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Learn about the dark side of Christopher Columbus’ new world

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Many books from different parts of the world discuss Christopher Columbus‘s voyage as being daring enough to discover a new world. They consider this to be an American event, although it occurs in other countries connected to the Americas.

A study of history and its documents reveals a more complex picture of his personality. In addition, analysis of this material reveals a dark side to his missions.

Did the Italian traveler Columbus bravely discover new lands, or was he a greedy conqueror? How did the indigenous peoples of these areas deal with Columbus? What changes did Columbus’s voyages bring to the world?

About Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. However, not much is known about his early years due to a lack of historical records. It is known that he was a sailor and merchants. He was also interested in finding a route to China, India, and the Spice Islands through Asia.

Egypt controlled the only known sea route to Asia. The Ottoman Empire controlled all overland routes, and Europeans knew no other direct route.

The Earth is often presented as flat in myths and movies. In fact, educated people knew that the Earth was spherical before the time of Columbus. However, Columbus was not looking to prove that the Earth is spherical. He wanted to prove that it was possible to circumnavigate the Earth without stopping. At the time, Italian sailors cruising the seas didn’t think it would take so long or so far from home. Instead, they believed the Earth was smaller than it actually is and knew of no other oceans besides the Mediterranean.

Columbus tried to persuade the kings of Europe to finance his voyage to Asia by sea. For nearly 10 years, in 1484 he tried to persuade the King of Portugal to support him. However, a Portuguese advisor informed the king that Columbus did not understand how long his voyage would take, and he unsuccessfully approached King Charles VIII of France and King Henry VII of England. Likewise, he lost to the Spanish kings Isabella and Ferdinand in financing his endeavours in 1486. ​​However, they agreed to fund his expedition in 1492 after he appealed to them.

A painting depicting the reception of Christopher Columbus at the Spanish royal court in Barcelona after his return from his first expedition
A painting depicting the reception of Christopher Columbus at the Spanish royal court in Barcelona after his return from his first expedition

Ferdinand and Isabella give Columbus a contract that gives him the titles of “governor general” and “naval admiral” for any land he discovers. She stated that Columbus could keep 10% of any wealth found in newly discovered lands, including gold, silver, precious stones, and more.

Christopher Columbus was a businessman when he sailed west to discover a new world. His dealings with the Spanish kings show that he was interested in making money from his discoveries.

New world

Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos harbor on August 3, 1492, in a voyage of three small ships. He reached one of the Bahamas, most likely San Salvador, on October 12. Later that month, he saw the island of Cuba. At that time Stone believed that Cuba was mainland China.

Many continued to believe it until Columbus’ expedition got there in December when he visited Haiti in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic the year after his voyage. Columbus thought these were Japanese islands, set up his colony of 39 men, then returned to Spain with his men and were welcomed to as a hero.

Many people believe that Christopher Columbus never reached North America; Instead, he made three trips to the New World, reaching several islands in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and South and Central America.

Christopher Columbus did not realize the scale of his accomplishments before his death in Spain in 1506. His discovery of a European colonial world led to the exploitation of vast monetary wealth and the subsequent control of the world by Spain. This event led to decades of slavery across the Atlantic and the deaths of millions of Native Americans.

Christopher Columbus proved to the world that he had discovered a new world when he died in 1506 in Spain. Before his death, Columbus dreamed of harnessing the power of his new land for the benefit of Europe. However, he never realized how much it would affect the future of the Americas and the transatlantic slave trade. As a result, Spain became one of the most powerful countries in the world for decades to come.

Painting depicting Columbus' arrival in the Bahamas
A painting depicting the arrival of Columbus to one of the Bahamas, which was probably the island of San Salvador

Ruined legacy

Columbus spent months searching for the valuable treasures promised to his Spanish patrons during his first voyage. However, he did not find many useful items.

He returned to Spain in January of 1493, leaving behind a small number of men on the island of Hispaniola.

Columbus recorded his first-hand experiences during his voyage. His writings included information on weather patterns, the behaviors of the animals and birds he observed, as well as the temperaments of his men. However, Columbus also indicated that the indigenous tribes living in the land should be enslaved knowing that they were of a peaceful nature.

Strangers gave us parrots, cotton balls, spears, and many other things in exchange for glass beads. They exchanged everything they owned and voluntarily exchanged anything else they wished for. They have strong bodies, attractive features, and have no knowledge of the sword you gave. If they pray and wound themselves out of their ignorance, we can make them good servants. I can persuade fifty men to help me control them and force them to do what I want.

After Columbus returned to the Americas six months later, he asked his brothers Bartolomeo and Diego Columbus to rebuild the Hispaniola colony after finding it destroyed. Some of his men and hundreds of natives enslaved by Columbus helped them rebuild the colony.

In the exploration of precious metals, he continued his research westward. With him he took many members of the indigenous tribes into bondage. When he found nothing of value, he handed over to Queen Isabella 500 Indians he had enslaved.

Painting depicting Spanish settlers enslaving the Native Americans
Painting depicting Spanish settlers enslaving the Native Americans

The queen was very disappointed in Columbus because she considered the citizens of the land to be subjects of the Spanish crown. She believed that these people could easily be converted to Christianity and reprimanded him for violating her orders. After that, she ordered the prisoners to be released and returned to their country of origin.

Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic Ocean for the third time in 1498. This voyage took him to mainland South America, where he found Trinidad before returning to the colony of Hispaniola to find that its original inhabitants had turned against its rulers due to mismanagement, which prompted the Spanish authorities to send a new ruler to the colony .

Columbus forced the inhabitants of the “Tiano” to search for gold and agriculture, and within 60 years, there were only a few hundred indigenous people left, after numbering a quarter of a million people.

Many historical references mention the crimes committed by Columbus and his men against the natives. This includes kidnapping and enslaving people, raping women and forcing children to collect gold or cotton. They also forced people over the age of 14 to work, leading to mass suicides by indigenous peoples and mistreatment of Europeans under their rule.

In 1500, a member of the Spanish Expedition was arrested and forced to return to Spain in chains after Queen Isabella sent a diplomat to the island of Hispaniola to investigate accusations of tyranny, mismanagement, and atrocities allegedly committed by the Columbus brothers.

By 1502, the Spanish crown had removed most of the charges against Christopher Columbus that could be considered serious. Although he was stripped of his previous titles. Columbus was able to secure approval to finance his last transatlantic voyage after persuading them to do so.

Sail to Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. All the way to Panama, just kilometers from the Pacific Ocean. However, he had to abandon two of his four ships after they were damaged. When he returned to Spain for the last time, he returned with nothing but empty hands. Then he died in 1506.

Aboriginal Day

Many people believe that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America; However, many academics argue that he was not the first European to set foot on the continent. Instead, these individuals believe he deserves no honor for his alleged “discovery” of America. In fact, many countries in the Americas celebrate October 12 as Columbus Day for discovering the world America. This holiday is considered a national holiday in the United States. Yet a large number of Americans have created campaigns on social media to change and rewrite this history.

Columbus’ rule over the Native Americans and settlers caused a great deal of controversy due to his misrule. Several studies indicate that the Vikings colonized northern Europe between the eighth and eleventh centuries AD, and they were the first to cross the Atlantic.

Encouraged by many to do so, many American cities and states changed the name Columbus Day to Aboriginal Day. This was done because people thought it inappropriate to celebrate Columbus Day. Joe Biden was the first US president to officially celebrate Aboriginal Day last year.

Many Columbus statues have been defaced or removed in protests by Black Lives Matter activists and others against colonial symbols and the slave trade.

Columbus’ voyages led to many cultural, biological, and social exchanges between the eastern and western hemispheres. In addition, they introduced new diseases to the New World that wiped out many Native American tribes. As soon as Europeans gained access to all parts of the planet, a new era began that changed the face of the world forever. Perhaps from this point of view, his travels may have led to a “new world”.

You can find out more about Christopher Columbus through Wikipedia of this topic “Christopher Columbus“.

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