The famous Navigator died without being aware of that, in its search for a shorter route to Asia, had discovered the new world.
The Santa Maria
The first trip
The Pinta, the Niña and Santa Maria
Departure from the port of Palos
Triumphal welcome in Barcelona
Death of Colon
Signature of the capitulations of Santa Fe
Colon says goodbye to the Catholic monarchs
The discovery of the new world
John Vanderlyn (picture)
The four voyages of Columbus
Few historical figures have been as controversial and offered so many ambiguous features such as the Navigator called Cristóbal Colón, despite the fact that he was not born with that name. It is recognized as the "discoverer of America", although he never knew it, and from a strict point of view, it has not been so fully. His true identity, his place of birth, noble or plebeian origin, studying or ignorance, their adventures of youth, ambitions or pettiness, their certain knowledge or lucky delusions, have lent to numerous discussions and debates among biographers and historians.
In what refers to his person, the works gathered in the Raccolta Colombiana (Italy 1892-1896), the Document Aseretto (found some years later), investigations of Spanish scholars Muñoz y Fernández Navarrete and the more recent Diplomatorio Columbian definitely realize their Genoese and humble origin and allow rebuild older undoubtedly lagoons or the ups and downs of his hectic and intense biography.
With respect to the importance of his feat, it should be noted that it was surprising in the geographical and timely political, but not so novel scientific as is often said. At the end of the 15th century science already accepted that the Earth was spherical balloon, knew that theoretically you could reach the Antipodes sailing West, knew the existence of Islands and northern lands explored by Vikings and Danes, and supposed that who tried to reach the Indies by the West could encounter on their way with some «terra incognita».
Since the middle ages there were speculations and legends about the limits of the dark sea. San Barandrán Irish already spoke of a great continent and 'a huge island with seven cities', and similar stories are recorded in Gaelic traditions, Celtic and Icelandic, while peninsular Arabs mentioned the issuance of the magrurinos which sailed from Lisbon and «after eleven days sailing towards the West and twenty-four days to the South» became a land where they grazed sheep meat bitter.
In 14th century, Venetian Niccolò Zeno drew a map that clearly defined Greenland and Newfoundland and Nova Scotia coasts. And a few years before Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, in his work of Imago Mundi, developed with full extent the idea of getting to the dominions of the Great Khan (described by Marco Polo) after a relatively short journey to the West. Columbus himself was absolutely convinced that terra firma would find «some seven hundred leagues further than the Canary Islands».
The project was not new, but even popular, between cartographers and navigators as a possible alternative to the long route of spices; so much so that one of the greatest fears of Colon was that another will advance you to cross the Atlantic. But what neither he nor scholars or sailors from that time could imagine was the vast extension of the «terra incognita» nor the unexpected vastness of the Pacific. That was the real scientific discovery that began that day in 1492: not only appeared a "new world", but that the old globe has expanded to almost double the size that was supposed you.
A young adventurer
The comparative study of various documentation ensures that the future Navigator was born in Genoa and that this fact must occur between August 25 and 31 October of the year 1451. The name of Cristoforo was given, and was the first son of the marriage formed five years earlier by Domenico Colombo and Susana Fontanarossa. The family was seated in Liguria from at least a century ago, although its members have always been peasants or craftsmen without means of fortune. The own Domenico seems to have been moved from fifth to Genoa around 1429 to learn the trade of Weaver. The Colombo had other three sons and a daughter, Bianchinetta. Two of these brothers Colombo would play a prominent and continuous role in the adventures and misadventures of the firstborn: Bartholomew and Giacomo. The second one was call Diego in Spain.
The Santa Maria
He was old enough when Cristoforo helped his father in his successive works such as cheese and innkeeper or accompanied him on business trips to fifth or Savona. It was a boy awake and restless, but not shown that it had followed any kind of studies. What really attracted him was the port, the stories of sailors, ships arriving from distant lands. Genoa was an important centre of maritime trade and does not cost much to the young Colombo enlist in boats of the large shipping companies in the city, doing various commercial itineraries in the Mediterranean. Thus learned, in practice on deck, the office of the sea. He spoke with pilots of winds and currents, read the charts and rehearsed the use of nautical instruments. At the age of twenty he was already a good sailor.
After his likely enlistment in an expedition of the Ligurian army to the Greek island of Chios, which was part of the Genoese domains, in 1476 Cristoforo embarked on a commercial fleet bound for Flanders. But shortly after crossing the Strait a providential event would change the life of the young Colombo. It was the time when Portuguese and French supported Juana la Beltraneja in the struggle for the succession of Castile, and French warships attacked no greater reason than the bucanerismo to the Genoese convoy.
Sunk their ship, Cristoforo reached to swim the Portuguese coast. Shortly after, he was installed in Lisbon, as agent of the important House shipping Centurione, owner of the attacked flotilla. There he changed his name to Christopher and his surname by Colomo or Colom, while met it his brother Bartholomew, also marino and interested in cartography.
Tradition has it that the Colomo took a room and quiet life, and that the mayor used to hear mass at the convent of Santos. There was set in one of the pupils, Felipa Moniz Palestrello, young beautiful and important family. Mother, Isabel Moniz was of noble lineage, related to the Infanta of Portugal; the father, Diego Palestrello, also Genoese, was closely related to the nautical companies of the Portuguese Crown and was at that time Governor of the island of Porto Santo in the Madeira Archipelago. Christopher asked and obtained the hand of Felipa in 1477, and a year later was born a son he named Diego.
Under the influence of his father-in-law, Columbus became interested increasingly in geographical and scientific aspects of navigation, moving away from its purely commercial aspect. This could also weigh its early widowhood (Felipa died a year after giving birth) and his disagreements with the House Centurione, who put a prolonged lawsuit, which was the basis of the Document Aseretto.
The big project
From that moment, Cristobal began to dream and design the huge and ambitious project that would haunt him all his life: discover a route shorter and secure to the Indies, sailing to the West. Has already been mentioned that the theoretical idea was fairly widespread and have been cited more or less legendary history, to which must be added that the own Navigator could collect during his stays in Porto Santo and the clear mood of «ocean expansion' is living in Portugal from discoveries and explorations of the archipelagos Atlantic and the coasts of Africa.
But it is likely that the triggering factor was a letter from the Florentine Paolo de el Pozzo Toscanello wise with the Canon Fernando Martins, so interested to the King in their ideas. Document - or a copy of it - came at the hands of Christopher, perhaps through Diego Palestrello. Theory of the humanist of Florence summarizes knowledge at the time about the globe, which they acertaban in their spherical shape and they erred in the calculation of its dimensions, awarding only 125 degrees to the distance between Canary Islands of Asia.
The first trip
Colon took the idea, transformed it into task force project and raised it to King Juan II. The Portuguese monarch put as a condition that does not depart from the Canary Islands, as where the trip were to succeed, the Crown of Castile could claim the lands conquered by the Treaty of Alcaçovas. Seemed to Columbus, trusting only in the calculations which had plotted from the Canary Islands, too risky to starting from Madeira, so that there was no agreement. Some say that the monarch lived that foreigner without qualifications or studies, and secretly sent another expedition that ended in failure. Suffered by this deception, or more likely because of their economic troubles and the illusion of finding another guard, Christopher left Lisbon along with his son and his brother Bartholomew. They along the peninsula, with the intention of letting the small Diego in charge of his maternal aunt Violante Moniz, who lived in Huelva.
On the way they stopped at the nearby Franciscan monastery of La Rábida, where they stayed as a guest. The guardian father, fray Juan Pérez, who had been the confessor of the Queen, got hooked on the project from abroad that was called Xrobal Colón (XR was at the time the anagram of Christ), and interested in it to his erudite colleague fray Antonio de Marchena, an expert in astronomy and cosmography. Both friars gave recommendations to the Duke of Medinaceli, who was impassioned by the idea and retained by Columbus for more than one year, in order to prepare the expedition. The Catholic monarchs took such a project, but everything the Duke could do was send to the sailor to his Court of Córdoba.
Once again, in 1485, a Council of elders meeting in Salamanca warned the company, perhaps because they already had evidence of the extensive and arduous crossing. But Elizabeth, despite being locked in the war of Granada, not entirely ruled out the idea of taking the flag of Castile to the Indies. Awarded a pension to the Navigator and begged him to remain in Cordoba. Cristobal was installed in an Inn, where engaged in relationship with the young woman Beatriz Enríquez, twenty years younger than him. From that union was born in 1488 a son Hernando, who would be the first biographer of Admiral and head of the concealment and ambiguities that would wrap his figure for centuries.
Completing the conquest of Granada, the Kings received with better mood to Columbus. But the claims from abroad were unconscionable: the Admiralty of the Oceana sea, the hereditary Viceroyalty of the lands that will find and an important part of all the riches that he or his men obtained by conquest or trade. Fernando did note his excess, although Isabel dismissed him with vague promises. Colon, tired of his wandering Iberian, decided to take his project before the King of France.
The Pinta, the Niña and Santa Maria
The friars of La Rabida managed to dissuade him and, with the collaboration of the courtiers Luis de Santangel and Juan Coloma, convinced the Catholic Monarchs of conform to the so-called Protocol of Santa Fe, conceded in 1492 to the Admiral titles and prebends that required, although only ten percent of any profits. But exhausted real treasures did not provide a single Maravedí to finance the expedition (despite what says the legend, the jewels of the Queen already had been pledged to the Valencian usurers). With them had relation Santangel, who was the bright idea of mortgaged the lease of the Genoese rights to the port of Valencia, a trick that took, by mediation of Columbus himself, the rich banker Ligurian Juanoto Berardi. Solved the financial problem, only needed find the boats and crews.
The Admiral of the Oceana sea
Colon then had another providential encounter: Martín Alonso Pinzón, wealthy owner, old sea lion and prosperous merchant from Huelva, which is impassioned by the Columbian project. It was thanks to the prestige of Finch that Huelva wary sailors agreed to enlist in the strange company, and that shipowners Pinto and child agreed to divest two caravels that would be baptized with their names. Martín Alonso and his brother Vicente Yáñez pilotarían these ships, while the Admiral chose a Cantabrian não anchored in the port of Palos, called Marigalante. Her owner, the cartographer Juan de la Cosa, offered to join the expedition as master and the ship captain was renamed Santa Maria. He remained still buy gear and provisions. The Pinzon brothers and friends met the missing money, and everything was ready to take to the sea.
Departure from the port of Palos
The expedition left from the port of Palos on August 3, 1492. Despite the opposition of Martín Alonso and the doubts of Juan de la Cosa, Colon obcecadamente insisted on maintaining the course marking grade 28 latitude, passing iron island. By fortune, intuition, or knowledge that the Admiral did not reveal, that course was very favorable to advance without anxiety to the West. And the small square was interned in the enigma of the «dark sea".
But more than two months passed without sighting land and there were near misses of rebellion, reduced thanks to the unquestionable authority of Finch. Also was the veteran who convinced Colon finally twist the course to the Southwest and soon we began to see floating branches, birds and other unmistakable signs of approaching a coastline (must be said that if had followed the course of the parallel 28 had arrived in Florida, and perhaps in American history would have been another).
On the night of 11-12 October the sailor Juan Rodriguez Bermejo, nicknamed the Triana, gave the cry of "Earth!" from the top of the pint. Dawn landed in a (Guananahi or Walting, Bahamas) island that Columbus named San Salvador. Convinced found in domains of the Great Khan, the Navigator travelled through the archipelago in search of riches. But found only tropical forests and naked natives. After hitting the island of Juana (Cuba), inevitably the Santa Maria ran aground on the coast of Hispaniola (today Haiti).
Colon decided to take the remains of the ship to build a precarious Fort, named Nativity as December 25. There were a few volunteers and the rest of the expedition undertook the return on January 4, 1493. The Admiral led La Niña and ordered governing northward, apparently erroneous course. But once again was right, because the Gulf stream rounding without difficulty to the peninsula, while La Pinta de Martín Alonso was diverted by a storm. They arrived to Lisbon one and the other to Bayonne (Galicia). And while Colon rejected offers of Juan II of Portugal to appropriate discovery, Finch, sick, dying shortly afterwards.
Triumphal welcome in Barcelona
The Catholic monarchs received Colon in Barcelona with great pomp and ceremony, without being swayed by the intrigues that were already produced against it. Confirmed it its titles and privileges and by Royal Decree accreted a castle and one lion in his coat of arms. But the Admiral just thought about returning to the Indies, and this time with great nautical display. On September 25, 1493 sailed from Cadiz in front of a powerful fleet of 1,500 crew members, with captains like Ponce de León, Pedro de Margarit or Bernal Díaz, ecclesiastical, cartographers and the conquense hidalgo Alonso de Ojeda, who would become the fearless conqueror paradigm.
This second trip lasted more than two years, and he explored the Lesser Antilles and the islands of Puerto Rico and Jamaica, as well as skirting the coast of Cuba. The old Nativity Fort had been swept by the Indians, and Colon founded a new spot called La Isabela. He left there as advance and Governor his brother Bartholomew, but not before severely repress the natives with the help of Ojeda. In the meantime, had reached the peninsula news, perhaps deliberately exaggerated, about the arbitrariness of the Admiral and the killing of indigenous people. The truth is that Columbus was so clumsy ruler on Earth as distinguished nauta at sea. But the Kings, for the moment, maintained his confidence and authorized a new trip "to amend the misdeeds" who might have committed.
Six caravels Sanlúcar de Barrameda partiron 30 may 1498, manned mostly by convicts. It was both the fear and mistrust that already inspired the stories of high risk and little profit that came over from the new lands. This third expedition was which came more to the South, circling the island Trinidad and sighting the mouth of the Orinoco, in the current Venezuela. But tormented Columbus returned to Hispaniola, after an absence of thirty months. There, he found a real chaos. The corregidor Francisco Roldán had rebelled against Bartholomew and Diego, supported by ex-convicts and unamiable chieftains, while regular forces remained neutral.
Unable to master the situation, the Admiral claimed relief to the Crown, tacitly acknowledging its mistakes as viceroy. Months later, after new Roldán bravado and excesses of the Columbus, arrived the real Commissioner, Francisco de Bobadilla. This sent to apprehend the three brothers, who upon reaching the peninsula remained imprisoned in Cádiz. Current historiography means that the performance of Bobadilla was correct, in the circumstances. However, the Kings ordered to release detainees, although they temporarily deprived Cristóbal Colón in the governorate of new world.
Death of Colon
Both porfiaba the Admiral back finally was allowed to Board, but with the express prohibition of approaching Hispaniola. In this fourth and final trip touched the shores of Central America (Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua) and returned tired and sick to settle down in Valladolid, where (against another myth colonic) enjoyed good incomes until he surprised the death may 20, 1506. Initially buried in Seville, his son Diego moved his remains later to Hispaniola (Santo Domingo), of which he was Governor.
Chronology of Cristóbal Colón
|1451||Born in Genoa.|
|1469||Journey through the Mediterranean.|
|1476||Referred to in Portugal as a sales representative and make several trips.|
|1477||Wedding in Lisbon with Felipa Moniz.|
|1482||It proposes to the Portuguese court to reach the Indies crossing the Atlantic. Your plan is rejected.|
|1485||He moved to live in Spain.|
|1486||It is received by the Catholic monarchs.|
|1491||The Catholic Kings consent subject to your project.|
|1492||Sail from the port of Palos. On 12 October he arrives to the Bahamas, and later to Cuba and Santo Domingo.|
|1493||Second voyage and the Spanish Foundation.|
|1498||Third voyage from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, with six ships. See Trinity and reaches to the Mainland.|
|1500||Imprisoned in Santo Domingo by Bobadilla, is returned to Spain.|
|1502-1504||Fourth and last voyage.|
|1506||Dies in Valladolid.|
Cristóbal Colón trips
The discovery of America
The success of the Columbian project is only historically understandable if we admit that there is an entire previous navigations and technical improvements that created the conditions for its success would be possible. Of the so-called Fertile Crescent of geographical discovery, the region between the Algarve and the coast of Huelva, had been party since the beginning of the 15th century countless ships roamed the African coast in search of spices plunging more and more towards the South and West, since on their way back they should practice the "return of Guinea" heading West in search of trade winds to then take the direction to the peninsula.
However, stubbornness, experience and genius of Cristóbal Colón are indisputable. An expert sailor, influenced by the environment of Portugal and the readings of Ptolomeo, Strabo, Mandeville, Marco Polo and others, Colon conceived the project reach the India across the ocean, following a course to the West. A famous humanist, Toscanelli, decisively influenced him and induced him to commit major errors of calculation, which led him to think that the Earth was smaller and greater Asia; that supposed that distances acortaban considerably, what was convinced that could make the trip in caravels without doing scales.
In 1484 Columbus presented its project to Juan II of Portugal and requested financial support for putting it into practice. But a Board of experts considered that plan was preposterous, and the King, more concerned about African explorations, refused to assist him. Disappointed, he moved to Castile to present their ideas to the Catholic monarchs, since he needed the support of a monarch or a powerful nobleman to run expenses.
Accompanied by his son Diego, settled in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva), where he came in contact with some people who helped him and who later had a leading role in the realization of the company. These people were the Franciscan friars of La Rábida, which put him in contact with the Kings. Finch, who gave Columbus its accoutrements, knowledge and influences; and the Andalusian sailors accustomed to navigating the Atlantic and which would form the crew of the Columbian journey. The Castilian monarchs took awhile to accept projects of Columbus; they were seven years, during which made frequent contacts with influential people in the Court, but the Kings showed to be more interested in the conquest of Granada.
The capitulations of Santa Fe
There were various reasons why the Catholic monarchs decided not to lend their support to the Columbian project. Apart from the war of Granada, Columbus demands were exaggerated and the experts who analyzed the project determined that it was very risky. Some courtiers, such as Luis de Santangel and Francisco de Pinelo, convinced the Kings of the need to compromise. When the Granada war was coming to its end, Colón was received by the monarchs in Santa Fe, and they told her of their intention to finance the company.
Signature of the capitulations of Santa Fe
The result of the negotiations was picked up in the capitulations of Santa Fe, signed in April of 1492. They made a series of concessions to Columbus, but all conditioned to the fact of discovery. The key points of this agreement granted Columbus enormous privileges, as the title of Admiral and Governor General of lands to be discovered. They were also granted him ten percent of the profits, apart from other economic advantages.
With a few letters to the Great Khan and instructions for organizing the Navy, Columbus went to puerto de Palos of the border, which was chosen as a starting point because in it had a good fleet and sailors experienced in Atlantic sailings.
The first voyage of Columbus
When they had finished the preparations, some ninety men embarked on three ships: two caravels, Pinta and la Niña captained by the Pinzon brothers, and a nao, the Santa Maria, which was Cristóbal Colón. Most of the crew was sticks; only fifteen members of the expedition were not Andalusians: ten Basque and five foreigners. Not embarked women, Friars or soldiers, but official real to ensure the economic interests of the monarchs, and an interpreter of Eastern languages.
Colon says goodbye to the Catholic monarchs
On August 3, 1492 sailed the fleet heading to the Canary Islands, and with an objective clear: reach the Asian coast across the Atlantic. All the details of the trip are collected in an exceptional document, "Journal" wrote Columbus, known for the copy made of the same fray Bartolomé de Las Casas.
Some problems arose at the crossing. The most important was the discontent of the crew by the move away from the coasts and the continuing presence of winds, that took them directly to the West, fearing that they would not find favorable winds to return to the peninsula. But before the end of the month of August appeared contrary winds, thanks to which the spirits are pacified.
The problems reappeared when you enter the area of calm, which, together with the absence of signs of Earth, again showed the discontent of the sailors. Colon came to think that it had surpassed the Japan and their problems increased when broke out a general riot that stanched after achieving to convince his men that in a few more days would find land. Soon winds increased, the browsing speed is fanned and began showing signs of being near the coast: some flocks of birds and timber floating in the sea.
When, at last, October 12 is sighted land, the joy of the expedition was immense. They had come to an island in the Bahamas, Columbus named to San Salvador and the Indians called Guanahani. This island is in eighteenth-century Englishmen called Watling.
Columbus landed and took possession of it on behalf of the Catholic monarchs. All were amazed the lands and men, Colon began to call Indians (for believing that he had come to Asian coasts) and reminded the guanches of the Canary Islands. These men were peaceful, but lacked the riches that the discoverers hoped to find.
The discovery of the new world
John Vanderlyn (picture)
Soon came to recognize the coast of the island, and believing in the far East, set sail again in search of Cipango (Japan). They toured the coasts of multiple Islands Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti, which received the name of Hispaniola. At the same time that continued to maintain relations with the natives, the Spaniards sought spices, but, instead, they saw for the first time the corn, canoes, hammock and tobacco.
On Christmas eve of 1492 wrecked the nao Santa Maria on the North coast of Hispaniola. Loading was saved with the help of the natives, and the remains of the nao Columbus decided to build a Fort, called La Navidad, which was the first Spanish settlement in America. There were 39 men to maintain friendly relations with the Islanders and look for gold mines. In mid-January, the Admiral gave the order to return. Next the Spaniards embarked some indigenous, parrots, turkeys, products of the land, and exotic objects. In the early days of navigation, Columbus wrote his famous "letter", which was intended to spread the word of your great discovery.
The difficulties of the return trip were enormous, but at all times Colon showed superb qualities sea-worthy. Winds and storms separated the two vessels, and Colon, in command of the girl was forced to put towards Lisbon, being greeted by Juan II, who was the first to hear the story of his adventure. The Portuguese King claimed their rights over discovered lands, on the basis of the Pact of Alcáçovas, but Colon showed him that he had not come to Guinea, but to the Indies. For fear of retaliation by the Catholic monarchs, the monarch left him starting heading to sticks.
Martín Alonso Pinzón, under the command of PT, which was lost in a storm and arrived off the coast of Galicia, and from there took turn to sticks, where he arrived at the same time that Colon, in the middle of March. The Admiral got underway for the Kings, who were in Barcelona. It crossed the peninsula arousing the curiosity of everyone with its spectacle of the Parrot, indigenous, exotic feathers, leaving Spaniards impressed and admired.
The new division of the world
Hosting had Colon in Barcelona was great, and the Kings confirmed you all the privileges agreed in Santa Fe. Immediately began diplomatic contacts with the Pope for the award on the grounds discovered and undiscovered, and Portugal to establish a border in the discoveries, subject that caused tension between the two kingdoms.
The starting point were two bulls issued by Alejandro VI. The first annexed new lands to the Crown of Castile, and the second limited the expansion of Portuguese and Castilians area with a Meridian located 100 leagues from the Azores. The negotiations were very hard and the Portuguese were not compliant with the sanction of the papal, therefore, although they agreed that the world had to divide up, they would prefer that the dividing line was a parallel, since so soon in the southern hemisphere.
Finally, in June 1494, the issue was considered settled with the Treaty of Tordesillas, according to which both parties agreed that the demarcation line was the Meridian located 370 leagues West of Cape Verde. The vagueness of the agreement and the difficulties to determine the length (which could be achieved only in the 18th century), made that they do not end the jurisdictional problems. For this reason, the expansion of the Portuguese in Brazil and Spaniards in Southeast Asia, with the conquest of the Philippine Islands, would create diplomatic problems between the monarchs of the Iberian Peninsula, which were resolved by the policy of force and fait accompli.
In September of 1493 to sea was an army made up of 17 ships and close to 1500 men, formidable strength. Its objectives were to help the Spaniards who remained in America during the first trip in the establishment of strong Christmas, continuing discoveries trying to reach the land of the Great Khan, and colonize the Islands formerly found. After a scale in the Canary Islands, which with time would become commonplace in the Indian race, Columbus ordered to head more to the South than on the first trip, thinking that in this way he would Cipango (Japan) more easily.
The four voyages of Columbus
What Columbus found on this second trip was in fact, the route faster and safer to sail to America. In just 21 days managed to reach the islands of Dominica and desired, and then discover Guadeloupe, Montserrat, and Puerto Rico. On the coast north of Haiti, where it was strong Christmas, Columbus knew that the 39 men who had left on the first trip had been killed, as he was told at the hands of the cacique Caonabo and his companions. January 6, 1494 Columbus founded in this place La Isabela, first town Spanish in America. From there he sent some expeditions in search of gold, which sent some samples to Spain, and proposed to the Crown that it authorize the exchange of livestock and supplies by Carib Indian slaves. In April he moved to Cuba and then to Jamaica.
On his return to La Isabela, Columbus discovered that many unhappy had left it, while diseases made dam on the residents remaining and the natives rebelled. After a short struggle, Columbus beat the vanquished slavery and the payment of a tribute in gold and cotton. Knowing the terrible situation in their new domains, the Catholic monarchs make the decision to send Juan Aguado to inform them of what is happening. In March 1496 he was returning watered down to Spain, accompanied by Columbus, who did not want to lose the favor of the Court for your discovering company. It was built six forts and the command of the Territories granted to his brother. In the interview with the Kings maintained the following autumn, Colon is criticized by the conflict and the lack of profitability of its companies, but is justified for the purpose of evangelizing.
Three years takes Colon to get organize your next trip while his prestige and that of the American company, which looks like a dilapidated business, lapses at times. Of the eight ships that make up this time the Columbus fleet, that part of the peninsula in January 1498, five passed to strengthen the Spanish settlements, and three are dedicated to new discoveries. At the end of July Columbus landed on the island of Trinidad and later explores the Venezuelan coast of Paria and the mouth of the Orinoco River, where it considered that it had been located to the earthly paradise. It was back in Hispaniola in August 1498.
Henceforth, political and administrative conflicts absorb completely colon, preventing him from continuing with explorations. First you have to deal with an indigenous uprising and, later, rebelled themselves Spaniards, led by Francisco Roldán. Only the approval of the distribution of the lands of indigenous people and the granting of personal service to the Spaniards, along with some measures of force, manages to stop the revolt.
In 1500 the Spanish becomes a Royal Envoy, Francisco Bobadilla, coming as judge pesquisidor with full powers to put order in the colony. Bobadilla found guilty Columbus for all ills, seized his house, papers and property, opened a process and forwarded it to Spain full of shackles with his brothers Bartolomé and Diego. Then he gave freedom to catch gold, sold land and gave Indians. Just so the stage of personal Government of the new world and began a new order. Columbus arrived in Spain in November 1500. Although the Kings sent to release him immediately, their enormous privileges had disappeared. Colon had triumphed as marino and discoverer, but had failed as the ruler.
Nevertheless, in March of 1502 receives the task of preparing a fourth and last trip, whose objective should be to find the Strait believed separated strong northern and southern lands, for passage to Asia. Colon was forbidden to disembark at the Spanish to avoid conflicts, as well as the capture of slaves. Four ships were prepared with 140 men, among whom was the son of the discoverer, Hernando Colón, who gave us an account of the journey.
In may 1502, they departed from the peninsula, going to Martinique, Dominica, Hispaniola (despite the prohibition), Jamaica and Cuba. From there sailed to the coast of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, where he managed rescue (trade) certain amount of gold. In November they founded Portobelo and shortly afterwards, also in the Panamanian coast, name of God. After suffering an indigenous attack they had to put heading to Cuba, but they are shipwrecked at the height of Jamaica. So far, the fourth trip Columbian had served to prove that there was not any step towards the East from Brazil to Honduras. From Jamaica, Colon dispatches seven of his men so that they ask for relief in Hispaniola (Santo Domingo). Finally, in July 1504 the castaways are rescued and in November of that year Columbus arrived, already very ill, to Spain. He died in may 1506, without acknowledging that, in reality, he had found a new continent.