The Story Of Christopher Columbus
~ 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue ~
Who is this guy and where was he from?
Christopher Columbus was a simpleton guy. He was born in Genoa, Italy, son to a wool merchant, and when he was a teenager he decided to get a job on a merchant ship. That ship happened to get attacked by french privateers and he swam to shore on a scrap of wood to Lisbon. There he studied mathematics, astronomy, cartography, and navigation.
Who did he sail under?
Well he actually sailed for himself but King Ferdinand and Queen Isabell helped finance his voyage in hopes that he would retrieve spices and gold from Asia.
Ok, thanks, but where did he even go? What were his routes?
As you can see here he did not land in Asia, as he assumed, but on one of the Bahamian Islands.For months, Columbus sailed from island to island in what we know now as the Caribbean looking for the "pearls, precious stones, gold, spices, etc" that he promised to his Spanish patrons but evidently he didn't find much. in March 1493, bothered by the whole ordeal, left 40 men behind in a make-shift settlement on Hispaniola (present day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and returned to Spain.
Did he go on more voyages? What did he discover?
He went on back and forth and made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the years 1492-1504. In those years he discovered a lot of things such as:
- The Americas, although this subject is contradicted a lot. See, Christopher was not the first one to discover the idea of reaching Asia by sailing west from Europe.
- the natives living there
Any amazing feats from this guy?
Well, yes and no. Yes, because he "discovered the Americas", No, because he did not entirely "discover" it but found it. He didn't have any particularly "amazing" feats but he did find the Americas.
Alright then, any accomplishments?
- made the CONNECTION of Europe and the Americas
- Spread Catholicism
- started the Colombian exchange
- was the first to see the Indians smoking a plant that we now call tabbaco
What was he like? Was he cool?
Unfortunately, no. He was said to be a very poor governor and was hostile and cruel to local tribes which is very accurate to what happened in the Americas. Even the settlers from Spain disliked him and the way he ran things and them. He was sadistic and was always covering up his faults with lies to make himself not be completely humiliated. The settlement was a proven failure but Columbus tried covering up his mistakes and the fact that the settlement did not actually work for them. On the bright side, apart from being a courageous man, he had the passion to pursue his dream with great tenacity and vigor. But we can't forget the fact that he was known for treating his natives with great hostility and never felt sorry or admitted his mistakes and the fact that he killed a lot of natives through disease and looked at the Indians as "perfect men to be slaves" at the same time as the Indians were giving them food, weaponry, and friendship. Rape was completely tolerated with Columbus. So that's the "american hero" that we hear about. Great ideas, terrible consquences.