Europeans were far more interested in the lands that lay to the east. In the late 1200s, a young man named Marco Polo traveled through Asia with his father, a merchant and trader from Venice, Italy. Marco Polo spent 17 years in China. When he returned to Venice, people flocked to hear his stories of “the Indies,” as India and East Asia were then known. He was called “the man with a million stories.”
Eventually, a writer helped Marco Polo put his adventures into a book. The book described the wonders Polo had seen in China. It told of rich silks and rare spices, gold and jewels, and luxurious palaces.
When Marco Polo’s book was published, very few people in Europe could read. Those who did read it were fascinated by its description of riches to the east. Merchants and traders were eager to find the fastest way to get there. The land route Polo had traveled was long and dangerous. His tales inspired explorers to find an alternative route by sea.
Some explorers would seek a route to China by going around the southern tip of Africa. But a few brave souls looked to the west for another route. Such a trip took courage, because no one knew how far west sailors would have to sail to reach Asia or what monsters and terrors might await them far from Europe’s shore.
In this chapter, you will learn how Christopher Columbus faced these dangers and sailed west to find a route to China. As you will see, his unexpected discovery of the American continents led to competition among European nations to explore and profit from these lands. You will also learn how Europeans established settlements in the American continents and, in the process, changed both Europe and the Americas.
Your paper will need to ANSWER the essential question. The setup of the paper is in accordance with APA formatting. Use the information from the unit to help answer the essential question. This does NOT mean that you will have a paragraph for each person or for each individual topic addressed throughout the unit, but rather looking at the essential question to see how the content from the unit needs to be organized to fully answer the question that has been presented.
You will need to develop a project that presents the ideas discussed within this unit of study in a unique way. Look through the "project ideas" page to get some inspiration. Projects must be 3 Dimensional or Digital. If you decide to do a Prezi as your project, it must include a recorded voice over component. Projects that are scored at a four will include information that has not been covered in the required readings. Good luck, and may the force be with you!
You will spend the first part of your presentation explaining your solution to the problem that has been presented with this unit. Keep in mind that you are using the content from this unit as supports for your solution to the problem that has been presented. The concepts covered need to be addressed as you talk through your solution. The second part of your presentation is the explanation of your project. Make sure to address the essential question by stating it in sentence form as you begin the second part of your presentation.