Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus In 1451, a boy named Christopher Columbus (See Appendix A), who was born in Genoa, became a sailor and discoverer of a new continent.

He spoke Castilian with a little Portuguese. Although he received little education, he worked with his father, who was a weaver and had a wine shop. During Columbus’ youth, he sailed in between his looming duties, shipping and receiving wool and wine for his father. When Columbus was in his twenties, he joined other exporting fleets, traveling around Spain, to England, Portugal, the Mediterranean Sea, and to West Africa (see Appendix B).

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In his youth he wanted to find easier ways to trade. Columbus thought of reaching Asia by sailing West. He worked with a map maker, and “Became obsessed with the idea of reaching the Spice Islands via Western route”, (Sources of the West, 187). This is a goal he hoped to accomplish when he became a sailor.

During his youthful sailing days, his ship was sunk by pirates on a trip to Portugal (Parry, 344)! . He took refuge in Portugal where he was left poor.After his youth days had ended, it was time to find his profession as a man. In the 15th Century Spain, trade was a primary source of their economy.

The Turks conquered Constantinople and the Eastern Mediterranean. Land routes were restricted from Europe to Asia. Spaniards knew that the Earth was round, and scientists backed the idea.Spain was in need of new sources of wealth. With 98% of Spain poor peasant (Zinn, 2), the idea of finding a western sea trade route was not improbable. It would open up a new trade route, and bring wealth to the suffering country. When Columbus was in Portugal, he decided to propose his idea of sailing West to monarchs. He brought his ideas to Portugal first.

They rejected his idea because of his underestimates of the size of the ocean.Columbus thought it was 25% smaller than what it really was. Next, Columbus brought his ideas to Spain. Here they turned him down for seven years because ships were already rounding Africa. Finally, in April, 1492, he was contracted by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain (see Appendix C). The idea seemed logical.

They already knew the Earth was round. There was no thought of a continent in-between, and the winds and currents all flowed West. His purpose (see Appendix D) was to find the legendary Isle Antilla, and find a western route to Cipangno and Cathay(China, Japan). Columbus demanded to be knighted, become Admiral of the Ocean Sea, be viceroy of new lands, and receive ten percent of the wealth (see Appendix E).

In August 3, 1492, at the port of Palos, Columbus started his first voyage (see Appendix F).The fleet of three ships (see Appendix G), sailed West under 35* North halfway, then they shifted Southwest. On October 12, 1492, they landed on Guanahan, which Spaniards latter named San Salvador(Our Savior), (see Appendix H). He later went to Cuba, Juana, and Hispaiola (see Appendix H and I).

Columbus believed it could have been a chain of islands off the coast of China or Japan. They established a colony off the coast of Hispaiola (see Appendix J). Columbus did not, however, find Asia, or what they hoped, the Spice Island Trade ports.They did come in contact with inhabitants of the islands, whom they brought back to Spain, proving they found Indians from Asia.

Columbus’ purpose was to find a trade route to Asia, he did not achieve this. In the following three voyages, he failed to achieve the purpose. Although there were some benefits, most factors of the voyages were failures.

The Western expeditions were failures. The purpose of Columbus’ voyages was to find a western route to the Spice Islands of what we call Japan and China, he did not accomplish this. They landed on what the Spaniards named San Salvador.Columbus knew, however, that this was an island, only he thought it was part of Japan. He also discovered Hispaiola which he thought was an Island off China.

Columbus was convinced that there was a mainland somewhere (see Appendix I). He traveled ten days in search of Cuba, but had to turn back because one of the ships grounded. They were forced to return to Spain.Columbus returned to Spain with seized natives to prove that he reached Asia, he called them Indians. Columbus returned to the Indies, with a purpose of founding a colony that would also serve as a base for future exploration in search of the China, Japan, and India, which Columbus did not find. They voyaged ten days past San Salvador expecting to find mainland. However, a landing on Cuba was made of which Columbus d! eclared was a peninsula of mainland Asia . He still had not found the real Mainland on this voyage.

Again, Columbus returned looking for the Spice Island Trade ports. He found what he was looking for, the Mainland, only it was of South America! The again found additional islands which they stopped at. Hispaiola, originally discovered from the first voyage, had the benefit of serving as a base for future exploration. The islands from the second, third, and fourth voyages had no benefits of being discovered. Columbus claimed they were Asia, but he also knew that there were no benefits of traveling there.

They did not find a Western sea trade route leading to the Asian Mainland. Economic failures of the voyages started when Columbus landed on the islands, because even though finding gold for Spain was the goal, Columbus became greedy. Even when they first sighted land on October 12, 1492 on the first voyage, Columbus took the credit of sighting land and receiving 10,000 maravidas per year from Juan Rodriguez Bermejo who discovered it from the crows nest (Zinn, 2). The Spaniards greed began when they killed some Tanos natives because they refused to trade as many bows and arrows as they wanted. Columbus took native prisoners to guide them to source of gold (see Appendix K).

The goal of the Spaniards was to find as much gold as they could. If the inhabitants hid gold, they were tortured. Columbus ordered fourteen year-olds and older natives to collect a certain amount of gold every three months. When the natives did, they received a token to wear around their necks. If the Spaniards caught a native without a token, they would cut the hands off of ! that person as a punishment.Columbus also took the inhabitants into slavery.

“They would make fine servants,” Columbus first thought about them(Zinn, 1). The Spaniards took 1,500 men, women, and children. Five hundred were taken to Spain as slaves. Unfortunately, two hundred died en route. The remaining slaves were sold to work on nobles’ estates. The selling of slaves brought little profit to the debt that the trip caused.Columbus attempted to create a wealthy empire for Spain, repay the costs of the trips, and receive riches for himself.

Spain hoped to receive wealth from the trade route Columbus was expected to find. They did no …

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen-hundred-ninty-two. He came over from Spain in three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria and discovered America, or at least that was what I was taught in elementary school. Since then there has been much controversy going on over the issue of weather or not Christopher Columbus really "discovered" America because when he landed in San Salvador he was not alone. Native Americans already inhabited the land and they had been there long before Columbus, but this doesn’t mean that he should be atacked stripped of his dignity.;#9;Reed Irvine, chariman, and Joe Goulden, director of the media analysis for Accuracy in Media, state in the acticle History Should Continue to Acknoledge Columbus as a Discoverer:;#9;The ;quot;presence;quot; of the North American Continent had been known to the persons living ;#9;;#9;there for centuries before arrival.

But Columbus, and those who followed him, recognized ;#9;;#9;the significance of the New World; in this sense they certainly deserve credit for having ;#9;;#9;;quot;discovered;quot; America.;#9;Over five hundred years ago he landed in the Americas and now we are starting to question weather or not he should be given credit for discovering America. This doesn’t seem fare. After so many years without controversy it’s just been recently that we have started to question the lagitamitity of his discovery. What brought on this sudden change? Perhaps is was the coming of the five hundred year celebration of our country that brought this on, or maybe now some of the Native Americans are finally starting to speak out, but no matter what the reason may be it shouldn’t be taking place. Columbus should still be given the credit for discovering America. It was the first time that anyone was recognized for landing on a new continent and he still deserves respect.

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	Irvine and Goulden feel bad for Columbus, too. "Poor Christopher Columbus. Five hundred years after the fact, the explorer is beng stripped of recognition as the man who discovered’ America and the New World.;quot;;#9;There are many people who believe that Columbus should not be credited for discovering America because the Native Americans were there first. They owned and operated the land, therefore they had right to be on it.

Columbus had no right to barge in, take over their village and destroy all that they knew including them. This may be true, but accordng to Henry Noble Sherwood in Columbus and the Indians:;#9;The Indians thought Columbus and his men had come down from Heaven…and when ;#9;;#9;Columbus and the sailors went back to their ships, the Indians followed..

.Over five ;#9;;#9;hundred wanted to go; they thought they would reach Heaven in this way.;#9;Columbus was like a God in the eyes of the Native Americans and they believed that he could save them. They followed him around and wanted to find out more about these strage people who had landed on there territory. The natives saw no harm in Columbus and his men and offered them most of the things they had as gifts.

They were willing to give the Europeans anything they wanted. All of the things the Europeans had were new to them. For example in Columbus’s own journal, I Take Possession for King and Queen, he states that:	I showed one my sword, and through ignorance he grabbed it by the blade and cut 			himself.

..They traded and gave everything they had with good will, but it seemsto me that 	they have very little and are poor in everything.

	Many people believe that since the Native Americans were so docile it was easy for Columbus to take advantage of them. However, since this was a new land to him he only knew that he wanted to conquer it in the name of Spain for Ferdinand and Isabella. He didn’t realize that he was doing anything wrong.

He lived ina time of slavery and that was all he knew. It was a way of his life, therefore he brought it with him to the new world.;#9;Despite all of the negative conotations people have made in reguard to Columbus there are many good things that have evolved from him landing in the Americas. Kirkpatrick Sale, a professional writer, mentions in What Columbus Discovered:;#9;What counts, what is absolutely crucial, is that with this act two vastly different cultures, ;#9;which had evolved on continents that had been drifting apart steadily for millions of ;#9;;#9;years, were suddenlt joined. Everything of importance in the succeeding 500 years stems ;#9;;#9;from that momentous event.;#9;Sale goes on to list over half a dozen events that resulted from Columbus landing in America, such as ;quot;the rise of Europe, the creation of a nation-state and the dominance of science;quot; to name a few. He’s not the only one who believes that despite the suffering of the Native Americans good came out of discovering America. Arthur Schlesinger, historian and two time Pulitzer Prize winner supports Sale, in his article entilted Was America a Mistake? He believes that:	out of anguish (out, too, of self-criticism and bad conscience) have evolved the great 		liberating ideas of individual dignity, political democracy, equality before the law, 			religious tolerance, cultural pralism, artistic freedom-ideas that emerged uniquely from 		Europe but that empower people of every continent, color, and creed; ideas to which 		most of the world today aspires; ideas that offer a new and gererous vision of our 			common life on this interdependent planet.

	Columbus just did what was in his heart. He was a sailor and wanted to find a way to India, so he thought that by sailing west he might be able to reach India quicker then sailing aroung Africa. Had he not sailed west surely someone else would have, but it was Columbus who landed in America. He was the one who had the instinct and ambition to sail west. As Schlesinger put it:	What animated Columbus more then anything else, more than God or glory or gold, must 		surely have been those primal passions of curiosity and wonder, the response to the 		challenge of the unknown, the need to go where none had gone before.

That everlasting 		quest for new frontiers continues today as earthlings burst terrestrial bonds and begin the 		endless voyage beyond planet and galaxy into the illimitable dark.	That desire to go where no one has ever been before is inside of all of us. All of us enjoy exploring new teritory that we have never been on before. It’s that thrill and excitement that fills our heart and soles.;#9;When Columbus landed on the new land he put a flag in the ground claiming it for Spain. Then he met the Native Americans and was very friendly to them. ;quot;I want the natives to develop a friendly attitude toward us because I know that they are a people who can be made free and converted to our Holy Faith more by love thwn by force,;quot; Columbus wrote in his journal.;#9;From everything that we know thus far there isn’t a big enough reason as to why we should all of the sudden stop recognizing Columbus as the founder of our nation.

Therefore, he should be given recignition of his accompishments and still be known as the one who discovered America.


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