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Word Count: 368
Magellan was the most adventurous explorer of the 16th century He was born in the spring of 1480 to a lower Nobel Portuguese family He proved himself in many battles and expeditions for his country But in 1517 he renounced his Portuguese citizenship after King Emanuel refused his request for a fleet to prove the Spice Islands could be reached by sailing west Magellan left for Spain to seek support for his plan King Charles I desperately needed a westward route to the Spice Islands in order to share in the profitable spice trade The Portuguese controlled all the other trade routes around Africas Cape of Good Hope and Spanish ships were not allowed to pass through He eagerly approved Magellans plan and funded the expedition In September of 1519 Magellan set sail with five ships and a crew of 270 men to find a route around or through South America There are a lot of reasons I believe this expedition is the greatest adventure of the 1500s For one nobody knew if a passage existed or how far it was across South America The maps they had to use were very crude and far from accurate Magellan was also taking a big risk by commanding a Spanish crew remember he is Portuguese born and the relationship between these countries is not good If they did find a passage though South America they still had to find the Spice Islands and they would be in uncharted waters The weather winds and currents were all unknowns to them at the time Magellans expedition did discover a passage through South America to the Pacific Ocean It is what we now call The Strait of Magellan located at the Southern tip of South America But the voyage didnt go as planned and a heavy price was paid for their discoveries The trip took nearly three years to complete Four of the five ships were lost All
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