European Explorers Timeline

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Social Studies
Explorers and Discovers

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European Explorers Timeline



European ExplorersTimeline

In March 1513, Ponce de León led an expedition, at his own expense, of three ships and more than 200 men to Bimini from Puerto Rico. In a month's time, he and his men landed on the east coast of Florida. Not realizing he was on the mainland of North America, he thought he had landed on another island. He named the region Florida (meaning "flowery"), in reference to its lush floral vegetation and because he discovered it at Easter time, which Spaniards referred to as Pascua Florida ("feast of flowers").

In early May of 1497, John Cabot made a voyage on the ship Matthew with a crew of 18 men. Cabot and his crew sailed west and north believing that the route to Asia would be shorter from northern Europe than Columbus' voyage. On June 24, 1497, 50 days into the voyage, Cabot landed on the east coast of North America, thinking he was in Asia, and claimed land in Canada for King Henry VII of England.

In 1513, Balboa led an expedition from Darién on the Isthmus of Panama to search for a new sea reportedly to the south and for gold. He hoped that if he was successful, he would win the favor of King Ferdinand of Spain. While he didn't find any gold, he did see the Pacific Ocean, and claimed it and all of its shores for Spain.

French explorer Jacques Cartier made three major North American voyages. In 1534, King Francis I of France sent Cartier on a new trip to the eastern coast of North America, then called the "northern lands." Cartier was to search for gold and other riches, spices, and a passage to Asia. His exploration of the St. Lawrence River allowed France to claim lands that would become Canada.





Vasco Nuñezde Balboa

Jacques Cartier




Between 1492 and 1503, Columbus completed four round-trip voyages between Spain and the Americas. These voyages marked the beginning of the European exploration and colonization of the American continents.

English explorer Henry Hudson never actually found what he was looking for. He made two unsuccessful sailing voyages in search of an ice-free route to Asia. In 1609, he embarked on a third voyage that took him to the New World and the river that would be given his name. On his fourth voyage, Hudson came upon the body of water that would later be called the Hudson Bay.

Juan Poncede León



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