Columbus, By Christopher Columbus Essay

Columbus, By Christopher Columbus Essay

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In 1492, Christopher Columbus gained the support of the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, for an expedition to the Indies. He was a self-made man who had worked his way up to being the Captain of a merchant vessel. Columbus’ goal, with the support of the Spanish monarchy, was to find a new and faster trade route to the Indies. Upon arrival of his first voyage, Columbus wrote a letter to Luis de Santangel, a “royal official and an early supporter of his venture.” (35). The epistle, a letter, entitled “Letter to Luis de Santangel Regarding the First Voyage” was copied and distributed in Spain in 1493 before being translated and spread throughout Europe. The Letter was held in such regard as it is considered the first printed description of America. With his description of the nature of America, Columbus decided the fate of America. Through his description of the vast beauty of the nature around him, Columbus asserts both the economic and nationalistic motivations for colonizing the new world.
Columbus’ letter to Santangel is dated February 15, 1493, and has a very positive and upbeat tone. From the very beginning he proclaims the five islands have been claimed for Spain with a “proclamation made and the royal standard unfurled” (35). He goes on to relate how he has named the islands: San Salvador, Isla de Santa Marie de Concepcion, Isla Juana, Fernandina and Isabella. He has not only given the islands Spanish names, but he has named them after his benefactors to gain favor. By giving Spanish names he pleases his benefactors and draws in religion by also naming one of the islands after the Virgin Mary. The Spanish names are just the first part to colonizing the islands. Through making the islands Spanish and placing an unfu...


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...nlimited resources, vantage points, a harbor that can be a grand trading hub while all being surrounded by the beauty of Gods nature. His description makes it very difficult to pass up such an opportunity.
Through his use of descriptive nature, Columbus brought about a great change in American history. His letter was translated and passed around not only Spain but to all of Europe as well. The people were able to visualize the new life they could lead by traveling to this wondrous land Columbus was describing. They would have ample resources, the ability to trade easily and a built in work force where they would not have to do much manual labor themselves. With just one letter, Columbus described a paradise that drew immigrants to come by the ship load to colonize the new world. As Columbus stated at the end of his letter to Santangel, “Espanola is a marvel” (36).

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