How did Christopher Columbus die biography travels and projects

Christopher Columbus

Italian navigator who commanded the expedition that first arrived in America sailing through the Atlantic Ocean. In this article we will let you know about How did Christopher Columbus die?

Birth Genoa, between 1450 and 1451.
Death Valladolid, May 20, 1506.
Occupation Navigator.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator who, with the support of the Catholic kings , Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón, commanded the expedition that for the first time arrived in America sailing through the Atlantic Ocean on an overseas exploration trip.

The possibility of reaching the East by sailing to the West was something that had been discussed in scholarly circles since ancient times. However, it was considered a theoretical possibility because of the rudimentary navigational instruments and the fragility of the ships. Moreover, no one had tried since the Viking adventure 500 years before the start of European overseas explorations.

Christopher Columbus took up these ideas and drew up a project to establish a trade route with India across the Atlantic Ocean, ignoring that, in the process, he would reach a continent unknown to his contemporaries: America.

Enhance your reading: How long ago was the bronze age/stages/civilization/characteristics

Youth and training

No documents have been found that provide reliable information about the early years of Christopher Columbus and the sources of the time that give an account of his life are often contradictory. However, it can be stated that he was born between 1450 and 1451 in Genoa , an important Italian commercial port of the time and that he received the name of Cristoforo Colombo , who later became Christopher Columbus when he settled in Portugal.

His parents were carders or small wool merchants and it is assumed that Columbus began in the family activity, but he soon abandoned it to embark as a cabin boy, that is, an apprentice sailor .

From 1476 to 1485, Columbus lived in Portugal dedicating himself to trade. During that period he made numerous trips. He sailed across the North Atlantic and traveled to England, from where he would have reached Iceland. It is likely that on these trips he learned of the Viking expeditions that had explored the shores of Newfoundland in the 10th century. He also traveled the west coast of Africa .

In Portugal, he married Felipa Monis, a high-class woman through whom he was able to contact people linked to the court. In addition, Felipa’s father had participated in the colonization of the Atlantic islands and, in the family home, numerous documents on navigation were preserved.

There are no records of Columbus receiving a formal education, therefore, that maritime experience and the documents that he inherited from his father-in-law would be the basis of his knowledge about marine currents, winds and navigation, drawing of marine charts and maps, etc.

The Columbus project

In the 15th century , Portugal was at the forefront of overseas explorations. From the court, exploration projects were encouraged in search of routes that would allow the resumption of trade with the East after the fall of the Byzantine Empire . In this context, Christopher Columbus drew up a project that would make it possible to reach Asia by sailing west through the Atlantic Ocean .

The plan was based on several premises, some already demonstrated as the sphericity of the Earth, and others that had important errors: its calculation of the circumference was incorrect, since it had taken as reference an Italian unit of measurement and the dimensions obtained were a 25% smaller than the real ones.

Between 1483 and 1485, Columbus presented his project several times to the King of Portugal, but it was rejected. The Portuguese had been concentrating on exploring the African coasts to reach India via the Indian Ocean and were devoting their resources to that goal. So, in 1486, he decided to present it to the Catholic kings.

The first meetings were not auspicious. The royal council rejected the project several times, and the kings had all the energies put in the conquest of the Moorish kingdom of Granada .

However, during the next 6 years, Columbus was getting adherents among influential figures of the Catholic court while he sought to reestablish his contacts with Portugal and tried to get the project to the King of France.

Finally, before the Portuguese advance in the exploration of new routes, the kings Fernando and Isabel decided to support the expedition and on April 17, 1492 the Capitulations of Santa Fe were signed , which established the conditions of the trip. Among other clauses, this document established that:

  • Columbus would receive the title of Admiral of all the islands and lands that he discovered. This noble title would be hereditary.
  • He would be appointed viceroy governor of all the lands he discovered.
  • I would receive ten percent of the riches found

Enhance your reading: When was the iron age/impact/major findings/end

Christopher Columbus travels

As of the signing of the capitulations, the organization of the expedition began. With the contribution of the residents of Palos de la Frontera, two caravels , La Pinta and La Niña , and one ship, La Santa María , were equipped .

On August 3, 1492 , the expedition departed from the Puerto de Palos. After two months of navigation, on October 12, the ships reached the Antilles .

Columbus kept a navigation diary of this first voyage that is preserved thanks to a summary made by Fray Bartolomé de las Casas. In it, in addition to the navigation data, he recorded his impression of the territory to which he had arrived and its inhabitants.

On March 15, 1493, he returned to Spain with news of the successful exploration and discovery of a series of islands that he assumed were part of Asia.

Christopher Columbus made three more trips. The second (1493-1496), with a colonizing objective , set out with 17 ships and more than 1200 people. Although most were soldiers, they were also religious, farmers, and artisans, taking livestock, tools, and seeds. It was an expedition marked by conflicts with the colonists and by the beginning of the exploitation of the aborigines, which Columbus came to embark to sell as slaves in Europe.

During the third voyage (1498-1500), tensions were even greater and Columbus, accused of mistreating the settlers, was sent prisoner to Spain. However, he was exonerated by the kings and, thus he was able, between 1502 and 1504, to make a last exploration trip in search of dry land.

After this trip, Christopher Columbus no longer participated in new expeditions. The conflicts with other explorers and the criminal proceedings to which he had been subjected were used by the kings to withdraw some of the privileges that had been granted him in the Capitulations of Santa Fe. Retired in Valladolid, he died on May 20, 1506 .

Despite indications that the lands he had discovered were not part of Asia, Columbus refused to accept it and died convinced that he had reached the Indies.

What did Christopher Columbus die of?

The navigator and explorer Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid (Spain) on May 20, 1506, at the age of 55, as a result of a heart attack. According to a study, published in February 2007 by Antonio Rodríguez Cuartero , from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Granada, Colón died of a heart attack caused by Reiter’s syndrome (also known as reactive arthritis). According to his personal diaries and the notes of his contemporaries, the symptoms of this disease (burning when urinating, pain and swelling of the knees, and conjunctivitis in the eyes) were clearly visible in his last three years.

Columbus was surprised by death in the Castilian city of Valladolid. Where he tried to meet with King Ferdinand the Catholic to discuss the results of his latest explorations and negotiate on his privileges reflected in the capitulations of Santa Fe .

As much as they say that Columbus died ruined and in the most absolute poverty it is not true, Columbus died rich, although that wealth was not derived from the gold or spices found in his travels, rather it was based on the rights and privileges accumulated in his years of exploration and conquest. But due to the problems that originated in their governments, the Spanish crown cut back many of these privileges to prevent a power even greater than that of the Peninsula from being created in the Indies. This cut and royal intervention provoked the so-called Columbian Lawsuits that Cristóbal started and his children and grandchildren continued.

His death was the beginning of the last of his travels between Spain and the Indies . First his remains were buried in this Castilian city and then in the monastery of La Cartuja in Seville (Andalusia – Spain), by the will of his son Diego , who inherited the positions of his father and was viceroy, second admiral and governor of La Española Island . Then, in 1542, his remains were transferred to Santo Domingo , in the eastern part of the island in the Caribbean . In 1795, when the French entered Santo Domingo, his remains were transferred to Havana (Cuba) . After the fall of CubaIn North American hands after invading it in the Spanish-American War of 1898, its remains were transferred to the Cathedral of Seville , where they were placed in an elaborate catafalque. However, in 1877 a lead box with an inscription that read “Don Cristóbal Colón” was discovered under the altar of the cathedral of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and contained bone fragments and a bullet.

In order to verify if the relics transferred to Havana were false and the remains of Columbus were buried in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, DNA samples were taken in June 2003. The results were not conclusive. Initial observations suggested that the bones do not appear to belong to someone with the physique or age associated with Columbus. DNA extraction proved difficult and only a few limited fragments of mitochondrial DNA could be isolated. However, these fragments appear to match the DNA of Colón’s brother, supporting the idea that the two had the same mother and that the body lying in Santo Domingo could therefore be that of Colón. Santo Domingo authorities have not allowed the remains to be exhumed, so it is unknown if any of these remains could belong to the body of Columbus. These remains are found in an urn in a beautiful white marble mausoleum called the “Faro de Colón ”of Santo Domingo, a monument commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of the Discovery of America built in 1992.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button