Christopher Columbus Essay

Submitted By dhavaljpatel2001
Words: 771
Pages: 4

Christopher Columbus was a Genoese navigator and organized various expeditions. He began to sail in trading trips. He gained knowledge of navigation and observed the trades in Gold and slaves during these trips. In the 15th century several European nations sponsored expeditions in the hope to find wealth and undiscovered lands. The route to Asia from Europe by land was long and difficult; it was often accompanied by encounters with hostile armies. People were aware of the gold in Asia. This was accompanied by the tales of Marco Polo and others bringing silk and spices of great value from Asia. Hence all the nations were interested in finding a safe sea route to get their hands on the wealth and resources in Asia.
Christopher Columbus’ knowledge of geography convinced him to sail west to discover a short and safe route to Asia. This was an alternative to traditional route which went east around Africa. This idea of sailing west was conceived by Columbus as early as 1481 because of his correspondence with Italian scholar Paolo del Pozzo Toscaneli. He assumed most of the world was covered by land and Japan lay only 3,000 nautical miles. Columbus would never have made it to Asia, which was thousands of miles farther away than he had calculated, imagining a smaller world. He would have been doomed by that great stretch of sea. But he was lucky.
Columbus made an appeal to king of Portugal who did not agree to his approach of west ward sailing. Columbus convinced the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to sponsor his expedition of finding safe sea route. The King and queen agreed to Christopher Columbus’ approach as they wanted a quick source of wealth. This was due to the religious war that Spain had been facing pushing out Muslims and Jews. Hence Spain needed money. In return Columbus was promised 10% of profits, governorship over new found land and a new title. Columbus sailed with 3 ships in August of 1492. During early October 1492 the ship crew saw signs of land. Columbus had assumed to reach Japan by now and had imagined to find rich gold mines he desired. It was an island in the Bahamas and Caribbean Sea. Here Columbus was greeted by the Arawak Indian. The Arawak lived in village communes, had a developed agriculture of corn, yams, cassava. They could spin and weave but they had no sense of horses or work animals. They had no iron but they had tiny gold ornaments in their ears. They did not have enough knowledge of weapons as well. Columbus looked this as an advantage and took some of them aboard ship as prisoners. Columbus wanted the Arawak Indians help him in search of gold. Columbus reached Española (Hispaniola) after exploring Bahamas and Cuba during his search. In Hispaniola, Columbus built a fort, the first European military base in the Western Hemisphere. He called it Navidad and left 39 of his crew men to find and store gold. Columbus exaggerated his report and…