Magellan-Supplements.pdf - 1 Magellanu2019s expedition had...

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1. Magellan’s expedition had a multinational crew. Magellan’s fleet had a culturally diverse crew. Spaniards and Portuguese made up the vast majority of the sailors, but the voyage also included mariners from Greece, Sicily, England, France, Germany and even North Africa. 2. Magellan’s voyage was sparked by a treaty between Spain and Portugal. Magellan originally launched his expedition as a means of finding a western route to the Moluccas, a small archipelago in Indonesia known for its stores of precious spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. The Spanish we re desperate to discover this alternate path because of 1494’s Treaty of Tordesillas, a decree from Pope Alexander VI that had essentially divided the world in half between the Spanish and the Portuguese. This agreement placed the more practical eastern route to the Spice Islands under Portuguese control, forcing the Spanish to find a new passage by sailing west around South America. 3. Magellan was considered a traitor to his home country of Portugal. King Charles I of Spain sponsored his voyage. This outraged the King Manuel I of Portugal, who sent operatives to disrupt Magellan’s preparations, ordered that his family properties be vandalized and may have made an attempt to assassinate him. Once the expedition sailed, Manuel I ordered two groups of Portugue se caravels to pursue Magellan’s fleet in the hopes of capturing the navigator and returning him to his homeland in chains. 4. Many of Magellan’s crew mutinied or deserted the expedition. Magellan’s mostly Spanish crew resented the idea of being led by a Port uguese captain, and the expedition was forced to weather two mutinies before it reached the Pacific. The first of these failed revolts was easily unraveled, but the second proved more elaborate. Worried that Magellan’s obsession with finding passage to the Pacific was going to doom the expedition, in April 1520 three of his five ships turned against him. Magellan and his supporters ultimately thwarted the revolt, and he marooned two men on an island when he found they were planning a third mutiny. The rebellions continued later that year when the vessel San Antonio deserted the fleet and returned to Spain. 5. Magellan’s expedition claimed to have encountered giants in South America. While anchored near modern- day Argentina, Magellan’s men reported encounterin g 8-foot-tall men on the beaches of Patagonia. After befriending these “giants,” Magellan tricked them into boarding his ship and took one of the men captive. The giant was baptized and named Paul, but died during the fleet’s long crossing of the Pacific Ocean. Historians have surmised that Magellan’s giants were members of the Tehuelche, a naturally tall tribe of Indians native of southern Chile and Argentina.

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