|Pre-Revolution Timeline -
3, 1492 - After years of negotiations to get the funds to make his
journey, Christopher Columbus sets out on three ships, the Nina, the
Pinta, and the
Santa Maria, to find a westward passage to the Indies under the
auspices of Queen Isabella I of the Iberian Peninsula. The
Spanish court, after the founding of the nation of Spain as a unified
state around this time, as well as the Portuguese court, would
be instrumental in the colonization and European discovery of the
Americas. Painting above right,
Columbus Before the Queen, by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, 1843.
October 12, 1492
- Rodrigo de Triana, a crew member of the Pinta, sight the land of the
Americas in the Bahamas. This was the first of four voyages
Christopher Columbus would make under the patent of the Spanish and
Isabella I of Castile. It began the period of Spanish
colonization of the New World. Columbus called the Bahaman
San Salvador. He would also explore the islands of Cuba and
on this trip, but not the continent of North America itself.
September 24, 1793 - Columbus began his second trip to the American
colonies with seventeen ships and 1,200 men. These men were
to colonize the land found and claimed during the journey beyond the
few left in the Americas after
the first voyage. He would arrive in the New World again on
November 14, 1793 and explore more of the islands in the Caribbean,
including Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
June 7, 1494 - The Treaty of Tordesillas, between Spain and Portugal,
attempted to ratify and clarify ownership of the lands outside
Europe and who could
claim them. This was an attempt to resolve questions arising
return of Columbus. This treaty, and a subsequent treaty on
1529, the Treaty of Zaragosa, would only further confuse the
issue beyond the two nations Spain and Portugal. Both these
treaties had been predated by the Peace Treaty of Alcacovas-Toledo in
1479, which had been the first attempt at dividing the world amongst
the discovers and the nations and courts which sponsored them.
March 5, 1496 - King Henry VII signs agreement with John (Giovanni)
Cabot to explore the western hemisphere under the flag and authority of
England. It is thought likely that the British King was in
disagreement with the Treaty of Tordesillas, as well as a prior Papal
decision, to effectively split the riches and exploration of the New
Worlds between Spain and Portugal. He would attempt a first
voyage with one ship, but be unsuccessful, and turn back.
Above image of John Cabot by Giustino Menescardi, 1762.
May 2, 1497 - On his second voyage for England from the port of
Bristol, John Cabot (aka Giovanni, a Genoese native sailing under the
English flag) rediscovers the North American continent on June 24,
1497, the first European exploration of the continent since Norse
explorers in the 11th century. He explores the northeast
landing first at Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland. They made
landfall for a short period of time to raise the English flag, then
the coast. His ship was known as the Matthew of Bristol.
May 1498 - Cabot undertook a second voyage to the New World under his
English papers. It is unknown where Cabot returned from this
voyage and various reports state that his ships were lost at sea.
Recent research suggests a second theory, that his ships did
return to England after a two year exploration of the coastline of
Canada and the United States, even down into the Spanish claimed
territories of Columbus in the Caribbean.
May 30, 1498 - The third voyage of Columbus began in the Spanish city
of Sanlucar. During this voyage, he explored the islands of
Caribbean again as well as the South American territories of what is
now Venezuela. Upon visiting the previously established
settlements, he found much discontent among those left behind to
colonize the region.
|Christopher Columbus, by Ridalfo
|Replica of the ship Matthew of Bristol of
John Cabot. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.