external image Columbus.jpg Christopher Columbus was a Genoese navigator whose voyages to the Western Hemisphere led to European exploration of the Americas.

Early Life: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, modern day Italy to a weaver and had three brothers. Columbus first went to the sea as a kid.He married the daughter of a governor and Portuguese nobleman of Genoese origin. In 1487 Columbus found a mistress in Spain. His career as a seaman began in the Portuguese merchant marine.

First Voyage: Columbus began seeking financial support for his trip across the Atlantic in 1484 by presenting his plans to John II, King of Portugal.
After being rejected by the king of Portugal, Columbus traveled to Spain and obtained royal support from Ferdinand and Isabella in January 1492 after being rejected multiple times. Columbus and his crew set sail on board the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria on August 3, 1492. After thirty-six days of sailing, Columbus and his crew claimed a small island in the Bahamas for Spain. It was on that island that Columbus made contact with the natives and noticed the gold they possessed. As Columbus proceeded on his journey, the Santa Maria was wrecked along the coast of Hispaniola as he visited modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He returned to Spain convinced that he had reached China and received praise from the Spanish.
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Other Voyages: Columbus would go on to make three voyages after his initial one. During his second voyage Columbus enslaved some of the natives after discovering that they had massacred the settlers he had left behind during his initial voyage; he left his brothers in charge of the Hispaniola settlement as he returned to Spain. Columbus reached the mainland of America in his third voyage, arriving in modern day Venezuela. It was during his third voyage that Columbus was arrested and stripped of his authority after some of his crew members claimed he misled them on their quest for gold. Columbus set sail on an unsuccessful fourth and final voyage in 1502 in search of a route to the Indian Ocean.
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Works Cited:
A Survey: American History by Allan Brinkley