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The Discovery Of The New World

1808 words - 8 pages

I. Christopher Columbus:
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451. He was inspired by merchants and mariners. As a teenager, he joined the crew of a merchant ship. In his twenties, he settled in Lisbon with his brother, making maps for a living. Later on, he married a woman whose father had connections with the captains on Henry the Navigator’s ship. The couple settled in Madeira as Columbus visited multiple trading posts on the west coast of Africa.
During his sailing trips, Columbus read some books that stimulated his curiosity, such as Natural History, written by Pliny. He also had copies of Marco Polo and D’Ailly.
One Major Influence in Columbus’ time was Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli, who believed that the travel westward was only 1/3 of the Globe. He had a map made in Lisbon. When Columbus heard about that map, he asked for a copy, and began to plan a trip so he could prove the theoretical geography.

A) Columbus Discovers America:
Ever since Columbus started thinking about a voyage westward, he proposed it before the Portuguese court, that eventually refused the proposition explaining that such a voyage would be too long, not to mention too costly. Next, he tried the Spanish court. For several years the idea was rejected for the same reasons until finally, in 1492, Spain’s Isabella and Ferdinand approved this trip.

First Expedition:
On August 3 that year, he took off from the Spanish port of Paolos with three ships-the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria-, with almost 90 crew members. This trip, never attempted before, needed God on the side of the sailors aboard: Columbus himself, Amerigo Vespucci, and Verrazzano… After six days, he landed on the Canary Islands, where he rested his ships. Columbus sailed southwest, and on October 12 he landed on San Salvador-Guanahani, as the locals called it- in the Bahamas. As he took over Spain, he made multiple discoveries in the near spectrum: Cuba on October 27 and Hispaniola on December 5. The trip took longer than anyone had anticipated. In turn, Columbus was obliged to hide the real traveled distances from the sailors aboard the ships. In other words, false data was announced daily on the miles travelled, provided he doesn’t worry the people with how far they had gone away from their homeland. Of course, the real distances were reported, yet kept a secret. Later that month, on Christmas Eve, the Santa Maria was destroyed on the coast of Hispaniola. Columbus got back to Spain on the Niña, welcomed with cheers, yet leaving men behind to establish a colony, and was given the title “admiral of the sea”.

Second Expedition:
This time around, Columbus took off from Cadiz, in October 1493, with a fleet of 17 ships and 1500 colonists. He landed in the Lesser Antilles, and came across Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. As he got back to Hispaniola, he found that the locals had destroyed the colony since they were rebelling against Columbus’ foundation. He founded a new one. He didn’t get back on the sea...

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