+ Europe Stumbles into the Americas: Columbus Social Studies for 9th E.G.B. Teacher: Mauricio Torres
+ Background Byzantium, the last bastion of the old Roman Empire had fallen to the Turks. The “Reconquista” in Spain had just finished. The Renaissance was starting in Italy. England was emerging from the Dark Ages.
+ Who was Christopher Columbus? He was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in Genoa (modern day Italy). He was a cartographer. He looked for fortune and fame as a sailor (he was a renouned and very skilled sailor).
+ A Wild Idea Columbus had difficulty obtaining support for his plan because many Catholic theologians insisted that the Earth was flat. His idea was that the Earth was round (even though people as back as 4 BC had known it was flat) and he would be able to reach China by Sea.
+ Help from the Crown In 1485, Columbus presented his plans to the King of Portugal. He proposed that the king equip three sturdy ships and grant Columbus one years time to sail out into the Atlantic, search for a western route to the Orient, and return. This was denied. He went with the same proposal to the Kings of Spain: Isabella and Ferdinand. After many attempts, they caved in, but, according to his son, Diego: “the monarchs did not really expect him to return“.
+ Setting Sail He received three caravels: La Niña, La Pinta and the Santa Maria. They were small ships, but good for transport and exploration. In August 1492 he set sail with 88 men.
+ Troubles Due to the long distance and the lack of winds, they small fleet did not advance as much as they had expected. Food and water were starting to deplete. Little by little, sailors grew restless. They attempted a mutiny and gave Columbus an ultimatum: “Three more days and then we turn around or hang you from the mast”.
+ Land! On October 12th, 1492, they spotted land. Instead of reaching Japan as he had intended, Columbus landed in the Bahamas archipelago, at a locale he named San Salvador.
+ Exploring He traveled around the islands, meeting with natives and exchanging goods. He encountered the Taíno people. They lived in villages, grew corn and cotton.
+ Going Back He took some natives as prisoners on his way back. The Santa Maria shipwrecked, and they used the remains to build an outpost. It was burned down by the Natives, with all the Spaniards inside. After he left, many other conquistadores came to the Americas. They first settled in the Islands in the Caribbean and then made their way into the continent.
+ His Voyages to the New World He made four voyages into the “New World”
+ Later Life of C.C. Over the course of three more voyages, Columbus visited the Greater and Lesser Antilles, as well as the Caribbean coast of Venezuela and Central America, claiming them for the Spanish Empire. He was sent back to Spain, after he lost his position as Governor: Columbuss strained relationship with the Spanish crown and its appointed colonial administrators in America “led to his arrest and dismissal as governor of the settlements in Hispaniola in 1500”.
+ Legacy “Though Columbus was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas (having been preceded by the Norse expedition in the 11th century), Columbuss voyages led to the first lasting European contact with America, inaugurating a period of European exploration and colonization of foreign lands that lasted for several centuries.” “…they had, therefore, an enormous impact in the historical development of the modern Western world. “
+ Excercise Imagine you are one of the sailors stranded in the New World. You want to send your family back in Spain information and an image of what you are going through. SEND THEM A POSTCARD! Draw a picture. Write a nice, brief message. Don’t forget to write who you are sending it to!
+ Bibliography Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC. Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History (Teacher´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal, Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Wikipedia. (n.d.). Christopher Columbus. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Columbus Images taken from Google and Wikipedia. (n.d.). Christopher Columbus. Retrieved April 30, 2012, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Columbus
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