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The Discovery of the Americas


The Discovery of the Americas Explorers and the Age of Exploration The Age of Exploration occurred from the early 15th to the early 17th Century European ships ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Discovery of the Americas

The Discovery of the Americas
Explorers and the Age of Exploration
  • The Age of Exploration occurred from the early
    15th to the early 17th Century
  • European ships traveled around the world to
    search for new trading routes and partners to
    feed burgeoning capitalism in Europe
  • The Age of Exploration was rooted in new
    technologies and ideas growing out of the
    Renaissance including advances in cartography,
    navigation, firepower and shipbuilding.
  • Much of new exploration was rooted in the desire
    to find a route to Asia through the west of

Christopher Columbus
  • In 1492, Christopher Columbus began his
    exploration of the Americas he became famous
    when he discovered a new continent and he ignited
    a competition among many of the other European
    nations to find new lands
  • Columbus discovered what is now known as the San
    Salvador in the Bahamas

The Columbian Exchange
  • The Columbian Exchange refers to the movement of
    peoples, cultures, technologies, plants, animals,
    diseases and other things between Europe and
    North America in the wake of Columbuss voyages
  • This exchange fundamentally changed human life
    and the environment in both worlds

The Columbian Exchange
Examples of the Exchange
  • Potatoes, grown by the Incas, were brought back
    and introduced to Spain in the early 1500s
  • Spain introduced the horse to Spain which
    assisted the natives in becoming more efficient
    in the hunt
  • Europeans traded alcohol with the natives
  • Europeans also introduced small pox and

Spain and Portugal
  • Spain and Portugal were the major players early
    on in the search for new lands
  • This drive for new lands put the two countries in
    direct competition which caused Pope Alexander
    VI to convince the two countries to divide any
    new overseas trading interests between them

The Treaty of Tordesillas
  • In 1494, for the sake of peace and concord
    Spain and Portugal resolved their differences in
    the Treaty of Tordesillas
  • This Treaty established a line at 48 degrees west
    longitude and extended it around the earth
  • Any lands to the west of this line belonged to

America gets a name!
  • In 1499, a Portuguese expedition captained by an
    Italian-born navigator named Amerigo Vespucci
    sailed down the coast of South America
  • Vespucci believed that this land was a vast new
    continent and he erroneously received credit for
    discovering what German mapmakers named America

What? Another Ocean?
  • On expeditions to Panama, Vasco, Nunez de Balboa
    learned from the native peoples of a huge body of
    water called the great waters
  • He led an expedition with the assistance of the
    native peoples and he was the first European to
    set his sights on this great new body of water
  • To Balboa, the water appeared calm and peaceful
    so he gave it the name Pacifica (latin) which
    later became the Pacific Ocean

England vs. Spain!
  • By the 1570s, Queen Elizabeth I was concerned
    with Spains increasingly global influence
  • Fearful of an open confrontation with Spain she
    gave her unofficial approval to piracy against
    Spanish ships and settlements
  • Men such as Sir Francis Drake cruised the shores
    of Spanish America stealing from ships,
    settlements and people These men became know as

Watch Out! Here Comes the Armada!
  • Eventually Spain, seeking revenge against England
    for attacks on her colonies dispatched her huge
    fleet of ships known as the Spanish Armada
    against Englands fleet
  • King Philip II felt he had to destroy the English
    fleet to solve the problem

Defeat of the Armada!
  • Despite being greatly outnumbered, the English
    fleet was faster and pounded the huge Galleons
    with artillery before they could get close enough
    to board the smaller vessels
  • Having been badly damaged in the battle the fleet
    was forced up through the English Channel into
    the North Sea where a fierce storm further
    crippled the fleet
  • In a single battle, Spain lost almost all of her
    naval forces and the English way to the Americas
    was clear

  • Beginning in the 1600s, many of the European
    nations, including England started to follow a
    theory of national economic policy called
  • This theory believed that a states power
    depended on its wealth
  • For this reason, colonies became increasingly
    important to the European Powers
  • Colonies provided raw materials and provided
    markets for manufactured goods from the parents

French Presence In America
  • 1608 Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City
  • 1682 Robert de La Salle followed Mississippi
    River to Gulf Of Mexico and claimed the land for
    France calling it Louisiana
  • French govt disinterested in N. American
    colonies preferring Caribbean sugar col.

The Dutch In America
  • 1609 Henry Hudson sailed for the Dutch and set up
    a trading post on Manhattan Island calling it New
  • Profitable trade in furs took place, but poor
    leadership and weak govt lead to England taking
    over in 1664