Runtime: 90 minutes
Christopher Columbus - Voyages of Christopher Columbus - Netflix
In 1492, a Spanish-based transatlantic maritime expedition led by Christopher Columbus encountered the Americas, a continent which was largely unknown in Europe and outside the Old World political and economic system. The four voyages of Columbus began the Spanish colonization of the Americas. For a very long time, it was believed that Columbus and his crew had been the first Europeans to make landfall in the Americas. However, they were not the first explorers from Europe to reach the Americas, having been preceded by the Viking expedition led by Leif Erikson in the 11th century; however, Columbus's voyages led to ongoing European contact with the Americas, inaugurating a period of exploration, conquest, and colonization that persists to the present. Columbus was an Italian-born navigator sailing for the Crown of Castile in search of a westward route to Asia, to access the sources of spices and other oriental goods. This led instead to a discovery of the New World between Europe and Asia. Columbus made a total of four voyages to the Americas between 1492 and 1502, setting the stage for the European exploration and colonization of the Americas, ultimately leading to the Columbian Exchange. At the time of the Columbus voyages, the Americas were inhabited by the Indigenous Americans, the descendants of Paleo-Indians who crossed Beringia from Asia to North America beginning around 20,000 years ago. Columbus's voyages led to the widespread knowledge that a new continent existed west of Europe and east of Asia. This breakthrough in geographical science led to the exploration and colonization of the New World by Spain and other European sea powers, and is sometimes cited as the start of the modern era. Spain, Portugal, and other European kingdoms sent expeditions and established colonies throughout the New World, converted the native inhabitants to Christianity, and built large trade networks across the Atlantic, which introduced new plants, animals, and food crops to both continents. The search for a westward route to Asia continued in 1513 when Vasco Nuñez de Balboa crossed the narrow Isthmus of Panama to become the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean. The search was completed in 1521, when the Castilian (Spanish) Magellan expedition sailed across the Pacific and reached Southeast Asia.
Christopher Columbus - First return - Netflix
While returning to Spain, the Niña and Pinta encountered the roughest storm of their journey, and, on the night of 13 February, lost contact with each other. All hands on the Niña vowed, if they were spared, to make a pilgrimage to the nearest church of Our Lady wherever they first made land. On the morning of February 15, land was spotted. Columbus believed they were approaching the Azore Islands, but other members of the crew felt that they were considerably north of the islands. Columbus turned out to be right. On the night of February 17, the Niña laid anchor at Santa Maria Island, but the cable broke on sharp rocks, forcing Columbus to stay offshore until the morning, when a safer location was found to drop anchor nearby. A few sailors took a boat to the island, where they were told by several islanders of a still safer place to land, so the Niña moved once again. At this spot, Columbus took on board several islanders who had gathered onshore with food, and told them that his crew wished to come ashore to fulfill their vow. The islanders told him that a small shrine dedicated to Our Lady was nearby. Columbus sent half of the crew members to the island to fulfill their vow, but he and the rest of the crew stayed on the Niña, planning to send the other half to the island upon the return of the first crew members. While the first crew members were saying their prayers at the shrine, they were taken prisoner by the islanders, under orders from the island's captain, João de Castanheira, ostensibly out of fear that the men were pirates. The boat that the crew members had taken to the island was then commandeered by Castanheira, which he took with several armed men to the Niña, in an attempt to arrest Columbus. During a verbal battle across the bows of both craft, during which Columbus did not grant permission for him to come aboard, Castanheira announced that he did not believe or care who Columbus said that he was, especially if he was indeed from Spain. Castanheira returned to the island. However, after another two days, Castanheira released the prisoners, having been unable to get confessions from them, and having been unable to capture his real target, Columbus. There are later claims that Columbus was also captured, but this is not backed up by Columbus's log book. Leaving the island of Santa Maria in the Azores on 23 February, Columbus headed for Castilian Spain, but another storm forced him into Portugal's Lisbon. He anchored next to the King's harbor patrol ship on March 4, 1493, where he was told a fleet of 100 caravels had been lost in the storm. Astoundingly, both the Niña and the Pinta had been spared. Not finding King John II in Lisbon, Columbus wrote a letter to him and waited for the king's reply. The king requested that Columbus go to Vale do Paraíso north of Lisbon to meet him. Relations between Portugal and Castile were poor at the time. Columbus went to meet with the king at Vale do Paraíso. Hearing of Columbus's discoveries, the Portuguese king informed him that he believed the voyage to be in violation of the 1479 Treaty of Alcáçovas. After spending more than a week in Portugal, he set sail for Spain. Word of his finding new lands rapidly spread throughout Europe. He reached Barcelona on 15 March, and the Monument a Colom commemorates his arrival. Columbus and his remaining crew came home to a hero's welcome when they returned to Spain. He showed off what he had brought back from his voyage to the monarchs, including a few small samples of gold, pearls, gold jewelry stolen from natives, a few natives he had kidnapped, flowers, and a hammock. He gave the monarchs a few of the gold nuggets, gold jewelry, and pearls, as well as the previously unknown tobacco plant, the pineapple fruit, the turkey, and the hammock. The monarchs invited Columbus to dine with them. A taster even tasted the food from each of his dishes before he ate to “make sure it was not poisoned.” He was given his own footmen to open doors for him and to serve him at the table. Columbus was even rewarded with his own coat of arms. He did not bring any of the coveted East Indies spices, such as the exceedingly expensive black pepper, ginger or cloves. In his log, he wrote “there is also plenty of 'ají', which is their pepper, which is more valuable than black pepper, and all the people eat nothing else, it being very wholesome”. The word “ají” is still used in South American Spanish for chili peppers. Columbus's letter on the first voyage to the royal court in Madrid was extravagant. He insisted he had reached Asia (it was Cuba) and an island off the coast of China (Hispaniola). His descriptions were part fact, part fiction: “Hispaniola is a miracle. Mountains and hills, plains and pastures, are both fertile and beautiful ... the harbors are unbelievably good and there are many wide rivers of which the majority contain gold. ... There are many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals...”
Christopher Columbus - References - Netflix