commercial growth of their nations the first nation to attempt to travel to the

Commercial growth of their nations the first nation

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commercial growth of their nations -the first nation to attempt to travel to the east were the Portuguese-their success as a maritime power in the fifteenth century was due a lot to the work of Prince Henry the Navigator, who was interested in exploring the western coast of Africa to find gold Christopher Columbus -Christopher Columbus was born and raised in Italy and most of his sea experience was for the Portuguese -He believed that Asia could be reached by traveling east instead of going west -Portugal refused to fund his voyage, so he turned to Spain, the strongest monarchy of Europe, ruled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella-agreed to the voyage in 1942 -Columbus commanded ninety men and three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria -left Spain in August 1492 and thought he was sailing straight to Japan-ten weeks later, he saw land and assumed he arrived there but in fact arrived somewhere in the Bahamas -When he got to Cuba, he assumed it was China and went back to Spain to tell of his success-a year later, he went back with a larger expedition, discovering more islands and formed a small but short-lived colony on the island Hispaniola -in 1498, he discovered the mainland and went down the coast of South America -he believed he had explored at least part of the Far East -despite his accomplishments, he was relatively unknown at his death -Columbus was a very religious man and believed his voyages were part of his destiny in fulfilling a divine mission – many subsequent explorations were based on religious values -Spain began to devote greater resources and energy to exploration of Columbus -Vasco de Balboa went across the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and saw across the Pacific -Ferdinand Magellan, working for Spain, found the strait that is named after him and the Southern end of South America- named the Pacific Ocean-died in the Philippines after a conflict with the natives-expedition first to go around the entire globe The Conquistadores -At this time, Spain thought as America as not only a barrier but a source of wealth -Claimed for themselves the New World, except for Brazil -In 1518, Hernando Cortes led a small military expedition into Mexico in search of treasure – met strong resistance from the Aztecs and their emperor Montezuma -Cortes and his army had unknowingly spread smallpox to the Aztecs – this decimated the Aztecs and made it possible for Cortes to succeed in their second attempt at conquest
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-Spanish believed the epidemic was vindication of their efforts and believed it was sent by God – “God saw fit to send the Indians smallpox.” -Cortes established a reputation as the most brutal conquistador because of his ruthless suppression of the surviving natives -the news that there were riches to be found in Mexico caused a wave of conquistadores to descend on the mainland in search of a fortune -Francisco Pizarro conquered Peru in 1538 where the Incas lived- his deputy Hernando de Soto was the first white man who went past the Mississippi River
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