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Christopher Columbus - Columbus and the Great Discovery

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Christopher Columbus - Columbus and the Great Discovery

Columbus and The Great Discovery

Columbus was very young when he became interested in travel, sailing and astronomy. He began sailing at the age of fourteen and from then on sailing and meeting different people gave him a lot of knowledge. Columbus had very little education, he had to learn how to read and write when he was much older and he learned about sailing and astronomy through people, not school. The knowledge that he developed led him to believe that he can find a different rout to Asia. Columbus began proposing his idea of sailing westward and landing in India. This was a radical idea for this time period, due to the majority of people believing that the Earth was flat and not round. However, there were plenty of educated people that understood that the Earth was round, although some didn’t agree with Columbus’ estimate of Earth’s size. For this reason Columbus had a hard time convincing England, France and Portugal to help him finance his voyage.

Christopher Columbus’ first attempt to try and sail west to find a passage to India was in 1483 ( Columbus proposed his plan to King John II of Portugal but he was rejected because King John II received advice from other mapmakers and explorers, who said that the idea was not possible. Then Columbus went to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain who didn’t reject him, they just didn’t approve.

More time passed before Columbus finally was able to convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain after failing two times before that. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were coming off a huge win at Granada, where the Spanish took control of the last Muslim city. Spain was finally united and under Christian rule. This motivated the king and queen to try and compete with the French and other European nations for supremacy in Europe. The King and Queen decided that to find a new route to Asia is the best way to get them ahead. Most people didn’t expect Columbus to return with much success, including King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Which is why they granted Columbus such a generous contract if he succeeded in finding the new route to Asia.

Another reason that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella agreed to sponsor Columbus is because Queen Isabella had a desire to spread Christianity around the world. The king and queen made sure their own empire was Christian by discharging the Jews and the Muslims. The Jews and Muslims had to convert to Christianity to stay in Spain, if they didn’t they were brutally forced out. These actions weren’t such a good idea because some of the smartest people that Spain had were Jews and Muslims. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella saw the opportunity to further spread Christianity, so that influenced their decision on granting Columbus his wish.

Even though spreading Christianity was important, improving Spain’s wealth was even more important to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Conquering new land and establishing colonies was more important to the king and queen because they wanted to gain some ground on Portugal, France and England. By getting new land, Spain would be able to find new sources of wealth. Even though King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella didn’t know that Columbus would actually find anything, they did hope. Which is why they took the gamble. Columbus not only found new land he also found many new crops that didn’t exist in Europe. On top of all of that Columbus reported that there was gold as well. All of these riches helped Spain but also other European countries that later joined Spain to control the Western Hemisphere.

“We set out at eight o’clock from the bar of Saltes and traveled with a strong breeze sixty miles, that is to say fifteen leagues, southward before sunset” (Cohen). That was the day of August, 3rd 1492 (Cohen). That day is the beginning of one of the greatest expeditions in recent memory. Columbus and his crew began their first voyage and it didn’t begin well because Pintas, one of the three ships under Columbus’ command, rudder moved out of position on August 6th (Cohen). The damage was repaired on one of the islands in the Canaries and Columbus and his crew continued with a minor set back. As days and weeks passed Columbus and the crew grew more frustrated, weary and anxious. Columbus had two logs to keep track of the distances that the ships traveled. One of the logs had the correct distance and the other had shorter distances of travel which he shared with the crew. Columbus made two logs in order to keep the crew from panicking if they saw the true distance. Finally on October 11, 1492 Rodrigo, one of the crew members, spotted land (Cohen). The island that Columbus landed on, was Guanahani, in the native language. The people that Columbus found were friendly and accepting

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