One may find history to be a difficult subject. In fact it is true. History is storage of events. Some of them might be truth, some may be not. A person may forget the facts from his life. It is complicated to understand and analyze the events that happened in faraway past.
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Millions of people celebrate Columbus Day. Was this man truly a legendary explorer or a villain, monster, and trader of slaves.
Traditional Story about Christopher Columbus’ Life
Christopher Columbus was Genoese navigator. The name of Italian colonizer is well-known. Columbus was born between 1450 and 1451 years. In Italian his name sounds like Cristoforo Colombo. The exact location where Christopher was born is disputed. He grew up in a big family. Christopher had three brothers and one sister. His father was a muddle-class wool weaver. There is nothing known about Christopher’s mother, except her name Susanna Fontanarossa.
Columbus early years are hidden by the history blanket. Some experts say he received incomplete education, and spoke Genoese dialect. Christopher affirmed that he had gone to the sea at the age of 10. In 1470 his family moved to Savona. That was the same year when Columbus was hired on the ship to serve René I of Anjou who desired to conquer the Kingdom of Naples.
Every piece of history is covered by shadow. Christopher Columbus’ life is no less confused and unclear. For a long time people considered him to be the discoverer of New World. Although this theory was greatly supported, it was crushed. The story turned into tale which was retold and rewritten many times.
Often schoolchildren are taught that Christopher Columbus was an intrepid explorer. He wanted to prove that the Earth was round. Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the king and queen of Spain, sponsored Columbus’ voyage. Thus, heading the expedition, instead of China he found America and Caribbean. Christopher made friends with natives and returned to Spain glorified.
True Story About Christopher Columbus’ Ideas and Voyages
Scholars argue that Columbus’ idea to reach Asia by sailing west from Europe was old as well as his idea to prove that the Earth was not flat. The idea of flat world was common during the middle ages, but was destroyed by the time when Christopher Columbus lived. By 1492 Europeans believed the planet was round. Ancient Greeks had established that idea in the 5th century BC.
Essays on Christopher Columbus are popular since they contain new and vital information about his personality.
Many historians believe that Vikings sailors from Norway had visited North America five centuries earlier than Columbus did. Evidences of its achievement were put into sagas. The key figure was Eric the Red.
Eric fled Norway with his family. He sailed west and found an island which he called Green Land. According to the legend, it is Eric’s son Leif who sailed to New Land from Green Land. That was he who found a strange new island.
It was impossible to reach Asia from Europe by land at the end of 15th century. Numerous armies were on the dangerous and long way. This problem was solved by Portuguese explorers. They sailed along Africa and around the Cape of Good Hope. Christopher Columbus suggested sail across the Atlantic instead of Africa continent.
His idea was good but math was incorrect. Columbus calculation was based on the idea that only a single ocean separated Europe from China; there were no intermediate land. Nobody knew there was a continent between. All in all, Columbus’ mistake proved that the Earth was larger than people had thought.
Although Christopher Columbus desired to reach prosperous markets of Asia, he faced the Caribbean. Columbus wanted fame. He was looking for gold, silver, pearls, and spices, instead he found the land with little trade goods.
Columbus set sail from Spain in 1492 and returned ashamed in March 1493. One of his ships, Santa Maria, had sunk. Little later people realized that the lands Columbus found were unknown. So, he was able to get money for new larger voyage. The King and Queen of Spain put him in charge of a second voyage.
A traditional story about Columbus’ expedition claims that he made friends with natives. This matter is partially true. The Europeans made a good impression with ships, guns, and fancy cloths. Columbus had to leave men on the Hispaniola which is now The Dominican Republic and Haiti. For these reasons, he made friends with a local chieftain.
In his diary Christopher wrote about the population of native people. They were well built, with nice faces and handsome bodies. They could be good servants. Very soon the natives were captured and forced into slavery. Columbus made them to find gold and rebuilt the settlement which was destroyed while he was in Spain after his first voyage. The New World was not the golden paradise Christopher had promised Queen Isabella.
Someone may think that Columbus considered the population of Hispaniola to be people from which he could take advantage of. This idea has the right to exist. More about this matter someone may read in racism and discrimination essay.
On the third voyage Christopher Columbus reached the main land in Venezuela, but in 1499 Columbus was arrested. He took position of a governor at the territory of Hispaniola. Spanish colonists were mistreated and executed without trial, that news made Spanish monarchs to act. Columbus was brought back to Spain. He lost his titles and most of his wealth.
After a final unsuccessful voyage in 1504 he returned to Spain. In two years he died. Christopher Columbus felt that Spanish King and Queen had not treated him properly.
Some say that Columbus was the founder of his time. Before Christopher Columbus the world was very different than after Columbus. His impact was huge. Christopher was a brilliant leader on sea, but he did nothing different from what other explorers did. The same things did people that were looking for glory, fame, and wealth.
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