Questions tagged [age-of-discovery]

For questions related to new lands discoveries made by Europeans in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
3answers
169 views

When did the Portuguese decide to extend their West African exploration to finding a sea passage to India?

In 1421, when the Portuguese began the southwards exploration of the West African coast under Prince Henry the Navigator, their primary aim (there were several) was to find the source of wealthy goods ...
33
votes
3answers
4k views

When the Portuguese began the exploration of the West African Coast, did they believe the Indian Ocean was an enclosed sea?

The Ptolemy map shows the Indian Ocean as an enclosed sea separated from the Atlantic by land extending from Africa to Malaya. Therefore, it suggests it is impossible to reach the Indian Ocean from ...
6
votes
0answers
85 views

What were the contemporary European reactions of de Vlamingh's sightings of black swans?

Willem de Vlamingh is reportedly the first European to have seen black swans near modern-day Perth, Western Australia in 1697. The 'black swan' had existed in Europe as a metaphor for about fifteen ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

When did James Cook's wife learn about his death?

James Cook died on 14 February 1779 in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii. When did his wife Elizabeth hear about his death?
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Is there any first-hand evidence of intentional spreading of disease among natives in the Pacific Northwest?

I was working as an interpreter at a city park, and was giving a guided tour of the coast. Because the north end of the city is where an old Native wintering village was, and the outline of it was ...
9
votes
1answer
190 views

How close did a Manila galleon ever come to Hawaii?

Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Manila galleons sailed regularly between Mexico and the Philippines. Consistent ocean currents informed their clockwise route. After the Spanish had ...
3
votes
1answer
224 views

Why did the English name of “Pacific Ocean” stick if it has been known by many cultures since ancient times? [closed]

As far as I understand, the largest ocean on Earth is know worldwide as the Pacific Ocean, a name given by Ferdinand Magellan in 1519. However, it is surprising to me that such a name stuck given that ...
0
votes
2answers
256 views

Independent development of ocean navigation

I am wondering about who can reasonably claim to independently have developed navigating oceans. It is quite clear that the Iberians had the technology around 1500; and that the proto-Polynesians had ...
11
votes
3answers
677 views

Which 'evidence' is there for a claim that 'Chinese discovered America in 636'?

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is a branch of the Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management. On its own website it has a history timeline with a few curious dates: catálogo ...
1
vote
3answers
259 views

Were the islands/countries discovered by Hispanic explorers named after Mozarabic feast days? [closed]

The Spanish and Portuguese often named newly discovered countries and islands after the feast days they were discovered, especially during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. It is always assumed ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

Did the Portuguese Crown sponsor Brazilian gold-seeking expeditions (bandeiras) in the 17th century?

The end of the 17th century is the beginning of the gold rush in Brazil. Shortly before there were expeditions (bandeiras) of explorers (later called bandeirantes) who were seeking precious minerals ...
4
votes
2answers
321 views

Are there any histories of indigenous Americans who were brought to Europe?

I have read brief accounts of indigenous Americans who were brought to Europe in the wake of Columbus's arrival, including a family of Inuit who were brought to meet Elizabeth I but died shortly after ...
8
votes
2answers
160 views

How did tobacco affect the English colonies economically during the 17th Century?

During the Age of Exploration (focusing on 17th century), England went and colonized the Americas, founding the original 13 colonies. They brought back many new wonders, namely, tobacco. I know that ...
5
votes
2answers
610 views

When was the first confirmed circumnavigation of Africa?

There has been debate over the years about whether the Phoenicians and Egyptians circumnavigated Africa. An expedition beginning in 2008 set out to prove just that, with a Phoenician-inspired ship. ...
9
votes
1answer
207 views

How old is Philippe Buache's map of New Discoveries?

(See 6MB high-resolution version.) The University of Hawai'i at Manoa owns a copy of this map of the Pacific by Phillippe Buache. Its library record gives the date "Circa 1750"; I wonder if we can be ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Did any Moors accompany Hernando de Soto in his exploration of Mississippi?

I was reading about Hernando de Soto and saw William Powell's painting (Relevant bit cropped and added below): The odd thing (Marked with a red arrow) is the man who looks Moorish and is dressed in ...
37
votes
1answer
9k views

Why did the Royal Society in 1771 believe that a continent further south than Australia should exist?

In reading the wikipedia article on Captain Cook's 2nd voyage, I noticed the comment: Despite this evidence to the contrary, Alexander Dalrymple and others of the Royal Society still believed that a ...
28
votes
7answers
11k views

Why didn't the Moroccans try to explore and conquer the New World?

Why didn't the Marinid try to discover and colonize the New World during the 15th and 16th centuries, like the Spanish and Portuguese? They faced the Atlantic Ocean and had the power and the ...
-4
votes
2answers
356 views

Nothing is discovered until a white man finds out about it [closed]

It is sometimes complained that nothing is considered to have been "discovered" until a white man learns of it. Thus Columbus "discovered" America, and Livingstone "discovered" Lake Victoria. I have ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How did sailing technology improve during the Age of Sail? [closed]

Wikipedia article on the Middle Passage says: while an average transatlantic journey of the early 16th century lasted several months, by the 19th century the crossing often required fewer than six ...
59
votes
4answers
11k views

Why did Columbus cross the mid-Atlantic instead of exploring from Greenland?

Greenland was known to Europe since long before 1492. In fact, Leif Erikson reached modern Canadian lands around the year 1000, coming from Greenland. That journey was forgotten, but he chose a ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

Independent persons founding personal fiefdoms

Question: I am interested to know of any more possible instances like Sarawak and the Cocos-Keeling Islands described below, where individuals have managed to establish de facto fiefdoms or states ...
9
votes
2answers
270 views

Where did Vasco Núñez de Balboa first see the South Ocean?

Do we know the exact place in Panama where Vasco Núñez de Balboa first saw the South Ocean? (If so, do we have a picture of this place where he saw the two oceans at the same time?) In Decisive ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there a relationship between Portugal and Spain being able to discover the New World and the Moor occupation?

This documentary circa 01:07:20 discusses the Renaissance in Toledo. To me that seems plausible. The knowledge and culture brought by the Moors seems a much better catalyzer to escape the dark ages' ...
6
votes
1answer
650 views

How did Vasco da Gama know about the Southern Cross?

It is said that the precession cycle of the Earth's axis takes about 26,000 years to complete. It is also said that the ancient Greeks could see Crux (aka the Southern Cross) from where they lived. It ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

Was John Cabot the first European to reach Newfoundland since (arguably) the Vikings?

Recently I read Cod, by Mark Kurlansky, a poorly written yet amazingly informative book on the history of cod fishing. Among other fascinating things in that book, the Basques are mentioned as ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

What was Pizarro's route between Spain and Peru?

What was the sea route generally used by Francisco Pizarro and his contemporaries to go from Spain to Peru (and back)? Was it: Sea route 1.: Through Panama Isthmus (with a passage in the land) Sea ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

How did policymakers in the Muslim world react to the discovery and colonization of the Americas?

Since Colombus' voyage in 1492, the Europeans began to explore and colonize the Americas. During the next century, the Spanish (and the Portuguese?) extracted a lot of wealth from the Americas, ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

What did other European powers say when Portugal and Spain signed the Treaty of Tordesillas?

In 1494, Portugal and Castile (succeeded by Spain) divided all lands outside Europe, including the newly "on-discovering" Americas, between them signing the Treaty of Tordesillas. What were the ...
21
votes
5answers
14k views

How significant was the Fall of Constantinople as an event leading to the Age of Exploration?

I have been hearing that the Fall of Constantinople was the most important event that ultimately led to the Age of Exploration, mainly the discovery of the New World by Columbus and of the sea route ...
109
votes
9answers
41k views

Why did Native Americans die from European diseases while Europeans didn't catch serious diseases from the New World?

Why did Native Americans die of European diseases while Europeans didn't have serious diseases from the New World? I read that most Native American victims of colonization in the new world died of ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Did Portuguese fisherman visit New England prior to 1492?

This might blow your mind a little bit, but one thing I notice, living in New England as I do, that there are the remnants of a tiny Portuguese community here going way, way back. For example, there ...
3
votes
0answers
124 views

What convinced the Europeans that they hadn't landed in Asia? [duplicate]

Famously, when Columbus (and several other European explorers) landed in the New World, they thought they'd reached Asia. Hence, for example, our use of the word "Indians" for the local peoples. ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Around the time of Columbus, were there other failed attempts?

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He sailed farther than anyone else had ever done, on three tiny ill-equipped ships. After days of sailing he finally reached his intended destination and ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Was there a Japanese Exchange, à la Columbian Exchange?

After the European (re-)discovery of the Americas, there was a widespread transfer of animals, plants, culture, human populations, communicable diseases, technology and ideas between the Americas and ...
11
votes
1answer
269 views

A world in the moon?

In the 1600s, the nature of the moon was a matter of debate. Papers arguing for the modern concept of the moon were being printed, such as The Discovery of a World in the Moone, 1638. The phrase a ...
10
votes
5answers
12k views

Why was the spice trade so profitable in the 15th century?

During the 16th century, the Portuguese captured Melaka to dominate the lucrative spice trade; other city states such as Aceh, Banten, Brunei and Pegu also sprung up by exporting and trading spices. ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Did anyone in Europe predict the existence of the Americas?

According to the answer of this question, Columbus was pretty much unique in his belief that the world was small enough and Asia was big enough to make sailing west to Asia possible. Everyone else ...
1
vote
1answer
958 views

In 1492, what was the shortest distance you could travel to discover the new world from the old world? [closed]

In 1492, when Christopher Columbus brought the new world to the attention of the old world. What was the extent of the known world, and what was the shortest distance someone could have travelled to ...
8
votes
7answers
20k views

Why did Christopher Columbus think he had arrived near Japan?

This question came to our mind as a long discussion in chat between some users over ELU including me and we thought to post the question here. Wikipedia states he thought he had arrived Japan. In ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is “discovery” in the historical sense? How do historians today view and describe “discoveries”?

I was taught in grade school "Columbus discovered America", "Captain Cook discovered Hawaii" etc, and I imagine many of us were taught the same. Obviously the term "discovered" here is problematic: ...
21
votes
5answers
24k views

Did Antarctica remain entirely unvisited by humans until the early 19th century?

Antarctica today is covered permanently by thick layers of ice, making it extremely inhospitable to humans. And, unlike the Arctic regions, it had no indigenous population of humans when modern man ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Did Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigate the globe?

As we know, Magellan died on the Philippines, so he did not circumnavigate the globe. However, I found an opinion claiming that he actually did, because he'd made some travels to east Asia before his ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a possibility that the Islamic civilization visited America before Columbus?

Islamic sources claim that there is historical evidence that an Islamic explorer visited America before Columbus and the Age of Discovery. An example. Columbus Was Not The First To Cross The Atlantic. ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

What was the value of the spice trade during the age of exploration?

One of the initial motivations for the Europeans in sending exploration voyages was to find cheap spices. To be worth such expensive and risky mission, spices must have been worth a lot and must have ...
14
votes
1answer
754 views

Who first combined the lateen and square sails that led to the carrack?

In the middle ages the square sail was used in the Atlantic cogs, whereas in the Mediterranean the lateen sail was used due to its more flexible use. The combination of both sails into one ship ...
50
votes
5answers
62k views

Why is Christopher Columbus credited for “discovering” America?

Even if we ignore the millions of native Americans who lived in the continent before Columbus "discovered" it, even if we ignore other civilizations (eg: Polynesians, Phoenicians, Chinese, Arabs, etc.)...
70
votes
8answers
25k views

Why was Africa colonized last of the continents in the Age of Discovery?

One thing that I always wondered is during the time where European powers were dividing up the world amongst themselves (1500-1900 roughly), why was it that Africa seemed to lag behind in colonization,...