Links on Vasco John Cabot - History

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John Cabot

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John Cabot, Italian Giovanni Caboto, (born c. 1450, Genoa? [Italy]—died c. 1499), navigator and explorer who by his voyages in 1497 and 1498 helped lay the groundwork for the later British claim to Canada. The exact details of his life and of his voyages are still subjects of controversy among historians and cartographers.

What did John Cabot discover?

On June 24, 1497, Cabot and his crew aboard the Matthew reached North America—either Labrador, Newfoundland, or Cape Breton Island. He took possession of the land for the English king and later may have explored the present-day Cabot Strait, believing that he had reached the northeast coast of Asia, before returning to England.

How did John Cabot die?

In early 1498 Cabot received permission for a second expedition to North America, which likely consisted of five ships and hundreds of men. After setting out in 1498, one ship was damaged (possibly by a severe storm) and sought anchorage in Ireland. The fates of the others, including the one carrying Cabot, remain unknown.

What is John Cabot best known for?

Cabot’s voyages demonstrated the viability of a short route across the North Atlantic. Although he did not discover a route to Asia, his efforts—namely his first, successful voyage from Bristol to North America during the summer of 1497—would later prove important in the establishment of British colonies in North America.

Cabot moved to Venice in 1461, or possibly earlier, and became a citizen of that city in 1476. While employed by a Venetian mercantile firm, he traveled to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and visited Mecca, a great trading centre where Oriental and Western goods were exchanged. He became skilled in navigational techniques and seems to have envisaged, independently of Christopher Columbus, the possibility of reaching Asia by sailing westward.

Cabot’s whereabouts and activities from the mid-1480s to the mid-1490s are in doubt, but it is believed that he moved with his family to England and had taken up residence in Bristol by the end of 1495. On March 5, 1496, King Henry VII of England issued letters patent to Cabot and his sons, authorizing them to voyage in search of unknown lands, to return their merchandise by the port of Bristol, and to enjoy a monopoly of any trade they might establish there. The news of Columbus’ recent discoveries on behalf of Spain was a spur to English action and secured some support for Cabot from Bristol merchants.

In 1496 Cabot made a voyage from Bristol with one ship, but he was forced to turn back because of a shortage of food, inclement weather, and disputes with his crew. In May 1497, however, he set sail from Bristol in the small ship Matthew, with a crew of 18 men. He proceeded around Ireland and then north and west, making landfall on the morning of June 24. The exact landing place has never been definitely established: it has been variously believed to be in southern Labrador, Newfoundland, or Cape Breton Island. On going ashore, he noticed signs indicating that the area was inhabited but saw no people. Taking possession of the land for the English king, he unfurled both the English and Venetian flags. He conducted explorations from the ship along the coastline, naming various features Cape Discovery, Island of St. John, St. George’s Cape, the Trinity Islands, and England’s Cape. These may be, respectively, the present Cape North, St. Paul Island, Cape Ray, St. Pierre and Miquelon, and Cape Race, all in the area of Cabot Strait.

In the mistaken belief that he had reached the northeast coast of Asia, Cabot returned to Bristol on August 6, 1497. He reported that the land was excellent, the climate temperate, and the sea covered with enough fish to end England’s dependence on Iceland’s fish. In the midst of an enthusiastic welcome, he announced his plans to return to his landing place and from there sail westward until he came to Japan, the reputed source of spices and gems. On February 3, 1498, he received new letters patent for a second expedition. Cabot’s second expedition probably consisted of five ships and about 200 men. Soon after setting out in 1498, one ship was damaged and sought anchorage in Ireland, suggesting that the fleet had been hit by a severe storm. By 1499 Cabot had been given up for dead.

The effect of Cabot’s efforts was to demonstrate the viability of a short route across the North Atlantic. This would later prove important in the establishment of British colonies in North America.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by John P. Rafferty, Editor.

Early European Explorers #1: Cabot, Balboa, de Soto, Columbus, Hudson, Cartier, Leon

Take a look at this complete and creative hands-on activity pack that is sure to captivate your students.

Students will love learning about seven early explorers with reading passages and interactive activities geared for 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th-grade students.

It includes information on the following explorers:
⭐Hernando de Soto
⭐John Cabot
⭐Vasco Nunez de Balboa
⭐Juan Ponce de Leon
⭐Christopher Columbus
⭐Henry Hudson
⭐Jacques Cartier

In this unit (over 95 pages in all!) the informational articles and student activities will help students think about the essential questions such as:
✔Why were the Europeans interested in world exploration?
✔How did the Native Americans and explorers impact each other?
✔What were some of the obstacles the explorers had to overcome in the New World?

This activity pack includes many interactive activities and creative learning opportunities for students including:
✔Anticipatory Set T/F
✔Instruments for Navigation
✔Navigation Mystery Flaps
✔Comprehension Questions
✔Answer Keys
✔Vocabulary Posters
✔Vocabulary Flip Flaps
✔Writing Prompts
✔Explorers Organizers
✔Explorers Timeline Mini-Booklets
✔Hernando de Soto Flip Book

There are informational articles and related student activities about:
✔The Age of Exploration
✔The Explorers Voyage to the New World
✔Native Americans & Explorers
✔Explorers Instruments for Navigation
✔Meet Vasco Nunez de Balboa
✔Meet John Cabot (and Sebastian Cabot)
✔Meet Jacques Cartier
✔Meet Christopher Columbus
✔Meet Henry Hudson
✔Meet Juan Ponce de Leon
✔Meet Hernando de Soto
✔For Elementary Grades – Second grade, Third grade, Fourth grade
✔Great for Core Knowledge
✔Common Core Aligned

Be sure to check out the PREVIEW for more information.

Introduce the unit with the Explorers Anticipatory Set of T/F questions to pique and build background knowledge. Read the informational articles: The Age of Exploration, Native Americans & Explorers, and Instruments for Navigation and complete the student activity related to each article.

Introduce the 12 vocabulary words with the real-life photo posters included. You could post these posters around the classroom and have students travel around to match up and define the words in their flip flaps or use as a center activity. These posters are excellent for a bulletin board display too. Also, the vocabulary cards are a great hands-on, challenging activity to get them thinking critically. There are also colorful maps included helping students visualize where their journey to the New World.

Next, create a learning station for each of the six explorers. In a folder at each station be sure to include the two reading passages about that explorer, voyage map, and organizers for students to complete. There are also explorers mini-booklets with timelines for students to complete. It entails writing three facts about that explorer, putting the timeline dates in the correct order, coloring, cutting, and gluing inside their notebook or a lapbook. There are two articles on each explorer: the character studies are in ones are in color to laminate and post on a bulletin board, if desired.

Meets the NEW Georgia Standards of Excellence:
SS3H2 - Describe European exploration in North America
a. Describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Hernando de Soto, Jacques Cartier, Henry Hudson, and Christopher Columbus.
b. Describe examples of cooperation and conflict between Europeans and Native Americans.

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2. John Cabot

John Cabot was an Italian explorer who set out in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus to discover a route to Asia through sailing west. In 1497, he discovered the coast of North America under the command of Henry VII of England. It is the earliest known European exploration of the coast of North America.

Cabot embarked on a great and ambitious voyage in 1498 with the goal of discovering Japan. A fleet of ships that has over 300 men set sail. But one vessel was forced ashore Ireland and the expedition’s fate was never known. There were theories that Cabot was lost at sea, but some said that he landed in Canada and successfully came back to England.

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John Cabot: Explorer
John Cabot (about 1450-1499) was an Italian-born English explorer and navigator. In Italy, he is known as Giovanni Caboto (which is his original name).

Cabot was born in Italy but moved to England in 1495. At the request of King Henry VII of England, Cabot sailed to Canada in 1497, commanding the small ship called "Matthew." Cabot landed near Labrador, Newfoundland, or Cape Breton Island (the exact spot is uncertain) on June 24, 1497. One of John Cabot's three sons, the explorer Sebastian Cabot, accompanied him on this trip. Cabot claimed the land for England.

Cabot explored the Canadian coastline and named many of its islands and capes. The mission's purpose was to search for a Northwest passage across North America to Asia (a seaway to Asia). Cabot was unsuccessful, although he thought that he had reached northeastern Asia.

Cabot undertook a second, larger expedition in 1498. On this trip, Cabot may have reached America, but that is uncertain. Cabot's expeditions were the first of Britain's claims to Canada.

Did Columbus and Cabot Begin as Partners?

On August 6, 1497, almost precisely five years since Christopher Columbus had first set sail for the New World, his Venetian rival John Cabot navigated his tiny ship Matthew back up the River Avon to the English port of Bristol, and rode at speed to London to give the king the news of his extraordinary discovery on the other side of the Atlantic. Columbus had failed, he said. The intelligentsia of Europe believed, as Columbus did, that he had reached China, but Cabot believed he had proved &ndash correctly &ndash that Columbus&rsquos expeditions had actually lodged in some remote islands very far from the Chinese coast he had claimed to have found. But Cabot claimed much more: that his own expedition, one ship with a crew of less than twenty, had now found the route to China in a very different place, and that Bristol was now set to be the new Venice and Alexandria, all rolled into one.

We know now, of course, that Cabot was right about Columbus but wrong about himself. We know that his pioneering 1497 voyage was not really a voyage of discovery. Other races and civilizations occupied the &lsquoNew Founde Land&rsquo he had claimed. We also know, with the benefit of history, that the voyage led not to spice routes but a staggering exploitation of the cod trade, repeated and pointless exploration for the mythical northwest passage for the next three centuries, and the English claim to North America.

What is less well known is that Cabot&rsquos arrival in London, and his every move afterwards, was being reported to Castile by agents of Columbus, who was then working closely with the first man to correctly interpret the geography of these adventures, Amerigo Vespucci, the man whose name would eventually grace the new continent which hardly anyone had yet imagined. Cabot knew them both, certainly by reputation, but where history has been quiet until now &ndash if not silent &ndash is how much his voyages were bound up with theirs.

All history involves leaps of imagination. No matter how contemporary and how certain the facts, there are always holes in our knowledge that historians have to fill with the information they have. The story of the race for America is no exception. In fact, the separate tales of Columbus, Cabot and Vespucci have been almost unique in their susceptibility to bizarre theories, generation after generation, as critical maps or documents are alternatively discredited and vindicated.

Was Columbus Jewish? Was Cabot from the Channel Islands? Was Vespucci a fraud? Were they all double-agents? All these have been claimed by serious researchers within living memory, and the answer is almost certainly not. But in recent decades, a broad consensus has begun to emerge about the basic facts and documents, thanks to painstaking research and vital new discoveries over the past half century. Cabot&rsquos debts, Columbus&rsquos religious obsessions, have only become clear recently, and &ndash above all &ndash the three pioneers emerge, not so much as explorers, but first and foremost as merchants. Their motives may have been glory, but most of all, the enterprise they shared was about the prospect of astonishing profits.

The last few years have also yielded quite unprecedented progress in our understanding of all three men &ndash documented evidence of Columbus&rsquos extraordinary cruelties to his followers, indications of the true achievements of Cabot&rsquos mysterious final voyage, and insights into how Vespucci had reinvented his own story. All these have added to the consensus, but provided us with more rounded pictures. Taken together, they mean that it is possible at last to end the artificial divisions in the story which have emerged because separate historians and separate nations, have told their three stories separately. Their tales have always been separated by those whose self-appointed task has been to fight their corner and rubbish their opponents and their work.

We know that Columbus and Vespucci worked closely together we know that Cabot and Vespucci had common acquaintances interested in western possibilities. They collaborated, knew of each other&rsquos ambitions and followed each other&rsquos progress. Columbus and Cabot were also both born around the same time in Genoa and probably knew each other from their earliest lives. All three were admirers, and two were acquaintances, of the sage of Florence, Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, who first urged explorers to sail West in order to find the East.

Writing the story of all three as one narrative has been, for me, a kind of research. When you link them together and put the stories in context, it is suddenly obvious &ndash for example &ndash why Cabot went to Mecca or why Vespucci abandoned his career to go to Spain. The business of profit becomes even more central to the tale than it was before. The race for America is as much business history as it is diplomatic history. Above all, it is more accurate. The race for America was one story, it makes sense when you tell it that way and, when you embark on historical reconstruction, you find an energy and thrust to the story that you never realized was there before.

The key relationship at the heart of this tale, and the one which still remains hazy to historians, is the one between Cabot and Columbus. Yet the whole thrust of the story implies that the enterprise of the Indies was not originally a separate undertaking, almost identical but happening by coincidence, but a joint project by Cabot and the Columbus brothers, Christopher and Bartholomew, which unraveled. That was what the historian of exploration David Quinn certainly suggested, but it is impossible to prove. Even so, their original collaboration now seems by far the most likely interpretation. Sometimes when you are writing about an era when the sources are so confused or missing, despite the growing certainty of the scholars, all you can hope for is plausible probability.

When an English double agent reported some of the details of Cabot&rsquos historic voyage to his Spanish masters later, he described the plan as &ldquoaccording to the fancy of this Genoese.&rdquo It was Quinn who said that this gave the strong impression in the letter that both voyages &ndash Cabot&rsquos and Columbus&rsquos &ndash had been part of a joint endeavor, by mariners from Genoa. &ldquoAnother Genoese like Columbus,&rdquo said another informant about Cabot. There may be an implication that, at some stage, Cabot and the Columbus brothers had been working together to the same end, and if they were, their plan must have begun to take shape around now.

There is other evidence too, none of it absolutely conclusive in itself, but taken together, the coincidences between the lives and plans of these two merchant adventurers are just too close to believe they were independent of each other. Both were indeed Genoese, probably with connections to the Fregoso party and to the coastal port of Savona. They were almost exactly the same age. Their plans for the enterprise of the Indies were almost identical, though Columbus in the end demanded more in return.

But that is not all. Research over the past few decades in the Venetian archives has also turned up some other connections that are hard to ignore. Both were involved around the edges of the wool and silk trade from southern Europe to Bristol and London. Both frequented the same ports, Lisbon and Huelva for Seville, both also frequented by sailors from Bristol with the stories of exploration that must have filtered out of there. What is more, as it turns out, both ended up so heavily in debt in the mid-1480s that they had to leave their homes with their families and find somewhere else to live.

Most history has some doubts at its heart, no matter how definitively it is written, and this one is certainly no exception. But what we know about Cabot and Columbus points towards a common position and common plans for the Indies that was more than simply a dream of crossing the Atlantic. If so, those joint plans must have included working together to raise the money they needed &ndash through one risky but ambitious deal that linked Venice, Lisbon and London, which went horribly wrong. Indeed, this is probably the missing element of the tale of the race for America &ndash a race where none of the participants had any conception of where they were actually going &ndash and without it, the full story is simply not coherent.

This joint venture must have emerged in snatched conversations in the Genoese community in Lisbon, when Cabot stopped over on his way to Bristol &ndash reminiscing about the extraordinary tides there, the mysterious expeditions and the secret maps. He and Columbus had not met since they were boys, and it was hard to imagine then how the voyage they both dreamed of might be possible. They were young and had few enough connections. But they probably also realized the crucial heart of their plans at this stage: they would need not just backers, but some means by which they could profit from their discoveries.

One option before prospective explorers in those days was to hitch themseles to the plans of a monarch, get an expedition paid for and commissioned by them. The difficulty was that gave them no personal rights over the territory they discovered. They would come back if they succeeded and the monarch would reward them, and that would be the end of the matter for them - they would wait for the monarch's call to go somewhere else, as Vasco da Gama or Bartholomew Dias had to. That was how the Portuguese organised matters. What Columbus and Cabot developed was something different - an agreement with a monarch that, if they succeeded, they would get a cut of all the proceeds of their discovery and other rights.

This explains why Cabot and Columbus ended up so disastrously in debt at the end of that year, why they needed to approach the crowned heads of Europe, and why Cabot made such a dangerous journey to Mecca to investigate the sources of the spice trade in the Far East.

It also goes some way to explaining the ambiguity at the heart of the story of exploration and discovery: if mariners had traveled regularly, if accidentally, to lands on the other side of the Atlantic before, then what was special about Columbus and Cabot? The answer is that they had cracked the basic problem: how to profit from their enterprise (and that is what it was &ndash not a voyage of discovery -- but an enterprise of enormous ambition). This was a plan with the dream of fame at its heart, but it was also one that underlines their joint ambition: it was a scheme which, if it worked, would have made them the richest men in the world.

They may not have discovered America in quite the way we have believed. It was already occupied, after all, and the Vikings, Chinese and Bristol fishermen probably went there first. But they were, at least, pioneers of Intellectual Property.

Explorers Worksheets

Salute the dauntless spirit of adventure, of these trailblazers whose determination and courage led them to lands and seas unknown. Discover the world's greatest navigators afresh and explore their expeditions anew with our pdf explorers worksheets for students in grade 4 through grade 8. Uncover our innovative printable exercises on explorers like Ibn Battuta, Henry Hudson, John Cabot, Vasco da Gama and several others, their discoveries and nationalities, a quiz, reading comprehension passages, Columbus's timeline 3-in-1 activity and many more to make your voyage fruitful. Begin your journey with our free worksheets.

Know these curious minds, who set sail on voyages in their quest to explore the world that was non-existent for all. Get familiarized with these legends, the greatest explorers of all time using our printable chart.

Use this printable map showing routes of the early voyages of these European explorers Henry Hudson, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, John Cabot and Vasco da Gama.

Give this opportunity to 4th grade and 5th grade children to identify some great explorers and name them, using this pdf worksheet. So grab this privilege to know these trailblazers who dared to live their dreams.

Are you wondering who first found the "New World" or China? Find out the answers to which explorer discovered what, from this "Explorers and their Discoveries" matching exercise.

Get grade 4 and grade 5 students to do this simple crossword activity to know the nationalities of explorers like Ibn Battuta, Zheng He, David Livingstone, Jacques Cartier, Roald Amundsen and many others.

Let's gain some insight into the age of exploration, by filling in missing information about our great navigators with this interesting pdf worksheet on explorers. Smooth sailing to you!

Elementary school kids will be exhilarated by this 3-in-1 worksheet on Christopher Columbus that includes interesting fact-finding tasks like, a cut and glue timeline exercise and more.

Learn more about the European explorers with this printable of identifying the explorer using a statement containing clues. This will serve the dual purpose of informing and reviewing at one go.

Dive into this exciting quiz and explore these explorers by fetching answers to some really intriguing questions. Your expedition is sure to unravel a great deal of interesting information.

Do you remember hearing about the forty-niners but unsure exactly what? This is where you'll know it all. Have kids read and fill in the missing words in this passage about the gold rush.

Involve children of grade 4 and above, in this research report writing pdf about an explorer of their choice. Reading about an explorer, gathering facts, information and summing it up in a report will develop researching and reporting skills.

Enhance reading comprehension skills and gain knowledge about this first European to explore the Americas. Sail through interesting facts about Columbus's adventurous voyages and discoveries in this pdf worksheet for grade 6 and grade 7.

Read the story of the courage and determination of Henry Hudson, who sailed up the Hudson River in New York and whose discoveries changed the world. Improve comprehension skills of 6th grade and 7th grade students, along the way!

Curious to know why Magellan has been credited with the amazing accomplishment of sailing completely around the globe? So, follow this link to gain more information and develop reading skills.

It's indeed an occasion to celebrate the day of discovery and honor the spirit of exploration, adventure and determination. Do so with an immense variety of exciting activities!

John Cabot

Painting of John Cabot, 1762.

Early Years in Venice

John Cabot had a complex and shadowy early life. He was probably born before 1450 in Italy and was awarded Venetian citizenship in 1476, which meant he had been living there for at least fifteen years. People often signed their names in different ways at this time, and Cabot was no exception. In one 1476 document he identified himself as Zuan Chabotto, which gives a clue to his origins. It combined Zuan, the Venetian form for Giovanni, with a family name that suggested an origin somewhere on the Italian peninsula, since a Venetian would have spelled it Caboto. He had a Venetian wife, Mattea, and three sons, one of whom, Sebastian, rose to the rank of pilot-major of Spain for the Indies trade. Cabot was a merchant Venetian records identify him as a hide trader, and in 1483 he sold a female slave in Crete. He was also a property developer in Venice and nearby Chioggia.

Cabot in Spain

In 1488, Cabot fled Venice with his family because he owed prominent people money. Where the Cabot family initially went is unknown, but by 1490 John Cabot was in Valencia, Spain, which like Venice was a city of canals. In 1492, he partnered with a Basque merchant named Gaspar Rull in a proposal to build an artificial harbour for Valencia on its Mediterranean coast. In April 1492, the project captured the enthusiasm of Fernando (Ferdinand), king of Aragon and husband of Isabel, queen of Castille, who together ruled what is now a unified Spain. The royal couple had just agreed to send Christopher Columbus on his now-famous voyage to the Americas. In the autumn of 1492, Fernando encouraged the governor-general of Valencia to find a way to finance Cabot’s harbour scheme. However, in March 1493, the council of Valencia decided it could not fund Cabot’s plan. Despite Fernando’s attempt to move the project forward that April, the scheme collapsed.

Cabot disappeared from the historical record until June 1494, when he resurfaced in another marine engineering plan dear to the Spanish monarchs. He was hired to build a fixed bridge link in Seville to its maritime centre, the island of Triana in the Guadalquivir River, which otherwise was serviced by a troublesome floating one. Though Columbus had reached the Americas, he believed he had found land on the eastern edge of Asia, and Seville had been chosen as the headquarters of what Spain imagined was a lucrative transatlantic trade route. Cabot’s assignment thus was an important one, but something went wrong. In December 1494, a group of leading citizens of Seville gathered, unhappy with Cabot’s lack of progress, given the funds he had been provided. At least one of them thought he should be banished from the city. By then, Cabot probably had left town.

Cabot in England

Following the demise of Cabot’s Seville bridge project, the marine engineer again disappeared from the historical record. In March 1496 he resurfaced, this time as the commander of a proposed westward voyage under the flag of the King of England, Henry VII. Although there is no documentary proof, during Cabot’s absence from the historical record, between April 1493 and June 1494, he could have sailed with Columbus’s second voyage to the Caribbean. Most of the names of the over 1,000 people who accompanied Columbus weren’t recorded however, Cabot could have been among the marine engineers on the voyage’s 17 ships who were expected to construct a harbour facility in what is now Haiti. Had Cabot been present on this journey, Henry VII would have had some basis to believe the would-be Venetian explorer could make a similar voyage to the far side of the Atlantic. It would help explain why Henry VII hired Cabot, a foreigner with a problematic résumé and no known nautical expertise, to make such a journey.

On 5 March 1496, Henry awarded Cabot and his three sons a generous letters patent, a document granting them the right to explore and exploit areas unknown to Christian monarchs. The Cabots were authorized to sail to “all parts of the eastern, western and northern sea, under our banners, flags and ensigns,” with as many as five ships, manned and equipped at their own expense. The Cabots were to “find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians.” The Cabots would serve as Henry’s “vassals, and governors lieutenants and deputies” in whatever lands met the criteria of the patent, and they were given the right to “conquer, occupy and possess whatsoever towns, castles, cities and islands by them discovered.” With the letters patent, the Cabots could secure financial backing. Two payments were made in April and May 1496 to John Cabot by the House of Bardi (a family of Florentine merchants) to fund his search for “the new land,” suggesting his investors thought he was looking for more than a northern trade route to Asia.

First Voyage (1496)

Cabot’s first voyage departed Bristol, England, in 1496. Sailing westward in the north Atlantic was no easy task. The prevailing weather patterns track from west to east, and ships of Cabot’s time could scarcely sail toward the wind. No first-hand accounts of Cabot’s first attempt to sail west survive. Historians only know that it was a failure, with Cabot apparently rebuffed by stormy weather.

Second Voyage (1497)

Cabot mounted a second attempt from Bristol in May 1497, using a ship called the Matthew. It may have been a happy coincidence that its name was the English version of Cabot’s wife’s name, Mattea. There are no records of the ship’s individual crewmembers, and all the accounts of the voyage are second-hand — a remarkable lack of documentation for a voyage that would be the foundation of England’s claim to North America.

Historians have long debated exactly where Cabot explored. The most authoritative report of his journey was a letter by a London merchant named Hugh Say. Written in the winter of 1497-98, but only discovered in Spanish archives in the mid-1950s, Say’s letter (written in Spanish) was addressed to a “great admiral” in Spain who may have been Columbus.

The rough latitudes Say provided suggest Cabot made landfall around southern Labrador and northernmost Newfoundland, then worked his way southeast along the coast until he reached the Avalon Peninsula, at which point he began the journey home. Cabot led a fearful crew, with reports suggesting they never ventured more than a crossbow’s shot into the land. They saw two running figures in the woods that might have been human or animal and brought back an unstrung bow “painted with brazil,” suggesting it was decorated with red ochre by the Beothuk of Newfoundland or the Innu of Labrador. He also brought back a snare for capturing game and a needle for making nets. Cabot thought (wrongly) there might be tilled lands, written in Say’s letter as tierras labradas, which may have been the source of the name for Labrador. Say also said it was certain the land Cabot coasted was Brasil, a fabled island thought to exist somewhere west of Ireland.

Others who heard about Cabot’s voyage suggested he saw two islands, a misconception possibly resulting from the deep indentations of Newfoundland’s Conception and Trinity Bays, and arrived at the coast of East Asia. Some believed he had reached another fabled island, the Isle of Seven Cities, thought to exist in the Atlantic.

There were also reports Cabot had found an enormous new fishery. In December 1497, the Milanese ambassador to England reported hearing Cabot assert the sea was “swarming with fish, which can be taken not only with the net, but in baskets let down with a stone.” The fish of course were cod, and their abundance on the Grand Banks later laid the foundation for Newfoundland’s fishing industry.

Third Voyage (1498)

Henry VII rewarded Cabot with a royal pension on December 1497 and a renewed letters patent in February 1498 that gave him additional rights to help mount the next voyage. The additional rights included the ability to charter up to six ships as large as 200 tons. The voyage was again supposed to be mounted at Cabot’s expense, although the king personally invested in one participating ship. Despite reports from the 1497 voyage of masses of fish, no preparations were made to harvest them.

A flotilla of probably five ships sailed in early May. What became of it remains a mystery. Historians long presumed, based on a flawed account by the chronicler Polydore Vergil, that all the ships were lost, but at least one must have returned. A map made by Spanish cartographer Juan de la Cosa in 1500 — one of the earliest European maps to incorporate the Americas — included details of the coastline with English place names, flags and the notation “the sea discovered by the English.” The map suggests Cabot’s voyage ventured perhaps as far south as modern New England and Long Island.

Cabot’s royal pension did continue to be paid until 1499, but if he was lost on the 1498 voyage, it may only have been collected in his absence by one of his sons, or his widow, Mattea.


Despite being so poorly documented, Cabot’s 1497 voyage became the basis of English claims to North America. At the time, the westward voyages of exploration out of Bristol between 1496 and about 1506, as well as one by Sebastian Cabot around 1508, were probably considered failures. Their purpose was to secure trade opportunities with Asia, not new fishing grounds, which not even Cabot was interested in, despite praising the teeming schools. Instead of trade with Asia, Cabot and his Bristol successors found an enormous land mass blocking the way and no obvious source of wealth.

Timeline of European exploration

This timeline of European exploration lists major geographic discoveries and other firsts credited to or involving Europeans during the Age of Discovery and the following centuries, between the years AD 1418 and 1957.

Despite several significant transoceanic and transcontinental explorations by European civilizations in the preceding centuries, the precise geography of the Earth outside of Europe was largely unknown to Europeans before the 15th century, when technological advances (especially in sea travel) as well as the rise of colonialism, mercantilism, and a host of other social, cultural, and economic changes made it possible to organize large-scale exploratory expeditions to uncharted parts of the globe.

The Age of Discovery arguably began in the early 15th century with the rounding of the feared Cape Bojador and Portuguese exploration of the west coast of Africa, while in the last decade of the century the Spanish sent expeditions far across the Atlantic, where the Americas would eventually be reached, and the Portuguese found a sea route to India. In the 16th century, various European states funded expeditions to the interior of both North and South America, as well as to their respective west and east coasts, north to California and Labrador and south to Chile and Tierra del Fuego. In the 17th century, Russian explorers conquered Siberia in search of sables, while the Dutch contributed greatly to the charting of Australia. The 18th century witnessed the first extensive explorations of the South Pacific and Oceania and the exploration of Alaska, while the 19th was dominated by exploration of the polar regions and excursions into the heart of Africa. By the early 20th century, the poles themselves had been reached.

Exploration Guided Notes and PowerPoints, Interactive Notebooks, Google

Exploration Interactive Guided Notes and PowerPoints, World History Notes with Google Link covers the quest for glory, gold, and God, technology of exploration, explorers, Prince Henry the Navigator, Bartholomeu Dias, Vasco da Game, Christopher Columbus, America Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, Alvares Cabrad, Herman Cortes, Francisco Pizarro, Building the North American Colonial Empire, Henry Hudson, Dutch East India Company, Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, Marquette & Juliet, Robert Cavelier, John Cabot, Francis Drake, Settlement in Americas, Slave Trade, Triangular Trade, Middle Passage, Commercial Revolution, Digital Distance Learning & Print

➤Exploration Notes, World History Notes, World History Guided Notes Interactive Notebook, Note Taking, PowerPoints, Anticipatory Guides

These interactive guided notes and PowerPoints are great for the teacher input section of the lesson. Students can use these notes to complete assignments, as study guides, and to guide them through activity in the classroom and at home.

➤Guided Note Pages for Students with Activities, Key Questions, and Graphic Organizers

➤Teacher Guided Notes Pages

➤PowerPoints to go with each set of Guided Notes

➤Anticipatory Guides for People, Places, and Vocabulary

➤Google Classroom Link for Digital Notetaking

➤Guided Notes- To keep notes organized and to ensure students are following along during teacher input section of the lesson.

➤Activities- Embedded activities within each unit to keep student engaged (can be used in class or as their daily homework).

➤Reflection Questions- Reflection questions to get students thinking about the application of the new material.

➤Unit Background- Print and have student follow along for short class discussion daily. This will keep student engaged and they will leave with an organized set of notes

➤Interactive Notebook Inserts- Print 2 to a page to paste into interactive notebooks as a reference sheet

➤Study Guide- Have student highlight and use to guide studying for unit test

➤State Test Review Pull out and use as a guide for state test prep at the end of the year.

➤AP Exam Overview- Pull out and use as a guide for AP exam review.

➤Research Guide- Use notes to complete activities and reference key ideas and events when researching

➤Graphic Organizers- Use graphic organizer inserts to reflect and apply knowledge and skills learned. Use activities built in as class activities or homework review.

Watch the video: John-Cabot


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