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Bartolomeu Dias

1487 Portugal, Sailed to tip of Africa called the Cape of Good Hope, Inspired further expeditions to search for route to Asia

Vasco da Gama

1497, Sailed around the Cape of Good Hope to India, Gave Portugal water route to Asia

Christopher Columbus

1492, Sailed across the Atlantic and discovered San Salvador,

Amerigo Vespucci

1501, Sailed across Atlantic looking for a sea route to Asia, Realized lands discovered by Columbus were part of a new continent - America was named after him

Vasco de Balboa

1513, Traveled through the jungles of Panama & reached the Pacific Ocean- Named it South Sea,

Ponce de Leon

1513, Traveled through Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth, Led to Spanish settlement in Florida

Ferdinand Magellan

1519, Sailed W around South America to reach Asia - first to sail around the world -voyage took 3 years,1st expedition to circumnavigate the globe, Proved world was round and much bigger than previously thought

Hernando Cortez

1519, Landed on the coast of Central American & defeated the Aztecs, Claimed Mexico for Spain

Francisco Pizarro

1531, Led an expedition to Peru, Gave Spain huge land claim to coast of South America (Peru)

Hernando de Soto

1539, Traveled through Florida and SE America looking for cities of gold, Claimed Southeast US for Spain

Francisco Coronado

1540, While looking for Cities of Gold traveled through present day Arizona and New Mexico, Claimed Southwest US for Spain

Giovanni da Verrazzano

1524, Looked for NW passage Explored Atlantic coastline of NA from Carolinas to Canada, Discovered NY Harbor

Jacques Cartier

1534, Explored Canada looking for the NW passage, traveled up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, Discovered St. Lawrence River

Father Jacques Marguette & Louis Joliet

1673, Found the Mississippi River, Expanded fur trade and established a fort in Canada for France

Robert La Salle

1682, First European to travel the length of the Mississippi, Expanded fur trading along Mississippi River for France

Samuel de Champlain

1608, Started a fur trading post in Quebec, Known as Father of New France, discovered lake named for him, explored St. Lawrence River, Established French colonies in the New World

John Cabot

1497, Looked for NW passage , Voyage was basis for future English colonies along coast of NA

Sir Francis Drake

1577, "Seadog" raided Spanish ships, 1st Englishman to sail around the world

Henry Hudson

1609 -Dutch, 1610 England, Looked for NW passage, Discovered Hudson Bay

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