Columbus Day, which is on the second Monday of October, a federal festival in some states of the North America. Some places that officially celebrate the date of Christopher Columbus finds the new continent on 14, October 1492. On this day, most of the states in the US will hold a big parade on the street. Some schools and bank will have a holiday to celebrate this holiday.
People also call Columbus Day as Discovery Day, Columbus believes that the earth is round and he finally finds the new continent after sailing 4 times in total. This spirit of exploration is the things that we need to inherit from his adventure.
The history of Columbus day
When people are talking about Columbus, the first thing come to our mind is that he is the first mind to discover the North America continent. But actually, until the day he died, he still thought that the continent he arrived was Asia.
Why and how he was attempting to set his sail to the Asia? Is he really the first man landing on the America? What effect he brought to the world and the historical process? Let us find out the answer in the following parts.
Columbus and his voyage
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy. When he was addicted to The Travels of Marco Polo, a book written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo.
The book describes Marco Polo’s travels through Asia between 1271 and 1295, and his experiences at the court of Kublai Khan. From that book, Columbus knew that there is a huge amount of treasures in some countries in the East, such as China and India. For that reason, Columbus imagines being able to travel far and go to the seductive Eastern world.
Originally, people in Europe can directly go to Asia from European continent. But the only way to the Asia was controlled by Turkey and Arabs at that time. It is not easy to go through with that route. So Columbus asked Tuscany for help, an Italian geographer, he told Columbus that he can also reach the east if he sails westward along the Atlantic Ocean.
In order to achieve his great voyage dream, Columbus began to lobby several kings of European countries for financial and labour power assistance. Columbus once lobbied Britain, France, Italy and Portugal, but they all rejected him.
It was not until 1492 that the Queen of Spain, Isabella, saw the opportunity, and she persuaded King Ferdinand II to implement the Columbus’s plan. Columbus has been lobbying more than 10 years to get a chance to start his journey.
1492, 3rd, August, Spain queen dispatched Columbus to lead 3 sailboats to bring 2 credentials to Indian monarch and Chinese Emperor. He sailed out of the Atlantic Ocean from Puerto Barros, Spain, and head straight to West. After seventy days and nights of hard sailing, they finally discovered the land in the early hours of October 12, 1492.
Was Columbus the first man discover the new world?
People usually portray Christopher Columbus is the man who discoverers the New World. However, this is controversial on many counts.
There is evidence that the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic were Viking explorers from Scandinavia. In addition, the land was already populated by indigenous peoples, who had ‘discovered’ the Americas thousands of years before.
Therefore, Columbus was not the first man discover the North America. But his landed had made a huge difference into the world. He lead to the first sustained contact between Europe and America.
Besides, the discovery opened up the era of European exploration, colonial overseas territories that lasted for centuries. These have an inestimable impact on the historical development of the modern Western world. The world has connected into a piece since his arrival to the new continent. Hence, people praise Columbus as the first man to discover the new continent.
The impact of Columbus discovery
From the first time Columbus set his sail to the Americas to the end of his fourth voyage of adventure in 1504, the routes between the two sides of the Atlantic have expanded rapidly. The east coast of the Americas and coastal islands have been gradually discovered, and the contours of the New World have gradually emerged.
The progress of the discovery of the Americas during this period cannot be attributed to or mainly attributed to Columbus. But without Columbus’s first voyage, without his subsequent voyages and other people’s explorations and discoveries of the Americas.
The discovery of the New World and the American dynasty as a colony of Western Europe will be postponed for decades, and the Portuguese will open up to India and the East. The route will also be delayed for some years.
Columbus voyage is the beginning of the great navigational age. The opening of the new routes has changed the course of world history. It has shifted the route of overseas trade from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast.
Since then, the West has finally emerged from the darkness of Middle Ages and began to rise to the world in an unstoppable manner. And in the following centuries, achieved maritime hegemony. A brand new industrial civilization has become the mainstream of world economic development.
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