Monday, October 12, 2015

Christopher Columbus: Short Biography

This is a very short biography of Christopher Columbus.  He was form Genoa Italy in 1451, and began sailing at a very young age.  In fact he almost lost his life at sea on his first voyage.
He of course is most known for his voyage of 1492.  He had petitioned the government of Portugal about traveling to Asia by sailing west.  They declined to fund his journey.  He then went to Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain, who did fund his project.  He sailed in the Santa Maria, and the Nina and the Pinta alongside.  After a two-month voyage, they came to Hispaniola,   which Columbus mistook for India.  They set up a colony there, and Columbus returned to Spain with tails of gold.  Upon his second voyage he found the village he had left destroyed.  He reestablished the village, and enslaved many of the native peoples to mine for gold; which they did not find.  Columbus returned to Spain a couple more times, and made four visits in all to the "New World."  On his third voyage he actually reached the mainland, in Venezuela.  After this voyage he was arrested for mismanagement of the settlements in Hispaniola.  He was released but lost much of his wealth.  He returned to the New World the fourth time.   He died a poor embittered man in Spain in 1506.  He still believed he had discovered a westerly route to Asia.
The legacy of Columbus is mixed.  Interacting with the Native populations, booth cultures were introduced to new diseases.  However the Native Americans got the worst of this deal as small pox was a great killer among them.  He also mistreated the Native Americans, as his goal was on of wealth for himself and the government of Spain.  On the other hand, he broadened our knowledge of the world, proving that the world is round and not flat.  He paved the way for colonization, and changed the world.  His acts would change the Native American lifestyle.

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