THE ARRIVAL OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (1492)





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Who was Christopher Columbus?


The first European to arrive in the Caribbean was Christopher Columbus. He was a Genoese (from Genoa, Italy) captain who was working for the Spanish government when he made his famous first landing in the Bahamas in 1492. However, he had not intended to journey to the Caribbean, because at that time no one in Europe knew that the Caribbean or the continent of America existed. People in Europe thought that if they sailed far enough to the west, they would come to India. When Columbus first arrived, he thought that he had reached India. This is why the Caribbean is also called the 'West Indies'.
Europeans wanted to find a route to India in the following a route in the west because trade with India was very important to them. The journey east to India from Europe was a long and difficult one. Columbus thought it might be easier to reach India by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean.
In the decades that followed Columbus' arrival, he and other explorers claimed that all the Caribbean islands which they explored belonged to Spain. But other European countries wanted a share of the islands and so these countries fought each other to win control of the Caribbean islands. Eventually, the British, the French, the Dutch, the Danes, the Swedes - as well as the Spanish - shared the islands between them. The islands were taken by the different European countries. As a result, the Caribbean region is divided into many countries today.

Biography of Christopher Columbus:




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