In 1539 DeSoto thought America was an island separated from Asia by Balboa's South Sea (the Pacific Ocean in 1513). Magellan had sailed that sea to China when DeSoto was 21, proving our earth was round. With that, DeSoto planned to trade Spain's New World Gold with China* by traveling north to that sea, across what he called this "Island of Florida."|
1544 World Map Other Europeans sought that "Northwest Passage."
*"The explorations of Columbus and those of his contemporaries
completely revised the world picture. As a result, cartographers
were stimulated to devise new methods for depicting the enlarged
world. But the voyages did even more: they relegated the
Mediterranean to a secondary place in world affairs by diverting
trade between Europe and the Orient to the Atlantic."
*Doctors Clarence B. Odell and Dale Edward Case in: Geographical Background of the First Voyage of Columbus
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