"...I promise, that with a little assistance afforded me by our most invincible sovereigns, I will procure castle as much gold together they need, as good a amount of spices, the cotton,...and as numerous men because that the company of the navy as their Majesties might require."

Exploration and settlement the the united States started in the late fifteenth century together a direct outcome of occasions in Europe, the center East, and also Africa. One of the most significant reasons was the campaigns (1099–1272), an not successful Christian project to recapture the divine Land (a an ar in the center East consisting of parts of modern-day Israel, Jordan, and Egypt; today recognized as Palestine) from the Muslims (followers of the Islamic religion).

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During 4 hundred years of interaction with center Eastern societies Europeans to be able come make significant advances in exploration based upon information the Muslims provided. Because that instance, European civilizations drafted more accurate maps the the known world, developed swifter ships, and also charted sea routes by observing the Sun. Another important advance was the exploration of luxury products such together silks and spices that come from China and the eastern Indies (India and nearby lands and also islands in the much East), which created a prospering market in Europe.

Motivated by greed, adventurers were willing to take dangers to search for trade paths to previously unknown lands. Atthat time the only means for europe to reach the Far eastern was to sail south along the western coast of Africa and also then east into the Indian Ocean. The most straight route was through the Mediterranean Sea, but the eastern finish of the waterway was regulated by Turkey, a Muslim enemy of the Europeans. Portugal to be the first country come send explorers eastward. Financed by merchants, lock traveled down the African coast in find of gold and ivory. The Portuguese additionally became associated in the little but lucrative business of to buy African servants from Muslim traders. Quickly Spain gotten in into competition through Portugal to find the finest trade routes. The Spanish were the principal defenders of roman Catholicism throughout the world, and also they seized the possibility to acquire converts to Christianity in the newly overcame lands. (Roman Catholicism is a branch the Christianity that is based in Rome, Italy, and also headed through a pope who is taken into consideration infallible.) therefore the stage was set for the discovery of the new World (the european term because that North America and South America) through Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (1451–1506).

Born in Genoa, Italy, Columbus began his career as a sailor on seller and war ships in the Mediterranean. In 1476 he checked out Lisbon, Portugal, wherein he learned mathematics and also astronomy (study that the stars), topics that were crucial for navigation. The made number of voyages, consisting of one to Iceland (an island in between the phibìc Atlantic and Arctic Oceans) with various other explorers. In the at an early stage 1480s Columbus seek a sponsor because that his very own voyage the exploration. He want to prove his concept that China and the east Indies could be reached more easily by sailing west across the Atlantic ocean than by going roughly Africa to the Indian Ocean. If the succeeded, that would also confirm a long-held European id that the people was round. Education Europeans the the fifteenth century knew the earth was a sphere, yet no one had yet figured out its size. Columbus likewise contended that by taking the Atlantic route, he could make precise measurement that the distance between Europe and also China.

For number of years Columbus had failed in his attempts come enlist the king of Portugal in this quest, primarily because Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias (c.1450–1500) had found the sea passage from Europe to India, which was taken into consideration the best route at the time. No to be discouraged, Columbusdecided to shot his lucky in Spain. He an initial met through Queen Isabella ns (1451–1504) in 1486, but it wasn"t till April 1492, that Isabella and also her husband, King Ferdinand V (1452–1516) agreed come finance an expedition. As component of the deal, Columbus would certainly be named admiral, come to be governor of any territory the discovered, and also receive a re-superstructure of any kind of riches the found.

On respectable 3, 1492, Columbus set sail indigenous Cadiz, Spain, with three ships—the Santa Maria (with Columbus together captain), the Niña, and also the Pinta. Initially, the expedition made fast progress. Through October 10, however, the crew had turned mutinous (rebellious) because they had actually not watched land for months. Luckily because that Columbus, 2 days later on they spotted a small island in the present-day Bahamas (a group of islands southern of Florida). ~ going ashore Columbus spent several weeks conference the aboriginal peoples and exploring the islands. On December 25, 1492, he created the very first European negotiation in the Americas. Called La Navidad ("the birth"; in commemoration of being founded on Christmas Day), it stood on the site of contemporary Limonade-Bord-de-Mer, Haiti. Columbus returned to Spain in early on 1493, leaving twenty-two males at La Navidad. He created the report top top his triumphant voyage on march 14, 1493.

Things come Remember While analysis "Christopher Columbus Reports come Ferdinand and also Isabella":

Columbus"s trip was greatly expensive, and also he was intended to find riches that would certainly bring great profits because that the Spanish monarchs and merchants. In his report he take it every advantage to make a instance for returning automatically to Hispaniola. For instance, that made extravagant assures of bringing earlier gold, cotton, spices, drugs, and even navy recruits indigenous future trips to the brand-new World.Columbus stated that the indigenous Americans, "like idiots," traded an useful commodities such as gold and also cotton for plain European-made items. Keep in mind the although Columbus conveniently prohibited "unjust" trading in between his men and the aboriginal Americans, he to be not encouraged by great will towards the "Indians." instead he want to cast the Spanish in the best light and also encourage friendly relationships that would work to Spain"s advantage. The was additionally preparing the way for roman inn Catholic missionaries, do it easier for castle to transform the native peoples come Christianity.

"Christopher Columbus Reports come Ferdinand and also Isabella"

First Voyage, 1492–1493

Knowing the it will afford you pleasure to learn that ns have carried in undertaking come a successful termination, ns have chose upon composing you this letter to acquaint you through all the occasions which have arisen in mine voyage, and also the discoveries which have resultedfrom it. Thirty-three days after my departure from Cadiz I got to the Indian sea, wherein I discovered countless islands, thickly peopled, of which ns took possession without resistance in the surname of our most illustrious Monarch, by public proclamation and withunfurled banners. To the very first of this islands, which is dubbed by the ind Guanahani, I offered the surname of the blessed Saviour (San Salvador), relying upon whose protection I had actually reached this and the other islands; to each of this I likewise gave a name, ordering the one should be referred to as Santa Maria de la Concepcion, an additional Fernandina, the third Isabella, the fourth Juana, and also so v all the rest respectively. As shortly as we arrived on that, which as I have said was called Juana, i proceeded along its coast a short distance westward, and also found that to it is in so huge and supposedly without termination, that I might not expect it to be an island, yet the continental province of Cathay . Seeing, however, no towns or populous places on the sea coast, yet only a few detached houses and cottages, with whose residents I was unable to communicate, because they fled as shortly as they saw us, ns went more on, thinking that in my development I should certainly find some city or village. . . . I later on dispatched two of our guys to ascertain even if it is there were a king or any type of cities in the province. These menreconnoitred the country for 3 days, and also found a most countless population, and good numbers the houses, though small, and also built without any regard to order: with which info they returned to us. In the average time I had actually learned from part Indians who I had seized, that that nation was definitely an island: and therefore I cruised towards the east, coasting come the distance of three hundred and also twenty-two miles, which lugged us to the extreme of it; native this point I experienced lying eastwards another island, fifty-four miles far-off from Juana, to which I provided the name of Española : . . . In the island additionally which i have prior to said we called Española, there are hills of very great size and also beauty, huge plains, groves, and very fruitful fields, admirably adjusted fortillage, pasture, and also habitation. The convenience and excellence the the harbours in this island, and the diversity of the rivers, so indispensable come the health and wellness of man, surpass something that would certainly be thought by one who had actually not watched it. The trees,herbage, and fruits of Española are an extremely different indigenous those that Juana, and moreover the abounds in assorted kinds the spices, gold, and other metals. The occupants of both sexes in this island, and also in every the others which I have seen, or of which I have received information, go always naked together they to be born, with the exception of several of the women, who usage the extending of a leaf, or small bough, or one apron of noodle which castle prepare for the purpose. No one of them, as I have


Unfurled: Unfolded


Reconnoitred: make an exploratory survey


Tillage: cultivated land


Herbage: Vegetation often used because that grazing animals

already said, room possessed of any type of iron, neither have they weapons, gift unacquainted with, and also indeed it s not enough ability to use them, no from any kind of deformity of human body (for they are well-formed), but since they room timid and also full that fear. They carry howeverin lieu of arms, canes dried in the sun, ~ above the end of i beg your pardon they settle heads that dried hardwood sharpened come a point, and even these they dare not use habitually; because that it has often developed when I have sent 2 or three of my men to any kind of of the towns to speak through the natives, that they have actually come out in a disorderly troop, and have fled in such haste in ~ the approach of our men, the the fathersforsook their children and the youngsters their fathers. This timidity did no arise from any loss or injury the they had received from us; for, top top the contrary, I offered to all i approached whatever posts I had about me, such together cloth and many other things, taking nothing of their in return: but they are normally timid and fearful. As soon however as they check out that they are safe, and also have laid aside all fear, they room very basic and honest, and also exceedingly liberal through all castle have; none of them refusing any kind of thing he might possess when he is asked because that it, yet on the contrary inviting united state to ask them. They exhibit an excellent love towards all rather in choice to themselves: they also give objects of good value fortrifles, and content themselves through very small or nothing in return. I yet forbad that these trifles and articles the no worth (such as pieces of dishes, plates, and glass, keys, and also leather straps) should be offered to them, return if castle could attain them, they imagine themselves come be own of the many beautiful trinkets in the world. It even happened the a sailor got for a animal leather strap as much gold together was precious three gold nobles, and for things of an ext trifling value available by our men, particularly newly coinedblancas, or any type of gold coins, the Indians would give every little thing the seller required; as, because that instance, one ounce and a half or two ounces the gold, or thirty or forty pounds of cotton, through which commodity castle were already acquainted.

Thus theybartered, prefer idiots, cotton and gold for pieces of bows, glasses, bottles, and jars; which i forbad together being unjust, and also myself gave them many beautiful and acceptable posts which ns had brought with me, taking nothing indigenous them in return; ns did this in order that I could the an ext easilyconciliate them, the they could be led to end up being Christians, and also be inclined to entertain a regard for the King and Queen, our Princes and all Spaniards, and also that I might induce castle to take an interest in seeking out, and also collecting, and also delivering come us things as they possessed ion abundance, however which we greatly needed. Lock practise no kind ofidolatry, however have a firm belief that every strength and power, and indeed all great things, space in

In lieu of

In lieu of: instead of


Forsook: Renounced


Trifles: Objects of small value


Blancas: Spanish coins


Bartered: Traded by exchanging one object because that another


Conciliate: To obtain by satisfaction acts


Idolatry: praise of a physical object as a god


Celestial: Heavenly


Cannibals: world who eat the meat of other humans


Deference: Respect; esteem

heaven, and that I had actually descended from thence v these ships and sailors, and also under this impression was I received after they had actually thrown aside your fears. Nor are they slow or stupid, yet of really clear understanding; and also those males who have actually crossed to the neighbouring islands offer an admirable summary of every little thing they observed; but they never ever saw any kind of people clothed, nor any ships prefer ours. Top top my come at the sea, I had taken part Indians by pressure from the first island the I came to, in order the they might learn our language, and communicate to us what they knew respecting the country; which setup succeeded excellently, and was a an excellent advantage to us, for in a quick time, either by gestures and signs, or by words, we were enabled to understand each other. These guys are tho travelling through me, and although they have been with us now a lengthy time, they proceed to game the idea that I have actually descended native heaven; and also on our come at any brand-new place they published this, crying out automatically with a according to voice to the various other Indians, "Come, come and also look upon us of acelestial race": upon which both women and men, children and adults, young men and also old, as soon as they eliminated the are afraid they at first entertained, would certainly come the end in throngs, crowding the roads to check out us, part bringing food, rather drink, with astonishing affection and kindness. . . . I can not clearly understand whether the world possess any kind of private property, for ns observed that one man had the charge of distributing various things come the rest, yet especially meat and provisions and the like. Ns did not find, as few of us had actually expected, anycannibals among them, yet on the contrary guys of greatdeference and kindness. Neither are they black, prefer theEthiopians their hair is smooth and also straight: for they execute not dwell whereby the rays of the sunlight strike many vividly,—and the sun has actually intense strength there, the street from theequinoctial line being, that appears, however six-and-twenty degrees. Top top the tops of the mountains the cold is really great, however the result of this top top the indians is minimized by your being accustomed to the climate, and also by their typically indulging in the use of really hot meats and also drinks.


Ethiopians: residents of Ethiopia, an ancient country in northeast Africa


Equinoctial: the time of same day and night

Thus, as I have currently said, I experienced no cannibals, no one did i hear of any, except in a specific island referred to as Charis, i beg your pardon is the 2nd from Española on the side in the direction of India, where dwell a civilization who are considered by the adjoining islanders together mostferocious and also these feed upon person flesh. The same people have many kinds the canoes, in i m sorry they cross to every the bordering islands and rob and also plunder where they can; they space not various from the other islanders, except that castle wear their hair long, choose women, and make usage of the bows andjavelins that cane, through sharpened spear-points addressed on the thickest end, which ns have prior to described, and therefore they room looked upon together ferocious, and also regarded by the other Indians v unbounded fear; however I think no much more of them than of the rest. . . . Finally, to compress into few words the entire summary of my voyage and speedy return, and also of the benefits derivable therefrom, i promise, that with a small assistance afforded me by our most invinciblesovereigns, I will procure castle as lot gold as they need, as good a amount of spices, of cotton, and also ofmastic (which is only uncovered inChios ), and also as plenty of men because that the organization of the navy together their Majesties might require. I promise alsorhubarb and other kinds of drugs, which ns am persuaded the guys whom I have actually left in the aforesaid fortress have actually found already and will proceed to find; for i myself havetarried no where longer than i was compelled to execute by the winds, except in the city that Navidad, while I listed for the structure of the fortress, and also took the essential precautions because that the perfect protection of the males I left there. Although every I have actually related may appear to it is in wonderful and unheard of, however the outcomes of my voyage would have been more astonishing if I had had in ~ my disposal such ships together I required. But these good and marvellous results are not to be attributed to any kind of merit the mine, however to the holy Christian faith, and to the piety and also religion of our Sovereigns; for the which the unaided intellect the men might not compass, the spirit of God has actually granted to human exertions, for God iswont come hear the prayers that his servants that love hisprecepts even to the performance of evident impossibilities. Therefore it has happened to me in the present instance, that have achieved a task to i beg your pardon the strength of mortal men had actually never hitherto attained; because that if there have been those that have everywhere written or spoken of these islands, they have actually done so with doubts andconjectures, and no one has ever before asserted that he has actually seen them, on i beg your pardon account your writings have been looked ~ above as tiny else 보다 fables. As such let the king and also queen, our princes and their many happy kingdoms, and all the other provinces ofChristendom, render


Ferocious: Fierce or violent


Javelins: Light weapons thrown as spears in searching or war


Sovereigns: civilization who have supreme authority end a state, particularly a king and queen


Mastic: A pasty product secreted through a mastic tree


Chios: one island in the Aegean Sea turn off the coast of Turkey


Rhubarb: one edible plant then used in China and also Tibet as a cure for stomach disorders


Tarried: Waited


Wont: Accustomed to


Precepts: order intended as general rules


Conjectures: Guesses

thanks come our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has granted us so good a victory and also such prosperity. Allow processions be made, and sacred feasts be held, and the holy places be adorned with festive boughs. Allow Christ rejoice on earth, as he rejoices in heaven in the prospect of the salvation the the souls of so countless nations hitherto lost. Allow us also rejoice, as well on account the the exaltation of ours faith, as on account of the rise of ourtemporal prosperity, of i m sorry not just Spain, yet all Christendom will certainly be partakers.

Such space the occasions which I have briefly described. Farewell.

Lisbon, the 14th that March.

Christopher Columbus,

Admiral the the Fleet the the Ocean

What happened following . . .

With guarantees of untold riches, Columbus had no difficulty persuading Ferdinand and Isabella come sponsor a second voyage. This time the queens rewarded the admiral through seventeen ships and sent along a thousand homesteaders to live in the new Spanish settlement. As soon as the expedition reached La Navidad in November 1493, however, they discovered the negotiation in ruins. Unburied Spaniard corpses to be scattered everywhere. One of two people the aboriginal Americans had turned versus the Europeans, or the Spaniards had fought amongst themselves—no one had actually survived to tell the story. Columbus chose to move seventy-five mile east, wherein he started building a settlement dubbed Isabela. Instantly he sent out a party that men trying to find gold when he explored the nearby islands.


Christendom: A component of the people in which Christianity prevails


Temporal: of or relating to earthly life

When Columbus went back to Isabela in late September 1494, he learned the his men had found very tiny gold. He also encountered mounting tensions in between the indigenous Americans and also the Spaniards. Having actually been mistreated by the colonists, the aboriginal Americans were arranging an army to shot to journey the Europeans turn off the island. The Spanish take it drastic measures, which led to the near extermination of the inhabitants of Hispaniola. Throughout the next three year Columbusruled harshly, imposing heavy taxes top top the aboriginal Americans and also forcing them right into slavery. Native American offenses against the Spanish were often punished v death, utilizing such methods as burn at the stake or beheading. Homesteaders often attacked or killed aboriginal men, women, and also children on a whim. Indigenous Americans additionally died of conditions the Europeans brought with them.

Soon shocking reports around conditions top top Hispaniola were getting to Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella were already displeased due to the fact that they to be receiving tiny gold from the brand-new World, and also very few Native Americans had actually been converted to Catholicism. No much longer confident that Columbus"s ability to administrate the colony, the monarchs recalled him come Spain in 1496. Within 2 years, however, the had convinced the king and also queen come send him back to Hispaniola. ~ above this third voyage Columbus cruised along the coastline of Venezuela, thus coming to be the first European to see the continent of southern America.

When Columbus returned to Spain he left his brother Bartholomeo in charge at Isabela. In the meantime, Bartholomeo had actually moved the settlement to the southern side that the island to a place referred to as Santo Domingo. Upon reaching Santo Domingo in august 1498, Columbus was beset by many problems. The Spaniards uncovered gold just in small quantities, and also there weren"t enough native workers. Friction had additionally continued between the surviving aboriginal Americans and also the colonists. Death and sickness to be rampant, provides were scarce, and also living conditions were poor. The was no long prior to the Spanish homesteaders were openly daunting Columbus.

Finally Ferdinand and also Isabella sent out Francisco de Bobadilla (d. 1502) to replace Columbus together governor. When de Bobadilla come in Santo Domingo in 1500, he found the colony in chaos. The body of 7 rebel Spaniards were hanging in the town square, and also Columbus"s brother Diego was planning come hang 5 others. Columbus self was do the efforts to put down a rebellion on another part of the island, and also Bartholomeo was making similar efforts elsewhere. After arresting all three men, Bobadilla ordered that they be placed in chains and also sent ago to Spain because that trial. Back Columbus consequently lost all of his titles other than admiral, during his year in Hispaniola the had become a well-off man. In 1502 he collection out top top a fourth voyage come the Caribbean, however the pilgrimage ended

Spanish abuses the Natives

Bartolome de las Casas (1474–1566), a Spanish missionary, witnessed numerous horrible abuses of native Americans ~ above Hispaniola. The reported the Spaniards "made bets as to who would certainly slit a man in two, or reduced off his head at one blow. . . . They tore the babes from their mother"s breast by their feet, and also dashed your heads versus the rocks. . . . They spitted the bodies of various other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords." He likewise described the psychological affect of the mistreatment: "In this time, the greatest outrages and also slaughterings of world were perpetrated, whole villages gift depopulated. . . . The Indians experienced that without any kind of offence on their part they to be despoiled of your kingdoms, your lands and liberties and also of your lives, their wives, and homes. As they witnessed themselves each day perishing by the cruel and also inhuman treatment of the Spaniards, crushed come the earth by the horses, cut in piece by swords, eaten and torn by dogs, many buried alive and also suffering all kinds of exquisite tortures, some of the Princes . . . Decided to give up themselvesto their unhappy fate through no additional struggles, placing themselves in the hands of their enemies that they can do through them as they liked. There were still those human being who fled to the mountains."

Source: Sale, Kirkpatrick. The occupation of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and also the Columbian Legacy. Brand-new York: Knopf, 1990, p. 157.

in humiliation: that actually had actually to be rescued after ~ spending a year marooned (stranded) on the island that Jamaica. Ferdinand refused to send Columbus on another expedition, therefore the defeated explorer invested the last 3 years of his life in splendid retirement at Valladolid, Spain.

Did you recognize . . .

While Columbus was experimenting the islands around Isabela in 1496, that assembled his men and also made them take it an oath the they had actually been sailing along the mainland the Asia, no the shore of one island. Supposedly he was still convinced—or was trying to convince himself—that that had discovered the "Indies." If he suspected he had made a geography error, that did not want the news to come native his men.

For much more information

Columbus and the age of Discovery.http://www.millersv.edu/~columbus/mainmenu.html available September 30, 1999.

Columbus, Christopher. The voyage of Christopher Columbus: Columbus"s very own Journal that Discovery. Man Cummins, translator. Brand-new York: St. Martin"s Press, 1992.

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, ed. Significant Problems in American early american History. Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath, 1993, pp. 4–7.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. The conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and also the Columbian Legacy. New York: Knopf, 1990.

Wilford, john Noble. The Mysterious background of Columbus: An expedition of the Man, the Myth, the Legacy. Brand-new York: Knopf, spread by random House, 1991.

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Yewell, John, and also others, eds. Confronting Columbus: an Anthology. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and also Company, 1992.