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Ferdinand Magellan Essay

1123 words - 5 pages

Earth, the world we live in today, as everyone knows and acknowledges for granted is spherical or round. However, this indisputable fact was not entirely considered the truth by many of the great philosophers and thinkers of the 16th century, who believed that the earth was flat or quadrilateral. For the majority of people, it would have taken a physical form of evidence to convert their beliefs. Therefore, this evidence was proved by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.

In Northern Portugal, during 1480, Ferdinand Magellan was born into a noble Portuguese family. However, both of his parents had unfortunately met their death during Magellan’s young age. Therefore, young Magellan ...view middle of the document...

Still, the Europeans were eager to discover silks, gems, and spices from the East. In Addition, Portugal and Spain led the competition for early control over this product. Accordingly, the Europeans had reached the Spice Islands by sailing East, but none having yet to sail West from Europe to reach the other side of the globe. Ferdinand Magellan was determined to be the first to do so, as he believed the Western route from Europe could be used to reach the Spice Islands of Indonesia, although the major trade routes were closed.

Inspired by the voyages of Christopher Columbus, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, and other explorers, Ferdinand Magellan devised a plan to find a Westward-sailing, all-water route across the Atlantic Ocean to reach the Spice Islands in the South-East Asia, finding a passageway through the New World and into the land where many spices were ubiquitous and abundant. In order to initiate this voyage by his plan, he presented this idea to the Portuguese king, Manuel I, but was unfortunately turned down. Therefore, as his own king did not support this idea of Magellan’s and did not finance the voyage; Magellan decided to get help from Spain. Looking for support, Magellan shared his plan with the Spanish king, Charles I, who was eventually persuaded by Magellan and granted him a large sum of money to find a route to the Spice Islands by sailing West, on March 22, 1518. There were three reasons for this expedition. Firstly, the Spaniards were looking for an alternative route to the East, and this route will help for a faster travel to reach other countries. Secondly, European nations such as Spain, wanted to discover spices, gold, and lands, as it was a period of Age of Discovery. Thirdly, Spain wanted to increase their territory bigger by giving Spain control of the areas, and also used the Cross of Christianity to spread its colony. As a result, Magellan set sail going West towards the Spice Islands with five ships and 270 men on September 1519.

Magellan’s Portuguese nationality caused many problems, as the Spanish public was outraged that a Portuguese commanded their ships. Therefore the Armada crew distrusted their leader. For example, the Spanish sailors thought Magellan was a Portuguese spy leading them into a trap, and Magellan had to avoid the Portuguese territory since he was sailing for Spain. Furthermore, of all of the men who sailed with...

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