In the sixteenth century, every seafaring nation was looking for a sea route to the East Indies either by way of the New World or around Africa. Because Spain commanded the Cape Horn route and Portugal the one around Africa. The rest of Europe had to seek a third alternative. Their seamen hoped to find a passage north-west through or around North America. Frobisher, Davis, de Verrazano, Cartier and Hudson all tried without success. After 1616 the search was abandoned for nearly two centuries. Then others took up the challenge, but it was not until 1906 that it was discovered by a Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, in the Gjoa.
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