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The explorer Christopher Columbus made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain: in, and He was determined to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia, but he never did. Instead, he stumbled upon the Americas. During the 15th and 16th centuries, leaders of several European nations sponsored expeditions abroad in the hope that explorers would find great wealth and vast undiscovered lands.
Starting in aboutsmall Portuguese ships known as caravels zipped along the African coast, carrying spices, gold and other goods as well as enslaved people from Asia and Africa to Europe. Christopher Columbus, the son of a wool merchant, is believed to have been born in Genoa, Italy, in When he was still a teenager, he got a job on a merchant ship. He remained at sea untilwhen pirates attacked his ship as it sailed north along the Portuguese coast. The boat sank, but the young Columbus floated to shore on a scrap of wood and made his way to Lisbon, where he eventually studied mathematics, astronomy, cartography and .
He also began to hatch the plan that would change the world forever. At the end of the 15th century, it was nearly impossible to reach Asia from Europe by land. The route was long and arduous, and encounters with hostile armies were difficult to avoid.
Portuguese explorers solved this problem by taking to the sea: They sailed south along the West African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope. But Columbus had a different idea: Why not sail west across the Atlantic instead of around the massive African continent?
He argued incorrectly that the circumference of the Earth was much smaller than his contemporaries believed it was; accordingly, he believed that the journey by boat from Europe to Asia should be not only possible, but comparatively easy via an as-yet undiscovered Northwest Passage.
He presented his plan to officials in Portugal and England, but it was not until that he found a sympathetic audience: the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Columbus wanted fame and fortune. Ferdinand and Isabella wanted the same, along with the opportunity to export Catholicism to lands across the globe.
Columbus, a devout Catholic, was equally enthusiastic about this possibility. On October Looking for a fellow explorer, the ships made landfall—not in the East Indies, as Columbus assumed, but on one of the Bahamian islands, likely San Salvador. In Januaryleaving several dozen men behind in a makeshift settlement on Hispaniola present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republiche left for Spain.
He kept a detailed diary during his first voyage. More troublingly, it also recorded his initial impressions of the local people and his argument for why they should be enslaved. They have no iron …They would make fine servants … With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. About six months later, in SeptemberColumbus returned to the Americas. Then he headed west to continue his mostly fruitless search for gold and other goods.
His group now included a large of indigenous people the Europeans had enslaved. In lieu of the material riches he had promised the Spanish monarchs, he sent some enslaved people to Queen Isabella.THE RICHEST KIDS In The World
In MayColumbus sailed west across the Atlantic for the third time. Conditions were so bad that Spanish authorities had to send a new governor to take over. Meanwhile, the native Taino population, forced to search for gold and to work on plantations, was decimated within 60 years after Columbus landed, only a few hundred of what may have beenTaino were left on their island. Christopher Columbus was arrested and returned to Spain in chains.
Incleared of the most serious charges but stripped of his noble titles, the aging Columbus persuaded the Spanish crown to pay for one last trip across the Atlantic. This time, Columbus made it all the way to Panama—just miles from the Pacific Ocean—where he had to abandon two of his four ships after damage from storms and hostile natives. Empty-handed, the explorer returned to Spain, where he died in However, his journey kicked off centuries of exploration and exploitation on the American continents.
The Columbian Exchange transferred people, animals, food and disease across cultures. Old World wheat became an American food staple. African coffee and Asian sugar cane became cash crops for Latin America, while American foods like corn, tomatoes and potatoes were introduced into European diets. Today, Columbus has a controversial legacy —he is remembered as a daring and path-breaking explorer who transformed the New World, yet his actions also unleashed changes that would eventually devastate the native populations he and his fellow explorers encountered. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.
Columbus Day is a U. It was unofficially celebrated in a of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a More than years after he "discovered" Looking for a fellow explorer New World—kicking off centuries of exploration and colonization of the Americas—Christopher Columbus is honored with a federal holiday on the second Monday of every October.
However, as historians have continued to dig into the life Christopher Columbus has long been exalted as a heroic figure in American history: the first explorer to establish a European presence in the New World.
Americans have celebrated his arrival as far back asthe th anniversary of his landing. But it would take almost Forget those myths perpetuated by everyone from Washington Irving to Bugs Bunny. There was no need for Columbus to debunk the flat-earthers—the ancient Greeks had already done so. As early as the sixth century B. In search of fame and fortune, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan c. En route he discovered what is now known as the Strait of Magellan and became the The story of North American exploration spans an entire millennium and involves a wide array of European powers and uniquely American characters.
A decade later, he was serving as governor of the eastern province of Hispaniola when he decided to explore a nearby island, which became John Cabot or Giovanni Caboto, as he was known in Italian was an Italian explorer and navigator who may have developed the idea of sailing westward to reach the riches of Asia while working for a Venetian merchant.
Though the exact details of his life and expeditions are the Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Recommended for you. Christopher Columbus' Last Voyage. Christopher Columbus Sets Sail. Columbus' Quest for Gold. Columbus Day Columbus Day is a U. Why Columbus Day Courts Controversy More than years after he "discovered" the New World—kicking off centuries of exploration and colonization of the Americas—Christopher Columbus is honored with a federal holiday on the second Monday of every October.
Exploration of North America The story of North American exploration spans an entire millennium and involves a wide array of European powers and uniquely American characters. John Cabot John Cabot or Giovanni Caboto, as he was known in Italian was an Italian explorer and navigator who may have developed the idea of sailing westward to reach the riches of Asia while working for a Venetian merchant.Looking for a fellow explorer
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Looking for a fellow complex explorer