The saga of discovery and settlement of the New World,
begun by European's in the late 15th century, lasted more than 200 years.
Successive transatlantic crossings, first into the Caribbean and then to the
coast of Canada and along the coast of South America, describe the general
pattern of exploration by the Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, French, and
English. Several factors made the Age of Exploration possible. Medieval
cartographers placed Jerusalem at the centre of the earth. But in the 15th
century, Western scholars rediscovered Ptolemy's "Geography", with
its maps of a semispheric earth that accurately located all distant places.
Improvements in equipment enabled the construction of larger, more manoeuvrable
ships. In the East Europeans were cut off from land routes to India and China.
The need for new avenues of trade with the Far East led to the seafaring
explorations of the Age of Discovery.
In 1492 the Italian Christopher Columbus crossed the
Atlantic in a Spanish-backed attempt to find a new trading route to the Far
East. While that objective went unfulfilled, subsequent voyages by explorers
did much to reveal both the complexities of transatlantic navigation and the
nature of the New World. Simultaneously, Portuguese seafarers led by Bartolomeu
Dias had pushed southward to the Cape of Good Hope, mapping the entire western
coast of Africa in the process and proving the existence of a sea route between
Europe and India. In 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian sea captain, completed the
first recorded transatlantic voyage by an English vessel, while attempting to
find a north-west passage to Asia. Cabot died during the second attempt to find
a direct route to Cathay in 1498. Although Sebastian Cabot continued his
father's explorations in the Hudson Bay region in 1508-1509, England's interest
in the New World waned. However, Cabot's voyages established England's belated
claim to America. In 1520 Ferdinand Magellan discovered the strait, now bearing
his name, that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The discovery of Cape
Horn at the southernmost tip of South America was made in 1578 by the English
navigator Francis Drake; this provided a more suitable route for trading ships.
Colonisation followed exploration, and, as isolated
outposts gave way to larger protected settlements and military garrisons in the
17th and 18th centuries, the tide of colonists to the New World and the
exploitation of natural resources from both land and sea increased. The
explorers were inspired by curiosity and the desire to become wealthy. The Age
of Exploration enriched Europe.
- увлекательная история
- Новый Свет
successive - последующий
Caribbean - карибский, относящийся к Карибскому морю
exploration - исследование
Age of Discovery - Age of Exploration - эпоха Великих географических открытий
Ptolemy - Птолемей
accurately - точно
Columbus - Колумб
trading route - торговый путь
subsequent - последующий
- морское путешествие
explorer - исследователь
simultaneously - одновременно
Bartolomeu Dias - Бартоломеу Диаш
Cape of Good Hope - мыс Доброй Надежды
Ferdinand Magellan - Фернандо Магеллан
garrison - гарнизон
1. What was the general pattern of exploration in the
2. What factors made the Age of Exploration possible?
3. Why did Columbus sail westwards?
4. What did Bartolomeu Dias do?
5. What discoveries did Magellan and Drake make?
6. What followed exploration?
7. What inspired explorers?
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