Why did columbus travel to america

October 12, 1492

Through the works of Miguel León-Portilla, Edmundo O’Gorman and Federico Navarrete we can glimpse historiographic paradigms that differ from the Eurocentric, traditional and conventionalist views.

This led to the fact that in 1492 the Genoese navigator Christopher Columbus left Europe with three ships and a crew of about a hundred men in search of India. This voyage was made with the economic investment of Isabella of Castile, some members of the nobility, merchants and magnates.

Thus, on October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in what we know today as America when he found the Antilles and disembarked on the island of Guanahaní, which he named San Salvador (he later arrived in the current territories of Santo Domingo and Cuba).

In Visión de los vencidos (1959), Miguel León-Portilla includes an expression that offers a thought-provoking perspective on the way in which this moment in history is narrated and explained. It is the term “encounter of two worlds”.

How many voyages did Christopher Columbus make?

The discovery of America was the name given by Europeans to the arrival for the first time to the American continent of a European expedition under the command of Christopher Columbus, on October 12, 1492.

Although since the beginning of the 15th century the Kingdom of Portugal had been exploring the Atlantic Ocean, navigation was done following the coasts because the navigation conditions of the Atlantic Ocean were unknown and there was no technology (ships and navigational instruments) that would allow such an uncertain voyage.

But with the closure of trade routes to the East due to the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Turks and thanks to new inventions, the Genoese navigator, Christopher Columbus, raised the possibility of reaching the East by sailing westward across the Atlantic Ocean and presented this proposal to King Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs.

In April 1492, the kings accepted this proposal and signed the Capitulations of Santa Fe. This document established that they would finance the voyage of exploration and that Columbus would receive the title of admiral, as well as that of viceroy and governor of the lands he found. He would also receive 10% of the riches obtained.

First voyage of Christopher Columbus summary

Where Columbus actually arrived that October day was an island he called San Salvador, which is now part of the Bahamas. Columbus believed he had found a new route to India, and he described the people he met as “Indians”. Nevertheless, his momentous discovery began the European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

Many localities, including the city of Berkeley, California, have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day to honor the original inhabitants of the islands where Columbus landed. The state of South Dakota changed the name to American Indian Day, while the state of Alabama celebrates a mix of Columbus Day and American Indian Heritage Day. The state of Hawaii calls it Discovery Day.

In what year did Christopher Columbus arrive in America?

Arriving at the Venezuelan coast, Columbus crossed the Gulf of Paria and was impressed by the mild climate and the great current of fresh water that indicated the presence of the imposing Orinoco River. He thought he was close to paradise on earth, which he enthusiastically captured in his account of this third voyage. But he had not reached paradise, but the American continent.

“I believe that this is a great continent, unknown until today, since a great quantity of fresh water flows from it, and on the other hand, Estras says in his book that on earth there are six parts of dry land for one of water”. Medieval and modern spirit, evidently, for [Columbus] joins Scripture with observation. But he does not draw from this the logical conclusion that he is not in the Asian Indies, neither near the Cipango [Japan] nor near the Cathay [China]. On the contrary, he thinks that that new continent is very close to China, and that what must now be found is the passage, very close, that leads to the islands of spices, which cannot be far away. As can be seen, the real importance of his discovery will always remain hidden to him, who, although he is a modern man for his audacity in his enterprises and for the precision of his observations, his spirit will never be free enough to tear him away from the medieval routine taken from his readings”. (Verlinden and Pérez-Embid)

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Categorías America