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Christopher Colombus The Age of Exploration Early Life • Born in Genoa, Italy. • Joined the crew of a ship at 13 yrs old and spent next years at sea. • Heard of the wealth in India & China and wanted to trade with them. • Discovered an old Greek map which convinced him that the earth was round. Finding Finance • He needed finance to put together an expedition to reach the Spice Islands by sailing west. • The king of Portugal refused to sponsor him. • He then looked to Spain. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to pay for the mission after he promised to help them conquer the wealth of India & convert people to Christianity. Setting Sail • Colombus sailed west in 1492 from Palos, Spain with 3 ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. • He had 90 sailors onboard some as young as 12. • Food included salted meat, ship’s biscuits, dried fish, garlic, beans, rice and local wine. The Voyage • Columbus didn’t realise how big the world actually was and thought the journey should take 2 weeks. • They travelled about 150 miles a day. • Sailors spent 30 days at sea without seeing land and became frightened. • The crew wanted to turn back. Logs • Columbus kept 2 logs • A false version to convince the crew of how far they had travelled • And a secret one that showed the real distance. Land Ahoy! • The Pinta was the first to spot land and fired the warning cannon shot. • They discovered a small island. • Columbus called it San Salvador (Holy Saviour). • He was convinced they had reached Asia and called the local people ‘Indians’. • Historians disagree about which island he visited first. The top guess is Watling Island. The Search • Columbus spent the next 3 months searching for the Indian mainland. • He hoped to find rich cities and grealt wealth. • He found several islands includig Cuba & Hispaniola. • Bitterly disappointed, Columbus returned to Spain without finding India. He left a small force of soldiers on Hispaniola to look after the area. Hero’s Welcome • On his return Ferdinand and Isabella treated him as a hero. • He brought 6 indians, various plants and some parots to show them. • On his next voyage they gave him 17 ships and 1,200 men Columbus’s later voyages • When Columbus returned to Hispaniola the group left were all dead. The fort was destroyed and place covered with rotting corpses. • He set up a 2nd fort close to a swamp. Most of the men got malaria & died.He tried to force the Indians to give him gold or their hands were cut off. But they didn’t have enough because there were no mines on the island. • Instead he brought back 500 Indians to Spain as slaves in order to pay for the expedition. Later years • Columbus made 2 more voyages, exploring Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the coast of South America. • He had become unpopular in Spain. • He hadn’t brought back any silk or spices and little gold. • By 1500 most people realised he hadn’t discovered a new route to India. • Ferdinand & Isabella took away his right to be governor of Hispaniola. • He died a disappointed man in 1506.