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Christopher Columbus

A painting of Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus was once an Italian explorer who discovered America at the start of the 15th Century in the mid 1400's. At the time he was around, everything in recorded History and civilization was all in the Eastern side of the planet: Europe, Africa, and Asia. The Americas weren't discovered yet. At this time, everyone wanted a route to India because rumors were spread about the country's large amount of rich spices and other valuable resources. Most of Europe was looking for it, but many explorers failed.  

Wild ideaEdit

An Italian man named Christopher Columbus had an idea that was thought to be crazy at the time and was way outside the box. He thought that he could reach India by circling the globe and finding the place on the other side of the Planet. Because of some passages in The Bible, many people thought the Earth was flat. Astronomy and Physics started proving that wrong, indeed evidence that the Earth is round existed since the time of Ancient Greece. [1] Still because the Bible suggests the earth is flat [2] people denied it. People thought that Christopher was crazy for this, especially because he was in Italy; the most Christian country in the world. The sillier Italian people thought that he would fall off of the edge of the world. Columbus tried to convince the Italian king to pay for him to do this, but the royal family laughed at Christopher. Then he tried going to Spain and convincing the Spanish queen to support him. At first, everyone still laughed at him. But eventually the queen gave him the documents that allowed him to sail the Atlantic ocean. Everyone still thought he was a nut job, but some people came with him and supported Christopher.

First voyageEdit

Christ Columbus meets natives

Christopher Columbus meeting the Central native Americans for the first time.

On the first voyage, on 1492, it took 6+ months to get to the Americans. By month 5, the entire crew was thinking of turning back to Spain, but Christopher said no. On month 6, the crew was ready to throw him over-board because they were running out of food and water, and were sick of being on a ship. But soon, they saw land on the horizon and the crew got so exited that as soon as they hit shore, they all jumped off and kissed the sand. At first, they all thought they were in India, but after charting and maping where they were, it turn out they were on on Island that is part of what is now the Bahamas. They met friendly Native Americans known as the Lucayan tribe. Later, they found other groups of natives known as Taino and Arawak. They were all peaceful and nice to the newly known white people. From the 12 October 1492 entry in his journal he wrote of them, "Many of the men I have seen have scars on their bodies, and when I made signs to them to find out how this happened, they indicated that people from other nearby islands come to San Salvador to capture them; they defend themselves the best they can. I believe that people from the mainland come here to take them as slaves. They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language." He remarked that their lack of modern weaponry and even metal-forged swords or pikes was a tactical vulnerability, writing, "I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased." Christopher wanted to make the natives into slaves, but they were too strong-willed and he failed. Other Islands like Cuba and Hispaniola were all found in this voyage. Because Colombus thought they were all apart of India, he called the strip of island in the Caribbean; the West Indies. After all that, he set sail to return to Europe. Everyone in Spain was shocked. Word spread of Christopher's voyage all throughout Europe. Columbus became a celebrity.

Second voyageEdit

On the second voyage, this time, they were ready to start colonizing. Christopher brought 17 ships with over 1,200 men including farmers, soldiers, and priests. The mission was almost entirely dedicated to converting the natives into Christianity, which is why they brought priests. Colombus discovered more islands, including Puerto Rico, Jamaica, The Virgin Islands, and pretty much the rest on the Caribbean. The natives were curious about these new white people and wanted to greet them. Cristopher awes them by predicting a lunar eclipse. The Spanish and natives were at peace. Christopher Columbus then returned to Spain.

Third voyageEdit

On the third voyage, Columbus returned to Hispanola and discovered that the settlers were pissed off about his rule over them as Governor, claiming he misled them about the supposedly bountiful riches of the new world. A number of sailors and settlers went against him in the Spanish court and Columbus was found guilty of gross management. He had some of his crew hanged for disobedience. Colombus was eventually forced to make peace with the rebellious colonists if he ever wanted to return to the New World, because he was removed as governor of the colony by the Queen and sent back to Europe in chains. He eventually returned to the colony, but not as governor.

Fourth voyageEdit

On the fourth voyage, accompanied by his brother Bartolomio, and his 13-year old son Fernando, he headed to Hispanola. As soon as he got there, a hurricane came and he took shelter in a small house with his son and his crew. By this time, Christopher Columbus had been told that these places weren't India, they were a completely different continent, but Columbus denied it. Amerigo Vespucci proved him wrong. Very, very wrong. Columbus later died in Spain. we don't know the cause. [3]

ControversyEdit

Christopher Columbus has been called responsible for the deaths of the native people in the Caribbean. The primary cause of this was the spread of germs and mistreatment of the people native to the island. The priest, Bartolomé de las Casas, suggested that his mistreatment was wrong, and that they should use slaves from Africa, since they had been exposed to European diseases, which we all know caused more than 450 years of Racism, the Triangular trade, and many other gruesome parts of History. He may have been Jewish but this hasn't been proved. [4]


ReferencesEdit

  1. Eratosthenes of Cyrene
  2. The Bible says: The Earth is flat!
  3. Christopher Columbus Death
  4. Was Columbus secretly a Jew?

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