Amerigo Vespucci- Part II

Lead: Catching the fever of exploration, a Italian merchant banker Amerigo Vespucci, has one of most famous names in the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Vespucci was the manager of an agency in Seville, Spain that financed and equipped ocean-going vessels. The company was owned by the Italian banking firm of the de Medici family and had assisted Christopher Columbus in preparing for three of his voyages. On the last Vespucci and Columbus became personally acquainted. Perhaps at that point the banker decided to become an explorer.

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Amerigo Vespucci – Part I

Lead: The continents of the western hemisphere are not named for the primitive tribes of Native Americans who first settled them eons ago or for the Norsemen who braved the ice flows of the North Atlantic or for Columbus. They bear the name of an Italian banker, Amerigo Vespucci.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of his historic voyage of 1492, Christopher Columbus announced to the world that he had discovered a western water passage to Asia. He never wavered in that conviction. After four journeys of discovery he still maintained that he was picking around the edges of the East Indies. However, there was a growing suspicion among the explorers that had followed behind that they were not rounding out their knowledge of Asia at all. By the late 1490s landing had been made in Venezuela, Honduras, Newfoundland, and what would later be called the mainland of North America.

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Caribbean Holocaust

Lead: On October 12, 1492 the three ships in Christopher Columbus' tiny squadron made land on San Salvador Island in the eastern Bahamas. He found there a handsome indigenous people of peaceful disposition and of efficient agricultural habits. Within fifty years the Arawak or Tainos were all but wiped out.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He called them, "the best people in the world and above all the gentlest," but Columbus' mind and that of his royal patrons was on gold and silver and the peaceful people of islands were soon found to be expendable. The Arawak immigrated to the eastern Caribbean archipelago from mainland South America and by Columbus' time were found mostly in the Greater Antilles: Cuba, Dominica, and the Bahamas. They had a complex religious and social structure organized around autonomous villages some of which had as many as 3000 inhabitants. Each village was led by hereditary rulers called cacique (kaseke) who were assisted in religious matters by shamans.

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Spanish Armada – III

Lead: Clearly provoked by English policy, in 1588 Philip II of Spain sent a large fleet to support an invasion of southern England. It turned out not to be much of an Armada and was certainly not invincible.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: By 1585 Philip was convinced that in order to break English economic, diplomatic and military power and to restore Catholicism to England, he would need to mount an invasion. As it evolved, here was the plan. The Spanish would assemble a fleet of warships filled with supplies and troops, sail to Flanders in what is modern day Belgium, secure the Straits of Dover from English naval interference, screen the transport across the English Channel of 30,000 troops under the command of the Duke of Parma, vice-regent of the Spanish Netherlands, and support the invasion. From the beginning, almost everything went wrong.

Spanish Armada – II

Lead: In 1588 Spain sent a powerful fleet to support an invasion of southern England. Despite English propaganda to the contrary, this action was clearly provoked by the government of English Queen Elizabeth I.


                Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In the early days of her rule, one of Elizabeth’s best friends was King Philip II of Spain. He had been the husband of her sister and predecessor, Mary Tudor. He hoped that Elizabeth would continue Mary’s policy of Catholic restoration and, perhaps, even accept his hand in a powerful dynastic and diplomatic marriage. By 1560, however, it was clear Elizabeth desired a modified Protestantism for England and that she was toying with Philip’s affections just as she would every man who sought, by winning her heart, to compromise her power and capture her kingdom.

Spanish Armada – I

Lead: By the mid-1580s Philip II of Spain had had enough. He determined to destroy his heretical sister-in-law Elizabeth and bring her backward, troublesome little island kingdom to heel.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Philip of Spain always had high hopes for Elizabeth. He had, after all, been her brother-in-law, married to Mary Tudor, her older sister. Mary’s rule was short, however, and the queen died before she and Philip could produce the Catholic heir that might, over time, have restored stubborn England to the true faith. Philip didn’t like the English and they returned the compliment. Nevertheless, he hoped that when Mary died and Elizabeth took her place in 1558, he might win her hand and continue to pull England back out of Protestantism. A marriage would also maintain the European balance of power thus keeping France at a diplomatic disadvantage. Unfortunately, Elizabeth understood that marriage to Philip would drag England into continental disputes on the side of Spain, but more importantly, insure her power as a female ruler would be compromised in a marriage. Therefore, she paried Philip’s advances as she did the long line of suitors that tried to ensnare her heart and her throne.

Discovery of Cuba – II

Lead: The first major discovery of Christopher Columbus after his initial landfall in autumn 1492, was Cuba. He then turned his attention elsewhere and not until 1508 was Cuba even determined to be an island.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: The early development of Cuba by Europeans was a much-delayed thing. This was primarily due to the premier motivation for Spanish exploration in the so-called New World. Spain wanted a route to the rich spice islands of East Asia and it wanted gold and silver. It soon became obvious to most observers that the islands and mainland of the new lands were not Asia. Columbus died still convinced America was Asia but he was in a growing minority. It also became clear that the islands forming the eastern border of the Caribbean had only tiny deposits of precious metals. The search for gold went west into Mexico and South America.


European Discovery of Cuba – I

Lead: The first voyage led by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought Europeans to the Caribbean. One of his most significant discoveries was the largest island in the Antilles, Cuba.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: After decades of frustration, the Italian sailor and visionary, Christopher Columbus finally convinced the ruling house of Spain to commission him for a voyage of exploration out across of the Western Ocean in search of a water bridge to East Asia. King Ferdinand and his bride and fellow monarch Queen Isabella, had just achieved a seven-century long goal of the Christian kingdoms of Spain. They conquered Grenada, the last remaining Islamic kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula.