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Age of Discovery

History research papers overview the Age of Discovery when studying the 15th Century in World History. Paper Masters can assist you with an Age of Discovery research paper or you can use the sample topic discussion we included on this website. Let us help you write an Age of Discover research project any one of the following explorers:

    Sir Francis Drake English 1540 - 1597
    Sir Walter Raleigh English 1552 - 1618
    Marco Polo Italian 1254 - 1324
    Ferdinand Magellan Portuguese 1480 - 1521
    Christopher Columbus Italian / Spanish 1451 - 1506
    Francisco Pizarro Spanish 1478 - 1541
    Amerigo Vespucci Italian / Spanish 1454 - 1512
    Vasco Nunez de Balboa Spanish 1475 - 1519
    Vasco Da Gama Portuguese 1469 - 1524
    Sir Humphrey Gilbert English 1539 - 1583
    Juan Ponce de Leon Spanish 1460 - 1521
    Sir Richard Grenville English 1542 - 1591
    Sir John Hawkins English 1532 - 1595
    Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Spanish 1510 - 1554
    Sir Martin Frobisher English 1535 - 1594
    Hernando De Soto Spanish 1500 - 1542
    Sir Richard Hawkins English 1562 - 1622
    Hernando Cortes Spanish 1485 - 1547
    Bartolomeu Dias Portuguese 1457 - 1500
    Pedro Alvares Cabral Portuguese 1467 - 1520
    Giovanni Da Verrazzano Italian / French 1485 - 1528
    Gaspar Corte Real Portuguese 1450 - 1501
    John Cabot Italian / English 1450 - 1499
    Sebastian Cabot Italian / English 1474 - 1557
    Jacques Cartier French 1491 - 1557
    Henry Hudson English 1565 - 1611
    Jacques Marquette French 1637 - 1675
    Samuel de Camplain French 1567 - 1635
    Pedro Alvares Cabral Portuguese 1467 - 1520
    Cabeza de Vaca Spanish 1490 - 1557
    Estevanico North African 1500 - 1539
    Panfilo de Narvaez Spanish 1470 - 1528
    Fray Marcos de Niza Italian / Spanish 1495 - 1558
    Alonso Alvarez de Pineda Spanish 1494 - 1519
    Juan de Onate Spanish 1550 - 1630
    Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon Spanish 1475 - 1526
    Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Spanish 1499 - 1543
    Louis Joliet Canadian 1645 - 1700

The Beginning of the Age of Discovery

The Age of Discovery refers to the period of time, beginning in the 15th century, when European mariners set forth to discover new trade routes to the Indies, and wound up discovering new continents.

In 1543, Constantinople fell to the Turks, cutting off the land routes to India and China. Portugal, led by Prince Henry the Navigator, began exploring down the western coast of Africa. In 1488, Dias reached the southern tip of Africa, while Vasco de Gama reached India in 1498.

Age of Discovery

Age of Discovery and Columbus

However, the Spanish monarchs also wanted a sea route to the treasures of the Indies, and so they commissioned an Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus. In 1492, Columbus sailed directly west, reaching the Caribbean. During his four voyages to the New World, Columbus did not discover spices, but he did discover gold, setting off colonization and conquering expeditions led by men such as Cortez and Pissarro.

In 1522, another Portuguese, Ferdinand Magellan, sailed for Spain around the southern tip of South America and into the Pacific Ocean. Although Magellan was killed in the Philippines, one of his original five ships became the first to circumnavigate the globe.

Soon, English, French and Dutch explorers set forth, seeking lands and trade routes further north. In 1606, Australia was discovered, followed by New Zealand in 1642.

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