« 上一頁繼續 »
it he described the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa ; he then gave an account of the voyages of Americus Vespucius, and closed by saying, “The fourth part of the world having been discovered by Americus it may be called ... the land of Americus or America.” 30
The suggestion met with favor. On a German globe made in 1515 we find America standing out in capitals on what appears to be a great southern island in the western Atlantic. The name was at first confined to South America; later it was applied to both of the western continents.
14. How it was discovered that America was a continent; Magellan; Behring. — But for a long time North America was laid down on the maps of that period as an island. The true continental character of the New World was discovered gradually.31 Cabot and Vespucius must have suspected it, but it was not until Magellan made his famous voyage round the globe (1519-1521) that the evidence became strong. The Spanish explorers of the Pacific coast, and Sir Francis Drake, in his voyage round the world (1577-1579), confirmed that evidence. But even then the actual breadth of North America was not clearly recognized, and as late as Henry Hudson's expedition (1609), European navigators thought that they might find a short passage through the northern continent to the Pacific. In the next century Vitus Behring, the Danish explorer (1728), sailed through the straits which have since borne his name and proved that America was not attached to Asia in that quarter. In 1856 the discovery of the Northwest Passage completed this process, and showed that America is absolutely disconnected from Asia.
15. Summary. - In the year 1000 Leif Ericson, a Northman, discovered Vinland on the North American coast ; but in the course of a few centuries all knowledge of Vinland was lost. In 1492 Columbus in searching for a new route to the Indies discovered the West India Islands. In 1497 John Cabot landed on the North American continent and claimed it
for the English Crown. England considered that this claim gave her the right to plant colonies in America. and 1503 Americus Vespucius made three voyages to the South American coast. His description of the New World suggested the name America which was given to South America, and later extended to the northern continent. The true character of North America was discovered by Magellan, Drake, the Spanish explorers of the Pacific coast, Captain Behring and his successors.
ATTEMPTS AT EXPLORING AND COLONIZING
For Authorities for this Chapter see Appendix, page xxiv. The small figures
in the text refer to Authorities cited on page xxx of the Appendir.
EFFECTS OF THE DISCOVERY
OF AMERICA ON EUROPE.
16. The miraculous spring ; Ponce de Leon discovers Florida. — Early in the sixteenth century a Portuguese historian wrote to the Pope, “There is an island about three hundred and fifty leagues from Hispaniola (Hayti). . . on which is a never-failing spring of such marvellous efficacy that when the water is drunk, perhaps with some attention to diet, it makes old people young again.” Ponce de Leon, a Spanish cavalier, who was, as his epitaph 32 declared, “a lion by name and still more by nature,” resolved to set out in search of this marvellous spring. He hoped thereby to find new lands and new life at the same time. It was a compliment to America that men believed it could give all things, not only gold and fame but even one's lost youth.
De Leon sailed (1513) from Porto Rico with a picked crew in search of the miraculous fountain. On Easter Day
in Spanish called Pascua Florida or “Flowery Easter" -- they discovered land. De Leon and his men went ashore a few miles north of where the Spaniards later founded St. Augustine. He called the land Florida from the name of the day on which he had discovered it. Later (1521) he returned to colonize Florida. The Indians resisted his attempt to seize their country, and in the fight the stout-hearted old cavalier received his death wound.
17. Balboa discovers a new ocean ; Magellan names it; Spanish exploration of the Pacific coast. - Meanwhile Balboa, the Spanish governor of a colony on the Isthmus of Darien, set out (1513) to discover a sea said to exist in the southwest. After an exhausting march of nearly three weeks, over rocky hills and through vine-tangled forests, the expedition reached the foot of a mountain where he called a halt. Climbing to the top of this height the Spaniard looked down upon the shining waters of the “South Sea." No white man had ever before beheld that greatest of the oceans of the globe ; next after Columbus, Balboa had made the most remarkable geographical discovery recorded in history. A few days later, wading into the waters of that sea, he drew his sword and declared that the Kings of Spain should hold possession of the South Sea and of its coasts and islands “while the earth revolves, and until the universal judgment of mankind.'' 34
Seven years later (1520) Magellan entered that ocean on his voyage round the globe. He found its waters so calm that he named it the Pacific.
Cortez had begun the conquest of Mexico, and in the course of a little more than twenty years (1520–1543) Spain had explored the Pacific coast of North America as far as Oregon.
18. Narvaez attempts to conquer Florida ; the adventures of Cabeza de Vaca.-- While Cortez was plundering Mexico, Narvaez started from Spain (1528) to conquer Florida; but lost his life in the undertaking. Cabeza de Vaca and three survivors of the expedition were wrecked on the coast of Texas.
He and his companions managed to escape from a long captivity among the Indians, and set out to cross the country to the Spanish settlements on the Pacific coast. After two years of wandering, they arrived (1538) at the city of Mexico.
Cabeza carried to the Spaniards of the Pacific coast reports of the existence of the wonderful stone and adobe cities of the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. This led to the great exploring expedition undertaken (1540) by Coronado.
19. De Soto's expedition; the Indians. — When Cabeza returned to Spain (1537) he reported that Florida was "the richest country in the world.” Ferdinand de Soto, who had been with Pizarro in South America, heard this report with savage delight. He liked the "sport of killing Indians," and hoped to strip the Florida chiefs of their gold as Pizarro had stripped the unfortunate ruler of Peru. In 1539 De Soto landed with an army of six hundred men
at Tampa Bay, Florida. The DeSoto V16:22
Indians fought heroically against
the invaders, but their arrows GEÇÁGIA
no match for the arms carried by these white "warriors of fire.”
The Spaniards chained a number of natives in gangs, forced them to serve as guides through the forest, and made them carry their baggage and "pound their corn.”
20. De Soto discovers the “Great River” of the West; his death. - In the spring (1541) the Spaniards came to the banks of the “Great River” of the West. At the point where they first saw it, the river “was about half a league broad,” of “great depth,” with “a strong current,” “ the water was always muddy, and timber and trees were continually floating down." Such is the first description by Europeans of the Mississippi. 35
De Soto and his party crossed this mighty stream probably not far below the present city of Memphis, and pushed on to the vicinity of the Hot Springs of Arkansas. In the spring, utterly discouraged, they set out to reach the Gulf of Mexico. They got as far as the point where the Red River unites with the Mississippi. There (1542) De Soto died, and was secretly