For a long time, people believed that the earth was flat. They thought that if someone traveled to the end of the oceans, they would fall off the edge of the earth. Others, like the sailor and explorer Christopher Columbus, thought that the earth was round and that if someone crossed the Atlantic Ocean, they would arrive in Asia.


Europeans wanted to go to Asia to buy spices, silk, and precious stones. They could already get these products by road, but the journey was long and expensive. In order to save time and money, several countries decided to hire explorers to find shipping routes that would allow cargo to be transported between Asia and Europe by boat.

Christopher Columbus was hired by the King of Spain in 1492 to find a new shipping route. Instead of finding Asia, he discovered a new continent: America. Other navigators like Jacques Cartier, Jean Cabot and Giovanni de Verrazano eventually followed Christopher Columbus and explored the North American coast.


Spices such as pepper, nutmeg and cloves were highly sought after in Europe. They were used to add flavor to food and to cover up the taste of spoiled meat. 

Author: Alexandre Lanoix. RECITUS.  Translated by LEARN