Christopher Columbus


Christopher Columbus was a famous European explorer who discovered the American continent. He completed three voyages across the Atlantic Ocean which were financed by Spain’s monarchs. His trips brought about the Age of Discovery which continued for several centuries and resulted in the creation of the New World.

Christopher Columbus Praying.

Early Life of Columbus

Columbus was born in Genoa to Domenico Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa. His father was a wool weaver. During his teenage years, Columbus joined a merchant ship. He worked there till 1470 and gained important seafaring experience.

Columbus studied mathematics, astronomy, navigation, and cartography in Lisbon. In 1473, he became the business manager of Centurione, Di Negro, and Spinola families. He married Filipa Moniz, and they eventually had a son named Diego.

A Sea Route to Asia

Europe had a very profitable relationship with the Byzantine Empire. They gained easy access to the vast Asian market and were able to export various exotic items. But the fall of the Empire led to huge issues, and Europe started looking for alternative routes.

Columbus believed that by traveling west, they could reach Asia much faster. He presented this idea in 1484 to King Joao who rejected it. Columbus then took his proposal to Ferdinand II and Isabella I. Although both of them were interested in the plan, although they were too busy at that time. Later after conquering Grenada, they funded Columbus’s First Voyage.

Discovery of North America

During his first Voyage, Columbus discovered the Americas. He set out on August 3rd, 1492 and was awarded three ships. The first piece of land was found on October 12th and was named San Salvador. Columbus thought that this island was part of Asia and therefore called the native Indians.

He formed a good relationship with them and continued his adventure. Columbus also explored Cuba, Hispaniola. On 25th December he lost Santa Maria and left thirty-nine of his men behind who formed the first European settlement named La Navidad.

During his first Voyage, Columbus discovered the Americas

Return to Spain and later Voyages

Columbus returned to Spain in March 1943 and was given the welcome of a hero. In September 1943, he set out on the second expedition and was given the task of establishing permanent residence in the New World.

The Santo Domingo city was created, and Columbus became its governor. He returned to Spain in March 1946. In May 1948, the third voyage took place, Columbus explored South America in this trip. The last voyage took place in May 1502. Columbus explored Central America, the Caribbean, and Jamaica. He returned to Spain in 1504.

Later Life and Death

In his later life, Columbus wrote two books, A Book of Privileges, which mentioned the rewards he received from the Spanish Crown and The Book of Prophecies in which he pointed how his voyages were a fulfillment of biblical prophecies.

The Spanish Crown had promised Columbus 10% of all trades done in the New World. However, they refused to fulfill it. This resulted in a series of legal battles known as Columbian Lawsuits. Columbus died on May 20th, 1506.