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Transcript of Christopher Columbus
Are we in Asia?
Born in 1451 in the Genoa Territory which is not in present day Italy.
Not much is known about his early years but we do know that he was an apprentice to his father, like most boys were in this time period.
His father was a weaver.
He also studied map making and sailing.
He eventually left his father's apprenticeship to sail.
He began sailing on the Mediterranean Sea.
At one point he crashed his ship off the coast of Portugal.
He stayed there with his brother and worked as a cartographer (map maker) and book seller.
He married and eventually had 2 kids.
Goal: to find an eastern route to Asia for trading silk and spices.
This was "revolutionary" or different because at this time people still believed the Earth was round and did not know how big the Earth was.
Commissioned the trip: Spain, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
Left in September 1492 with 3 ships and 87 men. The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.
Land was sighted by October and he named the land San Salvador which is now the Bahamas.
He also explored Hispanola and Cuba in which he truly thought were China.
He tried to trade with natives and convert them to Christianity but they were resistant.
Result: it took a while to return to Spain but when he did he brought the king and queen tobacco, turkey and new spices.
He also brought some natives back who Queen Isabella was fond of.
Goal: to set up a colony and conquer the native population.
The voyage was in September 1493 and this time he took a crew of 1,200 for the purpose of setting up a colony.
Events of voyage:
He explored islands off the coast of South America.
Went back to Hispanola and Cuba to explore more and when he returned he found that the men he had left there previously were killed by natives.
He became irritated with the natives and began enslaving them. Some were sent to Spain and others were left to mine for gold.
There was not as much gold in the new land as he had previously thought.
Result: Columbus returned to Spain practically empty handed because there was not as much gold to be mined as he originally thought.
3rd and 4th Voyages
Goal of 3rd voyage: continue to grow his colony set up on Hispanola.
Voyage was in 1498. This time he came with 6 ships.
His settlers were unhappy with his leadership skills. They pleaded to Spain and a new governor was sent.
Result: he was taken prisoner on a boat back to Spain.
Goal of 4th voyage: to find the strait of Molucca which was a way to the Spice Islands.
Him and his crew experienced bad weather on this journey and eventually had to land in Jamaica because their ship was so badly damaged.
They were stranded for 2 years.
There were eventually sent aide and set sail back to Spain.
Result: they did not find the strait and this was Christopher Columbus's last voyage.
Are we in Asia?
Christopher Columbus died in 1506 of natural causes.
Until his dying day be believed that the places he explored were on the Asian continent.
He had no clue where he really was. He believed firmly that he was in Asia the whole time but in realty he was half a world away.
Were the voyages of your explorer beneficial or not beneficial to society?
For the Europeans? YES because Columbus inspired a new era of exploration. Also, his exploration started the Columbian Exchange which brought new resources, crops and plants to Europe from the new world and visa versa.
For the natives of the land he explored? NO NO NO because huge populations of natives were wiped out. Within 50 years of his arrival 3-5 million were deceased.