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Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus






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    Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus Presentation Transcript

      • How did Europeans of late 15th century Europe view their world?
      • Who was Christopher Columbus?
      • How did Columbus finance his voyages?
      • Why did Columbus choose to embark on his voyage?
      • Where did Columbus land in the New World and who did he encounter?
      • How would one describe Columbus’s encounter(s) with New World inhabitants?
      Christopher Columbus
    • The World Is Round?
      • Columbus knew the world was round!
        • A round world was believed to be true even by the Ancient Greeks
      • Pythagoras (570 B.C.E.)
        • Said Earth and planets were spheres
          • Believed the most harmonious geometric form is the sphere
      • Aristotle (384 B.C.E. – 322 B.C.E.)
        • Was Plato’s prized student
        • Said Earth had a curved surface
        • Supported his theory by offering other arguments:
          • The shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round
    • The World Is Round?
      • Others offered evidence as well :
        • A ship returning to port
        • First the mast is seen, then sails, & then hull
      • The Dark Ages (400 – 1200 C.E.)
        • Greek knowledge was temporarily forgotten
        • Maps were made based on religious beliefs and not science
          • Rectangular maps showed the “Four corners of the Earth”
          • Circular maps placed Jerusalem at the center of the world
      • Renaissance was a re-birth of Greek ideas
        • Christopher Columbus was born during this rebirth period in Europe
    • Who Was Columbus?
      • Italian navigator, colonizer & explorer
      • Born in 1451 in Genoa (today Italy)
      • His father was a wool weaver
        • He also had a cheese stand
      • He probably received some education
      • In May 1476, he took part in a convoy to northern Europe
        • In 1476 he possibly docked in Iceland
    • Who Was Columbus?
      • Wasn't the first to reach the Americas
        • He was preceded some 500 years by Leif Ericson, and perhaps others
      • But Columbus did initiate the widespread contact between Europeans and Native Americans
      • His 1492 voyage came at a critical time for the states in Europe
        • There was growing imperialism and economic competition between European nations
      • They were seeking wealth from trade routes to help their empires grow
    • Navigation Plans: Why did he go?
      • Constantinople was lost to the Turks (1453)
        • Land route to Asia became more difficult
        • Silk and spices became harder to trade
      • Columbus developed a plan to travel to the Indies by sailing west across the Atlantic
      • What he did do was incorrectly calculate the size of the earth
        • No ship at the time could carry enough food and water for a journey of the actual distance
      • Spain was desperate for an edge in trade
        • Columbus’s calculations promised this advantage
      • All Europeans believed the oceanic expanse was uninterrupted
    • Funding the Campaign
      • In 1485, Columbus presented his plans to the King of Portugal, John II
        • The King submitted the proposal to his experts…who rejected it
        • It was their opinion that his proposed route of 2,400 miles was far too short
          • They were right: it’s actually about 12,200 sm
      • So…Columbus sought an audience from Ferdinand II and Isabella I of Spain
        • Spain, like Portugal, judged Columbus’s distance to Asia much too short
      • He continued to lobby the Spanish court for two years
    • Funding the Campaign
      • In 1492 he succeeded!
        • King Ferdinand granted Columbus permission
        • About ½ of the financing came from private Italian investors
      • The Contract:
        • If he discovered any new land, he would receive many “high rewards”
        • Appointed Governor of new lands
        • Given the rank of Admiral of the Ocean Sea
        • Would be entitled to 10 percent of all the revenues from the new lands
      • The terms were generous, why?
        • They didn't expect him to return
    • His Voyage
      • On August 3, 1492, Columbus departed with three ships:
        • Santa María, Pinta, and the…
          • Santa Clara
            • Nicknamed Niña
      • On September 6, he started his 5-week voyage across the ocean
      • September 9 he began keeping two logs
      • Why?
        • One had the true course and distance
        • The other a smaller course and distance to make the crew happy
    • Land Discovered
      • At 2am on October 12, 1492, a sailor aboard the Pinta sighted land
      • Columbus called the island San Salvador
      • Columbus searched for gold on San Salvador
      • He spent 96 days exploring small islands in the Bahamas looking for gold
      • He encountered the indigenous people, the Taíno, who were peaceful and friendly
      • Columbus also explored Cuba and Hispaniola
    • The Returns
      • Before returning to Spain:
        • He left 39 men and founded La Navidad in what is now Haiti
        • He kidnapped 10 to 25 natives and took them back with him
      • He began his return voyage to Spain and reached Europe in 1493
      • New World Return
        • September 1493 he made a return trip with:
          • 17 ships
          • Several hundred armed soldiers
          • 5 priests
          • More than 1,000 colonists
      • Colonization had begun