Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Age of Exploration
Henry the Navigator
Some men were drawn to the seas out of a curiosity to discover more about the world. One such man was Prince Henry of Portugal, known as Prince Henry the Navigator. With the help of mathematicians, astronomers, cartographers, and other navigators, Prince Henry sent expeditions to explore the west coast of Africa. These explorations led to trade for gold and ivory and, soon after, slaves. Later, Portuguese sailors discovered the route around the southern tip of Africa that would take them to India entirely by sea.
Trade in the New World
In 1492, a trip to the East, made by sailing westward around the world, brought Columbus to the New World--lands known today as the Americas. Columbus had originally set out to find an all-water route to the East Indies; when he spotted the Americas, he believed he had reached his intended destination. It was ten years before Europeans realized that he had found a new land.
These new continents offered riches other than spices, in the form of gold and silver. Spaniard Hernando Cortez discovered an abundance of gold among the Aztecs in what is now known as Mexico. Stories of more gold to be found led him and other Spanish explorers to conquer most of Mexico and Latin America.
The discovery of silver led to the beginning of silver mining in Mexico and South America. Other finds in the New World introduced Europeans to corn, tomatoes, tobacco, and chocolate.