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Age of Exploration: Pushing “the Limits”

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Presentation on theme: "Age of Exploration: Pushing “the Limits”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Age of Exploration: Pushing “the Limits”

2 Essential Question: Why would people take such great – and often dangerous! – risks to explore places they know little about?

3 Freedom Wealth Religion Land Curiosity Adventure Trade Fame

4 Vocabulary Terms Explorer Leif Erikkson Vinland The Silk Road
Marco Polo Prince Henry the Navigator Caravel Bartholomeu Dias Vasco da Gama Christopher Columbus King John of Portugal Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand Vasco Nunez de Balboa Isthmus of Panama Ferdinand Magellan Circumnavigate Amerigo Vespucci

5 What obstacles might an explorer encounter?

6 The Earliest Explorers
Leif Erikson (aka The Viking!) - Eriksson, Ericson, Leif the Lucky - Believed to be the first European to reach North American soil, called Vinland, in 1000 A.D. - Converted to Christianity by King Olaf I with a mission to spread the word of Christ Video: Leif Erikkson (3:32)

7 The Silk Road

8 Spices and Luxuries Trade route/s from Eastern Europe (present day Turkey) to China Over 4,000 miles and very dangerous! Increased commerce ($$$) between many important kingdoms and empires Helped spread new ideas, cultures, inventions, and unique products Also spread disease like the bubonic plague, otherwise known as the Black Death Traded silk cloth, prized for softness and luxury China = “land of silk” Traded teas, salt, sugar, porcelain, carpets, and spices – mostly expensive “high-end” products, as well as cotton, ivory, wool, gold, and silver Traveled in large caravans with many guards Marco Polo one of the most well-known explorers Italian merchant who traveled the Silk Road most of his life 1254 to 1324


10 Prince Henry Bartholomeu Dias Vasco da Gama
The Portuguese Prince Henry Bartholomeu Dias Vasco da Gama

11 Prince Henry the Navigator
Established a school for the study of the arts of navigation, mapmaking, and shipbuilding Designed the caravel, a lighter and faster ship Persuaded his captains to sail beyond the “Green Sea of Darkness” Sought new sources of gold while mapping western Africa Goal of spreading Christianity to western Africa

12 Prince Henry’s Caravel Design

13 Bartholomeu Dias 1488 - Rounded the southern tip of Africa
Came closest to discovering a water route to Asia

14 Vasco da Gama Rounded the southern tip of Africa AND reached India! Found a water route to Asia, brought back a small (but impressive!) collection of jewels and spices, encouraged further exploration

15 Monument to the Discoveries Padrão dos Descobrimentos




19 The Spanish Explorers Christopher Columbus 1492
Rejected by his friend, King John of Portugal Sought a new trade route to China Sailed for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain “Discovered” many of the Caribbean Islands, South America, and Central America

20 Vasco NÚÑEZ de Balboa 1513 – Additional exploration of the Caribbean Sea Discovered the Isthmus of Panama, the small strip of land that connects Central America and South America, which then led to his discovery of the Pacific Ocean You Tube: Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1:31) Isthmus of Panama

21 You Tube: Animaniacs: Ballad of Magellen
Ferdinand Magellan 1519 Led the first expedition to circumnavigate the world Sailed through the Straits of Magellan and into the Pacific Ocean You Tube: Animaniacs: Ballad of Magellen

22 Amerigo Vespucci Columbus had already “discovered” several Caribbean and Central American islands Early accounts of Vespucci’s voyages, now believed to have been forgeries, had quickly spread throughout Europe In 1507, using these letters as his guide, a German cartographer created a new map, naming the territory now known as South America in Vespucci’s honor For the first time, the word “America” was in print.

23 Review & Discussion What problem might there be with using Viking myths as historical sources? What was the importance of the Silk Road? Why would explorers take such dangerous risks? What were some of their fears or obstacles? Dangers? How did the achievements of Balboa and Magellan change the way in which people viewed the world? Why do you think coastal European countries, such as Spain and Portugal, sent explorers to North America, but inland countries did not? Who funded these explorations? Why? Why were Europeans unaware of what they might find on their voyages of discovery? What do we know now that they wouldn’t have known then?

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