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Comparative analysis on early contacts involving indigenous peoples and European explorers - Essay Example

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24 June 2011. Comparative Analysis of the Excerpts: Christopher Columbus and Captain James Cook were two famous travelers in the history, the former being about three centuries older than the latter…
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Comparative analysis on early contacts involving indigenous peoples and European explorers
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Comparative analysis on early contacts involving indigenous peoples and European explorers

Download file to see previous pages... Columbus and Cook share certain traits. Both of them were great travelers and made use of wonderful traveling techniques, yet the fundamental reasons of their travel were totally different from each other. It is also noteworthy that the two had made their journeys at different points in time, and the success or failure of the voyages of Cook was fundamentally influenced by the proceedings of Columbus since he had made his voyages before Cook, thus leaving the latter reduced opportunity of discovering new places. In order to thoroughly understand the underlying causes of travels of the Columbus and Cook, it is imperative that a brief insight to the history of empires is taken. In the 16th century, Habsburg Spain was the heart of first global empire and was a superpower. It had rich culture and the 17th century was a golden era for Spain. It was only after the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 that Spain became deprived of a major share of its power and lost territories in many Low Countries including Italy. In the Continental politics, Spain befell into a second rate nation. Nevertheless, Spain kept hold of its empire overseas. The Genoese sailor, Christopher Columbus was in Spain in 1486, and required support from Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand which he was denied twice, but in the year 1492, Columbus finally gained their support. It was the same year when the last Moorish King of Granada was driven out by Spain. It was a big victory for Spain having achieved which, the Christians of Spanish origin began to dream of triumphing over Islam. Thus, the victory of Christianity was a primary goal of the Spanish Christians. The fundamental reason behind sending Columbus abroad was the spread of Christianity, and accordingly, the empire of Spain. Columbus notes in the letter which appears at the preface of the journal of his first voyage: …Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians . . . took thought to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said parts of India, to see those princes and peoples and lands . . . and the manner which should be used to bring about their conversion to our holy faith,… (Columbus cited in Fiske). This explains why Spanish King opted to send Columbus to far off regions. However, complete understanding of the voyages can not be gained without comprehending Columbus’s own interests in making the voyages. On his journey to the western hemisphere, Columbus compiled journals in which he shared his experiences. The journal of Columbus’s first journey conveys his original impressions of the indigenous people of Caribbean islands. The first excerpt mentioned in the book of (Bentley and Herbert 474) essentially depicts the two main reasons of Columbus’s travels, namely commerce and Christianity. These journals have been written by Columbus in an exaggerated manner in order to convince the Spanish Queen into presenting him gold and rewards. Columbus was promised great rewards and power if he succeeded in attaining the objectives of the Spanish empire. Columbus has also mentioned his personal interests in the very letter in these words: Your Highnesses commanded me that, with a sufficient fleet, I should go to the said parts of India, and for this accorded me great rewards and ennobled me so that from that time henceforth I might style myself "Don" and be high admiral of the Ocean Sea and perpetual Governor of the islands and continent which I should discover . . . and that my eldest son ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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