Magellan

You might be asking yourself “who was the first man to circumnavigate the world”? Well his name was Ferdindad Magellan one of the greatest sailors of all time. He was the first man to cross the Pacific Ocean. Ferdinand Magellan was born in about 1480 in Sabrosa of a noble family, and he spent his years as a court page. He was one of the greatest sailors to sale for Portugal. He did some runs for the king but never anything important. He had a love for the open seas and wanted to move on to bigger and greater things. He as a young child always wanted to see the world and be a great explorer like the ones he had heard about. At his first chance he signed up for the army and became a soldier. And in 1506 he was shipped out to the East Indies were he would take part in exploration and some military expeditions. These would take place in Malacca and Moluccas also known as the Spice Islands. In the year 1510 through hard work and acts of bravery he would be promoted to the rank of captain. He returned to Portugal in 1512 and 1513. He was re-stationed to Morocco were he was wounded pretty bad and maimed for life. Due to his situation he requested an increase in his royal salary. But Magellan was denied this increase by the king of Portugal, Emanuel. Emanuel disliked Magellan and did not care for his plans of find a westward passage to the Moluccas. At this point Magellan had had enough of the king of Portugal and he disowned his Portuguese nationality.
In the year 1517 he would offer his services to the king of Spain, Charles I, who would later become known as The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Magellan was known to be a very persuasive person and had good salesmanship skills, He convinced Charles V to find a westward rout to Moluccas. If Magellan could achieve this task Spain’s wealth would skyrocket past its competing countries. On September 20,1519 Magellan started his great journey to the Moluccas from Sanlucar de Barrameda with five ships. That same year sometime in November he would reach land in South America. In February 1520 he explored the Rio de la Plata estuary. And on March 21, 1520 Magellan and his five-ship fleet would reach port at San Julian. They would not leave San Julian as quick as they thought, they would remain there for six months from disease and other complication. One of Magellan’s five ships would become wrecked and mutiny broke out among the disgruntled. After there problems were worked out and mutiny settled down the would leave port and find the passage to the Pacific Ocean. He names the rout after himself (the Straight of Magellan) and named the Pacific Ocean after how peaceful and calm it was. But along this trip he lost another ship that had lost faith and deserted he en rout to the Pacific. They had been at sea for 38 days he traveled 330 miles, and on November 28 1520 Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean he only had three ships left out of his original five-ship fleet. They would be the first Europeans to sail across the Pacific Ocean. He would move on to reach the Landron Islands on March 6, 1521.


Ten days later he discovered the Philippines. On April the 2nd he discovered Cebu. He met with the Islands clan leader and made an alliance with him to attack the natives on the neighboring island of Mactan. This would be a terrible mistake for Magellan for he would be killed on a Mactan expedition. Many of the crewmembers found the military act to be pointless and did not participate in the expedition. But the crew would not just quite without their famous captain they would fight on. A young Spanish navigator named Juan Sebastian del Cano takes over. At this point two ships lost faith in the new leader and deserted while another caught on fire and sank. The last ship, named Victoria, was commanded by del Cano through the Cape of Good Hope route to Seville on September 6,1522. Although Magellan did not live to make the journey home he did circumnavigate the globe by passing the easternmost point he had visited on an earlier voyage.
Although the voyage lost four of his ships the spices retrieved and shipped on Victoria alone paid for the expedition. Finding the passage was not as big of a success as Spain had hoped it to be. The Straight of Magellan was to long of a trip to be of any help to the Spanish so they sold their information to Portugal. But many things were still discovered on the trip. The voyage set up the foundation for trade in the Pacific and give a guide for trade ships traveling between the New World and the East. Spain did not see how important the Philippines was at first, but before the end of the century. Spain would make Manila a major trading center in the East. Ferdinand Magellan proved to the world and all those who rejected his ideas that one could circumnavigate the world. His discoveries and passages opened new doors to a larger world. He will always be remembered as the first man who sailed around the world

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