How Did America Discover? Cristopher Columbus


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How did America Discover? Cristopher Columbus

Cristopher Columbus

It is undiscovered fact that how did America discovered? Cristopher Columbus was the person who discovered the America and today we’ll go dive into the fact that how he discovered the America?

Cristopher Columbus

On 12 October 1492 marks an event which was to change life on both sides of the Atlantic forever; this date represents the discovery of America. In 1492, the navigator Christopher Columbus, funded by the Spanish Crown, sailed westward from Spain in hopes of finding a new sea route to South and Southeast Asia. Despite initially believing he had reached Asia, Columbus soon realized that he had happened upon a wholly new continent, the land we know now to be America. Whilst this was not the aim of his voyage, this discovery served to bring far greater benefits to not only Spain, but, in time, the rest of Europe and the wider world. However, as with much of early modern history, where one prospers, another must suffer, and life for the indigenous people of America drastically changed.


Where was Christopher Columbus born?

Columbus was born in the Italian seaport of Genoa in 1451, to a family of wool weavers. As a young lad he went to sea and became an experienced sailor. He then moved to Lisbon, Portugal, to gain support for a journey he was planning to find new trade routes to the Far East. Ferdinand and Isabella, the King and Queen of Spain, agreed to finance him.

Early Life and Nationality

Christopher Columbus, the son of a wool merchant, is believed to have been born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. When he was still a teenager, he got a job on a merchant ship. He remained at sea until 1476, when pirates attacked his ship as it sailed north along the Portuguese coast.

The boat sank, but the young Columbus floated to shore on a scrap of wood and made his way to Lisbon, where he eventually studied mathematics, astronomy, cartography and navigation. He also began to hatch the plan that would change the world forever.


What did Columbus aim to do?

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Europeans wanted to find sea routes to the Far East. Columbus wanted to find a new route to India, China, Japan and the Spice Islands. If he could reach these lands, he would be able to bring back rich cargoes of silks and spices. Columbus knew that the world was round and realised that by sailing west – instead of east around the coast of Africa, as other explorers at the time were doing – he would still reach his destination.

Americans get a day off work on October 10 to celebrate Columbus Day. It’s an annual holiday that commemorates the day on October 12, 1492, when the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus officially set foot in the Americas, and claimed the land for Spain. It has been a national holiday in the United States since 1937.

It is commonly said that “Columbus discovered America.” It would be more accurate, perhaps, to say that he introduced the Americas to Western Europe during his four voyages to the region between 1492 and 1502. It’s also safe to say that he paved the way for the massive influx of western Europeans that would ultimately form several new nations including the United States, Canada and Mexico.

But to say he “discovered” America is a bit of a misnomer because there were plenty of people already here when he arrived.


Christopher Columbus: AD 1492

In 1492, Europeans could reach Asia by the Silk Road, or by sailing the Cape Route around the southern tip of Africa. Sailing west from Europe was thought to be impossible.

The ancient Greeks had accurately calculated that the circumference of the Earth was 40,000 km, which put Asia far to the west. But Columbus botched his calculations. An error in unit conversion gave him a circumference of just 30,000 km.

This mistake, with other assumptions born of wishful thinking, gave a distance of just 4,500 km from Europe to Japan. The actual distance is almost 20,000 kilometres.


So Columbus’s ships set sail without enough supplies to reach Asia. Fortunately for him, he hit the Americas. Columbus, thinking he’d found the East Indies, called its people “Indios”, or Indians. He ultimately died without realising his mistake. It was the navigator Amerigo Vespucci who realised Columbus had found an unknown land and in 1507 the name America was applied in Vespucci’s honour.

And before Columbus?

So who were the people who really deserve to be called the first Americans? VOA asked Michael Bawaya, the editor of the magazine American Archaeology. He told VOA that they came here from Asia probably “no later than about 15,000 years ago.”

They walked across the Bering land bridge that back in the day connected what is now the U.S. state of Alaska and Siberia. Fifteen-thousand years ago, ocean levels were much lower and the land between the continents was hundreds of kilometers wide.

The area would have looked much like the land on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula does today: treeless, arid tundra. But despite its relative inhospitality, life abounded there.

According to the U.S. National Park Service, “the land bridge played a vital role in the spread of plant and animal life between the continents. Many species of animals – the woolly mammoth, mastodon, scimitar cat, Arctic camel, brown bear, moose, muskox, and horse — to name a few — moved from one continent to the other across the Bering land bridge. Birds, fish, and marine mammals established migration patterns that continue to this day.”

And archaeologists say that humans followed, in a never-ending hunt for food, water and shelter. Once here, humans dispersed all across North and eventually Central and South America.

Up until the 1970s, these first Americans had a name: the Clovis peoples. They get their name from an ancient settlement discovered near Clovis, New Mexico, dated to over 11,000 years ago. And DNA suggests they are the direct ancestors of nearly 80 percent of all indigenous people in the Americas.

But there’s more. Today, it’s widely believed that before the Clovis people, there were others, and as Bawaya says, “they haven’t really been identified.” But there are remants of them in places as far-flung as the U.S. states of Texas and Virginia, and as far south as Peru and Chile. We call them, for lack of a better name, the Pre-Clovis people.

And to make things more complicated, recent discoveries are threatening to push back the arrival of humans in North America even further back in time. Perhaps as far back as 20,000 years or more. But the science on this is far from settled.


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