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HIST321: Comparative New Worlds, 1400-1750

Unit 3: The European Age of Discovery   In the fifteenth century, powerful European monarchs launched the first stage of global imperialism.  New developments in maritime technology and a desire to expand the influence of Christianity motivated European rulers to sponsor exploration and conquest in the New World.  In this unit, we will see how the creation of new commercial and political networks caused profound change: they introduced new peoples, ideas, labor systems and cultures to Europeans while also wreaking havoc on indigenous cultures of the New World.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 4 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 2.5 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • identify and describe the European “Age of Discovery.”
  • identify and describe a wide array of European explorers and their exploits in the New World.

3.1 Discovery, Reconnaissance, and Expansion   Note: This topic is covered in the audio lecture listed under sub-subunit 3.1.3.

3.1.1 Foundations   Note: This topic is covered in the audio lecture listed under sub-subunit 3.1.3.

3.1.2 New Technology   Note: This topic is covered in the audio lecture listed under sub-subunit 3.1.3.

3.1.3 The Explorers’ Motives   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: Introduction,” Florida History’s “America's early European Explorers,” Richard Hakluyt’s “Discourse of western planting 1584,” and Samuel de Champlain’s “Voyages 1604.” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The European Voyages of Exploration: Introduction” (PDF), Florida History’s “America's early European Explorers” (PDF), Richard Hakluyt’s “Discourse of western planting 1584” (PDF), and Samuel de Champlain’s “Voyages 1604” (PDF).
 
Also Available in:
HTML (“America’s Early European Explorers”)

[HTML](http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/before-1600/richard-hakluyt-discourse-of-western-planting-1584.php) (“Discourse
of western planting 1594”)  

[HTML](http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1600-1650/samuel-de-champlain-voyages-1604.php) (“Voyages
1604”)  
    
 Instructions: Please read the selections detailing the motivations
of different European explorers of the New World.  As you read, ask
yourself the following questions: How does each author describe the
benefits of explorations?  How does each author describe the land
and people of his destination?  In what ways are the descriptions in
these documents alike?  In what ways are they different?  

(20 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: “The European Voyages of Exploration: Introduction”
is released under a [Creative Commons Attribution
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).  It is
attributed to The Saylor Foundation.  “America’s Early European
Explorers” is released under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/); it is
attributed to FloridaHistory.com, and the original version can be
found [here](http://floridahistory.com/early-explorers.html) (HTML).
 “Discourse of western planting 1584” and “Voyages 1604” are both in
the public domain.

3.2 Explorers and the New World   Note: This topic is covered in the resources under sub-subunits 3.2.1-3.2.4.

3.2.1 Vasco da Gama   - Reading: Vasco da Gama’s “Round Africa to India, 1497-1498” Link: Vasco da Gama’s “Round Africa to India, 1497-1498” (PDF).
 
Also Available in:
HTML
 
Instructions: Please read the account to get a sense of Vasco da Gama’s journeys.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions: Describe the progression of da Gama’s journey.  How does he describe the natives of the land and his encounters with them?  How do these descriptions change with each leg of his journey?  Describe da Gama’s interactions with political leaders.  How does da Gama characterize his role in these interactions?  With which religious traditions does da Gama come in contact?  How do these traditions shape his encounters?

(20 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is in the public domain.

3.2.2 Ferdinand Magellan   - Reading: Ferdinand Magellan’s “Voyage Round the World, 1519-1522 CE.” Link: Ferdinand Magellan’s “Voyage Round the World, 1519-1522 CE” (PDF).
 
Also Available in:
HTML
 
Instructions: Please read the account to get a sense of Magellan’s journeys.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions: What route does Magellan take when he sets off and which lands are does the author of this account mention as destinations along the way?  What does this tell us about the extent of Europeans’ geographic knowledge in the second decade of the sixteenth century?  Describe Magellan’s relationship with his crew and the crews of the ships that accompanied him?  How did he address discontent among expedition members?  According to the account, what is the procedure for approaching an unknown land?  Describe the journey of surviving crew after Magellan’s death.

(20 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is in the public domain.

3.2.3 Jacques Cartier   - Reading: Tracy Barnes’ “Jacques Cartier’s Explorations and Achievements” Link: Tracy Barnes’ “Jacques Cartier’s Explorations and Achievements” (PDF).
 
Also Available in

[HTML](http://europeanexplorerswiki.wikispaces.com/Jacques+Cartier+Expolrations+and+Achievements)  


 Instructions: Please read the selection in order to get a sense of
the fifteenth century itinerary of the French explorer Jacques
Cartier.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions:
According to the text and map at the top right of the page, what
lands and waterways did Cartier encounter on his first journey?
 With which Amerindian peoples did Cartier come in contact?  What
were some of the outcomes of these encounters?  What were Cartier’s
objectives for his third journey and what was the outcome?  
 (15 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/); it is
attributed to Tracy Barnes, and the original version can be found
[here](http://europeanexplorerswiki.wikispaces.com/Jacques+Cartier+Expolrations+and+Achievements)
(HTML).

3.2.4 John Cabot   - Reading: John Cabot’s (c.1450-1499): “Voyage to North America, 1497” Link: John Cabot’s (c.1450-1499): “Voyage to North America, 1497” (PDF)
 
Also Available in:
HTML
 
Instructions: Please read the selection to get a sense of Cabot’s journeys.  As you read, ask yourself the following questions: From among whom did Cabot acquire his crew and how are these men described through the various letters?  What “royal privileges” did the king of England promise Cabot?  What riches did the lands Cabot encounters hold?  Where, geographically, do these letters suggest Cabot sailed?
 
(15 minutes)
 
Terms of Use: The resource above is in the public domain.