• Sep 15, 1300

    Marco Polo's Adventures

    Marco Polo traveled to China and other exciting Asian lands. He also wrote, which led many Europeans to think about the riches of Asia.
  • Apr 1, 1400

    Europe Branching Out

    People in Europe began to look to the seas and beyond. Some wanted to spread Christianity, others just longed for adventure. But most of them just wanted to find riches.
  • Oct 18, 1450

    The Search For New Routes

    Europeans loved spices in their diets, but they were from Asia and shipped almost halfway around the world. So some Europeans decided to find new routes to bypass the spice trade in Venice.
  • May 16, 1470

    Henry The Navigator

    Henry The Navigator (The Prince Of Portugal) urged sea captains to explore southward along the coast of Africa. He wanted someone to find a route around that continent to the Spice Island, near India.
  • Jan 18, 1480

    Christopher Columbus

    Christopher thought Asia could be reached by sailing west from Europe. He then persuaded the king and queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, to support an expedition, or trip of exploration. Columbus himself gave the king and queen credit for this idea.
  • Mar 4, 1492

    Cristopher Columbus's First Voyage

    Columbus led his first expedition westward. He landed in the Bahamas, islands that he believed to be near Asia.
  • Feb 19, 1497

    Vasco Da Gama

    Vasco Da Gama heard Henry's request and accomplished this. Then he used the route and sailed all the way to India.
  • Apr 12, 1497

    The Northwest Passage

    King Henry VII sent John Cabot on a voyage to the west. The English thought that there might be a water route through the America's that would lead north and west to Asia. Cabot landed on the far northern atlantic coast of North America-probably the island of Newfoundland. Like other explorers, he failed to find the Northwest Passage. in time, Europeans gave up on their search for the route.
  • Jul 10, 1498

    Columbus Reaching South America

    Later, a mapmaker labeled this new continent "America" for another explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. The name stuck.
  • Sep 16, 1505

    Spanish Exploration

    Spain was taking control of much of South and Central America and many Caribbean islands, including Cuba and Hispaniola. They also claimed many of the New World Lands. Now Spanish governors and explorers began to look northward.
  • Sep 16, 1508

    Juan Ponce de Leon

    He was a Spanish official in the New World. In 1508-1509 he explored and settled the island of Puerto Rico.
  • Jun 8, 1513

    Juan's Second Voyage

    Juan set out with ships and crew. His expedition landed on the east coast of Florida, a name Juan derived from the spanish word for "Flowers". Then the ships sailed down the east Florida coast and through the Florida Keys. Then they cruised down northward along the west coast of Florida for about 100 miles. His expedition revealed that large tracts of land ripe for exploration lay to the north of the Caribbean Islands.
  • Sep 16, 1520

    The Powerful Nation

    At this time Spain was the most powerful nation in the world. Their explorers had claimed huge tracts of land in the new world. They had begun sending gold and silver back to Spain. At their base in Hispaniola Spanish officials eyed the North Amerian coast eagerly.
  • Sep 16, 1523

    The Spanish Coming to North Carolina

    Lucas Vazquez de Allyon, a Spanish official, had seen some of the Atlantic coast line of this region on an expedition in 1520. Allyon intended to plant a strong colony for Spain along that coast.
  • Apr 26, 1524

    Verrazano's Expedition

    King FrancisI of France sent Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazano westward. He landed at North Carolina's outer banks. Over the narrow lands he thought he saw the Pacific Ocean. But he was actually looking at the Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds. Verrazano returned to France and told the French King. But the King was to busy with military challenges at home. So he did not sponsor anymore voyages to the America's.
  • May 19, 1524

    The Rio Jordan Colony

    This colony failed due to disease and starvation. Allyon then took the colonists to a site in present-day South Carolina. This colony also failed and the settlers died of disease and starvation. Even Allyon died there.
  • Apr 1, 1526

    Port Royal

    Ribault's Huguenots attempted to settle near present-day Port Royal, South Carolina. In his report to France, Jean Ribault told why the colonists had chosen Port Royal.
  • May 5, 1526

    Allyon's Remaing Settlers Return Home

    After the entire colony dying and Allyon himself. The remaining 150 colonists of the present-day south Carolina, then returned to Hispaniola.
  • Jul 16, 1526

    Allyon's Move

    Allyon led a group of over 500 men, women, and children to a river called "Jordan" (for the Jordan river in ancient Palestine). Today this is called Cape fear River.
  • Mar 2, 1539

    Hernando de Soto

    Hernando sailed with a military expedition from Havana, Cuba, to the west coast of Florida. There Hernando soldiers marched northward to a site near present-day Tallahassee, Florida. There they spent the winter of 1539-1540. During th Spring Hernando crossed Georgia, South Carolina, and passed through the western tip of North Carolina. As they traveled they became the first Europeaqns to see these regions, and they also met Cherokee Indians. During this expedition Hernando died.
  • Feb 1, 1562

    France And Spain Fight For Land

    France then sent a colony under the command of Jean Ribault to North America. The colonists were Huguenots, or French Protestants. These people were sometimes persecuted in Catholic France. As a result some Huguenots sought religious freedom in the New World.
  • May 4, 1564

    Another Band of Huguenots

    The Colonists of Port Royal then gave up and returned to France. That same year another band on Huguenots, led by Rene de Laudonniere, settled at Fort Caroline, on the north Florida coast. Jean Ribault brought supply ships to the fort.
  • Mar 7, 1565

    St. Augustine

    Spain sent troops under Pedro Menedez de Aviles to Florida. Just south of Fort Caroline, Menedez built fort at St. Augustine. Meanwhile, Ribault prepared to attack. But a storm wrecked his fleet, however, and Menedez lost no time in dealing with the unlucky French. Menedez then captured Fort Caroline and killed most of the French defenders. Then Menedez set off building forts all over Florida, to strengthen Spain's grip.
  • Feb 10, 1566

    Juan Pardo And Hernando Boyano

    Juan Pardo and Hernando Boyano led a small group of men to South Carolina coast. From their they pushed north and west on nearly the same route that de Soto had taken 25 years earlier. In the Blue Ridge Mountains they built a fort, and there Juan and Hernando explored the surronding territory. Some of the members of this expedition traded with the Carolina Indians, and tried to convert them to Catholicism.
  • Jul 25, 1566

    More Spanish Expeditions

    The Spaniards set out for Chesapeake Bay from the West Indies to set up a Catholic mission. Their mission was to convert people to their religion. But Strong winds kept them from reaching Chesapeake Bay, and then ended up in North Carolina's Outer Banks. They then sailed into Albermarle Sound, and ended at the tip of Currituck Inlet. There edro de Coronas marked their landing by placing a wooden cross on the shore. Storms then came so they returned to the West Indies.
  • May 19, 1568

    Spain Set Sights Southward

    Spain's Conquistadores and adventurers had taken firm control of mineral-rich lands in present-day Mexico and Peru. The Gold and Silver from Central and South America made Spain a rich Country. Spain also held islands in the Caribbean Sea, such as Cuba and Puerto Rico. Rich island soils, tilled by enslaved Africans, produced valuable crops such as sugar and coffee.
  • May 28, 1569

    The French Threats

    Officials in Spain had seen the need to strengthen their hold on Florida. They had responded promptly and firmly to French Threats. Now Spanish officials, soldiers, and priests set about tightening Spanish control and converting the Indians to Catholicism. With possession of Florida fairly secure and greater wealth to the south, Spaniards focused their attention southward after the 1560's.
  • Oct 30, 1570

    Here Comes England

    Soon, however, another European nation would compete for a foothold on the North America Atlantic coast. That nation was England!