Reviews and Responses
The 1799 "discovery" of South America is credited to Alexander von Humboldt, an eclectically educated, ambitious, and antsy Prussian geologist-turned-adventurer whose exhaustive geological, meteorological, archeological, and anthropological surveys conducted over a five year sojourn through what are now Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, and Cuba, defined this place of great mystery ostensibly by order of King Charles IV of Spain. The voyage that planted Humboldt on the South American coast represented a seed, in hindsight, for the expansion of the Spanish empire into the southern hemisphere of the new world. It was one in a long succession of competitive charges between Portugal, France, England, and Spain for the establishment of colonies, the discovery of natural resources, the extension of Christendom in the form of Missionaries, and for the exchange of human capital.
©2005 Jeff Weld
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"A Review by Weld of Humboldt’s Cosmos, by Gerard Helferich,"
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 1:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol1/iss1/8