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Voyages That Shaped the World

  • 530

    Saint Brendan's Miraculous Voyage

    Saint Brendan's Miraculous Voyage
    An Irish monk, and a number of his brother monks, crossd the Atlantic. Their boat was made from a framework of oak or ash covered by ox-hides and it was open to the skies. When they reached offshore from the coast of Florida they picked up the Gulf Stream which carried them to the north. They were never far from the American mainland but there is no record of their sighting it. At one point they met a huge creature that can only have been a whale.
  • 530

    ** Note about this timeline **

    June 1 is the "default" setting for those events that do not have exact dates.
  • Period: 530 to

    Voyages that Shaped the World

  • Jun 1, 982

    Erik the Red

    Erik the Red
    Exiled from Iceland for three years, sailed in a Viking longboat with his household and livestock and settled in an area near the present town of Julianehab. Called it Greenland, exaggerating the merits of he new land. By the year 1000, a settlement later known as Eystribygdh had grown to a thousand, but an epidemic in 1002 considerably reduced he population.
  • Jun 1, 1000

    Leif Eriksson

    Leif Eriksson
    Son of Eric the Red. Left Greenland and came fo Baffin Island. Sailing on, they came to a warmer, greener land (Newfoundland), and decided to winter there and built some houses. Eriksson called it Vinland. Modern researchers have suggested the name did not mean "wine land" but rather "grassland" or "grazing land".
  • Jun 1, 1169

    Madoc Ab Owen Gwynedd

    Madoc Ab Owen Gwynedd
    Illegitimate son of dead king of Wales leaves during a bloody civil war. After landing in Ireland, Madoc ventured further into the Atlantic. After a crossing of unknown duration he rounded the peninsula of Florida and sailed into the Gulf of MX. He landed at a river estuary, place that became Mobile, Alabama. Brought a new party of settlers back in 1170 and spent several years exploring the rivers of GA, TN, and KT, sometimes building stone fortifications; made settlement on Missouri River.
  • Jun 1, 1418

    Prince Henry the Navigator

    Prince Henry the Navigator
    (And his colonization of Atlantic Islands). Henry was seeking knowledge, but was also a quest for gold and spices. Also took his sponsor's wishes seriously to spread the gospel of Christ to the people of Africa. 1418: Madeira; 1427: The Azores; 1430: Cape Num; 1434: Cape Bojador; 1441: Rio de Ouro; 1445: Cape Blanco and Cape Verde; 1450: The Canary Islands; 1456: Cape Verde Islands, and Alvise de Cadamosto reached River Gambia; 1473: Lopo Gonclaves crosseed Equator.
  • Jun 1, 1421

    4 Journeys of the Ming Dynasty

    4 Journeys of the Ming Dynasty
    In 2001 a Chinese lawyer bought an antique map dated 1418 that gave a very accurate picture of the whole world, including North and South America. Evidence in ffavour of the voyages: 1. The map discovered in 2001. 2. The high standards and volume of Chinese shipping. 3. Chinese knowledge of astronomy and navigation. 4. The maps showing accurate coastlines but with a shift in longitude. 5. Genetic fingerprints.
  • Jun 1, 1487

    Bartholomew Dias

    Bartholomew Dias
    Many were convinced that the African continent went all the way to the South Pole and that there was so sea passage around Africa to the east. But when Dias followed the coast from Mossell Bay, South Africa he discovered to his surprise that he was soon traveling to the north east. He knew that his ship was saling along the East Coast and into the Indian Ocean. Southernmost cape of Africa named Cape of Good Hope by the king of Portugal because of its significance as a passage to India.
  • Oct 11, 1492

    Christopher Columbus

    Christopher Columbus
    Sailed from Spain on Aug. 3, 1492 in his flagship, Santa Maria. The two smaller supporting vessels were the Pinta and the Nina. Landed on island of San Salvador. Columbus gave out red bonnets, glass beads, and necklaces. The islanders swarmed around the boats giving balls of cotton thread, darts, and brightly colored parrots in exchange. Columbus made three more voyages: 1493, 1498, and 1502. He died in 1505.
  • May 4, 1494

    Treaty of Tordesillas

    Treaty of Tordesillas
    Land in the New World held great potential wealth which would benefit European nations. On May 4, 1493 Pope Alexander VI took action to clear up any confusion over territorial claims. His decree established an imaginary line running north and south through the mid-Atlantic, 100 leagues (480 km) from the Cape Verde islands. Spain would have possession of any unclaimed territories to the west of the line and Portugal would have possession of any unclaimed territory to the east of the line.
  • May 20, 1498

    Vasco Da Gama

    Vasco Da Gama
    Taking the same route as Dias around Africa, Da Gama arrived in Calicut, India. Only 44 of tho riginal 170 men returned safely. Da Gama had proved that it was possible to reach the Orient by a sea route. The total distance covered by his voyage was equivalent to the circumference of the earth.
  • Jun 1, 1498

    John Cabot's Search for NW Passage

    John Cabot's Search for NW Passage
    An Italian sailing for England. In Mach 1496, obatined a royal assent from Henry VII to discover and explore unknwon regions. He made several attempts to cross the Atlantic before successfully finding the northeastern coast of Canada. This convinced Cabot he had found a shorter route to Asia (Northwest Passage) and made another voyage in 1498. Cabot died on the expedition. His voyage opened up Newfoundland as a regular fishing ground and place of trade.
  • Jun 1, 1521

    Hernan Cortez

    Hernan Cortez
    Spanish conquistador (also a failed law student); overthrew Aztec empire and claimed Mexico for Spain (1519-21). Sailed with 11 ships from Cuba to the Yucatan Peninsula for gold, silver, and other treasures. "Discovered" Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. He then brutally killed the Aztec emperor Montezuma and conquered his empire, claiming all of Mexico for Spain in 1521. Cortéz was appointed governor of New Spain, but eventually fell out of favor with the royals.
  • Sep 1, 1522

    Ferdinand Magellan/Circumnavigation

    Ferdinand Magellan/Circumnavigation
    Magellan's 1518 proposal to search for a passage around the south of America into the Pacific Ocean was accepted by Charles I of Spain. Left with 5 ships in Sept. 1519. One ship struck a hidden reef, another mutinied and sailed for home. Continued on for months, finally landing in the Philippines and resupplied. Involved himself in a tribal war and was killed. The man who discovered the gateway to the Pacific Ocean did not complete the circumnavigation. 35 of 280 returned in Sept. 1522.
  • Jun 1, 1532

    Francisco Pizarro

    Francisco Pizarro
    Spanish conquistador who traveled through much of the Pacific coast of America along Peru. In 1532 he "discovered" the Incan empire and conquered it brutally and quickly, stealing immense hoards of gold, silver, and other treasures. After looting and generally destroying the Incan capital of Cusco, Pizarro founded Lima. Pizarro was assassinated in Lima, Peru, in 1541.
  • Apr 20, 1534

    Jacques Cartier/Canada for France

    Jacques Cartier/Canada for France
    On this date, sailed with 2 ships and 61 men. Found the land and people on the Labrador coast very forbidding. On second voyage, sailed up the St. Lawrence as far as Quebec and established a base. Barely survived severe winter; 25 men died of scurvy. Forced Iroquois chiefs to go to France. Reported riches farther in the interior and a great river that ran all the way through America. But Cartier's lack of diplomacy destroyed badly needed trust between the explorers and Native Americans.
  • Sep 14, 1553

    Sir Hugh Willoughby

    Sir Hugh Willoughby
    Early English Arctic voyager. Sent out in 1553 with 3 vessels and chief pilot Richard Chancellor. Vessels were separated by "terrible whirlwinds" in Norwegian Sea. On 14 Sept. 1553 Willoughby sailed into a bay near present border between Finland and Russia. The ships with the frozen crews, including Willoughby and his journal, were found by Russian fishermen a year later. Chancellor dropped anchor in the White Sea and trudged his way overland to Moscow, opening trade with Russia.
  • Jun 1, 1565

    Andres de Urdaneta

    Andres de Urdaneta
    Spanish explorer who accompanied Garcia Jofre de Loaysa on the second sailing expedition around the world when he was 17 years old. On this 1525 trip, only one ship of the original seven survived. Urdaneta found a sailing route from the Phillipines to Mexico in 1565. This route was extensively used by the Manila galleons until 1821, when the Spanish rule in Mexico ended.
  • Feb 1, 1568

    Alvaro de Mendana

    Alvaro de Mendana
    From 1567-68, Mendana, the 25-year-old nephew of the Governor of Peru, led the first European expedition into the South West Pacific. Previous Spanish navigators had sailed west from Mexico, following courses north of the Equator towards Asia. Mendana, by contrast, sailed from Callao in a south-westerly direction. In February 1568, after a voyage of three months, Mendana reached islands that the Spaniards were later to name the Solomon Islands.
  • Aug 20, 1572

    Miguel Lopez de Legazpi

    Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
    Spanish explorer who established Spain’s dominion over the Philippines that lasted until the Spanish-American War. Legazpi left Acapulco and reached Cebu, one of the southern islands, in April 1565, founding the first Spanish settlement on the site of modern Cebu City. Legazpi served as the first governor of the Philippines, from 1565 until his death. After deposing a local Muslim ruler, in 1571 he established the city of Manila, which became Spain's major trading port in East Asia.
  • Jun 1, 1576

    Sir Martin Frobisher

    Sir Martin Frobisher
    English privateer, navigator, explorer, and naval officer. After years of sailing to northwestern Africa, and then looting French ships in the English Channel, sailed to northeastern North America to search for a Northwest Passage. In 1576, began a series of three trips to what is now Canada. Also discovered Resolution Island, claiming it for England, and Frobisher Bay. Was one of the first to explore the area of Newfoundland, although he failed to find either a Northwest Passage or gold.
  • Dec 13, 1577

    Sir Francis Drake

    Sir Francis Drake
    British explorer, slave-trader, privateer. Led second exp. to sail around the world, 1577-80. Left Plymouth on Dec. 13, 1577, with 6 ships (incl. the Golden Hind). Sailed to Brazil and through the Straits of Magellan. By Panama he pirated Spanish ships and settlements for food and treasures, then crossed the Pacific, sailed by Indonesia, through the Indian Ocean, past Cape of Good Hope, and back to Plymouth. Helped England crush Spanish Armada in 1588 and became the dominant world power.
  • Pedro Fernandez de Quiros

    Pedro Fernandez de Quiros
    Portuguese navigator and explorer who sailed for Spain. He took over the Solomon Island expedition of Mendana in 1595 (after Mendada died) and later discovered and started a Spanish settlement on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu. He later sailed to Mexico under curious circumstances. Upon returning to Spain, he sent hundreds of letters and maps to King Phillip III asking him to sponsor Quiros in another expedition. Quiros died near Panama on a 1614 trip to Peru.
  • Mayflower

    Mayflower
    Transported English Separatists, (Pilgrims), to Plymouth, Mass.. There were 102 passengers and crew of 25–30. Left England on September 6, 1620 (Old Style)/September 16 (New Style), and after a grueling 66-day journey marked by disease, which claimed two lives, anchored at Cape Cod (Provincetown Harbor) on November 11/November 21. Originally destined for the mouth of the Hudson River, at the northern edge of England's Virginia colony. But it went off course as the winter approached.
  • Abel Tasman

    Abel Tasman
    Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant. His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands. On 24 Nov. 1642 Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania. After some exploration, Tasman intended to go north but as the wind was unfavourable he steered east. On 13 Dec. they sighted land on the northwest coast of New Zealand, becoming the first Europeans to do so.
  • William Dampier

    William Dampier
    Best known for being the first person to circumnavigate the world twice. Most accounts describe a scientist rather than a pirate. Most of his time was spent in scientific exploration with the creation of wind charts, written descriptions and reports on natural history, plant life, animal life, and native peoples. First Englishman to spend significant time in Australia, which was then known as New Holland. 1691 book entitled _A New Voyage Round the World_ was an immediate success in England.
  • Jacob Roggeveen

    Jacob Roggeveen
    Dutch navigator. In 1721, Roggeveen was sent by the Dutch West India Company to search for the great land thought to be west of Chile, and in 1722 he discovered Easter Island, several large atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago, and the Manu’a Islands, Tutuila, and Upolu in the Samoan group.
  • Vitus Bering

    Vitus Bering
    Danish navigator in the service of the Russian Navy, a captain-komandor known among the Russian sailors as Ivan Ivanovich. He is noted for being the first European to discover Alaska and its Aleutian Islands. The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge bear the explorer's name. He died on this date.
  • Captain James Cook

    Captain James Cook
    British explorer, navigator and cartographer. Made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean during which he achieved the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. Commissioned in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages. Charted many areas and recorded several islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. Was killed in a fight with Hawaiians in 1779.
  • Captain Matthew Flinders

    Captain Matthew Flinders
    Sailed to Australia in 1795, exploring and charting the south east coast and circumnavigated Tasmania. In 1801 he surveyed the entire southern coast, from Cape Leeuwin, in the south west to the Bass Strait, which runs between mainland Australia and Tasmania. In July 1802 he sailed from Sydney, charting the east coast of Australia and the Gulf of Carpentaria on the north coast. Continuing westward and southward, he circumnavigated Australia and reached Port Jackson on this date.
  • Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin
    On this date, left England on HMS Beagle. 1835: at the Galapagos Islands. 1838: Beagle returns to England. 1858: published a joint paper on evolution with Alfred Russel Wallace. 1859: The Origin of Species is published.
  • Sir John Franklin

    Sir John Franklin
    British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer. Franklin also served as governor of Tasmania for several years. In his last expedition, he disappeared while attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. The entire crew perished from starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning and scurvy before and after Franklin died and the expedition's icebound ships were abandoned in desperation. He died on this date.
  • Captain Robert Falcon Scott

    Captain Robert Falcon Scott
    Royal Navy officer and explorer. Led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13. During this second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 Jan. 1912, only to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. On their return journey, Scott and his four comrades all perished from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold.
  • Roald Amundsen

    Roald Amundsen
    Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole between 1910 and 1912. He was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles. He is also known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage. He disappeared in June 1928 while taking part in a rescue mission. Amundsen, along with Douglas Mawson, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton, was a key expedition leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.