Why Did Jacques Cartier Want to Explore?

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Jacques Cartier led three expeditions to North America in the 16th century hoping to find a route to Asia, as well as gold. His trips were financed by the French monarch, King Francis. Unfortunately for Cartier, he never found the passage to Asia or the riches he sought.

Jacques Cartier’s three voyages to North America were the foundation for the claims by France to lands in the newly discovered continent, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. The first voyage took place in 1534 and explored Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Cartier did not find the Asian passage or any gold and returned to France after a short time.

The king of France authorized a second trip by Cartier the next year. During the second journey, Cartier traveled down the Saint Lawrence river and stayed in the area throughout the winter. He was surprised by the severity of the winter climate and lost 25 men due to the difficult conditions.

Cartier made his last trip to North America in 1541. Once again he failed to find any passage to Asia. He collected a variety of minerals that he thought were valuable and returned home. When he arrived in France, though, the minerals were found to be worthless. Cartier made no further trips to North America.