Born 1451 to an Italian wool merchant in Genoa
Studied mathematics, astronomy, cartography
and navigation in Lisbon
Columbus found funding for his plan to discover a western path to Asia
from Spain after Portugal rejected it
Based on faulty calculation, he underestimated the circumference of the
world. He thought Asia was 5000 miles away from Spain.
Columbus’ motives were mostly monetary, with
religion a close second.
When he failed to find gold or a lucrative trade
route, he began collecting slaves: he believed
that a trans-Atlantic slave trade would be quite
lucrative.The Spanish monarchs outlawed this.
In 1500, he and his brothers were jailed for brutal
governorship of Hispaniola. Released shortly
In 1502, he was marooned in Jamaica for one
His legacy is a mixed one
Some see him as the man who discovered the
Others see his discovery causing destruction for
Native Americans and the environment while
Europeans extracted natural resources from these
In time, the Columbian Exchange and the
Religion, ideas, economies
In Europe, potato and corn help feed all people
In America, Native American decrease while
African Americans, immigrants increase
In Africa, reduction due to slavery offset normal
Spread of products all over the world
America to Europe
▪ Raw materials, cash crops, rum
Europe to America (and Africa)
▪ Manufactured goods, guns, diseases, domesticated
Ecological Imperialism (on the Americas)
Gold and silver mining
Displace native plants for cash crops
For the Environment?
For theWorld Economy?