Ferdinand magellan's travels Ernie Quirk

Who was Ferdinand Magellan ?

Magellan and his awesome beard

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who sailed for the Spanish. He was in search of fame and fortune, and to do this, he knew just what to do. One substance more valuable than gold, and a symbol of a persons richness: Spice.

Spices and riches.

Left to Right: Cinnamon - Black pepper - Cloves

Spices like pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and more, were desired by every man and women in Europe. At the time, they were extremely valuable, and some people became very rich by selling them. One person was determined to find a faster and easier route to the Spice Islands, the mother load of all spices. Ferdinand Magellan.

Portuguese to Spanish.

Portugal and Spain

Magellan was born in either Porto or Sabrosa, Portugal, in 1480. He first became in sea travel when he decided to join an expedition to Africa. When he came back to Portugal, he was falsely accused of illegally trading with the Moors (African Muslims) of northern Africa. The king then refused to let Ferdinand go on any more expeditions, even though he didn't trade with the Moors. Ferdinand was furious, and decided to move to Seville, Spain, and see if king Charles I would allow him to explore for Spain.

You're gonna fall!!!

The Spice Islands

King Charles I let Magellan lead an expedition to find an easier route to the Spice Islands. Magellan believed that the world was round, unlike most Europeans at the time. To prove that, he decided that he would go West to the Spice Islands instead of East. He was very brave to do that, because most people thought he would fall off the world.

The Western Spice Islands Expeditions

Their view of the world in the 16th century

Magellan thought he was exceedingly prepared for the journey. He assembled a fleet of five ships, the Trinidad, (captained by Ferdinand Magellan) the Concepción, (captained by Gaspar de Quesada) the Victoria, (captained by Juan Sebastián Elcano) the San Antonio (captained by Juan de Cartagena) and the Santiago (captained by Juan Serrano). Even though he thought he was prepared for the expedition, he had many struggles.


Magellan's Crew

Although he found a shorter route through the (now) Magellan's Strait in southern South America, there was an attempted mutiny there. Fortunately, Magellan's allies destroyed the rebellion group with ease, but it was costly. The rebels had destroyed one ship, and the crew was now left with 4 ships. The crew was slowly losing food and water, and getting very ill. The water was spoiled, and they began eating rats and sawdust. Their biscuits were full of worms, so of course eating those was out of question. They were so desperate, they even grilled leather and attempted to eat it. One crew gave up and turned back to Spain, leaving the crew with only 3 ships.


The Pacific Ocean

As Magellan and the rest of his crew made it out of Magellan's Strait, they were amazed by what they saw. The Pacific Ocean. It was so beautiful and peaceful to Magellan that he renamed it to "Pacific" after the Latin word, "pacifica," meaning "tranquil," and in March 1521, they entered the port of Guam.

The death of Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan being killed

While Magellan was having good relationships with local tribes, other crews weren't. Magellan was forced to help them because they were his comrades. While in battle, Magellan was killed bye spear and never made it to the Spice Islands. Fortunately, the rest of the crew made it, and returned back to Spain proving the world was round. In my view, this journey was like a "successful failure," much like Apollo XIII. Ferdinand Magellan successfully found a western route to the Spice Islands, and also proved the world was round.


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Greenblatt, Miriam, and Peter S. Lemmo. Human heritage: a world history. Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill/Glencoe, 2006. Print.

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