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."Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
In 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa made an expedition with a 190 men that included sailing first to the Darien Peninsula before traveling by land through parts of the Isthmus of Panama that had difficult terrain. On this overland expedition, Balboa and his men had to fight with Indian tribes. He first sighted the eastern portion of the Pacific Ocean from a mountain and then continued on his journey to this ocean's shore, claiming it for Spain.Full Answer >
Ferdinand Magellan's expedition was the first to circumnavigate the world, which means it proved that the Earth is not flat. The expedition lasted for over three years, and when it returned to Spain, only 18 members of the 270-strong crew were alive.Full Answer >
Sacagawea changed history in many ways, due to her ability to communicate in different languages and translate the message for Lewis and Clark during the expedition of exploring the new land. She was among the first Americans to cross the continent of North America and acted as a travel guide to the team.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 >