Ferdinand Magellan.

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Publié le : 10/5/2013 -Format: Document en format HTML protégé

Ferdinand Magellan.
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Ferdinand Magellan.
I

INTRODUCTION

Ferdinand Magellan (1480?-1521), Portuguese-born Spanish explorer and navigator, leader of the first expedition to circumnavigate, or sail completely around, the
world. He was born in northern Portugal.
Magellan set out to reach the East Indies by sailing westward from Europe, which no one was sure could be done. He intended to return by the same route, but after
his death his crews found that the prevailing winds required them to keep sailing west, around the world.

II

EARLY LIFE

Magellan was born Fernão de Magalhães to a noble Portuguese family; later the Spanish knew him as Fernando de Magallanes. He served as a court page in his youth,
and in 1505 he sailed with a fleet carrying the first Portuguese viceroy to India. He then served with the fleet in the exploration and conquest of the East Indies. Twice
wounded in battle, he took part in expeditions that captured the kingdom of Malacca (Melaka) in the Malay Peninsula of southeast Asia. He explored the islands of
present-day Indonesia as far east as the Moluccas, or Spice Islands. By 1510 he was promoted to the rank of captain.
In 1512 Magellan returned to Portugal, and in 1513 he battled the Moors in Morocco. He was wounded again and left with a permanent limp. Soon afterward he lost
favor with King Manuel of Portugal, probably because of charges of financial irregularities while he was in Morocco. The king canceled a promotion Magellan had received
for his valor against the Moors and later denied his request for a fleet to prove that the Moluccas could be reached by sailing west.

III

THE PLAN FOR THE VOYAGE

Magellan renounced his Portuguese citizenship and in 1517 went to Spain to seek support for his plan from King Charles I (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles V).
Magellan believed there was a passage to the west through or around South America. Such a passage would be of great value to the Spanish, who wanted a share in
the lucrative trade in spices from the Moluccas. Portugal controlled the eastward route to the East Indies, around Africa's Cape of Good Hope, and would not allow
Spanish ships to pass.
Magellan offered an additional argument to the king. The 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal had divided the world between the two powers. The
Portuguese hemisphere was east of a north-south line that ran through Brazil. The Spanish half was west of the line. However, the position of the line on the other side
of the globe was unknown. Magellan argued that at least some of the Moluccas might lie within the Spanish hemisphere. The only way to be sure was to measure the
distance around the earth by sailing west to the Moluccas, since their distance from Spain by the eastern route was known.

IV

START OF THE EXPEDITION

Magellan won the king's appr...


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