The Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was seen as the discoverer of America in 1492.
However, he himself never knew that it was not India where he arrived, and on this day in 1498, he took off for his third voyage to explore the world.
He made his name through his discovery of America under the Spanish flag in 1492. Columbus thought he had reached the Indies after crossing the Atlantic Ocean but had stumbled upon a New World in reality. His discovery marks a turning point in world history, the significance of which can hardly be overestimated.
European powers colonized both American continents. The ample amounts of land and raw materials played a role in the emergence of Europe as the dominant continent in the world.
The Columbian exchange ensured a worldwide exchange of crops, animals, and diseases. The contagious diseases of the Old World had a devastating effect on indigenous peoples.
The Life Of Columbus Might Be As Peculiar As His Journeys
As remarkable as Columbus’s discoveries are his own life. Despite his humble origins, he managed to gain entry to the royal courts of Portugal and Spain to advocate his plans for a westward route to Asia.
Based on his practical experiences at sea and — erroneous — geographic assumptions, he argued that this would be a short crossing. After years of lobbying, he was given the green light by Queen Isabella of Castile.
In four voyages of discovery, he mapped a large part of the Caribbean. Columbus also became governor of the Spanish colony on Hispaniola but was unsuccessful as an administrator.
He proved unable to build up an effective authority and was relieved of his position in 1500.
On Hispaniola, Columbus set the tone for Spanish rule over the indigenous peoples of the New World by violently subjugating the local Taíno. After a final trip to Central America, he died in 1506, still convinced that he had reached Asia.
Columbus His Journey To Sponsors
Columbus needed the support of a state for his expedition if only to protect any discoveries. He had no financial resources of his own. In 1484 he approached the Portuguese King John II for a westward journey, but his request was rejected.
After catching up in Portugal, Columbus sought refuge in Spain. He didn’t have happy timing. The Catholic royal couple, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon had their hands full with the war against Granada.
The final conquest of Granada in 1492 marked the completion of the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula.
Spain also focused on overseas expansion: between 1478 and 1496, the Spaniards conquered Gran Canaria, La Palma, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. For Columbus, because of their location in the area of the northeast trade, these islands were an ideal starting point for his journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
There were many negotiations with the Spanish state, and after years of discussions and courts, Queen Isabella of Spain decided on the 3rd of January 1492 that she would fund his voyage.
The Highlights Of His First Two Voyages
With three ships and 90 crew members, Columbus set sail for the west in August 1492. He keeps detailed records of the trip in his logbooks.
On October 12, 1492, land comes into view for the first time. Because Columbus thinks he is in the Indies, he calls the inhabitants Indians. He calls the island where he arrives San Salvador.
Which island is where Columbus arrived is still uncertain. What is certain is that he arrived on one of the Bahama Islands.
September 1493, Columbus again sets sail for the west with 17 ships. He then moors on the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Puerto Rico. Then he leaves for his settlement La Navidad.
There he notices that Indians murdered all 39 Spaniards who remained there. Columbus then founds a new colony, Santa Domingo, the current capital of the Dominican Republic.
Before returning to Spain, he discovers Jamaica, even more to the west.
He also sails past Cuba again. After sailing hundreds of miles along the Cuban coast, the explorer is convinced that he has reached the mainland of the Indies.
His Third Voyage In 1492
The moment we’ve all been waiting for, his third voyage. It happened exactly 523 years ago that he took off for his third voyage.
It will be the most memorable of the three trips. South America as we know it now had its first known European landing when Christopher Columbus discovered land on the Orinoco River in present-day Venezuela in 1498. To complete his quest, he discovers the little island nation of Trinidad, situated off the coast of Venezuela.
Meanwhile, his men are subjecting the natives of Hispaniola to slavery. They are constantly hunted and murdered. The issue is becoming worse, and Columbus is helpless to stop it. While making his trip to the New World, Columbus’ envoy Francisco de Bobadilla expresses a letter to the king about his fury at the atrocities he saw in the Caribbean.
He is accused of using authority to hurt the poor, and indigenous, and, according to the Catholic priest, he has even forbidden missionaries from baptizing the poor.
As a result, Columbus enacted legislation to stop it, fearing that the people may still be used as slaves. It is against the law for Christians to sell fellow Christians into slavery.
The voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492 remains one of the most significant events in world history. It opened up a new world to the Europeans and set the stage for the modern era of exploration. Despite the controversies surrounding Columbus’s legacy, there’s no denying the profound impact of his 1492 journey.