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ImThatAnnoyingGuy t1_ixi1bzs wrote

Whether he was a “Gallego” or an “Italian” is irrelevant. His “discovery” of the Americas was a complete accident. He was trying to get to the “East Indies” and bumped into another whole continent by chance. Regardless, he did so with Spanish resources and Spanish crews, not Italian. He did so in the name of the Spanish crown. His “rediscovery” of the Americas (because the Vikings “discovered” it for Europeans first) was a Spanish accomplishment, not an Italian one.


very_random_user t1_ixjc3uo wrote

>His “rediscovery” of the Americas (because the Vikings “discovered” it for Europeans first) was a Spanish accomplishment, not an Italian one.

Columbus voyages moved the trade to the Atlantic away from the Mediterranean. In the long term Columbus damaged the Italian peninsula, if anything. Italy was crazy rich compared to a large part of the rwt.of Europe until yhe discovery age. Then became a secondary place and all of the countries in the peninsula suffered. (Granted I am not saying Columbus is the main cause of the Italian decline but he didn't help). PS my understanding is that it is not clear at all that Columbus genuinely believed he was going for the Indies or if that was sort of an excuse to get funded.


ImThatAnnoyingGuy t1_ixkrs0f wrote

His voyage led to Spain becoming a super power and the first “global empire,” wherein Spain would hold assets in all hemispheres be they north, south, east, or west. Southern Italy, namely the kingdom of Naples, was already a vassal of Spain’s. Naples was a vassal to the kingdom of Aragon, which King Ferdinand ruled over. When he married Isabel to further the forging of a united “Hispania,” he brought his vassals to the union as assets. Once the conquests of New Spain began the Spanish Empire grew in wealth and power beyond anything that had been seen since the rise of the Western Roman Empire. Regardless, Columbus or Colón as he is known to us, was an agent of Spain and executed the will of the Spanish monarchy.


Penitent_Exile t1_ixn4iga wrote

I agree. America was Spanish achievement regardless of Columbus's heritage. But, still, for some people it might be heart-warming knowing he was "one of ours".


ElHeim t1_ixvgdt4 wrote

They should read a bit more about his biography before feeling that heart-warming feeling.


Trextrev t1_ixk1fg9 wrote

You keep using the term “Americas” when Columbus didn’t discover or rediscover The Americas. They were named after Amerigo Vespucci who was the first European to spot them in 1501. As far as Columbus knew he just found some new islands “West Indies”.


ImThatAnnoyingGuy t1_ixkqqgl wrote

You’re technically correct, but given that Columbus sailed in 1492 and discovered islands in the Caribbean, he is generally given credit for discovering the “New World.” At least that was the story when I was kid some 30+ years ago. History gets revised and refined as new sources are uncovered and reconciled with the existing body of literature/evidence. Vespucci came after Columbus on subsequent voyages that aimed to understand the scope of Columbus’ discovery. I am not sure if anyone actually referred to the previously unknown (to 15-16th Century Europeans) lands as the Americas at the time, but it’s a modern convention aimed at making it simple to refer to the lands that would be uncovered as a result of his “discovery.”


bafangoolNJ t1_ixi68a1 wrote

Did he really discover it if a) we were already here? And B) the first Europeans to arrive were Vikings.


SeleucusNikator1 t1_ixiskf9 wrote

> Did he really discover it if a) we were already here? And B) the first Europeans to arrive were Vikings.

"Discover" can also mean discovering it for the Eurasian and African worlds, and I'd say he did discover it because the Vikings never shared their information with anyone and their voyages had no lasting impact outside of the very small area they were present in.

Norse Vinland is an interesting bit of history, but ultimately it did not matter much to the world since the colony quickly died out and the Norsemen did not establish any sustainable and long-lasting trade route or maintained contact with that land. Columbus is the famous one because he went back, told everyone what he found, and his voyage is what began the actual centuries only process of settlement, conquest, etc. which changed both continents forever.


bafangoolNJ t1_ixit7kg wrote

Thanks for the perspective.


ElHeim t1_ixvgzjd wrote

For additional perspective, there's also been the claim that a famous Chinese captain "discovered" the New World some 70 years earlier.

But it's all irrelevant for the same reason: the Chinese were about to get totally focused on themselves, they didn't share the discovery. Actually, if it happened, they actively suppressed all knowledge of it.

No further contact, no spreading of the knowledge = no impact.

It's like when you invent some new device. if you sit on it and someone else creates the same thing, then patents it, they get all the credit.


RegumRegis t1_ixiey1b wrote

Yeah. He was the one to you know, actually bother to record what he was doing and spread the information.