The Northwest Passage was a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Arctic Archipelago of northern Canada and along the northern coast of Alaska. Navigators founded it in the 16th century. .
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. He loved the sea and became a sailor at the age of fifteen years. Growing up, he had heard stories of Marco Polo and the Far East. Even though the rest of the world believed the world was flat, Columbus thought the world was round. He also knew that Europeans depended on the Far East for items like silk, gems and rare spices, but obtaining these luxuries was difficult and costly because of the long land route that had to traveled to the orient and back again, so Columbus decided to sail west in order to find a short route to the Far East. On the third of August 1942, Columbus set sail with the three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. These ships were nothing like the modern ocean liners that sail the oceans today. These little ships were made of wood and were very uncomfortable on long voyages. The ships had no sophisticated navigational devices, so Columbus had to navigate by using the stars and the moon. Columbus and his crew sailed to the Canary Islands where they took on fresh supplies before heading for the open seas. On the morning of October 12, 1492, the men went ashore on the island that they named San Salvador. San Salvador is the island where Haiti and The Dominican Republic are today.
Francisco Pizarro was another traveler, born in Trujillo, Spain. He served in Italy. Then in 1513, he discovered the Pacific and in 1526 he and Almagro sailed for Peru. During, 1531, Pizarro began the conquest of the Incas. He killed the Inca king, Atahualpa, and worked to consolidate the new empire, founding Lima in 1535 as well as other cities. In 1537, disagreement with Almagro over the control of Cuzco led to conflict. Too old to take the field himself, Pizarro entrusted the command of his forces to his brothers, who defeated and executed Almagro soon afterwards.