Christopher Columbus Goals For Exploration

2343 Words 9 Pages
The subtle, but very noteworthy steps that Christopher Columbus took to guarantee his voyages would appear to indicate that he was motivated by ideals beyond just exploration. Evidence of this can be seen both before and during his voyages. Columbus’ exclusive use of authorities like the King and Queen of Spain for funding suggests that his aims were primarily directed towards conquest. Who Columbus reached out to for funding is a prime example of his intention to conquer, and belies the myth that Columbus had much of a youthful desire to find adventure. Even during his voyages, Columbus was tactical about whom he wrote to and what he mentioned in his letters. In 1485, Columbus’ yearning to sail westward to find a new route to India was …show more content…
Beyond his letters to the King and Queen of Spain, Columbus’ journals are great indications of his true intentions during his voyages. Two journal entries in 1492 both suggest that Christopher Columbus had very little respect for the indigenous people of the islands he discovered and that he had a chief aim of conquering them. The earliest indication of Columbus’ desire to conquer can be see through Columbus’ journal entry on October 12, 1492 in which he wrote that he speculated that the indigenous people would be good servants and he pledged to take six of them to the King and Queen immediately. Because it was written on the first day he encountered the indigenous people, this insinuates that Columbus had not taken any appropriate time to truly study the indigenous people. According to that journal entry, Columbus did not approach the indigenous people with sincere respect, but rather saw their existence as an opportunity to exploit and use them for his personal advantage. Rather than taking time to study the people and their culture, Columbus immediately assumed that they were inferior and would be great …show more content…
Many of his letters to the Castilian sovereigns showed a direct desire for a title, as he often tried to appeal to their senses of expansion more than exploration. Columbus’ first letter during his first voyage demonstrates this best. In 1492, during his first voyage, Columbus wrote a letter to the treasurer of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Lord Raphael Sanchez, that detailed his voyage and asserted all of what he supposed to be exceptional happenings. The letter itself served numerous purposes. To the public, it was Europe’s main source of understanding how successful Columbus had been during his first voyage. Without explicitly saying it, Columbus was dictating to the world how magnificent his findings were and stetting the stage for the narrative that he was a great explorer. This letter became one of the principal reasons that many of his contemporaries hailed him as an exemplary explorer. To the King and queen of Spain, it was intended to substantiate and influence them to believe that Columbus’ explorations had distinction and would generate opulence for their kingdom. In the letter, like most explorers would do, Columbus did reference spices and gold, but the most captivating item Columbus mentions is the populaces he and his men interact with during his first voyage. It is in this first letter that we see Columbus truly break down his

Related Documents