This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Navigation Of Christopher Columbus And The Age Of Discovery

5022 words - 20 pages

Before beginning the research for this work, I had planned on producing a paper and presentation which detailed the history of open sea navigation and the difficulties and dangers which would have faced sailors and seamen during the Age of Discovery. My premise was that we, living in the twentifirst century, had lost touch with the reality of just how hazardous a voyage such as that undertaken by Columbus was. I had hoped to be able to capture for the listener and reader a sense of wonder at the bold willingness to risk life and limb that was demonstrated by the explorers of this era as they left the safety of the waters and oceans that they knew, to challenge the unknown. I had wanted to capture that feeling of stomach-dropping fear that I believed these brave men must have experienced as the headlands they were leaving slipped out of sight below the horizon, possibly never to be seen again. Had I been successful in writing such a paper, I would have succeeded not in exploring history, but rather in producing fiction.

Although Columbus certainly deserves recognition as being the one to truly open the way to the New World for Renaissance Europe, and all that was to follow, he was not the high-stakes risk taker that some historians would have us believe. However, neither was he the bumbling quixotic figure presented by those who, for their own reasons, attempt to present him as some sort of insane idiot, or, at best, an extremely lucky savant. What is true about Christopher Columbus is that, for the times in which he lived, he was a well read and learned geographer. Columbus was a student of navigation and sailing, and as such, his understanding of the world in which he lived was based on works previously completed by others. Given this, it begins to become apparent that although the contributions he made as an active participant in the Age of Discovery should not be minimized, he was not a leader in the development of navigation as a science, nor did he contribute any new knowledge to this field. Columbus’ voyage to the West was a risk only in the sense that all sea voyages undertaken at this time placed those sailing at the mercy of the winds, the waves, and the weather, with the added possibility that either pirates or Muslims would be encountered. Navigation, and the navigator's understanding of the world, had by this time developed to the point where Columbus was not stepping blindly into the abyss, but rather was choosing a course of action based on what was believed to be sure knowledge.

The histories of navigation and sailing are intertwined in such a way that for the purpose of this study they cannot be separated. Also a part of this story are what I believe to be some intriguing possibilities regarding the peopling of the Americas and the rise of Native American civilizations.

No one knows for certain either where, or when, man first began using floatation as a method of dealing with the rivers,...

Find Another Essay On The Navigation of Christopher Columbus and the Age of Discovery

The Voyage Of Christopher Columbus Essay

1513 words - 6 pages American History I Christopher Columbus' Voyage to North America Spanish exploration first began with a series of revolutions. First, the Commercial Revolution generated economic stability. Second, the Intellectual Revolution generated interest in the Earth's composition and the pursuit of exploration. Europe then called for a political revolution to end the disorganized and disorderly rule of its government. This revolution returned

The True Story of Christopher Columbus

1096 words - 4 pages killed by Indians (“Christopher Columbus Second Voyage”) par 3). The discovery led to an age of exploration and conquering. It always showed that the world was a lot bigger than everyone thought (Levinson 99-100). After a decade passed after the death of Christopher Columbus the whole coast from Honduras to Prenambuco had been mapped (“Christopher Columbus and The Spanish Empire” par 15). So Columbus really made a important discovery but never lived to know it.

The Dark Truth of Christopher Columbus

1042 words - 4 pages : observed in some states as the second Monday in October. This day is a celebration of what a “hero” did some 500 years ago; discovered the land we all now call home. Some theorists believe that without Columbus’ discovery, we would be hundreds of years behind, technologically, and there would have been many complications to our current lifestyle. The reality is that if Christopher Columbus did not set sail from Spain under the sponsorship of the

The True Importance of Christopher Columbus

659 words - 3 pages way the other Europeans treated the natives of the land that we cherish so much! Columbus was a hero, he discovered the New World. I don't think so, the man may have had ideals before he set sail, but from the looks of it he was just another greedy, sick little man who found his pleasures in the suffering of the others. Man of courage or man of cruelty, the choice is yours to decide, but I've already made my choice.Work Cited: Loewen, James W. "The True Importance of Christopher Columbus." Lies My Teacher Told Me. Simon and Schuster. New York: New York, 1995.18-36

The True Importance of Christopher Columbus

636 words - 3 pages Columbus is considered by most Americans to be the courageous man who discovered the new world and the man who would transverse so much difficulty to do what he holds dearest to his heart, discover! Now that I'm done with the cute version of the lies that most children must be taught in order to become an active person in society, I'll tell you the truth about what that man that we hold so dear was really doing on those Islands of the New World

Day in the Life of Christopher Columbus

536 words - 2 pages A Day in the Life of Christopher ColumbusLogbook of the Santa MariaCaptain's Entry August 3, 1492I cannot believe it! After being turned down repeatedly by King John II of Portugal, the Spanish monarchs, and the King of England, my hard work and persistence has finally paid off. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain have agreed to finance my expedition after I spent eight years trying to convince someone that it is possible to find a direct

Writers During The Age of Discovery and The Romantic Period

1323 words - 5 pages OUTLINE Writers throughout history have always influenced or have been influenced by the era that which they live in. Many famous authors arose during The Age of Discovery and The Romantic Period all of whom had very distinctive writing styles that held true to their era. To find the differences between the two eras, it is important to understand the era at which time the literature was wrote, the writing style, and the

Voyage of Christopher Columbus

1307 words - 5 pages As some of you may already know our very own Spanish- Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus, is planning to embark on an impeccable journey in search of a shorter route to Asia. I, Martín Alonso Pinzón, being one of the most prominent sailors and navigators of Spain, strongly encourage you to accompany us on this world changing expedition. We as Europeans in the fifteenth century, are beginning to embark on a series of global explorations

Christopher Columbus, the Conquerer

1145 words - 5 pages and map new uncharted land. He was bringing his ships back so full of gold that they almost sunk. On the view of Native Americans he was looting and plundering their valubles, family members, houses, pictures and basically anything he wanted. He sacrificed many Natives, crushing their whole world for the purpose of expanding his and make himself known. Christopher Columbus was a destroyer. Whether it was a day of huge discovery or a day of

Christopher Columbus: The Hero

1410 words - 6 pages does not mean that no human eye had been cast on America before Columbus arrived. It does mean that Columbus brought America to the attention of the civilized world, to the growing, scientific civilizations of Western Europe. The result, ultimately, was the United States of America. It was Columbus’ discovery for Western Europe that led to the arrival of ideas and people on which this nation was founded on. The voyages of Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus: The Villain

507 words - 2 pages for the sake of others and not for their own benefit. Christopher Columbus did not do a single good action in any of his four voyages in the late 1400's. Christopher Columbus was not the founder of the Americas we live in today because he did not discover it, even if he did there were already the natives who inhabited the land. It was just luck that he discovered the Americas, because he wasn’t even coming here, he got here because his ships went

Similar Essays

The Discovery Of America By Christopher Columbus

716 words - 3 pages Perestrello and married her. Shortly after their marriage his wife Filipa gave birth to their son Diego in 1480. In 1485 Columbus’s wife died. For a better life, Columbus and his son went to Spain. After receiving approval from the King and Queen of Spain, Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492. He used 3 ships on his voyage, the Pinta, Nina, and the Santa Maria. After 2 months at sea, a ship member, Rodrigo de Triana, spotted land on October 12

The Age Of Discovery, Columbus, Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution, Early Technology And Trade

1076 words - 4 pages Explain how technology was a stimuli to the Age of Discovery?There were many technological advances in the Age of discovery. The development of the cannon, which was able shoot iron or stone balls. This device could take down city walls or fortresses. A western technician built 56 small cannon's and gigantic gun that could hurl stone balls weighing 800 lbs. The gun could only be loaded and fired only by about a hundred men working together, and

Christopher Columbus, A Critical Character In The Discovery Of New Lands

894 words - 4 pages He was a significant character in the further development of discovery. He had many important discoveries that changed the way we view the world today. Christopher Columbus was a critical character in the discovery of new lands in his time. Columbus’ accidental discovery of the Americas was a very meaningful event in history. Columbus’ many voyages had a lasting impact on the world, inspired many others, and marked the outset of centuries of

The Reputation Of Christopher Columbus Essay

2360 words - 9 pages not want to here how positive things about the monarchy. In the 1920's the Progressive Historians took over the influence in historical writings and instead of dealing just with the famous people in history they tried to deal more with the times. Mention of Columbus in texts was rare because instead the authors wrote more about the Age of Discovery rather than the players in these times One writer who did depict Columbus was David