Perhaps, Christopher Columbus can be considered one of the most famous personalities of the planet. Agree, now it is rare enough to meet someone who has never heard of the discoveries of this famous navigator.
For sure, every student will easily answer the question about what Christopher Columbus discovered. Of course, America! However, let's think about whether this knowledge is not too scarce, because most of us do not even guess where this famous pioneer came from, what his life was like and at what age he lived.
This article is aimed at telling all about the discoveries of Christopher Columbus. In addition, the reader will have a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the intranresnymi data and the chronology of events that took place several centuries ago.
What did the great seafarer discover?
Christopher Columbus, a traveler known now to the whole planet, was originally an ordinary Spanish navigator who worked both on the ship and at the port and, in fact, practically did not differ from such eternally busy hard workers.
This later, in 1492, he will become a celebrity - the man who discovered America, the first of Europeans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean, who visited the Caribbean Sea.
By the way, not everyone knows that it was Christopher Columbus that initiated the detailed study not only of America itself, but also of virtually all nearby archipelagoes.
Although here I would like to make an amendment. The Spanish navigator was by no means the only traveler who went to conquer the unknown worlds. In fact, even in the Middle Ages in America, there were already curious Icelandic Vikings. But at that time this information was not widely disseminated, therefore the whole world believes that it was the Christopher Columbus expedition that was able to popularize information about the American lands and to start the colonization by Europeans of the whole continent.
The story of Christopher Columbus. Secrets and mysteries of his biography
This person was and remains one of the most mysterious historical figures of the planet. Unfortunately, not many facts have survived, telling about its origin and occupation prior to the first expedition. In those days, Christopher Columbus, briefly, was practically nobody, that is, it did not differ significantly from the usual average sailor, and therefore it is practically impossible to single out it from the general mass.
By the way, that's why, lost in conjecture and trying to surprise the readership, historians have written hundreds of books about him. Almost all such manuscripts are full of assumptions and unverified statements. And in fact, not even the original of the ship's log of Columbus's first expedition was preserved.
It is believed that Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 (one more, unchecked version - in 1446), between August 25 and October 31, in the Italian city of Genoa.
Today, a number of Spanish and Italian cities ascribe themselves the honor to be called the small homeland of the discoverer. As for his social status, it is known only that the Columbus family was not of noble origin, none of his ancestors was a seafarer.
Modern researchers believe that Columbus the elder earned a living by hard work and was either a weaver or a carded wool boy. Although there is also a version and that the father of the navigator served as the senior guard of the city gate.
Of course, the journey of Christopher Columbus began not at once. Probably from the earliest childhood the boy began to earn extra money, helping the elder to support the family. Perhaps he was a cabin boy on ships and so fell in love with the sea. Unfortunately, more detailed records of how the childhood and youth of this famous man passed did not survive.
As for education, there is a version that H. Columbus studied at the University of Pavia, but there is no documentary evidence of this fact. Therefore, it is possible that he received a home education. Whatever it was, this man had excellent knowledge in the field of navigation, which provides far from superficial knowledge in mathematics, geometry, cosmography and geography.
It is also known that at a more mature age Christopher Columbus worked as a cartographer, and then moved to the local printing office. He spoke not only in his native Portuguese, but also in Italian and Spanish. A good possession of Latin helped him in deciphering maps and annals. There is evidence that the seafarer was able to write a little in Hebrew.
It is also known that Columbus was a prominent man, who constantly looked at the ladies. So, while serving in Portugal in some Genoa trading house, the future discoverer of America met his future wife, Dona Felipe Monis de Palestrello. They were married in 1478. Soon the couple had a son, Diego. His wife's family was also not rich, but it was the noble origin of the wife that allowed Christophor to establish contacts, establish useful links in the circles of the nobility of Portugal
As for the nationality of the traveler, there are even more mysteries here. Some researchers prove the Jewish origin of Columbus, but there are also versions of Spanish, German and Portuguese roots.
The official confession of Christopher was Catholic. Why can you say so? The fact is that, according to the rules of that era, otherwise it would simply not have been allowed into the same Spain. Although, it is possible that he concealed his true religion.
Apparently, many puzzles of the biography of the seafarer will remain for all of us unsolved.
Pre-Columbian America or what the pioneer saw when he arrived on the mainland
America, until its discovery, was a land where certain groups of people lived, who for centuries were in some kind of natural isolation. All of them, by the will of fate, were cut off from the rest of the planet. However, despite all this, they were able to create a high culture, demonstrating unlimited possibilities and skills.
The uniqueness of these civilizations lies in the fact that they are considered by nature to be natural and ecological, and not technogenic, like ours. Local Aborigines, Indians, did not seek to transform the environment, on the contrary, their settlements harmoniously fit in with nature.
Experts argue that all civilizations that emerged in North Africa, Asia, Europe, developed approximately equally. In pre-Columbian America, this development took a different path, therefore, for example, the contrast between the population of the city and the village was minimal. Cities of ancient Indians also contained extensive agricultural land. The only significant difference between the city and the village was the area occupied by the territory.
At the same time, the civilization of pre-Columbian America was not particularly advanced in what Europe and Asia could rise on. For example, the Indians did not really strive to improve the processing technology of metals. If in the Old World bronze was considered the main metal and for its sake new lands were conquered, in pre-Columbian America this material was used exclusively as an ornament.
But the civilizations of the New World are interesting for their unique structures, sculptures and paintings, for which a completely different style was characteristic.
The beginning of the way
In 1485 after the categorical refusal of the King of Portugal to invest in the implementation of the project to find the shortest sea route to India, Columbus moved to his permanent residence in Castile. There he, with the help of Andalusian merchants and bankers, managed to achieve the organization of a government marine expedition.
For the first time the ship of Christopher Columbus went on a year's voyage in 1492. 90 people took part in the expedition.
By the way, contrary to a fairly common misconception, there were three ships, and they were called "Santa Maria", "Pinta" and "Ninja".
The expedition left Palos at the very beginning of the hot August 1492. From the Canary Islands, the flotilla headed west, where the Atlantic Ocean crossed without any problems.
Along the way, the seafarer team opened the Sargasso Sea and successfully reached the Bahamian archipelago, where it landed on dry land on October 12, 1492. Since then, this very date has become the official day of the discovery of America.
In 1986, US geographer J. Judge carefully processed all available materials about this expedition on a computer and came to the conclusion that the first land that Christopher saw was Fr. Samana. Approximately on October 14, within ten days, the expedition approached several Bahamas, and by December 5 opened part of the coast of Cuba. December 6, the team reached about. Haiti.
Then the ships moved along the northern shore, and then luck changed the pioneers. On the night of December 25, Santa Maria suddenly boarded the reef. True, this time the crew was lucky - all the sailors were still alive.
The Second Journey of Columbus
The second expedition was held in 1493-1496. it was headed by Columbus already in the official position of the Vice-King of the lands he had discovered.
It should be noted that the team has increased significantly - the expedition consisted of 17 vessels. According to various data, 1,5-2,5 thousand people took part in the expedition.
In early November 1493, the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe and twenty Lesser Lesser Antilles were discovered, and on November 19, Fr. Puerto Rico. In March 1494, Columbus, in search of gold, decided to make a military campaign against Fr. Haiti, then in the summer opened about. Juventud and Fr. Jamaica.
By the way, it was then that Columbus informed the public about the opening of a new road to Asia.
The third expedition
The third trip took place in 1498-1500 and was not as numerous as the previous one. It involved only six vessels, three of which the navigator himself led across the Atlantic.
July 31, the first year of travel, was opened on. Trinidad, the ships entered the Gulf of Paria, as a result, the eponymous peninsula was discovered. So was opened South America.
Coming to the Caribbean Sea, on August 31, Columbus landed in Haiti. Already in 1499 the monopoly right of Christopher Columbus to new lands was canceled, the royal couple sent to his destination his representative F. Bobadilla, who in 1500 arrested Columbus along with his brothers in denunciation.
The navigator, shackled, was sent to Castile, where local financiers persuaded the royal family to release him.
Fourth journey to the American shores
What continued to excite such a restless man as Columbus? Christopher, America for which was already almost passed the stage, I wanted to find a new path from there to South Asia. The traveler believed that such a route exists, because he observed near the coast of Fr. Cuba has a strong current that has traveled west through the Caribbean Sea. As a result, he was able to persuade the king to give permission for a new expedition.
On his fourth trip, Columbus went with his brother Bartolomeo and his 13-year-old son, Hernando. He was lucky to open the mainland south of Fr. Cuba is the shore of Central America. And Columbus was the first to tell Spain about the Indian peoples inhabiting the coast of the South Sea.
But, unfortunately, he did not find the strait in the South Sea. I had to return home with almost nothing.
Unexplained facts, the study of which continues
The distance from Palos to Kanar is 1600 km, the ships participating in the Columbus expedition passed this distance for 6 days, that is, over a day they crossed 250-270 km. Before the Canary Islands the path was well known, he did not present any difficulties. But it was on this site 6 (probably, 7) August on the ship "Pinta" there was a strange breakdown. According to one information, the steering wheel broke, on the other - there was a leak. This circumstance aroused suspicion, because then the Pinta crossed the Atlantic twice. Before that, it had successfully passed about 13 thousand km, visited terrible storms and arrived in Palos without damage. Therefore, there is a version that the crew of the crew was set up at the request of the co-owner of the ship K. Quintero. Perhaps, some of the salaries were received by the sailors, they spent it. More sense to risk their lives, they did not see, and the owner himself for renting "Pinta" also already got a lot of money. So it was logical to simulate a breakdown and stay safe in the Canary Islands. It seems that the captain of the "Pinta" Martin Pinson still caught sight of the conspirators and stopped them.
Already on the second trip of Columbus, intentional colonists set sail for him, the cattle, equipment, seeds, etc. loaded onto the ships. The colonists laid their city somewhere in the vicinity of the modern city of Santo Domingo. The same expedition opened about. Small Antilles, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Jamaica. But Christopher Columbus to the last remained at the opinion that he discovered western India, and not a new land.
Interesting data from the life of the discoverer
Of course, there is a lot of unique and very informative information. But in this article, we would like to cite the most entertaining facts as an example.
- When Christopher lived in Seville, he was friends with the genius Amerigo Vespucci.
- King Joan II first denied Columbus the organization of the expedition, but then sent his sailors on a voyage along the route suggested by Christopher. However, due to a strong storm, the Portuguese had to return home with nothing.
- After Columbus was shackled, during the third expedition, he decided to keep chains as a talisman for the rest of his life.
- On the orders of Christopher Columbus for the first time in the history of navigation, Indian sackers were used as sailors' beds.
- It was Columbus who proposed to the Spanish king for economy to settle new lands by criminals.
Historical significance of expeditions
Everything that Christopher Columbus discovered was appreciated only after half a century. Why so late? The thing is that only after this period, from colonized Mexico and Peru began to deliver to the Old World whole galleons, stuffed with gold and silver.
The Spanish royal treasury spent only 10 kg of gold on expedition preparation, and for three hundred years Spain managed to take out of America precious metals, the cost of which was at least 3 million kg of pure gold.
Alas, crazy gold did not go to Spain for good, it did not stimulate the development of industry or economy. And as a result, the country is still hopelessly behind many European countries.
To date, not only numerous ships and ships, cities, rivers and mountains are named after Christopher Columbus, but also, for example, the monetary unit of El Salvador, the state of Colombia, located in South America, and also the famous state in the USA.