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Vasco Da Gama
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    (circa 1469-December 24, 1525)
    Discovered the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope (1497-99)
    Appointed Admiral of the Indian Ocean (1500)
    Made three voyages to India
    He was the last choice of the King to lead the voyage from Portugal to India.
    Since most of his crewmen were convicts, he treated them as expendable labor.
    He offended many tribal chiefs and sheikhs by giving cheap, useless gifts in exchange for gold and spices.
    After being forced out of India by the Muslim merchants and local leaders, he returned with 20 armed ships and made war.
    On one occasion after raiding a ship he locked all 380 passengers aboard and set the ship on fire.
    He forced Portuguese trade dominance in India by attacking cities, raiding ships, and expelling all Muslim merchants from the trading ports.
    He won royal favor for defending Portuguese territory in Africa against the French.
    His father was originally chosen to make the voyage to India but died before it could happen.
    He prepared well for the long voyages to India by bringing skilled artisans and enough supplies to last for months.

Credit: Call me Calvin

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