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I, Explorer Paper

You are a ship's captain with a desire to explore the oceans. You are aware that new innovations in sailing may allow for just such a trip. In the mid-1400s, the wealthy and powerful Prince Henry the Navigator formed at his villa a "primitive Research and Development Laboratory" (Boorstin, p. 161). It became "a center for cartography, for navigation, and for shipbuilding" (Boorstin, p. 162). He oversaw expeditions that successfully explored the coast of Africa, and in doing so, he launched the Age of Discovery. As a ship's captain, you are part of this new age of exploration.

Resources: Review the maps available on the following websites:

  • The James Ford Bell Library: Click on The Collection in the left column. Choose Historical Maps from the menu. Click Historical Map Images in the right column for a list of map images.
  • Emerson Kent.com: Scroll down to the Map Archive listings. Choose a time period to view the maps. Click on a map to enlarge the image.

Choose one of these scenarios:

  • It is the early 1400s and you want to approach Prince Henry the Navigator with a proposal for a trip down the coast of Africa.
  • It is the late 1400s and you want to approach the King of Portugal, Manual I, with a proposal for a trip to India around the tip of Africa and across the Indian Ocean.
  • It is the late 1400s and you want to approach the Queen of Castile, Isabella I, with a proposal for a trip across the Atlantic in search of a western route to the Indies.
  • It is the early 1500s and you want to approach the King of Spain, Charles V, with a proposal for a trip to circumnavigate the globe in search for a western route to the Indies.

Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word letter to your chosen patron that includes the following:

  • Describe the technological barriers that you are going to overcome.
  • Discuss the economic benefits of your trip,
  • Address the political and cultural norms your trip will challenge.

Consider at least three or four of the following in your letter:

  • Inaccurate maps and Christian maps
  • Rudimentary navigational tools
  • Lack of funding
  • Religious dogma
  • Cross-staff
  • Caravel
  • Waterproofing techniques
  • Improvements in sails and rope making
  • Access to supplies
  • Understanding of the shape of the world
  • Longitude and latitude
  • Magnetic compass

Format your assignment according to appropriate course-level APA guidelines.

Use only peer reviewed or accredited sources 

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