In 1492, Christopher Columbus led an expedition sponsored by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to find the passage to the west to the riches of India. Instead, he discovered the islands of present-day Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Columbus's voyage inspired others to venture west to the Americas in search of wealth and exploration. Other expeditions, undertaken by such explorers as Amerigo Vespucci, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Hernando de Soto, and George Vancouver, changed life in both hemispheres. Discovery of the Americas, 1492–1800, Revised Edition tells the stories of explorers whose travels made major contributions to world history.
- Vasco Núñez de Balboa's sighting of the Pacific Ocean in 1513
- Hernán Cortés's conquest of present-day Mexico and how his letters to Charles V taught European people about Aztec civilization
- Francisco Pizarro's claim of the area that is now Peru for Spain in the early 16th century
- The establishment of missions in present-day California by Father Junipero Serra during the late 18th century.
Full-color and black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and maps. Chronology and timeline. Sidebars. Bibliography. Glossary. Further resources. Web sites. Index.
About the Author(s)
Tom Smith has been a freelance writer, researcher, journalist, and editor for more than 25 years. He has written numerous book chapters and entries about such topics as the American West, New Orleans, the environment, and historical trails.