He and his crew set sail in August in search of the Indies. However, in October his crew sighted land. Columbus claimed that they had reached the Indies, though, in reality, it was an island off the coast of Florida, which he named San Salvador. Since Columbus thought that he was in the Indies, he called the locals Indians, though he had actually found the New World. The reason that Columbus is considered as the first European to discover America is because he went back to Spain and told everyone about it.
His discovery helped to shape the world we live in today, and so he is remembered. However, he was not the first European to set foot in the New World. The first people to find the Americas were actually the Vikings, led by Erik the Red, in the year That is a full years before Columbus! Vikings were notoriously self-reliant though, and they did not share this discovery with other Europeans.
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That depends on who you ask. For those in Europe, who saw the Americas as a chance for conquest and gold, the answer is yes. For the natives, however, he was not. His discovery led to many native cultures being wiped out or changed forever. Columbus returned to America several times throughout his life. Even after it had been disproven, he still insisted that he had found the Indies and not the New World. He died in Christopher Columbus Facts.
You are here: Home Christopher Columbus Facts. Christopher Columbus Facts Christopher Columbus is often thought of, and celebrated, for the discovery of America. His parents were Susanna and Domenico Columbus. His father was a weaver by trade. When he was older, he got his wish and became a sailor.
Thirty-nine men stayed behind to occupy the settlement. Convinced his exploration had reached Asia, he set sail for home with the two remaining ships. Returning to Spain in , Columbus gave a glowing, somewhat exaggerated report and was warmly received by the royal court.
In , Columbus took to the seas on his second expedition and explored more islands in the Caribbean Ocean. Upon arrival at Hispaniola, Columbus and his crew discovered the Navidad settlement had been destroyed with all the sailors massacred.
Spurning the wishes of the local queen, who found slavery offensive, Columbus established a forced labor policy over the native population to rebuild the settlement and explore for gold, believing it would prove to be profitable. His efforts produced small amounts of gold and great hatred among the native population. Before returning to Spain, Columbus left his brothers Bartholomew and Diego to govern the settlement on Hispaniola and sailed briefly around the larger Caribbean islands further convincing himself he had discovered the outer islands of China.
It wasn't until his third voyage that Columbus actually reached the mainland, exploring the Orinoco River in present-day Venezuela. Unfortunately, conditions at the Hispaniola settlement had deteriorated to the point of near-mutiny, with settlers claiming they had been misled by Columbus' claims of riches and complaining about the poor management of his brothers.
The Spanish Crown sent a royal official who arrested Columbus and stripped him of his authority. He returned to Spain in chains to face the royal court. The charges were later dropped, but Columbus lost his titles as governor of the Indies and, for a time, much of the riches made during his voyages. After convincing King Ferdinand that one more voyage would bring the abundant riches promised, Columbus went on what would be his last voyage in , traveling along the eastern coast of Central America in an unsuccessful search for a route to the Indian Ocean. A storm wrecked one of his ships, stranding the captain and his sailors on the island of Cuba.
During this time, local islanders, tired of the Spaniards' poor treatment and obsession with gold, refused to give them food. In a spark of inspiration, Columbus consulted an almanac and devised a plan to "punish" the islanders by taking away the moon.
On February 29, , a lunar eclipse alarmed the natives enough to re-establish trade with the Spaniards. A rescue party finally arrived, sent by the royal governor of Hispaniola in July, and Columbus and his men were taken back to Spain in November of In the two remaining years of his life following his last voyage to the Americas, Columbus struggled to recover his lost titles.
Although he did regain some of his riches in May of , his titles were never returned. Columbus probably died of severe arthritis following an infection on May 20, , still believing he had discovered a shorter route to Asia. Columbus has been credited for opening up the Americas to European colonization - as well as blamed for the destruction of the native peoples of the islands he explored.
Ultimately, he failed to find that what he set out for: a new route to Asia and the riches it promised.
The horse from Europe allowed Native American tribes in the Great Plains of North America to shift from a nomadic to a hunting lifestyle. Wheat from the Old World fast became a main food source for people in the Americas. Coffee from Africa and sugar cane from Asia became major cash crops for Latin American countries. And foods from the Americas, such as potatoes, tomatoes and corn, became staples for Europeans and helped increase their populations.
The Columbian Exchange also brought new diseases to both hemispheres, though the effects were greatest in the Americas. Smallpox from the Old World decimated millions of the Native American population to mere fractions of their original numbers. This more than any other factor allowed for European domination of the Americas. The Americas were forever altered and the once vibrant cultures of the Native American civilizations were changed and lost, denying the world any complete understanding of their existence.
In May , Christopher Columbus made headlines as news broke that a team of archaeologists may have found the Santa Maria off the north coast of Haiti.
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Barry Clifford, the leader of this expedition, told the Independent newspaper that "all geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests this wreck is Columbus' famous flagship the Santa Maria. After a thorough investigation by the U. We strive for accuracy and fairness.
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