Explorers-The Age of Exploration

  • Explorers

    The Age of Exploration




    In the 1400s, a new age of learning, science, and art began in Europe.  Historians call this time of new ideas the Renaissance, which means “rebirth.”  It began in Italy and then spread across Europe.


    Johannes Gutenberg helped with this spread of ideas by developing a printing press in the 1450s.  Before this time, most books were hand written.  The new printing press made it faster to print books.   *Technology  


    Throughout history people have always wondered what was beyond the next mountain, ocean, river, or even planet. Explorers are people who have blazed the trail in going to new places.


    The Age of Exploration


    The Age of Exploration took place between the 15th and 17th centuries. During this time many countries in Europe sent out explorers to discover new lands, find trade routes, seek treasure, and gain territory for their country. During this time much of the world was mapped and many world civilizations came into contact with each other. Sometimes it is called the Age of Discovery. *Geography/ Political


    Why People Explore


    The reasons for exploration can vary widely. Most explorers certainly like the adventure of going to a new place, meeting new peoples and cultures, or taking on new challenges.


    Trade - Many countries and rulers funded explorers in order to find new trade partners and goods. In some cases they hope to find new trade routes that would help them to transport goods cheaper than their competitors. This was the case of Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus. *Economy/ Political


    Gold - Often explorers have been in search of riches and treasure. The Conquistadors were primarily searching for gold and silver when they conquered the Native Americans of the New World.


    Science - In many cases, explorers are scientists hoping to learn about nature and new parts of the world. They may be hoping to find a new species of animal or type of plant.


    Land - Many explorers claimed the land they found in the name of their country. Countries like Spain, Portugal, and Great Britain amassed huge empires during the Age of Exploration. *Geography


    Challenge - Many explorers want to test their personal limits and be the first in the world to do something. These types of explorers include the men who raced to be the first to the North and South Poles, the top of Mount Everest, and to the Moon. *Social