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Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

❶Enterprise of the Indies. It was at this time that he made his last visit to his native city, but he always remained a Genoese, never becoming a naturalized citizen of any other country.

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Columbus, Christopher

After the passing of much time, the savants of Spain, like their counterparts in Portugal , replied that Columbus had grossly underestimated the distance to Asia. They pronounced the idea impractical and advised their Royal Highnesses to pass on the proposed venture. However, to keep Columbus from taking his ideas elsewhere, and perhaps to keep their options open, the Catholic Monarchs gave him an annual allowance of 12, maravedis and, in , furnished him with a letter ordering all cities and towns under their domain to provide him food and lodging at no cost.

After continually lobbying at the Spanish court and two years of negotiations, he finally had success in January Isabella turned him down on the advice of her confessor.

Columbus was leaving town by mule in despair when Ferdinand intervened. Isabella then sent a royal guard to fetch him, and Ferdinand later claimed credit for being "the principal cause why those islands were discovered". He had the right to nominate three persons, from whom the sovereigns would choose one, for any office in the new lands. He would be entitled to 10 percent of all the revenues from the new lands in perpetuity.

Additionally, he would also have the option of buying one-eighth interest in any commercial venture with the new lands and receive one-eighth of the profits. Columbus was later arrested in and dismissed from his posts. He and his sons, Diego and Fernando, then conducted a lengthy series of court cases against the Castilian crown , known as the pleitos colombinos , alleging that the Crown had illegally reneged on its contractual obligations to Columbus and his heirs.

The Columbus family had some success in their first litigation, as a judgment of confirmed Diego's position as Viceroy, but reduced his powers. Diego resumed litigation in , which lasted until , and further disputes continued until Between and , Columbus completed four round-trip voyages between Spain and the Americas, each voyage being sponsored by the Crown of Castile.

These voyages marked the beginning of the European exploration and colonization of the American continents , and are thus of enormous significance in Western history.

Columbus always insisted, in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, that the lands that he visited during those voyages were part of the Asian continent, as previously described by Marco Polo and other European travelers. On the evening of 3 August , Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera with three ships.

The largest was a carrack Spanish: The other two were smaller caravels. The name of one is lost: Columbus first sailed to the Canary Islands , which belonged to Castile. Columbus called the island in what is now the Bahamas San Salvador meaning "Holy Savior" ; the natives called it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas this corresponds to is unresolved. Based on primary accounts and on what one would expect from the geographic positions of the islands given Columbus's course, the prime candidates are San Salvador Island so named in on the theory that it was Columbus's San Salvador , [46] Samana Cay , and Plana Cays.

He called the inhabitants of the lands that he visited indios Spanish for "Indians". I believe that people from the mainland come here to take them as slaves. They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language.

Columbus also explored the northeast coast of Cuba , where he landed on 28 October. Columbus, for his part, continued to the northern coast of Hispaniola , where he landed on 5 December. The wreck was used as a target for cannon fire to impress the native peoples. Columbus left 39 men, including Luis de Torres , the converso interpreter , who spoke Hebrew and Arabic , [ citation needed ] and founded the settlement of La Navidad at the site of present-day Bord de Mer de Limonade, Haiti.

Half of his crew went ashore to say prayers in a chapel to give thanks for having survived the storm. But while praying, they were imprisoned by the governor of the island, ostensibly on suspicion of being pirates.

After a two-day standoff, the prisoners were released, and Columbus again set sail for Spain. Another storm forced him into the port at Lisbon. There, he was interviewed by Bartolomeu Dias , who had rounded the Cape of Good Hope a few years earlier, in — Dias's success had complicated Columbus's attempts to secure funding from the Portuguese court because the sure route to the Indies that Dias pioneered made a risky, conjectural western route unnecessary.

Relations between Portugal and Castile were poor at the time. After spending more than a week in Portugal, and paying his respects to Eleanor of Viseu , Columbus again set sail for Spain. Ferdinand Magellan was a young boy and a ward of Eleanor's court; it is likely he saw Columbus during this visit.

Word of his finding new lands rapidly spread throughout Europe. The passengers included priests, farmers, and soldiers, who would be the new colonists.

This reflected the new policy of creating not just "colonies of exploitation", but also "colonies of settlement" from which to launch missions dedicated to converting the natives to Christianity.

As in the first voyage, the fleet stopped at the Canary Islands , from which it departed on 13 October, following a more southerly course than on the previous expedition. He explored that island from 4 to 10 November. Michele da Cuneo, Columbus's childhood friend from Savona , sailed with Columbus during the second voyage and wrote: The same childhood friend reported in a letter that Columbus had provided one of the captured indigenous women to him. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom.

I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears.

Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores.

The exact course of Columbus's voyage through the Lesser Antilles is debated, but it seems likely that he turned north, sighting and naming several islands, including:. One of the first skirmishes between Native Americans and Europeans since the time of the Vikings [67] occurred when Columbus's men rescued two native boys who had just been castrated by their captors in another tribe.

On 22 November, Columbus returned to Hispaniola, where he intended to visit the fort of La Navidad , built during his first voyage and located on the northern coast of Haiti. Columbus found the fort in ruins, destroyed by the native Taino people. Columbus then sailed more than kilometres 62 miles eastwards along the northern coast of Hispaniola, establishing a new settlement, which he called La Isabela , in the present-day Dominican Republic.

King John reportedly knew of the existence of such a mainland because "canoes had been found which set out from the coast of Guinea [West Africa] and sailed to the west with merchandise. Three of the ships headed directly for Hispaniola with much-needed supplies, while Columbus took the other three in an exploration of what might lie to the south of the Caribbean islands he had already visited, including a hoped-for passage to continental Asia. Columbus led his fleet to the Portuguese island of Porto Santo , his wife's native land.

As he crossed the Atlantic, Columbus discovered that the angle between North as indicated by a magnetic compass and North as measured by the position of the pole star changed with his position a phenomenon now known as " compass variation ". He would later use his previous measurements of the compass variation to adjust his reckoning. After being becalmed for several days in the doldrums of the mid-Atlantic, Columbus's fleet regained its wind and, dangerously low on water, turned north in the direction of Dominica , which Columbus had visited in his previous voyage.

The ships arrived at King John's hypothesized continent, which is South America , when they sighted the land of Trinidad on 31 July approaching from the southeast. He then touched the mainland of South America at the Paria Peninsula.

Exploring the new continent, Columbus correctly interpreted the enormous quantity of fresh water that the Orinoco delivered into the Atlantic Ocean as evidence that he had reached a large landmass rather than another island. He also speculated that the new continent might be the location of the biblical Garden of Eden.

He then sailed to the islands of Chacachacare and Margarita. In poor health, Columbus returned to Hispaniola on 19 August, only to find that many of the Spanish settlers of the new colony were in rebellion against his rule, claiming that Columbus had misled them about the supposedly bountiful riches of the New World. A number of returning settlers and sailors lobbied against Columbus at the Spanish court , accusing him and his brothers of gross mismanagement.

Columbus had some of his crew hanged for disobedience. He had an economic interest in the enslavement of the Hispaniola natives and for that reason was not eager to baptize them, which attracted criticism from some churchmen. Columbus was eventually forced to make peace with the rebellious colonists on humiliating terms.

He was eventually freed and allowed to return to the New World, but not as governor. Columbus made a fourth voyage nominally in search of the Strait of Malacca to the Indian Ocean. He sailed to Arzila on the Moroccan coast to rescue Portuguese soldiers whom he had heard were under siege by the Moors. On 15 June, they landed at Carbet on the island of Martinique Martinica. A hurricane was brewing, so he continued on, hoping to find shelter on Hispaniola.

He arrived at Santo Domingo on 29 June, but was denied port, and the new governor refused to listen to his storm prediction. Instead, while Columbus's ships sheltered at the mouth of the Rio Jaina, the first Spanish treasure fleet sailed into the hurricane. Columbus's ships survived with only minor damage, while 29 of the 30 ships in the governor's fleet were lost to a storm on 1 July.

In addition to the ships, lives including that of the governor, Francisco de Bobadilla and an immense cargo of gold were surrendered to the sea. Here Bartolomeo found native merchants and a large canoe, which was described as being "long as a galley" and filled with cargo.

On 5 December , Columbus and his crew found themselves in a storm unlike any they had ever experienced. In his journal Columbus writes,. For nine days I was as one lost, without hope of life. Eyes never beheld the sea so angry, so high, so covered with foam. The wind not only prevented our progress, but offered no opportunity to run behind any headland for shelter; hence we were forced to keep out in this bloody ocean, seething like a pot on a hot fire. Never did the sky look more terrible; for one whole day and night it blazed like a furnace, and the lightning broke with such violence that each time I wondered if it had carried off my spars and sails; the flashes came with such fury and frightfulness that we all thought that the ship would be blasted.

All this time the water never ceased to fall from the sky; I do not say it rained, for it was like another deluge. The men were so worn out that they longed for death to end their dreadful suffering. On 6 April, one of the ships became stranded in the river.

Shipworms also damaged the ships in tropical waters. Columbus left for Hispaniola on 16 April heading north. On 10 May he sighted the Cayman Islands , naming them " Las Tortugas " after the numerous sea turtles there. His ships next sustained more damage in a storm off the coast of Cuba. Unable to travel farther, on 25 June they were beached in St. For one year Columbus and his men remained stranded on Jamaica. In the meantime Columbus, in a desperate effort to induce the natives to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, won their favor by predicting a lunar eclipse for 29 February , using Abraham Zacuto 's astronomical charts.

Following his first voyage, Columbus was appointed Viceroy and Governor of the Indies under the terms of the Capitulations of Santa Fe. In practice, this primarily entailed the administration of the colonies in the island of Hispaniola , whose capital was established in Santo Domingo.

By the end of his third voyage, Columbus was physically and mentally exhausted, his body wracked by arthritis and his eyes by ophthalmia. In October , he sent two ships to Spain, asking the Court of Spain to appoint a royal commissioner to help him govern. By this time, accusations of tyranny and incompetence on the part of Columbus had also reached the Court. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand responded by removing Columbus from power and replacing him with Francisco de Bobadilla , a member of the Order of Calatrava.

Bobadilla, who ruled as governor from until his death in a storm in , had also been tasked by the Court with investigating the accusations of brutality made against Columbus. Arriving in Santo Domingo while Columbus was away in the explorations of his third voyage , Bobadilla was immediately met with complaints about all three Columbus brothers: Christopher, Bartolomeo, and Diego.

Bobadilla reported to Spain that Columbus regularly used torture and mutilation to govern Hispaniola. The page report, found in in the national archive in the Spanish city of Simancas , contains testimonies from 23 people, including both enemies and supporters of Columbus, about the treatment of colonial subjects by Columbus and his brothers during his seven-year rule. According to the report, Columbus once punished a man found guilty of stealing corn by having his ears and nose cut off and then selling him into slavery.

Testimony recorded in the report stated that Columbus congratulated his brother Bartolomeo on "defending the family" when the latter ordered a woman paraded naked through the streets and then had her tongue cut out for suggesting that Columbus was of lowly birth. Because of their gross misgovernance, Columbus and his brothers were arrested and imprisoned upon their return to Spain from the third voyage.

They lingered in jail for six weeks before King Ferdinand ordered their release. Not long after, the king and queen summoned the Columbus brothers to the Alhambra palace in Granada. There, the royal couple heard the brothers' pleas; restored their freedom and wealth; and, after much persuasion, agreed to fund Columbus's fourth voyage. But the door was firmly shut on Columbus's role as governor. Columbus had always claimed the conversion of non-believers as one reason for his explorations, but he grew increasingly religious in his later years.

Probably with the assistance of his son Diego and his friend the Carthusian monk Gaspar Gorricio, Columbus produced two books during his later years: In his later years, Columbus demanded that the Spanish Crown give him 10 percent of all profits made in the new lands, as stipulated in the Capitulations of Santa Fe. Because he had been relieved of his duties as governor, the crown did not feel bound by that contract and his demands were rejected.

After his death, his heirs sued the Crown for a part of the profits from trade with America, as well as other rewards. This led to a protracted series of legal disputes known as the pleitos colombinos "Columbian lawsuits".

During a violent storm on his first return voyage, Columbus, then 41, suffered an attack of what was believed at the time to be gout. In subsequent years, he was plagued with what was thought to be influenza and other fevers, bleeding from the eyes, and prolonged attacks of gout.

The suspected attacks increased in duration and severity, sometimes leaving Columbus bedridden for months at a time, and culminated in his death 14 years later. Based on Columbus's lifestyle and the described symptoms, modern doctors suspect that he suffered from reactive arthritis , rather than gout.

Arnett, a rheumatologist and professor of internal medicine, pathology and laboratory medicine the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. On 20 May , aged probably 54, Columbus died in Valladolid , Spain. In , the remains were transferred to Colonial Santo Domingo , in the present-day Dominican Republic. In , when France took over the entire island of Hispaniola , Columbus's remains were moved to Havana , Cuba.

After Cuba became independent following the Spanish—American War in , the remains were moved back to Spain, to the Cathedral of Seville , [92] where they were placed on an elaborate catafalque. However, a lead box bearing an inscription identifying "Don Christopher Columbus" and containing bone fragments and a bullet was discovered at Santo Domingo in Initial observations suggested that the bones did not appear to belong to somebody with the physique or age at death associated with Columbus.

The mitochondrial DNA fragments matched corresponding DNA from Columbus's brother, giving support that both individuals had shared the same mother. Such evidence, together with anthropologic and historic analyses, led the researchers to conclude that the remains found in Seville belonged to Christopher Columbus.

The anniversary of Columbus's landing in the Americas is usually observed on 12 October in Spain and throughout the Americas, except Canada. The World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, , commemorated the th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. The United States Postal Service participated in the celebration issuing the first US commemorative postage stamps , a series of 16 postage issues called the Columbian Issue depicting Columbus, Queen Isabella and others in the various stages of his several voyages.

The issues range in value from the 1-cent to the 5-dollar denominations. Wanamaker originally introduced the idea of issuing the nation's first commemorative stamp to Harrison, the Congress and the U. A total of two billion stamps were issued for all the Columbian denominations, and 72 percent of these were the two-cent stamps, "Landing of Columbus", which paid the first-class rate for domestic mail at the time.

In , a second Columbian issue was released that was identical to the first to commemorate the th anniversary, except for the date in the upper right hand corner of each stamp.

These issues were made from the original dies of which the first engraved issues of were produced. The United States issued the series jointly for the first time with three other countries, Italy in lire, Portugal in escudos and Spain in pesetas. Columbus's voyages are considered some of the most important events in world history, kickstarting modern globalism and resulting in major demographic, commercial, economic, social, and political changes.

There was a massive exchange of animals, plants, fungi, diseases, technologies, mineral wealth and ideas. Spanish is now one the most widely spoken languages in the world. Roman Catholicism is the most widely practiced religion in Latin America. Columbus headed south to the Canaries and then took the trade winds across the Atlantic on his outbound voyage.

He was obviously aware of the winds off the western coast of Africa. On the return voyage, he turned northward and caught the westerlies winds that blow from west to east to the Azores. Columbus's successful voyages reveal a keen awareness of navigation techniques along with a familiarity of winds to the south and west of the Iberian Peninsula. He may have held wildly inaccurate views of the earth's size, but he understood the oceanic wind patterns.

Naming the New Land. Several years after Columbus, another Italian sailor named Amerigo Vespucci sailed to South America and correctly identified that he was on a new continent. Columbus transformed himself from a self-interested Genoese merchant mariner into a Spanish national hero. He may not have been the first to sail to the Americas, but he was the first to construct a written record of his journey across the Atlantic.

The record shows his mis-taken ideas about a narrow Atlantic and the location of the islands that he chartered. History also reveals a man of questionable personality traits, whose lack of political skills produced a good deal of animosity. Columbus's perseverance helped turn his erroneous quest for Asia into a voyage that changed the way Europeans viewed the globe.

Historians may never agree on Columbus's intentions and merits, but they continue to recognize the fact that Columbus forced cartographers to reconsider how they mapped the world. Columbus's legacy lies in the convergence of the European quest for contact with Asia and the gradual mapping of the Atlantic Ocean. Crosby, The Colombian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of Westport, Conn.: A Life of Christopher Columbus Boston: Cambridge University Press, I f there is any explorer who, in the eyes of most Americans, seems to need no introduction, it is Christopher Columbus.

Yet few figures in history have been the subject of so much myth. Old-fashioned political correctness maintained that Columbus was a sort of savior for discovering the New World, whereas modern political correctness—manifested particularly in , during the th anniversary of his discovery—condemns him as a murderer of Native Americans and destroyer of the environment. In fact, both views miss the point that Columbus ultimately had no idea what he was doing: His parents, Domenico and Suzanna Fontanarossa Colombo, were humble people: Domenico was a weaver, and what little education their son received was primarily a result of his own efforts.

Young Columbus read, and was fascinated by, Marco Polo 's account of his odyssey on the ancient Silk Road to China. By Columbus's time, however, the Turks' destruction of the Byzantine Empire had virtually sealed off the eastward land route; thus explorers, beginning with those sent out by Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator , had attempted to find a sea route. Columbus, who first went to sea as a nine- or ten-year-old, gained considerable experience sailing the relatively safe Mediterranean.

After being wounded in a battle off the coast of Portugal in , he settled in that country, where he and his brother Bartholomeu worked as mapmakers. During this time, he married Felipa Perestrelo, who gave him one son, Diego, before dying in The loss of his wife seemed to spark a restlessness in Columbus, now in his early thirties, that led him into the events that would make him an immortal. Portuguese efforts at eastward exploration had concentrated on attempts to round the coast of Africa and reach Asia via the Indian Ocean ; Columbus, by contrast, presented King John II with the idea of a westward expedition to achieve the same goal.

The latter did not agree to support the expedition, but took enough of an interest in Columbus to grant him a small annuity. He would wait for the better part of seven years to begin his voyage, during which time he had an affair with Beatriz Enriquez, with whom he had a son named Ferdinand.

Then suddenly in , a Spanish priest acted as broker in an agreement between the monarchs and Columbus, who promised them vast riches to be gained from the expedition. After 37 perilous days' voyage, the crew sighted land, and on October 12, set foot on what is now the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. There they were greeted by the aboriginal Arawaks, who Columbus—believing he had reached Asia—dubbed "Indians. On the latter, they built a fort called Santo Domingo, today the capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest continuous European settlement in the Americas.

Frustrated in his attempts to find either treasure or clear confirmation that he had reached Asia, Columbus departed for Spain in January with a pair of captured Indians, a few trinkets, and a small quantity of gold he had managed to obtain from the Arawaks. He left behind a group of 40 men, and one of the ships, at Santo Domingo. Columbus received a hero's welcome in Spain, and his rising fortunes were signified by the size of his second expedition: Yet things began to turn sour upon their return to Hispaniola in November A number of Columbus's men began succumbing to New World illnesses, and with supplies dwindling, he sent a dozen ships back to Spain.

He and the remaining group explored parts of Cuba and Jamaica, but their demands for treasure again put them into conflict with the Indians. Returning without significant treasure in , Columbus found that his standing with the royal couple had diminished considerably, and this was reflected in the size of the third expedition: This time Columbus, desperate to find the Asian mainland, sailed southward to Trinidad before returning to Hispaniola in August In Santo Domingo, he found a full-scale mutiny, and when returning sailors brought this news to Ferdinand and Isabella, they sent an official named Bobadilla to investigate.

On Bobadilla's orders, Columbus was brought back to Spain in chains in October Within a few weeks of his arrival, however, Columbus managed to talk his way back into the royal couple's good graces.

Finally they authorized what would be his last voyage, in May , this time with just four ships. The situation in the New World was even worse than before: By November he was back in Spain, a virtually forgotten man. Within days of his arrival, Columbus lost his chief supporter, Queen Isabella. He himself would not live more than 18 months, during which time he continually beseeched King Ferdinand for the rewards that had been promised him in their agreement.

He died in the town of Valladolid on May 20, Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery. Genoa, Italy, September — October ; d. Valladolid, Spain, May 20, Christopher, Bartholomew, and Diego, sons of Domenico Colombo and his wife, Susanna Fontanarossa, became wool carders but not master weavers like their father and grandfathers. Christopher went to sea at 14, without schooling. His will of refers to Genoa as "that noble and powerful city by the sea.

Christopher, "the Christ bearer. He had rare ability to acquire knowledge through observation and experience; he demonstrated superlative competence as a seaman and navigator during his four famous voyages. Little is known of his life prior to He served in a Genoese privateer; he made one or more voyages to Chios in the Aegean Sea.

He survived the sinking of a ship in battle, off Cape St. Although wounded, he seized a large oar and used it for partial support in swimming to the Portuguese coast. After being cared for in the Genoese colony of Lisbon, he became a chartmaker with his brother Bartholomew.

He made a voyage to Iceland, and visited Galway, Ireland. Castilian Spanish was the language of the educated in Portugal when the Columbus brothers were establishing themselves as chartmakers.

The writings of Christopher are in Castilian with Portuguese spellings, or in Latin learned after he began to think in Spanish. As an agent for Genoese merchants he visited Genoa and lived in Madeira for a time. In command of a merchant vessel, he made at least one voyage to equatorial west Africa. Their son Diego was born c.

She died before Columbus went to Spain and was buried in the Moniz family chapel in Lisbon's church of the Carmo. Portugal led Europe in sea exploration and a chartmaker in Lisbon could be familiar with Portuguese progress. Christopher studied geography, and three of his books have been preserved: Imago Mundi by peter of ailly of Cambrai, written c. Both brothers read and reread these books. Christopher made some 2, marginal notes and filled the blank pages at the ends of the volumes.

He conceived the idea of sailing westward to Asia. The "Fixed Idea" of Columbus was based on faith in his own ability as a seaman-navigator, combined with a gross underestimate of the distance involved.

The size of the earth had been debated for 1, years. According to ptolemy a. Enthusiasm helped Columbus to prefer the earlier estimate of. Columbus argued that a degree on the equator measured Columbus obtained partial support from P. Toscanelli of Florence in , when the latter estimated that Japan was only 3, miles west of the Canary Islands.

Christopher calculated that 2, miles was the distance, and placed the coast of Japan in the longitude of San Juan , Puerto Rico. He asked the King of Portugal to send him westward to Asia, but Portuguese geographers advised that the voyage would require fully days. Preparations for the Voyage. Bartholomew continued chartmaking in Lisbon.

At that time the sovereigns were engaged in war against the Moorish Kingdom of Granada. Twice in Spain, and once in Portugal, royal commissions considered the advisability of financing an expedition for Columbus. Father Hernando de Talavera, later archbishop of Granada, headed the best known commission, December , in Salamanca.

It should be remembered that there was no accurate way to determine longitude prior to In , neither the size of the earth nor the longitude of Japan was known. The commission reported that the earth was considerably larger than Columbus believed, that the distance to Japan was far greater than he estimated, and that available ships could not carry sufficient food and water for a voyage of that length.

On these three points the commission was correct, but the members were favorably impressed by the dignity and earnestness of Columbus himself. The consensus in Spain then was that a degree on the equator measured By contrast, Columbus underestimated by about The popular "Columbus Myth" describes the Salamanca meeting as an attempt by Columbus to convince university professors, mostly churchmen, that the earth is round.

The University of Salamanca was not involved. Spain had no capital at that time, and the royal commission met in that city because the court was there. The shape of the earth was not in question. Ever since men first built ships and put out from land it had been known that the earth is a sphere.

The masts and spars of an approaching vessel appear over the horizon before the hull is seen. In heading away, a ship goes "hull down" before the masts disappear. Vessels often pass each other "hull down" at sea. Lookouts go to the masthead to see objects not visible from the deck. This explains the use of fires on headlands or lights on towers as aids to navigation. Lighthouses were in use for 2, years before the meeting at Salamanca. He was invited to return there, and he wrote in his copy of Imago Mundi that he was in Lisbon in December when Bartholomew Dias returned after discovering the Cape of Good Hope.

With the route to India around Africa thus open to him, the King of Portugal lost interest in Columbus's idea. Columbus probably supported himself by selling books and charts in Seville. Although unsuccessful also in France, Bartholomew was retained at Fontainbleau as a chartmaker by the King's sister, Anne de Beaujeu , until he learned of his brother's discovery. Christopher suffered genuine distress after the unfavorable report of the Commission.

Determined to go to France, he traveled first to La Rabida. His proposals were considered again, and referred to the Royal Council of Castile. Immediately after Columbus marched in the triumphal procession entering Granada on Jan. Columbus was recalled and had another interview with Isabella. She won her husband's approval. Santangel argued that the enterprise required little risk while offering great possibilities. Probably the character of Columbus won for him the support of the Queen and of many able men.

They departed the Canary Islands on September 9. With favorable weather and winds, they were beyond the position where land was expected on October 10, and the crew complained.

Columbus promised to turn back if land was not sighted in 2 or 3 days. San Salvador Island was discovered on Oct. After exploring northeastern Cuba, Columbus crossed the Windward Passage to the north shore of Hispaniola, where the Santa Maria was wrecked on Christmas morning.

Forty men were left in a fort on shore called "Navidad. Heading northeast, Columbus weathered severe storms, stopped in the Azores, and was driven into Lisbon. News of the discovery spread rapidly in Spain and Italy, slowly elsewhere. Columbus visited the court at Barcelona, was ordered to prepare another expedition, and was confirmed in the title Admiral of the Ocean Sea. While recognizing his discovery, many educated men doubted that he had reached the Indies in 33 days from the Canaries.

The second departure was on Oct. A high mountainous island sighted Sunday, November 3 was named Dominica. Columbus was shocked by the discovery that all of the garrison were dead, and influenced by the necessity of returning ships to Spain, he hastily chose for the new town of "Isabela" a site that lacked natural advantages. A better anchorage was available 20 miles east at Puerto Plata.

Throughout the first voyage crews had been healthy, but hard work, exposure to mosquitos, rain, and strange diets made men ill soon after work began at Isabela. Medicaments were exhausted; the doctor worn out. Columbus was not an experienced administrator; his errors were repeated, however, by the English in Virginia a century later, and by other colonizers.

Columbus explored part of the southern coast of Cuba in May, circled Jamaica, and returned along the southern coast of Hispaniola, reaching Isabela on Sept.

His brother Bartholomew had arrived, and there was a letter from the sovereigns suggesting that he return to Spain to advise them. Although suffering from arthritis, Columbus remained while discontent increased in the colony. He sailed March 10, and reached Cadiz June 11, Departure was from the Cape Verde Islands July 4, Sighting Trinidad July 31, the admiral entered the Gulf of Paria, where he recognized that the volume of fresh water proved that the land to the South and West was part of a continent.

Worried about conditions in Hispaniola, Columbus failed to seek the pearl fisheries after learning of them and seeing some pearls. Instead he left the coast near Margarita Island, heading for the colony. With the hope of improving matters, the admiral asked for a chief justice from Spain.

Francisco de Bobadilla arrived while Christopher and Bartholomew were absent from Santo Domingo City; he listened to the malcontents and sent the brothers home in chains without hearing them. The sovereigns released Columbus, but King Ferdinand was preoccupied with diplomacy and did not study the colonial problem. This departure was from the Canaries May 26, Reaching Martinique June 15, the admiral headed for Santo Domingo with the hope of exchanging his flagship for a better vessel.

Columbus recognized that a hurricane was imminent, asked for shelter in the Ozama River, suggested that all vessels be held in port until the storm passed. Disregarding the warning, 25 ships sailed; 20 ships and men were lost. Denied shelter, the admiral rode out the storm at sea. He then spent nine months exploring the coast of Central America from Honduras to a point about miles east of Porto Bello. He suffered from malaria, and bad weather, tropical rain, sickness, and difficulties with the natives affected all hands.

Shipworms damaged the hulls of his vessels, and he was forced to run them aground in Saint Ann's Bay, Jamaica. Bartholomew and the admiral's younger son, Ferdinand, were on this voyage. Nearly half the men mutinied, and mistreated the natives, and the latter almost ceased to supply food. Columbus knew that a total eclipse of the moon was expected on the night of Feb.

Summoning the native chiefs to a conference, the admiral told them that the God of the Christians would make a sign with the moon to show his disapproval of their failure to supply food to the stranded white men. The eclipse was persuasive. Rescued June 29, he reached Spain Nov. His remains rest in the cathedral of Santo Domingo City. In the most famous voyages of modern history Columbus set an example for Europe, raising standards as a seaman, as a navigator, and as an explorer.

Before the development of celestial navigation he demonstrated a degree of skill in " dead reckoning " that would be highly creditable to the best navigators of the s. He exhibited outstanding practical seamanship in fair weather and during storms.

Although he had spent only a few years in the Caribbean area, his observations of weather conditions enabled him to predict an impending hurricane. He gave Spain an empire and extended Christian civilization. As an administrator he made mistakes, but few men have done better under similar primitive conditions in colonization. Boston ; ed. Boston — 89 2: Raccolta di documenti e studi pubblicati dalla R. Commissione Colombiana, 14 v. Rome — New York — A Life of Christopher Columbus, 2 v.

Boston ; Christopher Columbus, Mariner Boston ; ed. Studi Colombiana, 3 v. Ultimas adiciones, 2 v. He was himself mysterious when speaking of his origin, apparently having something in his background which he wished to conceal. However, he boasted cryptically about his connection with King David and had a penchant for Jewish and Marrano society. Spanish scholars have attempted to explain the fact that this great hero of Spanish history was almost certainly born in Genoa, Italy, by the assumption that his parents were Jewish or ex-Jewish refugees from Spain.

In fact, the name Colon or Colombo was not uncommon among Italian Jews of the late medieval period. A document recently discovered suggests that Columbus was of Majorcan origin, and almost certainly belonged to a Marrano family: On the other hand, Columbus' mysterious signature, which he adjured his son always to use, is susceptible to a Hebraic interpretation, which is no more improbable than the many other solutions that have been proposed. It is remarkable moreover that Columbus began his account of his voyage with a reference to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain; that in one document he refers to the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Hebraic term "Second House"; that he dates its destruction as being in the year 68, in accordance with the Jewish tradition; and that he seems to have deliberately postponed the day of his sailing until August 3, while all was ready for the purpose on the previous day, which was the un-propitious fast day of the Ninth of Av commemorating the destruction of the Temple.

The mystery regarding Columbus' origins is largely the outcome of his own mendacity: It was in fact to Santangel and Sanchez that Columbus wrote the famous account of his success on his return, which was immediately published and circulated throughout Europe in two recensions — one addressed to the former, the other to the latter.

The motivations behind Columbus' travels were varied. Alongside Franciscan-Joachimite traditions of the coming Third Age, Columbus had been interested for many years in biblical prophecies. He had collected them long before his first journey and later on as well, after his discoveries had verified his expectations. The chiliastic plans included not only the liberation of Jerusalem but the establishment of the Temple.

The gold brought from the New World was supposed to serve for the coming crusade. Unlike his entirely negative attitude to the Muslims, Columbus saw the Jews and Jewish tradition in a more positive light, as part of the religious quest of humanity. The discoveries of Columbus were echoed in Jewish sources; a collection of correspondence from 16 th century Italy Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurentiana, Ms. A Hebrew translation of a book describing the discoveries in the New World was made in Voltaggio near Genoa in , refering specifically to "the new world found by Columbus.

Avalos, "Columbus as Biblical Exegete: Studies in Jewish Civilization , 5 , 59—80; G. Mediterranean Historical Review , Catholic Historical Review, Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator and explorer whose four voyages to the Americas "opened the gates" for western Europe's overseas expansion.

Columbus was born in Genoa, a thriving commercial port on the Mediterranean Sea , in —the same year as Queen Isabella — Columbus thus grew up among merchants seeking new routes to the silks, spices, and gold of the "Indies" to circumvent the routes that the Turks had restricted.

By age twenty, Columbus was a full-time trader with the Spinola family, sailing the Mediterranean and the Ocean Sea the Atlantic north to England. Shipwrecked off the coast of Portugal in , he swam ashore near Prince Henry the Navigator 's — school for mariners in Sagres. Columbus then moved to Lisbon, where he took up mapmaking. Lured by the sea, he sailed south to Portuguese trading forts along the African coast and far north of England, improving along the way his knowledge of commerce, navigation, and sea and wind currents.

In he married Felipa Moniz Perestrello, an impoverished Portuguese noblewoman whose father had been raised by Henry the Navigator and was now governor of Porto Santo in the Canary Islands. Perestrello gave his son-in-law all his papers and nautical instruments. It may have been while residing on Porto Santo, watching the sun set to the west and thinking about his future and that of his newborn son Diego Felipa died shortly after giving birth , that Columbus came up with the idea for his Great Enterprise of the Indies—an enterprise that would take him west across the Ocean Sea to the riches of the East faster than the circum-African route the Portuguese were seeking.

After Paolo Toscanelli — , a scholar in Florence, confirmed that such an enterprise was feasible, Columbus approached King John II — of Portugal for backing. King John turned him down. Columbus spent eight frustrating years seeking backing from the Spanish monarchs.

In , triumphant but broke after finally reconquering Granada, the last Moorish stronghold on the Iberian Peninsula , Queen Isabella agreed to support Columbus and his enterprise. She needed money, and she admired Columbus's religious fervor. They sighted land on October 12, an island that was part of a continent previously unknown to Europeans, later called America, though Columbus believed he had reached islands off the Asian continent.

Columbus returned to Spain in as viceroy and governor of the Indies, a title granted to him along with "admiral of the Ocean Seas" and a percentage of the Spanish Crown's profits through the legal agreement capitulations he had signed with the crown.

He was quickly granted permission to return and colonize the island of Hispaniola, which Columbus said was rich with gold—1, Spaniards accompanied him in 17 ships. Although Columbus was an excellent navigator, he was not a good governor.

So many complaints were made against him and his two brothers that the crown permanently replaced him as governor in Columbus made two more exploratory voyages in and On his last voyage, he explored the eastern coast of Central America , seeking a strait to the Indian Ocean.

Many scholars think he died without knowing he had discovered a new continent. Columbus's notes indicate that he realized it, but could not admit it, for that would nullify the capitulations and the benefits that were to be passed on to his heirs.

Columbus's discoveries of new lands, mineral wealth, and new people and animals, and the idea of a strait through the American continent to Asia, set off a new era of European competition, exploration, and expansion. Translated by Benjamin Keen. New Brunswick , N. Rutgers University Press, Edited and translated by Oliver Dunn and James E.

University of Oklahoma Press, Columbus and the Age of Discovery. Oxford University Press, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus. Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who sailed in the service of the king and queen of Spain. Between and , he made four voyages to the Caribbean and South America , lands unknown to Europeans at that time.

Columbus was born some time in the fall of to a humble family in Genoa, Italy. He became a seaman at a young age. By the time he was in his twenties, he was a skilled sailor with enough knowledge to pilot his own boat. Columbus educated himself in the store, studying navigation and the art of cartography, or mapmaking. A devout Catholic, Columbus also studied religion. During the s and early s, Columbus participated in several long voyages that took him as far as Iceland and Africa.

Trade with Asia then called the Indies was very profitable at the time, and he began to formulate the idea that it would be faster and easier to travel to Asia by.

Contrary to legend, all educated fifteenth-century Europeans knew that the earth was round, but no one had any idea about its size; most theories underestimated the size of the earth by about one-third. Most people also believed the earth was one huge landmass, consisting of Europe, Africa, and Asia, surrounded by water.

It was not surprising that Columbus guessed incorrectly at the distances between continents. In May , Spanish queen Isabella I — agreed to hear his plan. Besides finding a new trade route and untold riches, part of Columbus's goal in his enterprise was to bring Christianity to the world's peoples. This appealed to Queen Isabella, who wished to create a vast, worldwide, Spanish empire that would spread the Christian religion to every corner of the earth.

The Santa Maria , at feet in length, was the largest of the three ships. The fleet sailed on August 3, By chance, Columbus found the best possible Atlantic route to the New World and the weather was good. Still, the voyage took weeks. Finally, on October 11, signs of land became apparent—branches with green leaves and flowers floating in the water. Very early on the morning of October 12, the lookout on the Pinta saw land.

The grateful crew landed on a small island in the present-day Bahamas. Columbus named the island San Salvador Holy Savior. Columbus stayed on the island for two days, meeting with its inhabitants, members of the peaceful Arawak-speaking Taino tribe. Not knowing where he was, and always assuming that he had reached the Indies, he called these people Indians.

Columbus spent several days exploring the Bahamas , but the Taino told him about another much larger island named Colba Cuba , and he set off for it, thinking it must be part of China or Japan. He landed on Cuba on October 28, , and for the next month sailed along its north coast.

After leaving Cuba on December 5, , Columbus sailed. In Hispaniola, Columbus met a young Arawak chief who was wearing gold ornaments, which he was willing to trade for European goods.

Farther east, Columbus met a more important chief who had even larger pieces of gold. Columbus entertained him and his people on board the Santa Maria on Christmas Eve. After the festivities, while everyone was asleep, the ship hit a coral reef and began to sink. Helped by the chief and his followers, the Spanish were able to unload most of the ship's goods and carry them to shore. Making the best of a bad situation, Columbus founded the first European settlement in the Americas.

He returned with spices, slaves, and a small amount of gold. He had written a pamphlet praising the lands he had found. Columbus stayed in Barcelona for three months. For having discovered a new route to the Indies, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand gave him titles and honors and agreed to sponsor a second voyage.

Columbus's second expedition to the Americas in was much larger than the first, with seventeen ships and about twelve hundred to fifteen hundred men aboard. After a smooth crossing, the ships sailed through the Caribbean islands. There they encountered the native Caribs, a warlike people who were skilled navigators and made raids upon others from their large dugout canoes. After a brief fight, some of the Caribs were captured and sent to Spain as slaves.

When the Spanish fleet reached the settlement at La Navidad, they found it in ruins with the unburied bodies of Spaniards everywhere. Many historians assume that the once-peaceful Arawak Indians rebelled against Spanish abuses and killed the Spaniards. Abandoning the site, Columbus took his new colonists seventy-five miles to the east where he built a trading fort called Isabela in what is now the Dominican Republic.

Within four days, the settlers found gold near Isabela. Columbus then sent twelve ships laden with gold and spices back to Spain. In , Columbus's brother Bartholomew arrived from Spain. The Arawak, who were traditionally a peaceful people, had by that time realized that the arrival of the Spanish meant their destruction. Columbus and his men took the Arawaks as slaves; his men also sexually assaulted the Arawak women.

In addition, the Europeans brought with them epidemic diseases that were deadly to the natives. So the Arawak put together a large force to try to drive the intruders off the island.

At the end of March , Columbus and his brother led a force that defeated the Native Americans and enslaved many of the survivors. Despite Columbus's personal promise to Queen Isabella not to use unnecessary violence with the natives, many of Columbus's men were abusive to the Native Americans.

Columbus, unsuccessful in imposing order, decided to return to Spain in He left his brother in charge of the colony, but Bartholomew quickly abandoned Isabela and moved the Spanish headquarters to the south side of the island at Santo Domingo.

News had already reached Spain of the trouble in Isabela. It took Columbus two years to convince Ferdinand and Isabella to send him out on a third voyage. Christopher Columbus had two brothers, which he was older than both. Christopher Columbus had little schooling just like most of the people during that age. Genoa was a busy seaport and Christopher Columbus learned much from the sailors.

Christopher Columbus worked with his father for a while, but his heart was set on sailing. As soon as Christopher Columbus possibly could he went to sea. Christopher Columbus started with short fishing trips and worked his way up to longer trips with merchants that traded along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Christopher Columbus was intrigued by map making and geography, which he studied between trips.

The only way out was to swim; Christopher Columbus swam six miles back to shore by clinging to wreckage. In Christopher Columbus move to Portugal. In Portugal he met Felipa Perestrello e Moniz. Felipa Perestrello e Moniz was the daughter of a respected, but relatively poor family.

Shortly after they met they were married. The only way to trade with the east during this time was by caravan. The caravans would transport goods to the east by traveling over mountains and through deserts. The journeys were long and difficult. Christopher Columbus was determined to change this by sailing west to get to the east. Christopher was not trying to prove that the earth was round, because that was already a known fact. Christopher Columbus also was not trying to discover a new world, he was simply trying to get to China, India, or Japan by sailing westward.

Christopher Columbus had a hard time getting support because people were scared. Columbus tried for 10 years to get a European ruler to support his plan. Finally, in King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella supported his plan. August 3rd, Christopher Columbus and his eighty-eight volunteers left the port of Palos looking for China, India, and Japan. The weeks went by slow and there was some unrest starting to grow among the crew.

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Christopher Columbus research papers on the explorer responsible for discovering the New World. Since Christopher Columbus is such an important part of American History, many universities and colleges require research papers on the famous explorer.

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Watch video · Christopher Columbus (c. to May 20, ) was an Italian explorer and navigator. In , he sailed across the Atlantic from Spain in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Niña ships alongside, hoping to find a new route to India.

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Christopher Columbus was a villain because his discovery of the Americas eventually leads to the destruction of Native American culture, he was not the first European explorer to land in America, and he did now accomplish his mission to find India The voyages of Christopher Columbus eventually destroyed and absolutely ruined Native American culture forever. Christopher Columbus led a group of transatlantic maritime voyages that was the first group of European explorer to first encounter or to discover the existence of America. During that period, back in the year , not much or nothing was known about the existence of the continent of American.

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Christopher Columbus Research Paper This sample Christopher Columbus Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper. COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER. COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER (Cristofor Colombo, – ), explorer. Born in the Italian republic of Genoa, Columbus acted as a mariner in the Mediterranean and joined the Italian merchant colony in Lisbon in the s. From Portugal, he sailed north to England, Ireland, and possibly Iceland.