3 Facts You May Not Know About Christopher Columbus
By Michelle Carr Crowe
“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” is a rhyme schoolchildren still chant when learning about the famous explorer.
Although it’s no longer politically correct to truly celebrate Christopher Columbus Day, the holiday is still an official federal day off.
Here are 3 Facts You May Not Know About Christopher Columbus.
1. While Christopher Columbus is credited as a discoverer of “the Americas” he actually never made it to America, as in North America. He landed in Central and South America. Columbus discovered, visited and sometimes conquered the lands of Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Margarita, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Panama, Jamaica and Cuba.
2. Columbus’ explorations were considered a failure at the time. Not only because he failed to find a new trade route to Asia but because he did not bring back the treasures promised, namely gold, silk and spices. The only time he found gold was in Panama, but the Panamanians forced him to leave the country.
3. The explorer’s other mission was to spread Christianity (Catholicism). While this may seem to be a minor footnote today, at the time it was a huge and important goal. In fact, had the formerly Orthodox Christian city of Constantinople not fallen to the Muslims, (and closed this important trade route from Europe to the East) it’s unlikely Queen Isabella would have financed Columbus’ voyages at all. Europe was seeking a new route to enable merchants to purchase trade goods directly from Asian suppliers, as opposed to through Muslim middlemen.
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