A Comprehensive Analysis of Christopher Columbus By: William Cheung
Background Information s Christopher Columbus was born on October 31, 1451, in Genoa, Italy, to a family of weavers and merchants. At a early age, Columbus often participated in small trading voyages along the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. s Later on his life, Columbus moved to Portugal. While living in Lisbon, Portugal, he met and married Felipa Perestrello, whom he had one son, Diego with. Felipa passed away shortly after having their child, prompting him to move to Spain. Columbus initially asked the Portuguese government to fund his expedition, but they declined. However he did make one A painting of a younger Columbus unsuccessful trading voyage out into the He wrote in his retired life about Atlantic in 1476. His ﬂeet was attacked and making his ﬁrst sea voyage at the age burned, forcing him to swim back to of 10. Portuguese shores.
The Voyage that Altered Historys Unsuccessful in Portugal, Christopher Columbus decided to relocate to Spain. He was Initially rejected by the Spanish monarchy, but later gained permission in January of 1492. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella promised to ﬁnance the expedition and he set sail, on August of the same year. s After 36 Days of sailing, he landed on the Bahamas Islands, claiming them for Spain. His ﬂeet was met by very friendly natives, who he describes in his passages as inferior to the Europeans. The natives begin exchanging, cotton, glass beads, parrots, and spears with Columbus. However, what intrigued him the most was the gold jewelry that adorned the natives. The small-‐scale trade that took place during this voyage would eventually turn into a global phenomenon. Columbus continued his journey by visiting the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic. During his journey between the diﬀerent islands, the Santa Maria ran up a reef, thus leaving it ruined. The islanders helped him salvage what was left of the Santa Maria, Nina, and Pinta ship and use the timber to build the small Spanish settlement Villa de Christopher Columbuss ﬂeet la Navidad (Christmas Town) Thirty-‐nine of his men remained behind and were left to live in the settlement. Christopher Columbus returned in early 1493 with the Pinta and Nina, convinced that he had discovered another route to Asia. s Excerpt from his letter to the Spanish Monarchy s …Even should these people change their intentions towards us and become hostile, they do not know what arms are, but, as I have said, go naked, and are the most, timid in the world country, and this island has no danger for them, if only they knew how o conduct themselves… Columbus was never successful in ﬁnding large deposits of gold, something he knew would make Spain and himself wealthy.
The Voyage that Altered History Excerpt from Christopher Columbus’s Journal Saturday, 13 October. …They came loaded with balls of cotton, parrots, javelins, and other things too numerous to mention; these they exchanged for whatever we chose to give them. I was very attentive to them, and strove to learn if they had any gold. Seeing some of them with little bits of this metal hanging at their noses, I gathered from them by signs that by going southward or steering round the island in that direction, there would be found a king who possessed large vessels of gold, and in great quantities. I endeavored to procure them to lead the way thither, but found they were unacquainted with the route. I determined to stay here till the evening of the next day, and then sail for the southwest; for according to what I could learn from them, there was land at the south as well as at the southwest and northwest and those from the northwest came many times and fought with them and proceeded on to the southwest in search of gold and precious stones. This is a large and level island, with trees extremely ﬂourishing, and streams of water; there is a large lake in the middle of the island, but no mountains: the whole is completely covered with verdure and delightful to behold. The natives are an inoﬀensive people, and so desirous to possess any thing they saw with us, that they kept swimming oﬀ to the ships with whatever they could ﬁnd, and readily bartered for any article we saw ﬁt to give them in return, even such as broken platters and fragments of glass. Christopher Columbus I saw in this manner sixteen balls of cotton thread which weighed above twenty-‐meeting the natives and ﬁve pounds, given for three Portuguese ceutis. This traﬃc I forbade, and suﬀered no one to take their cotton from them, unless I should order it to be procured for exchanging products. your Highnesses, if proper quantities could be met with. It grows in this island, but from my short stay here I could not satisfy myself fully concerning it; the gold, also, which they wear in their noses, is found here, but not to lose time, I am determined to proceed onward and ascertain whether I can reach Cipango. At night they all went on shore with their canoes. ..
Subsequent Voyagess Columbus was welcomed by the royal court when he arrived with exaggerated tales of his discoveries. Kind Ferdinand and Queen Isabella decided to ﬁnance another expedition and Columbus set sail later in the year. This time his ﬂeet consisted of seventeen ships and 1000 men. Upon returning to Villa de la Navidad, he found the settlement decimated and the settlers massacred. Greatly angered, he enslaved part of the native population, forcing them to rebuild the settlements and to search for gold. Columbus’s as well as the Spanish ethnocentric view of the Taino (natives) would lead to the creating of the Spanish Ecomienda System. The world would later see the signiﬁcant rise of slave labor. Unfortunately, A depiction of enslaved Taino little gold was found and the tension between Natives the natives and explores increased. As he continued to visit the other islands he laid claim on them for Spain and began naming after Christian patrons and saints.
Subsequent Voyages s After returning to Spain from his second voyage, he became very popular for claiming new land for the monarchy. Following the agreement made towards the onset of his exploration, Spain named him as the governor of Hispaniola. Columbus was then granted permission and ﬁnances to embark on the third voyage. For this voyage he decided to take a more southern route. After reaching the Orinoco river, he went onto South American mainland onto areas he named Tobago and This map shows the diﬀerent Grenada. This marked the second European routes taken. Christopher explorer to ever step foot on the mainland Columbus never reached the of the Americas. Christopher Columbus mainland until his third voyage. made his ﬁnal voyage in May of 1502. He continued claiming more land for Spain, but This would mark a new era of was unsuccessful in ﬁnding large amounts exploration and colonization for of gold. the Americas and Europe.
Impact and After Effectss Christopher Columbus is credited with opening up the Americas to European colonization, but he actually died never knowing that he had discovered another continent. His impact can be seen in both a negative and positive way. With his discovery of the new world, Europeans were able to gain further insight allowing them to eventually modernize the “New” World. Additionally, the small-‐scale trade with the native Bahamians evolved into a worldwide exchange of products, people (including slaves), and even diseases. The widespread change would lead to some adverse profound eﬀects, altering the Americas, Africa, and Europe. The initial beneﬁts and economic gain went to the Europeans before spreading out to other regions. New diseases were distributed to Europe and the Americas, but the Native American population was hit the hardest. A Map of the many diﬀerent products and diseases exchanged between the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
Columbus’s Legacys Christopher Columbuss multiple voyages to the “new” world would leave history forever changed and initiate the dawn of a new modern era. Although, he is acclaimed for exposing the Americas to Europe and the modern society, he is criticized for leading to the devastation of the traditional Native Americans. Similar to the Silk Route, the Columbian Exchange would evolve into a trans-‐continental exchange of people, plants, animals, diseases, and cultures. The native Americans were left altered and many aspect of the traditional way of life of natives were lost. Tomb of Christopher Columbus located in Seville
Works Citeds Primary Source Document Resources s Letter Excerpt Stearns, Peter N., comp. World Civilizations: The Global Experience "AP Edition". 5th. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. Print. s Journal Excerpt Halsall, Paul, comp. Medieval Sourcebook: Christopher Columbus: Extracts From Journal. New York : Fordham University, 1996. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columbus1.asp>. s Information Sources s "Christopher Columbus biography." bio. True Story. A&E Television Networks, LLC., 2011. Web. 9 Dec 2011. http://www.biography.com/people/christopher-‐columbus-‐9254209. s Tirado, Dr. Thomas C. "Christopher Columbus and his Legacy." BBC-‐History. N.p., 2011. Web. 10 Dec 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/columbus_legacy_01.shtml>. s Robinson, Sue. "Christopher Columbus: A Globally Transforming Figure." The Jepson Blog. N.p., 2010. Web. 10 Dec 2011. <http://blog.richmond.edu/jepson/2010/10/12/christ>. s "Christopher Columbus." Totally History. N.p., 2011. Web. 10 Dec 2011. <http:// totallyhistory.com/christopher-‐columbus/>.