Who was the greatest explorer of the Age of Exploration? Vespucci? No. Magellan? No. Columbus? Yes. Columbus paved the road for all explorers of the time. Columbus was an Italian explorer who thought that he could reach India by traveling west instead of having to sail under the southern tip of Africa; this was very dangerous because of the harsh weather and pirates looking for ships to raid. At the time in Europe it was a common belief of the educated that the world was round, but this theory was never successfully tested by the Europeans by sailing around the world. The people of Europe had not known of the travels of the Vikings to Canada 500 years earlier so they had no idea of other land that had not yet been discovered. Columbus requested multiple countries to sponsor his journey to the west; most countries rejected him but he finally came to agreements with Spain in early 1492. Columbus was given three ships commonly known as the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria but Nina and Pinta were just nicknames the crew had given to them. “Mariners dubbed one of the three ships on Columbus’s 1492 voyage the Pinta, Spanish for “the painted one” or “prostitute.” The Santa Clara, meanwhile, was nicknamed the Nina in honor of its owner, Juan Nino. Although the Santa Maria is called by its official name, its nickname was La Gallega, after the province of Galicia in which it was built.” (History.com). Columbus departed on these ships August 3, 1492 and arrived at the Americas October 12, 1492. Columbus made four total journeys to the new world but each time he believed that where he had been was the East Indies. Columbus is often criticized for not really being the first European to the New World and for his harsh treatment of the native people, but Columbus’ contributions to the world were more positive than often believed. Without Columbus to spark the Age of Exploration of a New World, history would have been much different....
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