Vasco da Gama's Journey from Portugal to India

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  • Topic: Vasco da Gama, Portugal, Lisbon
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  • Published : October 23, 2008
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Who is Vasco Da Gama?

Vasco Da Gama was believed to be borned around 1460s in Sines, a Portuguese seaport on the Atlantic ocean. The Da Gamas were minor aristocrats, and Vasco’s father, Estevao Da Gama and his wife, Dona Isabel Sodre had five sons. Vasco was the third.

Skills of Vasco Da Gama

Gaspar Correia ,Sixteenth- Century historian, written that it was at Evora where he may have learned mathematics and navigation. It is evident that Gama knew astronomy well, and it is possible that he may have studied under the astronomer Abraham Zacuto. He was also believed to served in the armadas and affairs of the sea, as it was common for sons of noble families to enter into military service. These skills served him well on the highseas.

Why was Portgual interested in this expedition?

Portuguese King, Joao II wanted to trade with the Africans and establish Portuguese bases for the protection and supply of Portuguese shops. He needed these bases because his quest was ultimately a sea to India, the source of the most promising trade ( silk and spices which is getting more expensive in Europe )in the world.

Why a route on sea?

India could not be reach directly by land because of the countries between Portugual and India, which controlled the trade routes. Christian travellers were also blocked by Ottoman Turks from using these land routes. The desert between them also provide them an obstacle to trade with India via land route.

Why was Vasco Da Gama chosen for the expedition?

In 1495, King Joao II died. Five years earlier in 1490, King Joao II ‘s son and heir, Prince Alfonso was stabbed by Joao’s cousin, Diogo, in a struggle for power. The next in line successor for the throne would be the Queen’s brother, Manuel. But King Joao wanted to pass the crown to his illegitimate son, Jorge.

In order to make Jorge’s birth legal, King Joao II needed the cooperation from the Queen and the pope. But he was refused. Unable to secure the throne for...
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