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Before the discovery of the sea trade route to India, many explorers tried to explore the coast of Africa and see if that route provides potential for reaching Asia. One of the most important explorers from that period was Bartolomeu Dias who discovered Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.
Finding the sea trade route to the India was a life goal of many Portuguese explorer toward the end of 15th century. Diogo Cão did not manage to achieve that goal, but his discoveries paved the way for Vasco Da Gama.
French explorer Jacques Cartier remains remembered today as the first person who claimed the territory of Canada for the French King Francis I. Here you can learn more about his life and his exploits on the North America.