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Columbus (Colombo - Italian, Colon - Spanish, Columbus - Lat.) Christopher, born August 25, 1451 in Genoa (Italy), died May 20, 1506 in Valladolid (Spain), navigator. During the first of them, America was discovered (10/12/1492).
Columbus was born into a poor family. Indeed, his family was not rich, but this did not prevent Columbus from getting a good education - according to some sources, he graduated from the University of Pavia. The marriage to Dona Felipe Moniz de Palestrello most likely played a significant role, since her father was a famous navigator during the time of Prince Enrique.
The traveler who gave the world the New World died without knowing that he had found the wrong continent that he was looking for. In those days, it was suggested that in order to get to India, China or Japan, one had to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. The entire expedition of Columbus was organized precisely to open a new direct route to the Far East. Geographer Paolo Toscanelli calculated that it was necessary to swim 5,600 km to reach the coast, which coincided with the calculations of Columbus. As a result, having discovered the New World during his first trip, Columbus believed to the last that he had landed on the border of China.
Columbus did not take long to equip his first expedition. This is not true. From the moment he conceived the expedition, it took a long time to equip it. Until 1485, Columbus served on the Genoese and Portuguese ships, visited Ireland, England, Madeira. At this time, in addition to trading, he was intensively engaged in self-education. He carried on extensive correspondence with famous scientists and cartographers of that time, drew maps, studied shipping routes. Most likely, it was in those years that the idea came to him to get to India by the western route. Presumably in the period from 1475-1480. (no exact data) he sent the first proposal to the merchants and the government of Genoa. He had a lot of such letters to write, for about 10 years he received only rejections. Moreover, having been wrecked off the coast of Portugal, he tried for a long time to persuade the Portuguese king and only after a few lost years went to Spain. As a result, he was able to go on the first expedition only in 1492, thanks to the support of the Spanish queen Isabella.
The return of Columbus from the first expedition exacerbated the political situation. When Columbus returned in 1493, discovering new lands, this message excited the minds and exacerbated the situation between Spain and Portugal. Until that time, Portugal was the main discoverer of all new routes to Africa. She was given all the lands south of the Canary Islands. But the Spanish king Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were not going to give the rights to Spain to the newly discovered lands, and therefore they turned to Pope Alexander VI. The Pope decided that 600 km west of the Azores, a vertical line should be drawn on the map (the so-called papal meridian), to the east of which all lands would belong to Portugal, and to the west - to Spain. However, the Portuguese king did not agree with this decision, since in this case the Portuguese ships could not sail south and east without entering Spanish territory. As a result, the Spaniards made concessions and pushed the vertical line 1600 km to the west. Spain could not even imagine how fatal this decision would be. Literally 7 years later, in 1500, the Portuguese navigator Pedro Cabral, sailing to India, stumbled upon a land not indicated on the map. As it turned out, the line drawn on the map cut off this piece in favor of Portugal, which immediately claimed its rights. As a result, even before America was recognized as a new continent, the future Brazil became part of Portugal.
Thanks to Columbus, the local people began to be called Indians. Recall that Columbus was looking for India and when he reached the Bahamas, he was completely sure that he had found it. Therefore, he began to call the local residents Indians. This name has stuck with the indigenous people to this day.
Columbus managed to equip the second expedition thanks to bragging. Nobody can confirm this for certain. But it is known that on his return to Barcelona, Columbus did brag about his achievements. Moreover, he repeatedly demonstrated gold jewelry obtained from local tribes, while talking about the riches of the Indian land. His vanity sometimes lifted him so high that he began to speculate about future negotiations with the Great Khan. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the king and queen of Spain could have succumbed to the speeches of Columbus. In any case, they very quickly, with the support of the Pope, organized a second expedition (from 1493 to 1496).
Columbus was a pirate. This is a very controversial proposition. However, there are some facts that characterize not the best features. In his reports from the second expedition, he asks to send from Spain ships with cattle, supplies, tools. He further writes: "The payment ... can be made by slaves from among the cannibals, cruel people ... well-built and very smart." This means that he caught the locals for Spain as slaves. In fact, all his activities on the new lands were reduced to robbery and robbery, which is typical of pirates, although it cannot be denied that this may be a consequence of the upbringing of the era. Of course, you can blame Columbus for all the further troubles of the American continent, but this is unlikely to be fair. No one is obliged to answer for the sins of others.
Columbus had a monopoly on all open lands. Indeed, upon arrival from the first expedition, Columbus (Donn Cristoval Colon) was awarded the title of Admiral of the Sea - Ocean, Viceroy and Governor of the islands discovered in India. His monopoly was unquestioning until, after the second expedition, it became clear that the new territories were too vast and one person was not able to rule them. In 1499, the kings abolished Columbus' monopoly on the discovery of new lands. This was primarily due to the fact that in 1498 the Portuguese Vasco da Gama sailed by sea to the present India and began trade relations with it. Against the background of his achievements, Columbus, with his complicated situation, small treasury profits and conflicts in new territories, seemed a liar. In an instant, he lost all the privileges he had won.
Christopher Columbus has gloriously completed all three of his expeditions. The first expedition brought glory to Columbus. The second, for which 17 ships were allocated, brought doubts about the wealth of the open lands. The third expedition was fatal for Columbus. During it, he lost all rights to land. Francisco Bobadilla, sent to Hispaniola with unlimited powers, arrested the admiral and his brothers Bartalomeo and Diego. They were shackled. Columbus was shackled by his own cook. They were planted at Sandoming Fortress. Columbus was accused of "hard-heartedness and inability to rule the country." Two months later, they were sent to Spain in shackles. Only two years later, the kings dropped the charges against Columbus. He was awarded 2,000 gold pieces, but the promise to return his property and money was not fulfilled.
Christopher Columbus was buried with honors. Columbus returned from the fourth expedition seriously ill. He still hoped to defend his rights, but with the death of his patroness, Queen Isabella, this hope faded. At the end of his life, he needed money. In 1505, an order was given for the sale of all movable and immovable property of Columbus in Hispaniola to pay off creditors. On May 20, 1506, the great navigator passed away. Nobody noticed his death. His discoveries were almost forgotten amid the conquests of the Portuguese. His death was recorded only 27 years later. At the end of his life, all his dreams of wealth, gold mined and honors failed completely ...