Christopher Columbus

Although Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas in 1492, we now know that humans had been there long before him; his true accomplishment opened the way for further exploration of the New World.

Christopher Columbus sighted a Bahamian island on October 12, 1492, assuming he had reached East Asia after crossing the Atlantic Ocean. His voyage landed the same day and claimed the territory for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain. They funded his search for a western ocean passage to China, India, and Asia’s legendary gold and spice islands.

Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. His early life is unknown, although he was a seaman and eventually a marine entrepreneur. He grew fixated on the prospect of establishing a western sea passage to Cathay (China), India, and Asia’s gold and spice islands. At the period, Europeans had no direct maritime route to southern Asia, and the route via Egypt and the Red Sea, as well as numerous land routes, were closed to them by the Ottoman Empire.

As demonstrated by Saint Isidore in the seventh century, contrary to common belief, educated Europeans throughout the time of Christopher Columbus believed that the globe was round. However, Columbus and most of his contemporaries overestimated the extent of the planet, assuming that East Asia must be roughly where North America stands on the globe (they did not yet know that the Pacific Ocean existed).

Columbus believed that only the Atlantic Ocean separated Europe from the wealth of the East Indies. Therefore he visited King John II of Portugal to gain support for his “Enterprise of the Indies” plan. He was rejected and travelled to Spain, where he was rejected by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella at least twice. However, the Spanish rulers consented to finance his expedition after the Spanish conquest of the Moorish state of Granada in January 1492.

Columbus set off from Palos, Spain, on August 3, 1492, with three tiny ships: the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina. The expedition reached shore on October 12, most likely Watling Island in the Bahamas. Later in the month, Columbus spotted Cuba, which he mistook for China, and in December, the crew landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus believed was Japan. There, he founded a tiny colony with 39 of his soldiers. In March 1493, the adventurer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and “Indian” captives. The Spanish court accorded him the greatest honours. Since the Vikings founded settlements in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century, he was the first European to explore the Americas.

Columbus undertook four journeys to the “New World” during his lifetime, exploring numerous The Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South and Central American continents. Still, he never achieved his initial objective: a western ocean route to Asia’s major cities. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without appreciating the magnitude of his accomplishments: he had found the New World for Europe, whose riches over the following century would help create Spain, the world’s most prosperous and powerful nation. In addition, he unleashed centuries of horrific colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade, and the murder and sickness of millions of Native Americans.

In 1492, Columbus was said to have sailed the ocean blue. But what exactly did he discover?Christopher Columbus, sometimes known as Cristóbal Colón, was an Italian explorer who “discovered” the Americas. The goal of his trips was to locate a westward entrance to Asia. His expeditions focused mostly on the Caribbean and portions of Central and South America, which indigenous peoples already populated.

Name: Christopher Columbus

Birth/Death: 1451 – 1506

Nationality: Italian

Birthplace: Genoa, Italy

Early Life Biography of Christopher Columbus

In 1451, Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, present-day Italy. Dominico Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa are his parents. He had three brothers, Bartholomew, Giovanni, and Giacomo, and a sister named Bianchinetta. Christopher served as an apprentice at his father’s wool-weaving company but also learned cartography and sailing. He finally left his father’s company to sail on the Mediterranean Sea with the Genoese fleet. 1 After one of his ships sank off the coast of Portugal; he chose to stay there with his younger brother Bartholomew and work as a cartographer and bookseller. Here, he wed Doa Felipa Perestrello e Moniz and fathered Diego and Fernando.

Christopher Columbus held a copy of the classic book by Marco Polo, which inspired his passion for discovery. Midway through the 15th century, Portugal desperately sought a speedier commercial route to Asia. Spices, ivory, silk, and precious stones were prominent commodities of commerce. To reach Asia, Europeans frequently had to go through the Middle East. During this historical period, Muslim nations placed heavy fees on Europeans travelling through their territory. This made travelling to Asia complicated and expensive.

According to tales from other sailors, it was possible to reach Asia by sailing west. Christopher Columbus decided to attempt this innovative voyage after hearing this. First, he needed ships and supplies but lacked the necessary funds. He approached King John of Portugal, who rejected him. He then approached the English and French kings. Each applicant was denied money. He was ultimately sponsored by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain after seven years of seeking.

Voyages Principal Voyage of Columbus

In August 1492, Columbus set off with 87 men on three ships: the Nia, the Pinta, and the Santa Mara. Columbus commanded the Santa Mara, while Vicente Yanez Pinzon and Martin Pinta commanded the Nia and the Pinta. This was his first journey of four. From Spain, he travelled west across the Atlantic Ocean. On October 12, the crew spotted land. He named the first island where he arrived San Salvador, even though the natives called it Guanahani.

Columbus mistook the Caribbean for Asia while he was in the Caribbean. He also said that Cuba was an integral part of China. He referred to the natives as “Indians” since he felt he was in the Caribbean. In his letters to Spain, he detailed the terrain and his interactions with the inhabitants. He cruised around the Caribbean, naming several islands after his ship, king, and queen: Santa Mara de Concepción Island, Fernandina Island, and Isabella Island.

It isn’t easy to establish which islands Columbus visited on this journey. His descriptions of the native peoples, topography, and flora provide hints. We do know that he stopped in Haiti today. He gave Hispaniola its name. Hispaniola consists of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic at now. In January 1493, Columbus returned to Europe to report his findings. Unfortunate for Columbus, he was forced to land in Portugal due to the high seas.

During this time of poor ties between Spain and Portugal, Ferdinand and Isabella thought that Columbus, who had stayed in Portugal for several years, was transporting crucial information or maybe merchandise there. Later, those who opposed Columbus would use this as an argument against him. Columbus was eventually permitted to return to Spain with tobacco, turkey, and several new spices. He also brought numerous island residents with whom Queen Isabella developed a deep affection.

Subsequent Voyages

Columbus made three such excursions to this region. His second expedition, in 1493, was accompanied by a vast fleet to establish colonies and conquer the native inhabitants. At one time, the Indians assaulted and murdered the remaining Fort Navidad Europeans. Over time, the colonists enslaved many indigenous people, shipping some to Europe and employing the majority to mine gold for the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean.

The purpose of the third journey was to explore further islands and mainland South America. Columbus was designated governor of Hispaniola, but colonists dissatisfied with his administration appealed to the Spanish monarchs, who sent Francisco de Bobadilla as a replacement. Columbus was taken prisoner and sent to Spain aboard a ship.

On his fourth and final voyage west in 1502, Columbus sought to locate the “Strait of Malacca” in an attempt to reach India. However, a hurricane, the denial of entry to Hispaniola, and another storm made this a terrible journey. Due to the severe damage to his ship, he and his crew were stuck in Jamaica for two years before receiving assistance from Hispaniola. In 1504, Christopher Columbus and his troops were returned to Spain.

The Final Years and Death

In November 1504, Columbus reached Spain. He was ailing in health. He spent a significant portion of his latter years writing letters requesting the portion of fortune owed to him and attempting to regain his governorship but was repeatedly refused both. Columbus died of disease and old age in Valladolid on May 20, 1506. He was convinced till his death that he had visited the eastern portion of Asia.


Christopher Columbus never reached Asia, nor did he genuinely find the Americas. However, his “rediscovery” prompted a new age of European exploration of the American continents. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was that his expeditions facilitated trade between Europe and the Americas during and long after his travels. There is no doubt that his journeys altered Europe and America, despite current criticism of his treatment of indigenous peoples. In 1971, Columbus Day became a federal holiday. The holiday is observed on the second Monday of October.

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