HIST191 Lecture Notes - The Columbian Exchange, Knitting, Caravel

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HIST 191 Christopher Columbus October 12, 1492 MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2012
Columbus Assignment Chicago style
looked east along silk road
every European country desired Asian goods (spices, silk, perfumes, jewels, metals, sugars)
each European country looked for new routes to Asia
Why Columbus sailed?: to improve economy
Columbus’ Old Image
Greatest man of his era
Navigator who added a new hemisphere to our globe
Scandinavians argued they were there first 1000 CE (before Columbus)
Columbus then “re-discovered” the Americas
Other visitors to the Americas?
1200 CE carving in India holding a corn on a cob only crew in Americas
5 Chinese monks describe long stay with indigenous peoples of south-west (Mexico California)
US in 499CE
None had cultural, ecological impact as Columbus
Genoese origins
Born in Genoa (Italian independent state/city) 1451 CE
“Genoa lives by trade”
Overwhelming presence of Roman Catholics, many churches/cathedrals
Looking towards the sea
Columbus BIO
Small merchant dad (small knitting shop)
Tavern-keeping mom
Heard of rumors of West across the sea passage in tavern
Schooled in math, literature, and Latin
1490 experienced navigator, sailor
Voyaged to Portugal slave trading coasts (understood wealth that could come from slaves)
Knew finding west passage to luxuries of china/India would bring wealth
Everyone knew world was round
People afraid of starving to death
Knew world was too big to go other way
15th century European ships/technology could not support these large distances
Columbus well trained in geometry, astrology, geography, astronomy (good to make navigation
decisions [how to sail])
Achieved funding
By his calculations
World is 28,800 kms in circumference
Japan is 5,600 kms away (its 19,200)
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Document Summary

Columbus assignment chicago style looked east along silk road. Every european country desired asian goods (spices, silk, perfumes, jewels, metals, sugars) Each european country looked for new routes to asia. Navigator who added a new hemisphere to our globe. Scandinavians argued they were there first 1000 ce (before columbus) 1200 ce carving in india holding a corn on a cob only crew in americas. 5 chinese monks describe long stay with indigenous peoples of south-west (mexico california) None had cultural, ecological impact as columbus. Born in genoa (italian independent state/city) 1451 ce. Overwhelming presence of roman catholics, many churches/cathedrals. Heard of rumors of west across the sea passage in tavern. Voyaged to portugal slave trading coasts (understood wealth that could come from slaves) Knew finding west passage to luxuries of china/india would bring wealth. Knew world was too big to go other way. 15th century european ships/technology could not support these large distances.

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