Christopher Columbus, (Christóbal Colón), was originally believed to be the son of a Genoese weaver who grew up in poverty and rose to a position of honor in Renaissance society.Recent discoveries about Columbus’s life lead us to believe that he was not Italian but rather from Barcelona, Spain. It is also believed that he was not the son of a weaver, but rather he was the illegitimate son of a Spanish aristocrat.This is a more reasonable explanation for how Columbus managed to marry Felipa Perestrello e Moniz, the daughter of a famous sea captain and one of the most influential families in all of Portugal, especially since marrying outside of your class was absolutely unheard-of(Source 1).
Columbus’s journeys to the Americas were undoubtedly a very important part of the America’s history, however it is possible that Columbus had more of a negative than positive influence on the Americas.Columbus’s initial journey brought him to the island of San Salvador.When he came to the shore he was greeted by what he called "Indinos" or Indians.He captured the Indians and decided that they were like children and that they could easily be converted to Christianity (Source 2).The Arawak Indians treated the Spanish as if they had some sort of divine power until the Spanish decided to steal gold and rape some of the tribeswomen.Columbus returned to Spain with five Indians and proposed more trips to convert heathens and find more gold.The Arawak decided to wage a war with the Spaniards.This war did not last long and the Arawak suffered a depressing defeat to the Spanish.This resulted in the enslavement of the remaining Arawak (Source 3).When Columbus returned to the Americas he brought a fleet of 17 caravels (nearly eight times the people on thefirst voyage).This trend continued until many European nations were sending fleets of ships to establish colonies throughout the Americas (Source 4).