“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to the sight of the shore for a very long time”… This is a quote from the timeless hero Christopher Columbus, who is said to have navigated and discovered so many lands
It was 20th May 1506 that the great navigator left for heavenly Abode when he was just 55years old due to a heart attack.
Well here are few interesting and unknown facts that will bound you to rethink of Columbus as a great person in the History of time.
These facts will make you rethink of him whether he was a hero or a villain or a brave explorer or merely a greedy invader?!
1. Columbus never discovered America
We all may have overlooked the fact that a lot many people already lived in North America in 1942 and the fact is Colombus never set his foot on the shores of America.. In fact, October 12th marks the day of his arrival to the Bahamas.
2. The world already believed the world was round
By 1492, most educated Europeans already believed the earth was round. In fact, it was an idea that had been established by the Ancient Greeks in the 5th Century BC. Contrary to popular myth, Columbus did not set out to prove that the world was round, but rather that it was possible to sail around it, a voyage the explorer drastically underestimated.
3. A Navigator or a Dealer?
Christopher Columbus stood to gain significant wealth and power from his voyage, he negotiated with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. His contract with the monarchs, called The Capitulations of Santa Fe, named Columbus the admiral, viceroy, and governor of any land he discovered. It also stated that Columbus could keep 10 percent of any “merchandise, whether pearls, precious stones, gold, silver, spices and other objects” that he “acquired” within the new territory. Columbus may indeed have had noble intentions when he sailed west, but his agreement with Spain suggests his intentions were far from selfless.
4. Enslaved and Mutilated the Taino (Natives of Hispaniola)
The Taino were well built, Handsome and friendly people whom Columbus met in Hispaniola. Columbus wrote in his diary. “They do not carry arms or know them…They should be good servants.” The natives were soon forced into slavery and punished with the loss of a limb or death if they did not collect enough gold (a portion of which Columbus was allowed to keep for himself). Between the European’s brutal treatment and their infectious diseases, within decades, the Taino population was decimated.
5.Rejected by Several European Countries
After lobbying European Monarchs for decades to bankroll his expensive quest to discover the western sea route to Asia. Columbus tried and successfully got support from the King of Portugal King John II in 1484. Three years later, he appealed to King Henry VII of England and King Charles VIII of France but was once again turned down. He was even rejected initially by Spain in 1486.
Not all bad… He bridged the gap between the old world and the new world.
Despite all the things he did for himself in the name of discovery Unknowingly he bridged a big gap.
In what has become Popular as the Columbian Exchange, Columbus’ voyages enabled the exchange of plants, animals, cultures, ideas (and, yes, disease) between the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Once the Europeans reached nearly all parts of the globe, a new modern age begins, transforming the world forever.
The article has been published by Siddhi Ojha.