Columbus' voyage has even less meaning for North Americans than for South Americans because Columbus never set foot on our continent, nor did he open it to European trade.
Scandinavian Vikings already had settlements here in the eleventh century, and British fisherman probably fished the shores of Canada for decades before Columbus.
The Egyptian-Greek scientist Erastosthenes, working for Alexandria and Aswan, already had measured the circumference and diameter of the world in the third century B. Arab scientists had developed a whole discipline of geography and measurement, and in the tenth century A.
D., Al Maqdisi described the earth with 360 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude. Catherine in the Sinai still has an icon -- painted 500 years before Columbus -- which shows Jesus ruling over a spherical earth. elementary schools without construction-paper replicas of the three ships that Columbus sailed to America, or without drawings of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to finance Columbus' trip.
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Introduction Christopher Columbus Script 1st slide: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa between August and October 1451. As a teenager, Christopher went to sea, travelled extensively and eventually made Portugal his base.The United States honors only two men with federal holidays bearing their names.In January we commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., who struggled to lift the blinders of racial prejudice and to cut the remaining bonds of slavery in America.At first, Columbus was unable to get funding for his trip, but then he approached the King and Queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, and they agreed.Finally, he was able to set sail from Spain to Asia in the year 1492.His marauding band hunted Indians for sport and profit -- beating, raping, torturing, killing, and then using the Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs.Within four years of Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola, his men had killed or exported one-third of the original Indian population of 300,000.This pressing need to repay his debt underlies the frantic tone of Columbus' diaries as he raced from one Caribbean island to the next, stealing anything of value.After he failed to contact the emperor of China, the traders of India, or the merchants of Japan, Columbus decided to pay for his voyage in the one important commodity he had found in ample supply -- human lives.Nevertheless, Americans have embroidered many such legends around Columbus, and he has become part of a secular mythology for schoolchildren. This myth of the pawned jewels obscures the true and more sinister story of how Columbus financed his trip.The Spanish monarch invested in his excursion, but only on the condition that Columbus would repay this investment with profit by bringing back gold, spices, and other tribute from Asia.