Christopher Columbus: Life and Voyages in the Age of Exploration

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Kelly Macquire
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published on 10 October 2021
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Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 CE and died in 1506 at the age of 54. He became famous during his lifetime as the man who discovered the ‘new world’ - understood as the Americas generally during the Age of Exploration. Since the 19th century, however, he has been credited with the discovery of North America, specifically the USA, owing to the highly romanticized “biography” of Columbus by the American author Washington Irving. Columbus never set foot on North America and never claimed to have; the understanding that he did all comes from Irving and is a complete myth. Although the continent's discovery is regularly attributed to Columbus, it should strike people who make this claim as strange that it is not known as Columbia but as America!

Columbus made four voyages and he explored the areas of the Caribbean, Cuba, Central America, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Bahamas. Christopher Columbus set out not to find a new world but to find a western sea route to the far east for trade since the Ottoman Empire closed the Silk Road in 1453. The closing of the Silk Road is what forced Europe to branch out, initiating the Age of Exploration. The 12th of October 1492 saw Christopher Columbus arrive at one of the islands of the Bahamas, which he claimed in the name of the monarchs Ferdinand the second of Aragon and Isabella of Castile of Spain, who had funded his voyage. The next three of his voyages were all about consolidating Spain's control and establishing colonies.

— ATTRIBUTIONS —
You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here - https://worldhistory.typehut.com/christopher-columbus-life-and-voyages-in-the-age-of-exploration-images-and-attributions-6429

— MUSIC —
Tale of Two Sisters
Greg Joy (SOCAN)
https://download.audiohero.com/#!details?id=23208305

— THUMBNAIL IMAGE —
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/96502120/
Library of Congress
Unknown Artist
Public Domain

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has recently completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2021, October 10). Christopher Columbus: Life and Voyages in the Age of Exploration. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2666/christopher-columbus-life-and-voyages-in-the-age-o/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Christopher Columbus: Life and Voyages in the Age of Exploration." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 10, 2021. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2666/christopher-columbus-life-and-voyages-in-the-age-o/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Christopher Columbus: Life and Voyages in the Age of Exploration." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 10 Oct 2021. Web. 20 Oct 2021.