Study "Latin America / Mexico / Caribbean" Essays 551-555

X Filters 

Spain and Portugal Term Paper

… To overcome this problem, Henry introduced the magnetic compass to his sailors. The magnetic compass was actually invented by the Chinese long before, but Henry made it "popular," so to speak. A magnetic compass works as follows: A piece of naturally occurring magnetite (usually in the form of a lodestone) is attached to one end of a wooden stick and floated in a pool of water. The magnetized stick will orient itself to Earth's magnetic field, rotating until the end with the lodestone on it points north. "The magnetic compass, therefore, provided navigators with a fixed reference point regardless of their location, the boat's heading, the wind direction, or the state of visibility (Encarta)."

Another significant invention that Henry introduced to his sailors was the astrolabe. As with the magnetic compass, the astrolabe was not a brand new invention; the Greeks had used it long before the Portuguese did, but its effect on sailing was just as profound. An astrolabe measures the positions of heavenly bodies. A source (Encarta) describes the astrolabe as follows:

It consists of a circle or section of a circle, marked off in degrees, with a movable arm pivoted at the center of the circle. When the zero point on the circle has been oriented with the horizon, the altitude of any celestial object can be measured by sighting along the arm.

Henry didn't just introduce concepts attached with the science of sailing. Other changes were introduced to the actual design of ships and how they were sailed. One example of this is the caravel. A caravel is a ship that has broad bows (the forward part of a ship), a high narrow poop (an enclosed structure at the rear of a ship above the main deck), and three masts. The masts held another significant invention: the square sail. The design of the caravels made them fast and agile, and the square sails meant that the ships could be sailed deeply into the wind without losing speed. Caravels were suitable for coastal as well as ocean travel and could even be rowed, if necessary.

Prince Henry may not have actually gone on any of the voyages that he sent his sailors on, but he wasn't called "The Navigator" for nothing. Henry used his finances, his position, and his power to create not just a sailing power in the world, but a power to be reckoned with. Spain, upon seeing Portugal's success, soon funded an expedition of their own: a Portuguese sailor by the name of Christopher Columbus.


European Age of Exploration and Early Empires. 2003. .

Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2003. © 1997-2003 Microsoft Corporation. .

Pickering, Keith A. "Columbus and Dead Reckoning Navigation." 2000. .

The Mariner's Museum. Newport News. 1997. . [read more]

Eyes of the Heart: Seeking Term Paper

… As Aristide notes, "As once a person tastes the salt, she will never willingly be a slave again."

Chapter eight, "Material Questions, Theological Answers?" talks of God, of faith, and how they all play a part in the success of a country and its people. Aristide believes faith is the bedrock of civilization, and of the success of society. A majority of Haitians have this faith, and so Aristide believes they have a solid foundation to build a great society.

Finally, the last chapter, "The Challenge of 2004" sums up this book which takes a long look at the politics, economy, and social climate of Haiti. Aristide realizes there are many challenges facing his country, but he also believes part of the challenge rests on the rest of the world. He writes, "Part of this challenge involves dramatically changing global spending priorities, which are so grotesquely skewed. It is estimated that only 10% of development aid goes towards meeting primary human needs (education, health care, clean water, and sanitation).

Clearly, Haiti must change, but so must the world. We must change the way we see others, and it will change the way we see ourselves.


Aristide, Jean-Bertrand. 2000. Eyes of the heart: Seeking a path for the poor in the age of globalization. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.

Profile of H.E. Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. [online]. 2003. Washington D.C.: The Embassy of the Republic of Haiti; available at;Internet, accessed 13 May 2003.

Aristide, Jean-Bertrand. 2000. Eyes of the heart: Seeking a path for the… [read more]

Change One's Life. They Happen Essay

… After a few months, everything turned out well. I was getting along great in the United States. Miami was a great city to learn about and grow in. My senior year in high school in Miami was much easier than the year before. I knew my surroundings and I knew people and also made friends. I accomplished so much in this year. My hard work was starting to pay off. As a matter of fact, I received several awards. During my senior year I won the Excellence in ESOL Award (Southwest Senior High School). I also received a scholarship for 2 years of full tuition to Miami-Dade Community College. I received this award for being in the top 20% of my senior class. This was a great award for me to get. It helped me tremendously. It was rewarding for me to get this because I got this in only 2 years of being at this particular high school. To top this all off, I met my fiancee at this high school.

These two events affected my life in various ways. Certain times were hard and certain times were very sweet to know that I got through them with hard work and perseverance. If I had the chance to go back and do it all over again I would more than likely do the very same things. I do regret that my mother and father were divorced. This really hurt. Me moving taught me that you have to adapt and you have to learn new things and meet new people. Me moving to all these places opened up my mind and taught me to see things in a new light. I was truly blessed throughout the whole ordeal. At times, I thought that there was no way out of the tough situations. However, with faith and from help with my family, I got through all the tough times. It was definitely something that I did not do alone. I had help from friends. Some were old friends and some were new friends. I had help from my parents and also from my grandmother. She really was a major source of inspiration to me. She was very special in my life. She always was there for me during these tough and crazy times. Without her I doubt I would have been able to handle the trials and tribulations of the moves and transitions. Whenever I needed help she was there. These events made my life better and made me stronger. I am glad that they took place and I am very happy the way my life turned out. I wouldn't change it for anything in this world. The whole experience has made me think about life and why things happen the way they do. It is amazing to think back and look at how these events have changed me and my views on life. It really makes me smile when I think about where I came from and where I have… [read more]

Goya: Man and Myth Term Paper

… ..his children, by crushing free thought and turning back the clock. And Saturn is also like Goya himself, who in choosing to depict the horrors of the regime, cuts himself off from his patrons and from his world. He devours his own children -- the successful career he has built up at the Spanish court. In his last years in exile in France, Goya is like a man cut off from his family. He is Saturn destroying his offspring to save himself.

Saturn is a far cry from the dreams of Goya's youth. The myths that sustained them seem lost in another time and place. The bright colors and soft forms of The Parasol speak to a world of simple pleasures and few cares. It is the never-changing world of the Spanish aristocracy. The bright yellow of the girl's dress, the blue of her bodice, are warm and gentle colors that give to the scene a luminous quality. The girl is the focus of the picture, the center of her world. With arm outstretched, and an enigmatic yet inviting expression, she welcomes the viewer into the scene. This combination of mystery and invitation is created by Goya's careful use of light and shadow. Just as in Saturn, he employs light to represent or conceal emotion. The girl's face and arm are shaded by the parasol held by the young man. Are they lovers out for a pleasant afternoon? Or, is the young man a gallant squire holding an umbrella over his queen? We do not know. But then this is all a part of the game...the myth of courtly society. While the two figures themselves are carefully delineated, the background is vague and indistinct -- a tree behind the young man, a rough splash of green beyond. Nature is but a prop, a stage set to be changed at will. The King, the Queen, all of Goya's royal and noble patrons are actors in a drama of their own creation. Yet even here in this idyllic scene, there is a certain foreboding. The dark, almost formless wall to the girl's left is strangely ominous. (Buchholz p.21) She seems to point towards it. Is it an obstacle? Is there something on the other side of that wall that threatens to intrude on this sunlit world? Perhaps even then, Goya saw that the aristocracy lived in a place cut off, or maybe he is telling us of his own demons lurking somewhere beyond that wall, beyond the wall we all erect to separate our inner selves from the selves we wish to project. Even in the realm of light, the dark passions of Saturn are never far behind.

Goya's fascination with the interplay of myth and reality appeared early in his work. He was a great lover of children and often depicted their play. (Buchholz p.32) Of course children's games are often reflections of the adult world. In Children's Games rough-clad peasant children romp and play at being adults. They are soldiers… [read more]

Silvio A. Bedini's Book Term Paper

… Bedini expertly interlaces an enthralling account of Portugal's ambitious political and economic investments in the early 1500s with reports of the dazzling cultural ambience of Rome under Pope Leo X. Amid this cultural ambience in Rome, Hanno is transformed into a glorified circus-performer (conditioned to genuflect, dance, cry and trumpet at will). The elephant fronted processions and partook in carnivals, amongst old ruins and Renaissance pageantry. Hanno even had his portrait painted by Raphael, finally dying of constipation in 1516. On a positive note, Hanno likeness echoes through Renaissance-European art we can appreciate today. (Rowland, 1999,

However, Leo X ignored the hidden intentions of King Manuel and persisted in throwing his money away on celebrations, festivals and concerts in Rome rather than funding Portuguese troops. Inevitably, the money gradually trickled away. Also, by 1517, Martin Luther was posing more of a threat to Pope Leo's Papacy than the Moors. Martin Luther spoke against the apparent excess and privilege enjoyed by the Papacy. When Pope Leo and King Manuel died in 1521, their deaths heralded the end of the "Golden Age." Manuel's Golden Age was one of discovery and colonialism and Leo's was one of Renaissance-inspired culture, a giddy backdrop in which Catholic fervour and contemporary technology merged with scientific inquisitiveness and sophisticated culture to create a bizarre and exceptional concoction. (Rowland, 1999, While Hanno manifests the link between these two leaders, the pachyderm also embodies the greed and intended collusion on the part of the Portuguese king as well as the greed, power and authority of Pope Leo X.

In the book, Hanno symbolizes anything and everything of the period. Just to name a few, Hanno is the symbol of the East finally opening up to the West in all its exotic strangeness. Hanno is also an icon of the golden age and everything of marvel. The symbolism of Hanno is even manifested in the similarity of appearance between Leo and the elephant. Pope Leo developed a comical resemblance to his favorite pet; both were quite big and endured bouts of constipation. "Immediately upon the elephant's arrival in Rome, it became the particular pet of the pope, and the papal court, and of the people of Rome as well. The pontiff often visited the elephant in its enclosure, intrigued by the young beast, and its playful antics never ceased to delight him. It must also have amused those bystanders who observed the ungainly, corpulent, nearsighted pontiff clumsily playing with the equally rotund pachyderm." (Bedini, 2000, p.78)

Leo's profound affection for Hanno, as portrayed in Bedini's book "The Pope's Elephant" successfully depicted the greatness of his position as well as the frailty of the man. As Hanno became the centerpiece of Leo's menagerie of gifts of the animal variety, he also became the centerpiece of Leo's world, surrounded by Leo's opulence and power. Inevitably, Hanno became the symbol for how both factors were exercised, providing a great deal of insight into the corruption, lavish wastage and power Pope Leo… [read more]

NOTE:  We can write a brand new paper on your exact topic!  More info.