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Where Did Christopher Columbus Travel?
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This article is about the explorer. For the American filmmaker, see Chris Columbus (filmmaker).
Posthumous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio.
Born August October 25-31 1451
Died May 20, 1506
outside Valladolid, Spain
Other names Cristoforo Colombo
Title Admiral of the Ocean Sea;
Viceroy and Governor of the Indies
Religious beliefs Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Filipa Moniz (c. 1476-1485)
Relatives Bartolomeo (brother)
Christopher Columbus (1451 ? May 20, 1506) was a navigator, colonizer and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. Though not the first to reach the Americas from Afro-Eurasia ? preceded some five hundred years by Leif Ericson, and perhaps by others ? Columbus initiated widespread contact between Europeans and indigenous Americans. With his several hapless attempts at establishing a settlement on the island of Hispaniola, he personally initiated the process of Spanish colonization which foreshadowed general European colonization of the "New World." (The term "pre-Columbian" is sometimes used to refer to the peoples and cultures of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus and his European successors.)
His initial 1492 voyage came at a critical time of growing national imperialism and economic competition between developing nation states seeking wealth from the establishment of trade routes and colonies. In this sociopolitical climate, Columbus's far-fetched scheme won the attention of Queen Isabella of Spain. Severely underestimating the circumference of the Earth, he hypothesized that a westward route from Iberia to the Indies would be shorter and more direct than the overland trade route through Arabia. If true, this would allow Spain entry into the lucrative spice trade ? heretofore commanded by the Arabs and Italians. Following his plotted course, he instead landed within the Bahamas Archipelago at a locale he named San Salvador. Mistaking the North-American island for the East-Asian mainland, he referred to its inhabitants as "Indians".
Academic consensus is that Columbus was born in Genoa, though there are other theories. The name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus. The name is rendered in modern Italian as Cristoforo Colombo, in Portuguese as Crist?v?o Colombo (formerly Christovam Colom), and in Spanish as Crist?bal Col?n.
The anniversary of Columbus' 1492 landing in the Americas (Columbus Day) is observed throughout the Americas and in Spain on October 12.
According to general assumption, nevertheless disputed, Christopher Columbus was born between August and October 1451 in Genoa (nowadays part of Italy). His father was Domenico Colombo, a middle-class wool weaver - who later also had a cheese stand where his son was a helper - working between Genoa and Savona. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa. Bartolomeo, Giovanni Pellegrino and Giacomo were his brothers. Bartolomeo worked in a cartography workshop in Lisbon for at least part of his adulthood.
At age 14, he attended Prince Henry's school of navigation in Sagres, Portugal. He spoke a Genoese dialect. In one of his writings, Columbus claims to have gone to the sea at the age of 10. In 1470 the Columbus Family moved to Savona, where Domenico took over a tavern. In the same year, Columbus was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of Ren? I of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples.
In 1473 Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola families of Genoa. Later he allegedly made a trip to Chios, a Genoese colony in the Aegean Sea. In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry a valuable cargo to northern Europe. He docked in Bristol, Galway, in Ireland and was possibly in Iceland in 1477. In 1479 Columbus reached his brother Bartolomeo in Lisbon, keeping on trading for the Centurione family. He married Filipa Moniz Perestrello, daughter of the Porto Santo governor, the Portuguese nobleman of Genoese origin Bartolomeu Perestrello. In 1479 or 1480, his son, Diego, was born.
Main article: Voyages of Christopher Columbus
The "Colombus map" was drawn circa 1490 in the workshop of Bartolomeo and Christopher Colombus in Lisbon.
Columbus' geographical conceptions.Europe had long enjoyed a safe land passage to China and India? sources of valued goods such as silk, spices, and opiates? under the hegemony of the Mongol Empire (the Pax Mongolica, or Mongol peace). With the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the land route to Asia became more difficult. The Columbus brothers had a different idea. By the 1480s, they had developed a plan to travel to the Indies, then construed roughly as all of south and east Asia, by sailing directly west across the "Ocean Sea," i.e., the Atlantic.
Washington Irving's 1828 biography of Columbus popularized the idea that Columbus had difficulty obtaining support for his plan because Europeans thought the Earth was flat. In fact, the primitive maritime navigation of the time relied on the stars and the curvature of the spherical Earth. The knowledge that the Earth was spherical was widespread and the means of calculating its diameter using an astrolabe was known to both scholars and navigators. The spherical view of the earth had been the general opinion of Ancient Greek science, and continued as the standard view in the Middle Ages (for example of Bede in The Reckoning of Time). In fact the Earth had generally been believed to be spherical since the 4th century BCE by most scholars and almost all navigators, and Eratosthenes had measured the diameter of the Earth with good precision in the second century BC. Columbus put forth (incorrect) arguments based on a significantly smaller diameter for the Earth, claiming that Asia could be easily reached by sailing west across the Atlantic. Most scholars accepted Ptolemy's correct assessment that the terrestrial landmass (for Europeans of the time, comprising Eurasia and Africa) occupied 180 degrees of the terrestrial sphere, and correctly dismissed Columbus's claim that the Earth was much smaller, and that Asia was only a few thousand nautical miles to the west of Europe. Columbus' error was put down to his lack of experience in navigation at sea.
Columbus believed the (incorrect) calculations of Marinus of Tyre, putting the landmass at 225 degrees, leaving only 135 degrees of water. Moreover, Columbus believed that one degree represented a shorter distance on the earth's surface than was actually the case. Finally, he read maps as if the distances were calculated in Italian miles (1,238 meters). Accepting the length of a degree to be 56⅔ miles, from the writings of Alfraganus, he therefore calculated the circumference of the Earth as 25,255 kilometers at most, and the distance from the Canary Islands to Japan as 3,000 Italian miles (3,700 km, or 2,300 statute miles) Columbus did not realize Al-Farghani used the much longer Arabic mile (about 1,830 m).
Handwritten notes by Christopher Colombus on the latin edition of Marco Polo's Le livre des merveilles.The main problem was that experts did not accept his estimate. The true circumference of the Earth is about 40,000 km (25,000 sm), a figure established by Eratosthenes in the second century BC, and the distance from the Canary Islands to Japan 19,600 km (12,200 sm). No ship that was readily available in the 15th century could carry enough food and fresh water for such a journey. Most European sailors and navigators concluded, likely correctly, that sailors undertaking a westward voyage from Europe to Asia non-stop would die of thirst or starvation long before reaching their destination. Spain, however, having completed an expensive war, was desperate for a competitive edge over other European countries in trade with the East Indies. Columbus promised such an advantage.
While Columbus' calculations underestimated the circumference of the Earth and the distance from the Canary Islands to Japan by the standards of his peers as well as in fact, almost all Europeans held the mistaken opinion that the aquatic expanse between Europe and Asia was uninterrupted. As the 16th century developed it was the route to America, rather than to Japan, that gave Spain a competitive edge in developing an overseas empire.
There was a further element of key importance in the plans of Columbus, a closely-held fact discovered by or otherwise learned by Columbus: the trade winds. A brisk wind from the east, commonly called an "easterly", propelled Santa Maria, La Nina, & La Pinta for 5 weeks from the Canaries. To return to Spain eastward against this prevailing wind would have required several months of an arduous sailing technique, called beating, during which food & drinkable water would have been utterly exhausted. Columbus returned home by following prevailing winds northeastward from the southern zone of the North Atlantic to the middle latitudes of the North Atlantic, where prevailing winds are eastward (westerly) to the coastlines of Western Europe, where the winds curve southward towards the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, Columbus was wrong about degrees of longitude to be traversed and wrong about distance per degree, but he was right about a more vital fact: how to use the North Atlantic's great circular wind pattern, clockwise in direction, to get home.
Some mean that his confidence in that land was within reach, was based on his travel in 1477 (1476-1477), which may have taken him to Baffin Island at 73 degrees north (in German). On this tour he could also get information from norse sailors and inuit kayakers trading on the long coast extending from north to south at about this longitude. (Pre Columbian turkey depicted (in German))
In 1485, Columbus presented his plans to John II, King of Portugal. He proposed the king equip three sturdy ships and grant Columbus one year's time to sail out into the Atlantic, search for a western route to Orient, and then return home. Columbus also requested he be made "Great Admiral of the Ocean", created governor of any and all lands he discovered, and given one-tenth of all revenue from those lands discovered. The king submitted the proposal to his experts, who rejected it. It was their considered opinion that Columbus' proposed route of 2,400 miles (3,860 km) was, in fact, far too short.
Arms of ColumbusIn 1488 Columbus appealed to the court of Portugal once again, and once again John invited him to an audience. It too was to come to nothing, for not long afterwards came the arrival of Portugal's native son Bartholomeu Dias from a successful rounding of the southern tip of Africa. Portugal was no longer interested in trailblazing a western route to the East.
Columbus travelled from Portugal once more to both Genoa and Venice, but he received encouragement from neither. Previously he had his brother sound out Henry VII of England, to see if the English monarch might not be more amenable to Columbus' proposal. After much carefully considered hesitation Henry's invitation came, too late. Columbus had already committed himself to Spain.
Columbus and Queen Isabella. Detail of the Columbus monument in Madrid (1885).He had sought an audience from the monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, who had united the largest kingdoms of Spain by marrying, and were ruling together. On May 1, 1486, permission having been granted, Columbus laid his plans before Queen Isabella, who, in turn, referred it to a committee. After the passing of much time, these savants of Spain, like their counterparts in Portugal, reported back that Columbus had judged the distance to Asia much too short. They pronounced the idea impractical, and advised their Royal Highnesses to pass on the proposed venture.
However, to keep Columbus from taking his ideas elsewhere, and perhaps to keep their options open, the King and Queen of Spain gave him an annual annuity of 12,000 maravedis ($840) and in 1489 furnished him with a letter ordering all Spanish cities and towns to provide him food and lodging at no cost.
After continually lobbying at the Spanish court and two years of negotiations, he finally had success in 1492. Ferdinand and Isabella had just conquered Granada, the last Muslim stronghold on the Iberian peninsula, and they received Columbus in C?rdoba, in the Alc?zar castle. Isabella turned Columbus down on the advice of her confessor, and he was leaving town in despair, when Ferdinand intervened. Isabella then sent a royal guard to fetch him and Ferdinand later rightfully claimed credit for being "the principal cause why those islands were discovered". King Ferdinand is referred to as "losing his patience" in this issue, but this cannot be proven.
About half of the financing was to come from private Italian investors, whom Columbus had already lined up. Financially broke after the Granada campaign, the monarchs left it to the royal treasurer to shift funds among various royal accounts on behalf of the enterprise. Columbus was to be made "Admiral of the Seas" and would receive a portion of all profits. The terms were unusually generous, but as his own son later wrote, the monarchs did not really expect him to return.
According to the contract that Columbus made with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, if Columbus discovered any new islands or mainland, he would receive many high rewards. In terms of power, he would be given the rank of Admiral of the Ocean Sea (Atlantic Ocean) and appointed Viceroy and Governor of all the new lands. He had the right to nominate three persons, from whom the sovereigns would choose one, for any office in the new lands. He would be entitled to 10 percent of all the revenues from the new lands in perpetuity; this part was denied to him in the contract, although it was one of his demands. Finally, he would also have the option of buying one-eighth interest in any commercial venture with the new lands and receive one-eighth of the profits.
Columbus was later arrested in 1500 and supplanted from these posts. After his death, Columbus's sons, Diego and Fernando, took legal action to enforce their father's contract. Many of the smears against Columbus were initiated by the Spanish crown during these lengthy court cases, known as the pleitos colombinos. The family had some success in their first litigation, as a judgment of 1511 confirmed Diego's position as Viceroy, but reduced his powers. Diego resumed litiga
The Americas! duhh...Nichole .M.
why did columbus travelled to the new world
because he did not have any money so he asked king ferdied and queen isabella.