United States History & New York History: Beginnings to 1877 – Chapter 2

Lief Eriksson
Son of famous viking Erik the Red who discovered North America because of a sailing voyage blown off-course; settled in ‘Vinland’ to leave after numerous Native American attacks.
Prince Henry the Navigator
Portugal explorer in 1400s, made several advancements in exploration, but never set out on a voyage
astrolabe
a device that enabled navigators to learn their ship’s location by charting the position of the stars
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caravels
ships that used triangular sails to improve sailing against strong winds
Christopher Columbus
Italian sailor who set sail in 1492 on a mission given by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand to find a quicker trading route to Asia, but instead stumbled upon the Bahamas, USA and then decided to barge in and claim it and then enslave all the Native Americans that lived there, then commit mass genocide. Real nice guy!
Columbian Exchange
a trading network between Europe and America for food, goods, materials, and diseases which destroyed 99% of all Native Americans.
conquistadors
soldiers who led military expeditions into the Americas.
Francisco Pizarro
a Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire
Line of Demarcation
imaginary line which divides the Atlantic Ocean, which Spain could claim all land west of
circumnavigate
go all the way around the globe
encomienda system
gave settlers the right to tax local Native Americans or make them work in exchange for settlers’ protection and conversion to Christianity
plantations
large farms that grew only one type of crop
Bartolome de Las Casas
a priest who vouched that the Spanish should attempt to convert Native Americans to Christianity by showing them love, gentleness, and kindness

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