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Gloria Deak's Everything You Need To Know About Columbus

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Gloria Deak's Everything you Need to Know About Columbus

The fascination of the voyages of Christopher Columbus will forever be told and celebrated by many. Gloria Deak answers the questions about Columbus' historic endeavor to fill in the blank spots on who he was ,what he set out to accomplish, and where he succeeded. Deak describes Columbus as a great sailor whose success in crossing the Atlantic Ocean was an unequaled feat of navigation. She goes on to explain that very little is given accurately in the information we have on him to suggest that he was the gallant Renaissance figure often depicted in schoolbooks. She paints Columbus as an imaginative, courageous, and contained man with a capacity for extreme cruelty. One key aspect to his character she nailed down was his intense religiosity. He had a deep-seated belief in the Bible and logic of destiny that was noticeably messianic.

The journeys of discovery set out by Columbus and subsequent explorers motivated excitement for decades in Renaissance Europe. Although this enthusiasm was well founded, there was modest comprehension of the degree of what had been revealed. Scholars of the time found it inconceivable that the small islands first sighted by Columbus were connected fully. The precepts of traditional cosmography that were based of biblical beliefs worried geographers of the time that such an astounding discovery of an unnoticed hemisphere would question this belief. The adjustment of the Old World would be slow and often brutal. However, with the acquisition of gold, territorial, and Christianity expansion, there was much desire. The prudence and inquisitiveness were apparent, but the desire for mass conversion ensued for Europe could acknowledge the New World only by imposing its authority over it.

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Did Columbus discover the New World? Deak says no. The continents of North and South America had been populated for millennia by a various blend of people. It may be that we associate Columbus with the discovery of the New World because it was new in the eyes of Europeans whose dominance over "uncivilized" cultures was customary. He thought he was going to map out a new route to the Indies. Many had sought a nautical path to trade in the Indies and Columbus set out to do just that. Some think that Columbus believed or even discovered that the earth was round instead of flat. The truth is that he, along with every educated man in this day, knew the world was spherical in shape rather than flat. It was taught in universities and seamen knew from practical experience. They saw large objects, like mountains, disappear on the horizon before the land came into view. An issue more controversial then was the size of the world. Despite the variance of the size of the world, Columbus believed that the vast Atlantic Ocean was indeed navigable. He finally got funding from Spain and set sail with a fleet of three-masted vessels: the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria. They were grand ships with the Santa Maria being his flagship but the Nina being his favorite for he gave it this nickname as its true name was the Santa Clara. The Santa Maria ran aground when they reached the New World and he sailed home on the Nina. When Columbus reached the New World, he didn't really know where he had reached. He didn't see the glittering city as Marco Polo had described, only plain huts. He figured that he reached the outer islands of the Indies and when he discovered gold on the large island he named Hispanola, he confirmed his belief.

Columbus made a catastrophic attempt at colonizing on his first voyage. The small settlement named La Navidad was located in a shallow bay off the coast of Hispanola. It was a sign from God that he should make a settlement there because his flagship wrecked. They used timber from the



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