Christopher Columbus Discovers America, 1492

Christopher Columbus often gets credit for discovering America, but this is despite the fact that people were already living on the continent.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in North America, he actually saw people already there. Those were the Native Americans.

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Question 1 of 2

What was Christopher Columbus looking for?

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Question 2 of 2

When did Christopher Columbus land in America?

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The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

Christopher Columbus set foot on American soil in 1492.

And as he arrived ashore in North America, Columbus actually saw that people already lived there. These people were what we now call Native Americans.

So, even when Columbus claimed he discovered America, this was only the first time that Europeans were experiencing it.

How it all started

Christopher Columbus was believing that he could get to Asia if he sailed west across the wide Atlantic Ocean. So he asked Spain’s King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella to finance the trip. They were hoping Columbus could find riches.

And Columbus came ashore on an island in what today are the Bahamas.

Columbus actually thought that he landed close to what is now India.

Columbian Exchange

The Spanish royalty and rulers asked Columbus to set up a settlement and start looking for gold. The Spanish ships were carrying horses, pigs, cows, wheat, sugar cane, and barley.

These plants and animals were new to the area of the Americas.

And the Spanish were also carrying some new diseases and the people started to die in epidemics.

Bot Columbus was taking back to Spain also new foods, such as potatoes, beans, corn, cacao, and peanuts.

Now, we call this movement of animals and plants between the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe the “Columbian Exchange”. In Europe, potatoes became a very important food element.

It wasn’t long before more European rulers sent their own exploration crews to the new lands of the Americas to find riches and claim lands.

In the US, Columbus Day is a holiday for commemorating Christopher Columbus’ 1492 landing in the Americas.

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