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Famous people during the Age of Exploration.

Prince Henry the Navigator

The son of the king of Portugal. Founder of the most advanced navigation school in Europe in the 1400's.

Bartholomew Dias

A Portugese explorer who was the first to go around the Cape of Good Hope below Africa.

Vasco de Gama

a Portuguese explorer who was the first person to reach India by sailing around Africa.

Christopher Columbus

Italian navigator and explorer who sailed for Spain and explored the Caribbean and the coast of Central and South America

Amerigo Vespucci

Florentine navigator who explored the coast of South America

Ferdinand Magellan

Portuguese navigator who led the Spanish expedition of 1519-1522 that was the first to sail around the world.

Pedro Alvares Cabral

Portugese navigator who landed on the coast of Brazil in 1500 and claimed it for Portugal.

Hernan Cortez

Spanish conquistador who defeated the Aztecs and conquered Mexico (1485-1547)

Francisco Pizzaro

A conquistador who conquered the Incas

Montezuma II

the last Aztec emperor in Mexico who was overthrown and killed by Hernando Cortes (1466-1520)


Last ruling Inca emperor of Peru. He was executed by the Spanish. (p. 438)

Henry Hudson

Discovered what today is known as the Hudson River. Sailed for the Dutch even though he was originally from England. He was looking for a northwest passage through North America.

Giovanni de Verrazano

Italian navigator, who was commissioned by France to find a Northwest Passage leading through the Americas to Asia; explored part of North America's eastern coast, including New York harbor (France)

Jaques Cartier

French explorer, found the St. Lawrence River and laid claim to Canada as a French possesion (1534)

Samuel de Champlain

Cartographer, explorer, governor of New France. The major role Champlain played in the St Lawrence River area earned him the title of "father of New France."

John Cabot

Italian-born navigator explored the coast of New England, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. Gave England a claim in North America.

Francis Drake

English explorer and admiral who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and who helped to defeat the Spanish Armada (1540-1596)

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