Diego Velásquez, the Spanish governor of Cuba, authorized Hernán Cortés to be commander of his 1519 expedition to Mexico. Even though Velásquez retracted his commission, Cortés ignored him and set sail for the Americas.Know More
Velásquez had grown suspicious of Cortés' motives, as Cortés was simply interested in the immense wealth that was rumored to exist in Mexico. On his arrival to the shores of Veracruz, Cortés made local allies and established a settlement.
Even though Moctezuma, the Aztec ruler, first welcomed Cortés to his empire, relations quickly deteriorated between the Spanish and the Aztecs when Cortés arrested their great ruler and demanded his "gold."
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, famous for leading an expedition through Arizona in 1540, was sponsored primarily by his wife and Viceroy Mendoza. Other people invested in Coronado's journey in the hopes of becoming wealthy when he found precious metals and jewels.Full Answer >
According to the BBC, Sir Douglas Mawson led an expedition to the Antarctic to explore unknown territory and advance scientific knowledge of the continent. He had been offered a place in Robert Falcon Scott's expedition, which was attempting to reach the South Pole first, but Mawson passed on the opportunity in order to lead his own expedition into the area of Antarctica south of Australia.Full Answer >
Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered Brazil on April 22, 1500, during an expedition to India. He became the first European to set foot in Brazil and claimed the new land for King Manuel I of Portugal, who was financing his trip.Full Answer >
Robert de La Salle led an expedition on the Mississippi River, and during the trek, he claimed the area for France. In 1679, he left Fort Frotenac in Ontario, Canada, searching for a water route to the Pacific, only to end up on the Mississippi River.Full Answer >