Was he a good guy or a bad guy?
Why did Columbus go on the expedition?
Christopher Columbus felt bringing Christianity to the New World was a great mission given to him by God. Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to finance an expedition to see if he could reach Asia by sailing west. Both Queen Isabella and Columbus were interested in God, Glory and Gold. Columbus did not take soldiers, priests or settlers on the first voyage because it was a voyage of exploration.
What issues did they have on the way there?
Christopher Columbus had a total of nine ships sink during all four voyages. He experienced harsh weather and violent people even among his crew. The crew suffered from many diseases and had a lack of food and water. So many people died on the ship. They ate saw dust from wood boards because they ran out of food. They were always dehydrated. Christopher Columbus faced mutiny. His crew wanted to kill him and wanted to turn back around in the boat. The boat started to fall apart from worm wholes during his first voyage but it was repaired in Jamaica. He did not have a map. Christopher Columbus faced getting thrown in jail after his second journey cause King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were disappointed in him because of reports of his brutality towards the natives.
What controversies are there over Columbus?
Christopher Columbus treated the indigenous people as though they were obstacles to his mission. Columbus and his crew used violence, slavery and forced conversions to keep the "Indians" subdued. Throughout his years in the New World, Columbus confiscated native lands and made policies of forced labor of the Indians on plantations or mines owned by the Spanish. As governor and viceroy of the Indies, Columbus treated native revolt with brutal discipline. Columbus and his crew brought new diseases to the native populations which devastated their numbers because they had no immunity to these diseases.
What did Columbus do that was smart?
Christopher Columbus died in 1506, without realizing the implications of what he achieved; he had discovered the New World whose riches would make Spain, in the years to come, the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. In 1504, Columbus was stranded in Jamaica. Columbus and his crew were denied food by the islanders. Columbus, with his knowledge of the heavens for navigation and knowing that a lunar eclipse was going to happened, warned the islanders that God was not pleased with their refusal to share food. The eclipse happened and the islanders shared their food.
What did he do that was dumb?
On October 1492, Columbus sighted the island of Cuba, which he thought was mainland China. In December 1492, he landed on the island he named Hispaniola (present day Haiti and Dominican Republic) but thought it might be Japan. Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, but never accomplished his goal of finding a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. He returned to Spain in chains because of his brutal treatment of the natives.