By Rupert Matthews

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Otumba GULF OF MEXICO MEXICO MEXICO Zautla Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz Texcoco Yucatan Peninsula Tlacopan Mexico City (Tenochititlan) Coyoacan Xalapa Iztapalapa Tlaxcala SIERRA MADRE ORIENTAL PAC I F IC OCEAN Zempoala Veracruz Cholula The brown shaded area corresponds to the area shown on the larger map CORTES’ ROUTE Wooden stock GULF OF MEXICO Cortés led his army over a rugged mountainous route to reach the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. He was only able to make the hazardous journey because he was helped by tribes hostile to the Aztecs.

English and French settlers followed, establishing towns along the East coast and along the St. Lawrence River. It was from these colonies that trappers and frontiersmen pushed inland. In 1803, the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, sold Louisiana to the United States for just $15,000,000. One year later, President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore and chart this newly acquired region. Other journeys of exploration followed; gradually the vast interior of the United States was surveyed and mapped.

Divers can work in normal air pressure in the upper chamber. They have to put on helmets when they leave to explore the sea bed. Diver climbs in here SEA BED DISCOVERIES below UNDERWATER SpACESUITS Modern divers often wear one-man armored suits like this for scientific exploration and for work around oil rigs. These suits are strong enough to withstand water pressure – and retain normal air pressure inside – at depths of up to 600 ft (200 m). (c) 2011 Dorling Kindersley. All Rights Reserved. 61 Shipwrecks are fascinating to explore, both for the archeologist and the naturalist.

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