Sunday, January 31, 2010

#10- James Cook

10 James Cook

James Cook (1728-1779) was an English explorer and navigator who started sailing at age 27. In 1768, Cook was appointed to lead an expedition to Tahiti to establish an observatory. The observatory was used to measure the eclipse of the sun by Venus. After this successful mission, Cook was sent to seek out the great southern continent, but determined that there was none. Cook was the first man to set foot on New Zealand, although it was sighted by Abel Tasman in 1642. In 1770, Cook explored the East and North coast of New Holland (Australia) and claimed the land for Great Britain. On Cook's second circumnavigation, Cook circled Antartica, but ice kept his ship, Resolution, from landing. Upon his return from this trip, he was promoted to Captain and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society. Once again, Cook went on a voyage. This time, Cook searched for the Northwest passage. After making it to the Hawaiian Islands, Cook went to the coast of North America and worked his way up to the Bering Strait, but because of the amount of ice, Cook was forced to turn back to Hawaii. On Febuary 14, 1779, Cook was stabbed to death by Hawaiian natives on Febuary 14, 1779 after trying to arrest their cheif. Cook is one of the Top 10 explorers for discovering the Hawaiian islands, for landing on New Zealand, and for the three trips around the world that he made.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Picture A

#11- Leif Erikson

11 Leif Erikson

In 986, the Viking, Eirik Thorvaldsson, or Erik the Red, discovered and colinized Greenland. This Viking had a son named Leif Erikson(c. 960- c.1020). As a young man, Erikson went to Norway and worked for the king there. After coming back to Greenland, Erikson sailed West, probably in search of the land that the Viking, Bjarni Harjulfsson had passed by and described as hilly and heavily forrested. Harjulfsson never landed in America, saying that it was a useless land. Around the year 1000, Erikson made it to America, about 500 years before Colombus. He found three islands, naming the smaller two Heeluland and Markland. The third and largest island, he named Vineland because he thought that the berries that grew there were grapes. This island is probably Newfoundland. After a winter on Vineland, Erikson returned. Some Vikings came back to Vineland later on to form a settlement, but the hostility between the Vikings and the Native Americans led to the failure of the colony. Erikson earned his place in history for being the first European to set foot on in the New World.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

#12- Francisco Pizarro

12 Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizarro (1475-1541) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer. In 1513, Pizarro joined the expedition of Nunez de Balboa across Panama, where they found the Pacific. In 1532, after two small trips along the western coast of South America, Pizarro made one last time with 200 men, including Hernando de Soto. On November 15, 1532, Pizarro found Cajamarca, an Incan city, and kidnapped the Incan emperor, Atuallpa, soon afterwards. After a giant ransom of gold was paid for Atuallpa's release, Pizarro had the emperor strangled. In 1535, Pizarro destroyed Cuzco, the Incan capital. After having his angry men build him a palace, a group of his men assassinated him in 1541. Pizarro will always be known as the explorer who discovered and destroyed the great empire of the Inca, and for claiming all this land for Spain.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

#13- Sir Francis Drake

13 Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) was a British explorer and privateer under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. Drake was the first explorer after Magellan to sail around the world. He went below South America, like Magellan, but once he got to the Pacific, Drake went up the coast of America, and made it at least all the way to California before crossing the Pacific. After landing in Indonesia, Drake made his way past the Cape of Good Hope to England. Upon his return, Drake was rewarded with 10000 pounds. As a privateer, Drake helped England defeat the Spanish Armada, a fleet of 130 ships and 30000 Spanish men. Although many say that Drake is famous for being the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world, Drake makes our list for exploring the Western coast of America and for helping to defeat the Spanish Armada.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

#14- Pedro Alvarez Cabral

14 Pedro Cabral

Pedro Alvarez Cabral (1467-1520) was a Portugese explorer during the reign of King John II. King John appointed Cabral to sail arround the Cape of Good Hope and go to the Indies. With 13 ships, Cabral left Lisbon in 1500, with many men including Bartholemeu Dias, the explorer who had found the Cape of Good Hope. After sailing through the Cape Verdes Islands, Cabral found Brazil. Because Cabral thought that South America was an island, he named the land Vera Cruz (The True Cross). The brazilwood that Cabral found in Brazil contained a red dye. Cabral's men named the dye Terra de Brasil, from which the name Brazil came from. From South America, Cabral went towards the Cape of Good Hope. On May 24, 1500, a storm broke out at the cape, sinking the ship of Bartholemeu Dias. In September, Cabral arrived in Calcut, and Cabral brought many spices back from India. Cabral earns greatness for finding and naming Brazil, as well as going straight from South America to India.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

California's Golden Gate Bridge

The Most Momentous Bridge in the West

In 1919, the idea of having a bridge stretching across the entrance of San Francisco Bay was first proposed. When the idea came up, Joseph Strauss, a bridge engineer from Chicago, was called in along with many other engineers. Strauss was appointed chief engineer of the project and construction started in 1933. To resist high winds, Strauss designed a conventional suspension bridge supported by two piers. Unlike many other engineers, Strauss took excessive safety precautions. He gave each worker a pair of sunglasses to protect the workers from the glare. He also had a medical team inspect the construction workers regularly. The safety net that Strauss had set up under the bridge saved at least 19 lives during construction. On May 27, 1937, the bridge opened. The bridge was 8981 feet (2737m) long and spanned 4200 feet (1280m) from pier to pier. Each pier was 746 feet (227m) tall. The Golden Gate bridge survived a lot of disasters. After having to be closed down in 1940 because of its excessive flexibility, the bridge was stiffened. The bridge went on to survive a 7.1 scale earthquake in 1989 and was strengthened to withstand a 8.3 scale earthquake. The Golden Gate has become the symbol of San Francisco and has 41 million cars travel across it every day. The great bridge is now one of America's greatest wonders and is known throughout the world as the Gate to California.

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The World's Greates Buildings
Revised and Edited
Consultant Editor- Trevor Howells

Monday, January 18, 2010

#15- John Cabot

15 John Cabot

Giovanni Caboto, or John Cabot (c.1450-1499) was an Italian merchant and navigator. In 1483, Cabot moved to Bristol. After Colombus found America, Cabot convinced Henry VII of England to send out explorers to claim land in the New World and to find a passage to Asia by going North of America. In 1497, Cabot sailed from Bristol and landed in the New World somewhere from Maine to Newfoundland. He claimed the land he found for England. This trip was the first known trip to find the Northwest passage, for Cabot thought that he had reached Asia. When Cabot got back, he claimed that he reached Asia and was promoted to the rank of admiral and was sent back to what they thought was Asia to find Japan. When Cabot got to America again, he realized that he was still in America. Cabot will forever be known for being the first to search for the Northwest passage, turning England into an exploration power, and for having another famous explorer, Sebastian Cabot, as a son.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

#16- Abel Tasman

16 Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman (1603-1659) was a Dutch explorer who made trading and exploratory voyages in East and Southeast Asia. in 1642, he went south from Batavia (Jakarta) to find the hypothetical southern continent and a possible route to Chile. Instead pf finding the southern continent, Tasman found an island which he named Van Diemen's Land after the man who sent him on this voyage. The land was later renamed Tasmania. Tasman then kept going east and found New Zealand, which Tasman thought was the Southern Continent. Tasman also found the Tonga and Fiji islands. He also had a 2nd voyage in 1644 during which he sailed to the Gulf of Carpentaria and along the northern and western coasts of Australia. Abel Tasman has made his name great for having an island named after him and for discovering what would become the country of New Zealand.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

#17-Willoughby and Chancellor

17 Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor

Hugh Willoughby (c.1525-1554) and Richard Chancellor (c.1520-1556) were English explorers trying to find the Northeast passage. Although Willoughby had good commanding skills and was the appointed leader of the voyage, he left all the navigational work to Chancellor, for Willoughby had no previous nautical experience. On May 10, 1553, Willoughby and Chancellor left England with their three ships, the Bona Esparanza, the Edward Bonaventure, and the Bona Confidentia. When the ships got to the Lofotan Islands, a terrible storm hit, separating Chancellor (in the Edward Bonaventure) from Willoughby and the other two ships. Although Willoughby made it to Novaya Zemlya, he was forced to return to Scandinavia. His ships then got stuck in the ice at the mouth of the Arzina River near Murmansk. Although Willoughby and his crew made several attempts to find help, none were successful, and Russian fishermen found their bodies a year later. Chancellor, on the other hand, found luck. He was able to bring his ship to Kholmogory (Arkkanglash) on the Dvina River, and was even invited to Moscow by Ivan the Terrible. When he returned, Chancellor brought back furs and letters promising trade privileges. Later on, when Chancellor tried to return to Russia, he drown in a shipwreck off the Scottish coast. Willoughby and Chancellor are remembered for helping to bring Russian and British trade together. They also helped England remember that there were trade opportunities closer than the New World and Asia.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

#18-Jaques Cartier

18 Jaques Cartier

Jaques Cartier (1491-1557) was a French explorer during the reign of King Francis I. In 1531, Francis commisioned Cartier to find the Northwest Passage. With his two small ships and 61 men, Cartier went to Canada and discovered the Magdalen and Prince Edward Islands. He also claimed the Gaspe Penninsula for France before returning home. in 1535, Cartier was sent to America again, but this time, Cartier went up the St. Lawrence Rivere, which he had mistaken for a bay in his previous trip. As he went down the river, he established Mont Real, or Montreal, which would later become a major Canadian city. After spending a winter with the Huron Indians, Cartier kidknapped 12 of the peace-loving Native Americans and brought them back to France. Although he hoped that they would tell him where their gold mine was, there was never a gold mine to begin with. Cartier later betrayed a fellow Frenchman when they had combined forces to found a start a French colony with former prisoners. Cartier has become one of the greatest explorers in history because of his many findings in Canada, his founding of Montreal, and his use of other people to get what he wanted.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

#19-Sebastian Cabot

19 Sebastian Cabot

Sebastian Cabot (1476-1557) was an Italian navigator who was also the son of the famous explorer, John Cabot (c.1450-1499). In his earlier years, Sebastian Cabot worked as a cartographer for King Henry VIII of England and as a captain for King Ferdinand V of Spain. in 1508, while working for England, Cabot made a search for the Northwest passage, the passage to Asia above North America. Later on, Cabot went to work for Spain, and from 1526 to 1529, he led a voyage intended to go to China and the Spice Islands. Unfortunately, he only made it to the Rio de la Plata (a river in between Argentina and Uraguay). After exploring both this river and the ParanĂ¡ River, he was forced to go back to Spain because of a lack of food and an abundance of hostile natives. Considered a failure in Spain, he went back to work for England, and in 1553, Cabot went in search of the Northeast passage, a passage to Asia by going above Europe or across the North this trip, he only made it as far as the White Sea. When he landed in Russia, he successfully negotiated trade agreements between Russia and England. Sebastian is one of the Top 20 Explorers because he not only explored three different sections of the ocean, but he also worked for two of the exploration powers of the day, Spain and England, which is more than many more important explorers can claim.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

#20-Martin Frobisher

During the Age of Exploration, many explorers roamed the seas in search of riches, spices, and new lands to colonize. Being one of my favorite times in history, I am going to write about the Explorers. Over the next few weeks, I will rate the Top 20 Most Important Explorers. I will name them, give a description of their accomplishments, and explain why they are on my list. Enjoy!

20- Martin Frobisher

Sir Martin Frobisher (1540-1594) was an English privateer who went to North America in search of the Northwest Passage, an sea route to Asia by going above or through North America. In 1576, he went out on his first trip to America, finding what he thought was gold, but was actually pyrite. On this trip, he also claimed Baffin Island and Resolution Island for Englan. In 1578, Frobisher went back to America, bringing 15 ships up the Hudson Strait and set up a mining settlement in Frobisher Bay. Later in his career, Frobisher became the vice admiral on Sir Francis Drake's voyage to the West Indies. Frobisher died on November 22, 1594 after getting wounded while fighting the Spanish. Frobisher is in the Top 20 Explorers for finding and claiming one of the largest islands in the world, Baffin Island. He also earns extra points for supposedly having the 1st Canadian Thanksgiving.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Turkey's Hagia Sophia

The Holy Place of the Roman Empire

In Istanbul lies one of the greatest churches to ever be built. Hagia Sophia, or 'The Church of Holy Wisdom' was first built by Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome. Unfortunately, the church was destroyed and had to be rebuilt by Constantine's son, Constantius II, but was, again, destroyed. Emperor Justinian I resolved to build the church again, but to such a scale that nobody would ever want to destroy it again. Starting in 532, the project took 10,000 men to build and a legion of priests to continually pray over the construction sight. Hagia Sophia's dome, measuring 182 feet high and 100 feet across, was the one largest of its time, second to only the Pantheon, in Rome. Justinian succeeded in making it so great that it would never be destroyed, for when the Ottomans invaded in 1453, they were so amazed that they turned it into a mosque by adding a few minarets (Towers built next to mosques). The Ottomans helped to preserve many of the original Roman artistry on the walls of the building when they plastered over them. Because of this preservation, many of the mosaics and paintings are still there for tourists to enjoy today.

Information from...
Wonders of the Ancient World By Justin Pollard

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Historical Time Periods

History, in my mind, can be divided into 12 section, or time periods. These periods may not contain all the years, but the contain a large amount of them.

1. The Rivaling Times- the time period before Alexander the Great took the throne. This was the period of time when many small nations in the Near East fought over the land in the fertile crescent.

2. The Imperial Times- the period of time during which the Roman and Greek Empires were around, starting with Alexander the Great and ending with the fall of Western Rome.

3. The Saved Times- The time period after Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross (A.D.).

4. The Barbaric Times- The time between the end of Western Rome and the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire. This time period was when the barbarians that took the place of Rome were forming their own kingdoms.

5. The Founding Times- The age in between the rule of Charlemagne and the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The starts of actual nations instead of barbarian tribes.

6. The Middle Eastern Times- The period of time while there was an Islamic Empire. This age starts at the death of Muhammad until the invasion of the empire by the Mongols.

7. The Reform Times- The time period when Christianity shifted away from just Catholicism. This period of time was the time of John Calvin and Martin Luther. The age started with the creation of the 95 Theses and ended with the Counter Reformation.

8. The Exploring Times- The period of time when European Nations explored the lands for trade routes and new places to colonize. Starts with Marco Polo and ends around the time of James Cook.

9. The Artisan Times- The time period that flows along with the Reform Times and the Exploring Times that deals with the detail and the realisticness of the paintings/sculptures. Architecture was also a piece of this time period.

10. The Scientific Times- The time during which scientific discoveries were made in large amounts. Starting withe Nicholas Copernicus, this time period includes the ideas of Galileo, Newton, and Bacon.

11. The Industrial Times- The time period during which electricity, steam power, and the assembly line were put into use. Starting in the late 1700's and going on until World War 1, this time period changed people's ways of doing things for good.

12. The Modern Times- The time that looks about what it looked like right now. I'm not saying that things during WW2 were the same, but it was during this time that computers, televisions, and recording devices were created and used during. This period ends about now.