Marco Polo: An Italian merchant, Marco Polo set out to Asia with goals of establishing trade along the Silk Road. Other than accomplishing his goals of trading along the Silk Road, Polo also became the confidant of Mongol ruler Kublai Khan and wrote his travels in his journal which ultimately introduced much of Europe to Central Asia and Asia.
Henry the Navigator: Henry the Navigator was a Portuguese explorer who set out in hopes of finding a route to the rich spice trade in the Indies by going around Africa. His accomplishments include building a light and faster ship called the caravel. He also established the School of Navigation in 1418 where students were trained in map making, navigation to prepare them to sail down to the west coast of Africa.
Vasco de Gama: Like Henry the Navigator, fellow Portuguese explore Vasco de Game was also seeking a route to Asia by sailing around Africa. Fortunately for him, he was able to achieve his goal. Vasco de Gama was the first European to reach India by sea, therefore establishing a Portuguese colonial empire.
Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus was a Portuguese explorer whose goal was to find a sea route to Asia by sailing west. Though he did not accomplish this goal, in 1492, he on set foot on a land he thought was India, but really what today is the Bahamas. From there, it was considered to be the New World, thus establishing a lasting contact between the New World (Americas) and the Old World (Europe)
Vasco Nunez de Balboa: Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa set out to establish a settlement in the New World for other Spanish settlers to utilize and gain from the land. His accomplishments include being the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean via the Isthmus of Panama in 1512.
Ferdinand Magellan: Magellan was a Spanish explorer who set out in hopes of finding a western route to the spice islands of Moluccas in Indonesia. Magellan’s greatest accomplishment was being the first to circumnavigate the Earth in 1522.
Hernando Cortez: Cortez was a Spanish explorer whose goal was to set out to find the Aztec gold in the Americas. He was able to accomplish this goal in 1521 when he and his men ultimately won a fight with the Aztec people with help from there more advanced weapons.
Francisco Pizarro: Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro set out for the New World in hopes of spreading Christianity to the indigenous people and to become wealthy and famous by proving the existence of other regions in Central America such as Peru. Not only did he accomplish this goal, he also conquered the Incas in which he ordered for the killing of the Incan leader after holding his ransom for gold and silver.
Giovanni de Verrazano: Verrazano was a French explorer who set out in hopes to find a route to the Pacific Ocean and Asia via a passage through Central America. Fortunately, his greatest accomplishment was his 1524 exploration to the New World. He went from Florida to Newfoundland in which he recorded his journey which ultimately helped European mapmakers and altered the details of maps.
Jacques Cartier: French explorer, Cartier’s goal was to find a northwestern passage to Asia through a northern waterway. His accomplishments include founding the Prince Edwards Islands and ultimately gave Canada its name and claimed it for France.
Samuel de Champlain: Champlain’s goal was to establish a “New France” in the New World. His successfully accomplished this goal by establishing the “New France” in Quebec City on July 3, 1608. He also created the first accurate map of the coast and help establish settlements and fur trade posts.
Jacques Marquette & Louis Jolliet: Marquette and Jolliet were both chosen to lead an expedition to the New World. Marquette, a missionary set out a goal to spread his beliefs to the Native Americans, while Jolliet, a fur trader wanted to find what today is the Mississippi River. Their accomplishments include being the first Europeans to enter