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CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS RENAISSANCE EXPLORATION

posted Jul 9, 2014, 6:44 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Jul 11, 2014, 6:05 AM ]

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

RENAISSANCE EXPLORATION

 

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy.  Genoa was a thriving seaport. Columbus grew up to be a sailor, mapmaker and geographer. When Columbus set sail in 1492, his intention was to find a new trade route to the East Indies.  Until then there was only one known route from Asia to Europe. Sailors traveled eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, then by caravan through deserts and mountains. Columbus was determined to find a better route by sailing west.  King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, rulers of the Spanish kingdoms Castile and Aragon, agreed to finance three ships to support this journey. Upon acquisition of new lands, Columbus was promised the position or status of Governor.  Upon acquisition of new wealth, Columbus was promised 10% of the monetary profit.

 

·      What industry was Genoa, Italy known for? SHIPPING

·      Name one job title Columbus grew up to hold. GEOGRAPHER

·      Why would King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella want to find new trade routes or discover new lands? TO MAKE TRADE EASIER

 

New trade routes had not been established because sailors feared losing sight of land. Sailors who believed the world was flat thought that sailing west would result in “falling off the edge” of the world.  This fear illustrates the power of myth.  As early as the sixth century B.C., Greek philosopher Pythagoras had written that the Earth was a sphere, or round. Several books were published between 1200 and 1500 that discussed the Earth’s shape, including “The Sphere.” Historians believe that educated citizens of Columbus’ day knew that the Earth was round.

 

·      Why had sailors failed to establish new trade routes? WORRIED THEY WOULD FALL OFF THE WORLD

·      What indication did citizens of the renaissance have that the earth was round, not flat? BOOKS WRITTEN ON IT

 

As it turned out, the issue for Columbus was not the shape of the Earth, but the size of the ocean.  While it was agreed that Asia lay to the west, no one knew how far.  Columbus estimated Japan to be approximately 2,500 miles west of the Canary Islands.  Japan was instead more than 10,000 miles away from the Canary Islands.  His miscalculation was a result of an assumption that the earth was smaller than it really was.  However, this miscalculation did not land him in “America” as we know it. 

 

·      How many miles away from the Canary Islands was Japan? 10,000

·      What did Columbus think it would be? 2,500

·      So how many miles was he off by? 7,500

·      What caused Columbus to miscalculate the distance of Japan from the Canary Islands? THE SIZE OF THE EARTH

 

On October 12, 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now known as the Bahamas.  He also explored the Central and South American coasts, but he did not reach North America.  If Columbus did not find North America, why do we celebrate Columbus Day?  The first Columbus Day celebration was held on October 12, 1972 to honor Italian-American Heritage. The Bahamas observe “Discovery Day” to celebrate Columbus. Miscalculations and mythical tales do not dampen the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus.  As a result of his risk taking and navigational skills, he found the best travel route across the ocean to the Americas and best eastern route back to Europe. These routes are still used hundreds of years later. 

 

·      Where did Columbus land on October 12, 1492? BAHAMAS

·      Why do Americans celebrate Columbus Day each year? COMMEMORATE HIS ATTEMPTS

 

Creative Writing:

 

·      Describe an event when things did not go according to plan.  What did you do to navigate unexpected changes in plan?  How did the event turn out?

 

I HAVE NAVIGATED THE UNEXPECTED THINGS IN MY LIFE BY BEING OPEN AND ACCEPTING. MY WAY THROUGH LIFE HAS BEEN FULL OF TWISTS AND TURNS AND NO MAP TO HELP ME NAVIGATE THE JOURNEY. I HAVE FIGURED OUT HOW TO GET AROUND BY LISTENING AND LEARNING TO EVERYTHING AROUND ME. THIS HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL FOR ME SO FAR BUT I WOULD LIKE IT IF I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORK SO HARD. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD THIS IS TO FIGURE OUT! THE END.


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