What Is the History of John Cabot's Discovery of North America?


Quick Answer

John Cabot, also known as Giovanni Caboto in Italian, was an Italian explorer who most historians believe landed in 1497 on what is now Newfoundland in Canada. Cabot left Great Britain in June 1497 and sailed West believing he could reach parts of Asia quicker than following the traditional route to the east. Instead, he landed in North America and claimed the land on behalf of the King of England.

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Full Answer

When John Cabot left England with a crew of over 300 men, he believed he could use a new, quicker route to discover distant Asian lands. Modern historians believe he was the first European explorer to set foot on what is the country of Canada today, since ancient history.

Cabot explored a large area and named parts of it. Some of the areas he named include Cape Discovery, the Island of St. John and St. George’s Cape. The north eastern tip of Canada became known as Newfoundland, referring to the new discovery.

King Henry VII rewarded Cabot with a pension after returning to England, but the explorer embarked on more voyages to Canada. Historians believe Cabot died during a storm in 1499 when his ship sank, although no documentation exists to prove how he died. His discoveries helped Great Britain establish new colonies in North America.

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