1 The finding of unknown land overseas by European maritime powers was an important element in the process of the expansion of their respective territorial sovereignties (Territory, Acquisition). Different situations must be distinguished. The accidental encountering of territory or the mere sighting or visual apprehension of territory by a subject of a given sovereign was not necessarily followed by a territorial claim. Conversely, in some cases, explorers embarked on voyages in the name of a European sovereign with the precise purpose of discovering new...
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