Christopher Columbus was an explorer. He was born in Genoa, Italy in the year 1451 and was originally named Cristoforo Colombo but in English his name is Christopher Columbus. Christopher was the oldest of five children. His father had pushed him into a business career and he began sailing on trading ships.
About ten years later some Portuguese people built a huge ship called a caravel. The Portuguese people built the ship because they were trying to sail to the Indies ( what is now known as China, India, Japan). They hoped they would be able to get gold, silk, and spices at less price. This was all Columbus's plan.
Columbus's plan was not right he believed the world had more land then water and he underestimated the circumference around the globe by at least 25 percent. This made him think that Asia went farther east then it actually did. Three years later Columbus took his plan to King John The Third's council and they didn't approve of the idea.
Many years later Columbus's plan was approved. He and his son sailed to Spain. Columbus took three ships with him: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. A total of ninety crew members sailed on the three ships. On the journey Columbus had few navigational tools, but he knew enough to navigate by the north star.
During the day of October 12, the ships landed on a island inn the Caribbean Sea. Columbus named it San Salvador. He found out later that it was named Guanahani by the people who lived on the island. Christopher believed he had landed his boat in the East Indies near Japan so he gave the people on the Island the name Indians. Columbus left the Island and continued up the ocean to where he thought was the Asian mainland.
On Columbus's journey back to Spain the captain of the ship handed the wheel to a boy and he crashed the Santa Maria. It split and then it sank. Columbus made it safely back to Spain.
Columbus died in the year of 1504.
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