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Christopher Columbus

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On October 12, 1492, two worlds unknown to each other met for the first time on a small island in the Caribbean Sea. While on a voyage for Spain in search of a direct sea route from Europe to Asia, Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered the Americas. However, in four separate voyages to the Caribbean from 1492 to 1504, he remained convinced that he had found the lands that Marco Polo reached in his overland travels to China at the end of the 13th century. To Columbus it was only a matter of time before a passage was found through the Caribbean islands to the cities of Asia.

Columbus was not the first European to reach the Americas Vikings from Scandinavia had briefly settled on the North American coast, in what is now Newfoundland, Canada, in the late 10th or early 11th century. However, Columbus?s explorations had a huge impact on the world. This discovery leads to the exchange of goods such as plants, animals, food, and knowledge.

The first European nation to begin actively looking for a sea route to Asia was Portugal. The Portuguese had already begun exploring Africa in the early 1400s, and in 1415 they invaded northern Africa and conquered the Muslim community. This gained the Portuguese access to the African trade, which, until that time, had been dominated by the Muslims. The Portuguese began exploring the western coast of Africa, hoping to find a route to the riches of Asia by going around the southern tip of the continent. Other nations, not wanting to be left behind, began sponsoring voyages of exploration as well.

Columbus?s father was Domenico Colombo, a wool weaver who was also involved in local politics. His mother was Suzanna Fontanarossa, the daughter of a wool weaver. The oldest of five children was Christopher he had three brothers and one sister. When Columbus sailed the earth everyone thought that the world was flat and if he sailed to far that he would eventually fall off the edge of the earth. When Christopher...



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