Was Christopher Columbus a Success or Failure?


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Christopher Columbus wanted to set up colonies for Spain and to find riches in the Far East. He promised the King and Queen of Spain that he would bring back gold, spices and silks. He sailed from Spain in 1492 with three ships.

Here are some of the things that happened to Columbus:

On his second voyage he discovered some islands including Jamaica. He set up the colony of Hispaniola. Columbus’ crew was cruel to the Indians who lived there.

On his third voyage Columbus discovered South America. He went back to Hispaniola and found the people who lived in the colony were short of food and ready to rebel. The King of Spain heard about it and Columbus was arrested and sent back to Spain in chains.

Columbus wanted to show the King and Queen of Spain that he was a good man. He went on a fourth voyage. Columbus arrived at Panama. They found some gold there and set up a trading post.

The Indians who lived there did not like Columbus and his men being there. They forced them to run away.

Columbus was disappointed because he did not find a new route to the East. He returned to Spain in 1504. He hoped the king and queen would ask him to lead another expedition but they did not. He died in 1506, disappointed that he had not found a new route to the Far East.

Historians say that he was not the first man to discover America because the Vikings had been there before him. However, he did open up a new pathway from the Old World (Spain, Italy, etc) to the New (America) and changed life forever on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Facts PDF Worksheet:

    • Aimed at Students studying at UK Year 8/9 or equivalent
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