Awesome Advent Day 5: Clumsy Columbus
In 1492 today, Christopher Columbus became the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Among some of his accomplishments, such as that, there were several mistakes he made.
Columbus wasn’t first to discover America- Leif Ericson, a Viking, discovered it back in 1002, almost 500 years before him:
In 1477 Columbus was hired as a merchant mariner for King John II of Portugal. At the time Portugal were gaining power on the seas and establishing trade with African kingdoms. By the 1480s they found out that the Indian Ocean was on the other side of Africa. Some Europeans came up with the theory the Earth was smaller than previously thought to be, and when Columbus heard about this he asked King John for funding to travel west to find riches, but was turned down. He then tried in France, England and Spain but with no luck until 1492 when Spain agreed to help.
The trip lasted for 5 weeks before spotting an island and Columbus went ashore. Due to the small Earth theory he thought he was in Japan and so called the natives Indians. However, he didn’t land on mainland America, thus never discovering what we know as the USA today.