population
growth in Europe and Africa, was largely
overcome through the transplantation of New
World foods.
• With the foods came overpopulation.
• Main food from the Americas
– The potato, corn, and cassava
on the
Old World
• In the cases of both Irish potatoes and
African cassava, New World plants
transplanted to Old World societies helped
to sustain millions of lives—lives that were
later used as reinforcements in the
European colonization of the Americas.
• Other major crops included Cocoa, peppers,
and tomatoes.
on the
New World
• European crops that were brought to
the New World included coffee,
peaches, sugar, and wheat.
Cultural Impact on the
New World
• Farming changed in the New World.
• Large plantations were started.
• Sugar cane was one of the most important and
culturally changing crops in the New World.
• Slaves from Africa were introduced.
• Over time there was cultural intermingling that
occurred between Europeans, Africans and Native
on the
New World
• The Europeans brought with them many
• The native people did not have any natural
resistance (immunity) to these diseases
• Some diseases were smallpox, measles,
influenza, and typhoid fever.
• Between 50 to 75 percent of the native
population died due to the diseases brought
over by the Europeans
Cultural Impact on the
New World
• In the Americas, there were no
horses, cattle, sheep, or goats,
all animals of Old World origin.
Cultural Impact on
the New World
• Except for the llama, alpaca, dog,
a few fowl, and guinea pig, the
New World had no equivalents to
the domesticated animals
associated with the Old World.
Cultural Impact on
the New World
• The horse was the most significant culturally
changing animal brought to the New World.
• It allowed the natives to travel farther and faster.
• It was useful in battle and hunting.
• It helped natives spread their territory and trade.
Economic Impact
• North America became major producers of
– Corn – fields of Nebraska
– Wheat – Kansas and the Great Plains
– Beef cattle- Texas
• Caribbean and South America came to host the
world's greatest plantations. Sugar
• South America
– Old World cash crops such as sugar and coffee
– Wheat- Pampas (fertile South American lowlands)
– Beef cattle-Brazil
Economic Impact
• c. Explain the role of improved
technology in European exploration;
include the astrolabe.
The accomplishments of the Age of
Exploration would not have been possible
without several key technological advances.
• Into the 1400s, ships called galleys,
were long clumsy ships that could only
sail with the direction of the wind.
• Late 1400s, Spanish moved the rudder
to the rear of the ship, made ships
longer and larger, and changed the size
and shape of the sails.
• New ships could sail against the wind.
Improved Technology
• Caravel: a faster
and much more
maneuverable ship.
Improved Technology
• A triangular, or lateen sail
– allowed ships to sail in cross
winds, or even against the wind
However, side rudder was
old technology
Improved Technology
• Rear rudder
– Was a more efficient rudder
Improved Technology
• Improved Spanish Ship
Improved Technology
• Other important technologies include
navigational devices.
• The magnetic compass was used to plot
basic cardinal direction.
• a device used to
calculate latitude
based on the ship’s
position relative to
the stars
• Later, an even more sophisticated
device, called a sextant, was used to
calculate both latitude and longitudelike a pre electronic age GPS system.

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