The life and work of Christopher Columbus
- Exploration of Bahamas, Haiti
- Rebuilding of Hispaniola settlement
- Exploration of gold
- Establishment of voyages that changed the world
- Establishment of shorter route to Asia
Christopher Columbus was born in the Republic of Genoa, Italy in the year 1451. He was a son of a weaver. In the year 1476, he participated in his first voyage, which took place in the Atlantic Ocean. His initial voyage nearly cost him his life. He came under an attack when the French privateers near the Portuguese coast attacked the commercial fleet that he was cruising. Columbus was known for his numerous expeditions to Africa. In the year 1492, Columbus together with Niña and Pinta left Spain in the Santa Maria. The attackers burned the ship forcing Columbus to swim up to the Portuguese shore. He then travelled to Lisbon, Portugal. Christopher settled in this place, and he eventually married Felipa Perestrello. Soon after their marriage, they got a son by the name Diego in the year 1480. Columbus then moved to Spain after which his wife died. Later, he got a second son, who was named Fernando. Fernando was born in the year 1488, which was out of wedlock with Beatriz Enriquez de Arana (Adams, 2009).
The expeditions that Columbus participated helped him acquire knowledge concerning the Atlantic currents that flow west and east originating from the Canary Islands. He also gained skills about the domination of Muslim and the existence of trade routes through the Middle East, which brought difficulty in travel to China and India. These made Columbus devise a plan to sail West so as access the East. In order to do this, he estimated the earth sphere as being 63% its real size approximating the distance between Japan and Canary Island as being 2,300 miles. Although most of the nautical experts’ scientist disagreed with Columbus concerning the circumference of the earth at 25,000 miles, they agreed with his idea that a European westward voyage would be a safe water route.
Columbus idea of the first voyage to the world suffered rejection from the Portuguese king, Genoa, and Venice. In the year 1486, he preceded to Spanish monarchy in a bid to persuade the monarchs. The monarchs were skeptical and later rejected the idea. The monarchs were soon intrigued by Columbus idea, since they preserved him on retainer. The monarchs’ attention was diverted by the existence of war between them and the Muslims. Once the Muslims were defeated, they agreed to take part in the financing of the Columbus’ expedition (Berne, 2008). Later in the year 1492, Columbus in accompaniment with other sailors left Spain. They sailed for thirty-six days, after which Columbus set their feet on the current day Bahamas (Doak, 1963). They claimed this land for Spain. They soon met a group of native who not only were they timid but also friendly. They interacted with these natives and became they partners in trade.
Columbus and his fellow sailors visited other various islands in Hispaniola and Cuba: these islands are the current day Dominican Republic and Haiti. During this time, they met with numerous leaders from the native populations. In the year 1493, Columbus returned to Spain where he delivered an exaggerated report about his expedition. This pleased the king where he was warmly received in the royal court. He later in the year set out in the sea for more expedition, once he arrived at Hispaniola, they discovered that the Navidad settlement and the sailors who resided in these structures had been massacred. These prompted Columbus to establish a policy of forced labor to the natives in order to explore for gold as well as rebuild the settlement. The presence of gold in this region would have proved to be extremely profitable.
The explorers obtained small quantities of gold but in return ended up facing rejection from the natives. The rejection resulted from the fact that, Columbus and his fellow sailors had established forced labor to the natives, who did not benefit from gold they obtained.
In Columbus third voyage, he arrived at the mainland in his bid to explore the Orinoco River current-day Venezuela. Unluckily, Hispaniola settlement’s condition had gone from a point of bad-to-worse. The condition of Hispaniola had neared mutiny since the settlers claimed that Columbus verdict concerning the riches and their brothers’ poor management. On response to this claim, the Spanish Crown assigned the royal officials with the responsibility of arresting and stripping Columbus his authority. Later, Columbus case was dropped but lost his governorship title. He also lost most of his riches that he acquired during his numerous voyages.
In conclusion, Columbus became immensely obsessed with recovering the titles that he had previously lost. In the year 1505, he regained some of his lost riches. Restoration of his title never came to a reality. He later died on May 20, 1506, having believed that he had gotten the shorter route to Asia.
Berne, E. C. (2008). The Voyage That Changed the World. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Doak, R. S. (1963). Explorer of the New World. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books.
Adams, C. K. (2009). Christopher Columbus His Life and His Work. New York: BiblioBazaar.