Map of Drake's Circumnavigation


The map was made in 1581 to celebrate Drake's circumnavigation of the World between 1577 and 1580. Francis Drake was the first Englishman to challenge the hegemony of the Iberian powers in maritime exploration and economic exploitation. Initially he was trying to pass into the Pacific using the route discovered by Magellan. Once in the Pacific he could attack Spanish ships and ports at will. He then seems to have tried to discover the North West Passage from the Pacific side before deciding to Circumnavigate the globe and head towards the Spice Islands and then into the Portuguese territory. He picked up Spices to add to his Spanish treasure and came back to England with unheard of wealth in his hold. His daring voyage would inspire many other Englishmen to replicate his exploits.


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