Children: Sebatiano Caboto, Sancius Cabot, Ludovico Cabot
Who was John Cabot?
John Cabot is not one of the best known explorers, however had a great influence on American history. There is very little information about his life, which results in the historians guessing about most of his life. He was probably born around 1450 in Genoa, Italy. In a voyage from England to Greenland, he died at the age of 48. In Italy his name was Giovanni Caboto, when he moved to England he changed his name to John Cabot. In 1476, John became a citizen of Venice, "a lower-class Venetian, of a fine mind, very expert at navigation", he was described by some.
Cabot and North America
John Cabot is famous to set foot on North America in 1497 , after a sea voyage from England after 35 days. King Henry VII sent Cabot to explore the elusive sea route to China and India, through a North-West Passage.
The famous explorer Christopher Columbus found a huge area of land just like Cabot. Cabot had no idea that he had bumped into a continent, that lays between Europe and the Orient. Like most of the other people in this theme, Cabot thought that if you sail west, you would arrive in China or India.
Cabot lived from about 1461 in the city state of Venice. Already at a young age Cabot saw the tremendous benefits of trade and the amazing East. In Europe, Venice had became the richest city, by having a monopoly on most of its trade. In Europe the Age of Exploration had become less important. To find new routes to the East, was the main motives for the voyages. Spain and Portugal wanted the Eastern riches to share.
Moving to Venice
Venice was not only republic, but also a great trading rival of Genoa. Venice managed the survive of Constantinople, unlike Genoa. With the Turks the Venetians made peace. A small amount of Constantinople allowed them to keep it, so that they could carry on there businesses.
Venice became the richest city in Europe in that time, because they controlled the trade with the East. The fantastic houses on the canals of the city were made by Venetian merchants, which built them. There they held gorgeous feasts and parties. The city must have been the most exciting place, for young Cabot, to live in at that time.
At a catholic church he was taught how to read and write. In the Italian dialect and Latin, Cabot was fluent. These two languages are the languages of the church, government and law. He did not learn English in school. In the 15th century, English was not a very important language, outside of England. Cabot must have learned the language in England or from English sailors. People assume that Cabot could also speak Spanish, because he lived there for some time.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea and the Middle East, for a merchants company Cabot travelled extensively. Bringing precious goods from the East. A very few had ever visited these far away countries. Cabot wasn't afraid by the tales. With the world that made Venice so rich , Cabot’s imagination must have been fired by this contact. He wanted to trade directly with Indian and Chinese to make himself and Venice richer. John Cabot was motivated by a a desire to make money, just like many resourceful and adventurous men like himself.
Cabot brought very important maps and charts to England of the sea, which no one ever had seen in England. Cabot brought to England his skills as a navigator, the beast seafaring practice of the main Maritime nations, of Europe, for example Italy, Spain and Portugal. Of his adventures in the Eastern Mediterranean Cabot would have told, traveling in exotic produce and meeting Asian people. This Geneon- born merchant sailor presented opportunities, and the king would have been unable to resist.
What happened to John Cabot?
This answer is till today unknown. Did Cabot’s ship in the North Atlantic hit a huge storm and simply sink? Or for a second time reach the North American coast, and not return to their native land? To the second of the two possibilities, some sketches show evidence. In 1499, a Portuguese expedition travelled up the coast of North America. Returning with 7 Native Indian Notes of a reporter note: `these men the (The Indians) have... a piece of broken guild sword which certainly seems to have been made in Italy. One of the boys was wearing in his ears silver rings which without a doubt seem to have been made in Venice.´ Were some of these Object belonging to Cabot’s? The expedition the year before, this shows that Cabot read arched America.
Cabot and America
In the 5th century, a Irish monk, named Brendan, may have made a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. About 500 years later the Vikings made a similar voyage, landed on mainland of North America. Fact is that John Cabot did make a voyage , once at least , and is therefore the first European standing on mainland of America. This is no insignificant legacy or small claim. To colonized North America, Cabot laid the foundation, from the English. About 100 years later explorers like Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, under Queen Elisabeth l the patronage.
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