Very little is known about the early life of Vasco da Gama. He was born in 1469 in Sines, Portugal. He grew up as the son of Estevao da Gama who was the governor of the small town he grew up in.
It was his father who was originally appointed by King Joao II to complete the journey to India. His father however, died before the voyage commenced. Soon after, da Gama's brother was asked to complete the mission but he turned it down. As a last resort, King Emmanuel requested Vasco to lead the expedition. Vasco da Gama was a well educated man and was therefore fit for the job. He had proven his leadership skills when serving as a naval officer for his country. Da Gama's mission was to find a route from Portugal to India by sea.
The exploration of these new places had been encouraged in Portugal for centuries. They realized the economic benefit that could result from this trade route. This was critical to the Portuguese because it would put them at a higher economical world power. He left on July 8, 1497 along with four ships. By November the crew had rounded the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and began their journey north to the Indies.
On their way, da Gama encountered many unexpected conflicts. Along the coast of Africa, Muslims had already set up their own trading posts. Especially in Mozambique and Mombasa, the people viewed da Gama and his men as a threat to their already economically stable trading system with India. However some of the inhabitants welcomed the Portuguese right away. A man named Ahmad Ibn Majid joined da Gama in his journey to India and helped him along his route.
On May 20, 1498 da Gama finally arrived in Calicut, India. This prosperous city contained a colossal amount of precious pearls and spices. The prosperity of this city atfirst intrigued da Gama. He seemed to be welcomed by the leader and was graciously taken to one of their Hindu temples.
The future trading negotiations seemed to be set by th…