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Christopher Columbus
by Todd Underwood

     Christopher Columbus came to the new world in 1492, a tall red haried Italian in the service of the King and Queen of Spain. Columbus was sailing for Asia, but badly underestimated the length of the journey. He wound up reaching the Caribbean Islands with his three ships, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, after 33 days at sea. Among the islands he visited were modern day Cuba, San Salvador (which he named) and Haiti. Columbus thought he had reached a group of islands off the coast of China and Japan, but his mistake led to the modern day colonization of the "New World."

     After returning to his homeland, Christopher Columbus was rewarded with the right to bear arms on May 20, 1493.

Columbus' Coat of Arms

He was also named Admiral of the Ocean Sea and achieved further royal patronage. Columbus lead three more expeditions to the new world which he still thought was Asia, but his own administrative failings brought disappointment and political obscurity in his final years.

     After Columbus' death, the name America was given to the western hemispere by European writers and mapmakers. They did not realized they had come into contact with the last "new" continent which was many times the size of Europe. The European settlers brought with them many technologies such as weapons, iron tools, and guns, and many ideas such as Christianity and Roman Law. Unfortunately for the Native Americans, they also brought with them many diseases that were new to the Native Americans such as small pox against which the Native Americans had no defenses.



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