We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
President Barack Obama and other world leaders walk away after participating in a group photo at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013. Pictured, from left are: Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council; Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy; Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada; President François Hollande of France; President Obama: Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom; President Vladimir Putin of Russia; Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany; José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission; and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan
8:30AM THE PRESIDENT attends the second plenary session
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
10:00AM THE PRESIDENT accompanies G8 leaders for a family photo
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
10:30AM THE PRESIDENT attends the third plenary session
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
12:00PM THE PRESIDENT participates in a walk and talk with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
12:15PM THE PRESIDENT attends a working lunch
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
2:00PM THE PRESIDENT attends a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President François Hollande of France, Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan of Libya
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
2:30PM THE PRESIDENT attends the concluding plenary session
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
3:40PM THE PRESIDENT holds a bilateral meeting with President Hollande of France
G8 Summit Site, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland
5:30PM THE PRESIDENT departs Northern Ireland
Aldergrove International Airport, Belfast, Northern Ireland
8:25PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Berlin, Germany
Tegel Airport, Berlin, Germany
Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON -- The Defense of Marriage Act, the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday by a 5-4 vote.
"The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. "By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment."
Justice Kennedy delivered the court’s opinion, and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito all filed dissenting opinions. Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia's dissent in whole and parts of Alito's opinion.
As Kennedy read the majority opinion from the bench, cries were heard in the courtroom when the justice delivered the verdict that DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment. A number of same-sex couples sitting in the audience looked up at the ceiling, while others wiped away tears.
DOMA, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, prevented same-sex couples whose marriages were recognized by their home state from receiving the hundreds of benefits available to other married couples under federal law. During the Obama administration, the Justice Department initially defended DOMA in court despite the administration’s desire to repeal it. But the Justice Department changed course in early 2011, finding that the law was unconstitutional and declining to defend it any longer. (The majority opinion slightly criticized that decision on Wednesday, writing that the "failure to defend the constitutionality of an Act of Congress based on a constitutional theory not yet established in judicial decisions" had "created a procedural dilemma.") House Republicans have since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars taking over that defense.
Plaintiff Edie Windsor, 84, sued the federal government after the Internal Revenue Service denied her refund request for the $363,000 in federal estate taxes she paid after her spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009.
During the March oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, a majority of the court seemed to express doubts about the constitutionality of DOMA. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that supporters of the law seemed to want "two types of marriage," likening same-sex unions to the "skim milk" version of marriage.
On Wednesday, the court’s majority ruled that the power of the individual state in defining marriage "is of central relevance" and the decision to grant same-sex couples the right to marry is "of immense import." The state, the court ruled, "used its historic and essential authority to define the marital relation in this way, its role and its power in making the decision enhanced the recognition, dignity, and protection of the class in their own community." The court held that DOMA "because of its reach and extent, departs from this history and tradition of reliance on state law to define marriage."
DOMA’s "demonstrated purpose is to ensure that if any State decides to recognize same-sex marriages, those unions will be treated as second-class marriages for purposes of federal law," the majority ruled. "This raises a most serious question under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment." DOMA, the majority said, "humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples" and "makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives."
Roberts, in his written dissent, said he "would not tar the political branches with the brush of bigotry" without "more convincing evidence that the Act’s principal purpose was to codify malice." He said he believed Congress acted constitutionally when it passed legislation to "retain the definition of marriage that, at that point, had been adopted by every State in our Nation, and every nation in the world."
Scalia delivered his dissent from the bench. "In the majority’s telling," he said, "this story is black-and-white: hate your neighbor or come along with us. The truth is more complicated. It is hard to admit that one’s political opponents are not monsters, especially in a struggle like this one, and the challenge in the end proves more than today’s Court can handle. Too bad."
Some, Scalia said, "will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it, that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better."
In his written dissent, Scalia declared that the Constitution "neither requires nor forbids our society to approve of same-sex marriage, much as it neither requires nor forbids us to approve of no-fault divorce, polygamy, or the consumption of alcohol." The majority’s opinion, he wrote, declares "open season on any law that (in the opinion of the law’s opponents and any panel of like-minded federal judges) can be characterized as mean-spirited."
One of the same-sex couples whose eyes had glistened with tears just moments before chuckled to themselves as Scalia spoke, rolling their eyes when he noted that the majority had characterized DOMA supporters as "unhinged members of a wild-eyed lynch mob."
But Scalia argued the majority's decision "aggrandizes" the Supreme Court for little other purpose than "to buy a stolen moment in the spotlight."
After concluding his dissent, Scalia prepared to deliver the verdict in Sekhar v. United States, a comparatively obscure case questioning whether an attorney's recommendation can be the subject of an extortion attempt under the federal Hobbs Act.
"I'm sorry about that, but this is short," he joked.
The room erupted in laughter, and the court moved on to its next case.
Shortly after DOMA was struck down, President Barack Obama released a statement celebrating the decision. "This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it," he said.
12. The Sea Star Oil Spill
When: December 19, 1972
Where: Gulf of Oman
Amount spilled: 35.3 million gallons
The South Korean supertanker, Sea Star, collided with a Brazilian tanker, the Horta Barbosa, off the coast of Oman on the morning of Dec. 19, 1972. The vessels caught fire after the collision and the crew abandoned ship. Although the Horta Barbosa was extinguished in a day, the Sea Star sank into the Gulf on Dec. 24 following several explosions.
How did he do it? Not by buying and selling stocks of large and well-known companies like Apple ( AAPL ) or Ford ( F ) . Instead, Grittani trades penny stocks -- very small companies that typically have a price below $1.
He's the first to admit that it's a risky strategy. And it's not for everyone.
"I've been trading every single day for almost three years, and it's been a slow, day-to-day process," Grittani said. He spends the entire trading day in front of a computer screen, in order to buy and sell stocks at the right time. He is sometimes in and out of stocks within minutes, and the longest he ever holds shares is a few days.
So why trade penny stocks? Many of these companies are speculative because they are thinly traded, usually over the counter instead of on major exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange. The Securities and Exchange Commission warns that "investors in penny stocks should be prepared for the possibility that they may lose their whole investment."
Plus, penny stocks are notorious for being part of so-called pump-and-dump schemes, in which scammers buy up shares and then promote it as the next hot stock on blogs, message boards, and e-mails. Once the stock price is artificially pumped up by all the talk, the scammers sell their stake, leaving unsuspecting investors with big losses.
But Grittani has been able to profit because it's such an inefficient market. He knows what to look for and recognizes how to make money out of pump-and-dump scams without doing any pumping or dumping himself.
In fact, the trade that officially pushed the value of his portfolio over $1 million was a short bet against a company that had been the target of a pump-and-dump scheme. When investors short stocks, they borrow shares and sell them with the hope of buying it back later a lower price and pocketing the difference.
Grittani had noticed shares of a company called Nutranomics, which trade over the counter under the symbol NNRX, had shot up due to what he felt was the manipulation of scammers: the stock had tripled in just a month. Last Monday, Grittani detected that the stock was losing momentum, and he felt that at the very least a small pullback was imminent.
Sure enough, the stock tumbled almost 60% in the span of 23 minutes. Though he didn't benefit from the entire plunge, Grittani walked away $8,000 in ten minutes.
Grittani learned about penny stocks from Tim Sykes, who is famous for turning his Bar Mitzvah gift money of about $12,000 into millions by day-trading penny stocks while in college. For the past five years, Sykes his been teaching his strategies through the sale of instructional newsletters and video lessons.
Grittani first learned about Sykes in early 2011, when he was a senior finance major at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Earlier on in college, Grittani played poker and made wagers on sports games to make money. He had some luck, including a $9,000 win from a sports bet. But he lost all of that over the course of a year and decided he needed to quit gambling. So he took a shot at investing.
"I started by opening an account with $500 to see what I could pick up on my own," said Grittani. "But within a few weeks I lost half my account and decided I needed some outside help."
Grittani scoured the internet and eventually came upon Syke's story. He spent a few months learning about Syke's theories and eventually started trading. The first few months were rough. At one point he was $1,300 in the hole. But within six months, Grittani made his first big winning trade.
After receiving an e-mail about what he felt was a pump-and-dump scheme targeting Amwest Imaging, Grittani plowed $3,000 into the company. Figuring that it would eventually collapse, he sold his stake within 10 minutes. But that was enough to book a 70% gain, or $2,000. (Amwest Imaging has since changed its name to Intertech Solutions, trading under the symbol ITEC.)
"That's the kind of volatility penny stocks have when they are promoted. The key is to buy them ahead of the crowd," said Grittani.
But Grittani and Sykes both go out of their way to point out that trading in penny stocks is not the same as long-term investing. This is not a strategy for your retirement accounts.
"I think it's mainly for people who are gamblers," said Sykes, who taught himself all about trading. "But at casinos you play with low odds. With penny stocks, there are patterns that are very predictable."
Along those lines, Grittani's biggest win over the past few years was a quick trade in Fannie Mae ( FNMA ) . While there wasn't a particular news catalyst that prompted him to look at the government-sponsored mortgage giant, Grittani spotted increased volume and activity that suggested the stock would tank and then bounce back. Through a combination of long and short trades, he raked in $215,000 in one day.
So what's next for Grittani now that he's hit the $1 million mark? He plans to continue to day trading for at least another two years before taking time off to travel.
And though he's earned a million in trading profits, Grittani says he'd like to eventually get to the point where his personal net worth exceeds $1 million. He currently estimates he's worth $650,000, and anticipates he'll reach his goal "within the next year or two."
Rugby and American Football
- Rugby: The origins of rugby can be traced back over 2000 years to a Roman game called harpastum (from the Greek for “seize”). Unlike soccer, in which the ball was propelled by means of the foot, in this game, it was also carried in the hands. The game made its modern debut in 1749 at a newly built school in Rugby in Warwickshire, England, which boasted “every accommodation that could be required for the exercise of young gentlemen.” The eight-acre plot on which the game evolved was known as "The Close." Between 1749 and 1823, rugby had few rules and the ball was kicked rather than carried to move it forward. Games could go on for five days and often more than 200 students participated. In 1823, player William Webb Ellis was the first to took pick up the ball and run with it. This was the beginning of the modern version of the sport as it’s played today.
- Football:American football is a descendant of rugby and soccer. While Rutgers and Princeton played what was then billed as the first college football game on November 6, 1869, the game did not come into its own until 1879 with rules instituted by Walter Camp, a player/coach at Yale University. On November 12, 1892, in a game that pitted the Allegheny Athletic Association football team against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, AAA player William (Pudge) Heffelfinger was paid $500 to participate—marking him as the first-ever professional football player.
The game of Golf is descended from a game that originated in the Kingdom of Fife on the eastern coast of Scotland in during the 15th century. While there were similar games in other parts of Europe at the time that involved swatting a rock with a stick around a predetermined course, the game as we know it—including the innovation introduction of the golf hole—was invented in Scotland.
- During the mid-15th century, the games of golf and soccer suffered something of a setback. As Scotland prepared to defend its borders against English invasion, the rising popularity of the games was thought to be responsible for men neglecting more useful pursuits such as archery and swordsmanship. Golf and soccer were officially banned in Scotland in 1457. The prohibition was lifted in 1502 with the signing of the Treaty of Glasgow.
- In the 16th century, King Charles I popularized the golf in England and Mary Queen of Scots, who was French, introduced the game to her homeland. (In fact, it’s possible that term “caddie” is derived from the name given to the French cadets who attended Mary when she played).
- The first reference to golf at Scotland's most famous golf course, St Andrews, was in 1552. The clergy allowed public access to the links the following year.
- The golf course at Leith (near Edinburgh) was the first to publish a set of rules for the game, and in 1682, was also the site of the first international golf match during which a team pairing the Duke of York and George Patterson playing for Scotland beat two English noblemen.
- In 1754, the St Andrews Society of Golfers was formed. Its annual competition relied on the rules established at Leith.
- Stroke play was introduced in 1759.
- The first 18-hole course (now standard) was constructed in 1764.
- In 1895, St Andrews inaugurated the first women's golf club in the world.
147 First Of The Gang To Die
And so Mozzer’s retro lad fetish reached its apogee with this swinging track from ‘You Are The Quarry’. He may be in love with the glamour of the gunpowder, but he’s also familiar with the rulebook of the street the shocking non-emotionality of it all. He assesses, gimlet-eyed, the sharp-suited, Brylcreemed situation, as if these gangsters were some latter day Robin Hoods. Alain Whyte gives Morrissey his best hooks since the ‘Vauxhall & I’ days. (PE)
›› What if you only counted weekdays?
In some cases, you might want to skip weekends and count only the weekdays. This could be useful if you know you have a deadline based on a certain number of business days. If you are trying to see what day falls on the exact date difference of 150 weekdays from today, you can count up each day skipping Saturdays and Sundays.
Start your calculation with today, which falls on a Wednesday. Counting forward, the next day would be a Thursday.
To get exactly one hundred and fifty weekdays from now, you actually need to count 210 total days (including weekend days). That means that 150 weekdays from today would be January 19, 2022.
If you're counting business days, don't forget to adjust this date for any holidays.
The History of Black Voting Rights – From the 1700's to Present Day
A black civil rights leader recently told an assembly at Michigan State University that American democracy was only decades old rather than centuries &ndash that not until the 1965 Voting Rights Act when blacks could vote did democracy truly begin. 
Such a declaration does not accurately portray the history of black voting in America nor does it honor the thousands of blacks who sacrificed their lives obtaining the right to vote and who exercised that right as long as two centuries ago. In fact, most today are completely unaware that it was not Democrats but was actually Republicans &ndash like the seven pictured on the front cover &ndash who not only helped achieve the passage of explicit constitutional voting rights for blacks in 1870 but who also held hundreds of elected offices during the 1800s. 
Black Voting in the 1700s
Acknowledgment that blacks voted long before the 1965 Voting Rights Act was provided in the infamous 1856 Dred Scott decision in which a Democratic-controlled US Supreme Court observed that blacks &ldquohad no rights which a white man was bound to respect and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.&rdquo  Non-Democrat Justice Benjamin R. Curtis, one of only two on the Court who dissented in that opinion, provided a lengthy documentary history to show that many blacks in America had often exercised the rights of citizens &ndash that many at the time of the American Revolution &ldquopossessed the franchise of [voters] on equal terms with other citizens.&rdquo 
State constitutions protecting voting rights for blacks included those of Delaware (1776),  Maryland (1776),  New Hampshire (1784),  and New York (1777).  (Constitution signer Rufus King declared that in New York, &ldquoa citizen of color was entitled to all the privileges of a citizen. . . . [and] entitled to vote.&rdquo)  Pennsylvania also extended such rights in her 1776 constitution,  as did Massachusetts in her 1780 constitution.  In fact, nearly a century later in 1874, US Rep. Robert Brown Elliott (a black Republican from SC) queried: &ldquoWhen did Massachusetts sully her proud record by placing on her statute-book any law which admitted to the ballot the white man and shut out the black man? She has never done it she will not do it.&rdquo 
As a result of these provisions, early American towns such as Baltimore had more blacks than whites voting in elections  and when the proposed US Constitution was placed before citizens in 1787 and 1788, it was ratified by both black and white voters in a number of States. 
This is not to imply that all blacks were allowed to vote free blacks could vote (except in South Carolina) but slaves were not permitted to vote in any State. Yet in many States this was not an issue, for many worked to end slavery during and after the American Revolution. Although Great Britain had prohibited the abolition of slavery in the Colonies before the Revolution,  as independent States they were free to end slavery &ndash as occurred in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York.  Additionally, blacks in many early States not only had the right to vote but also the right to hold office. 
In the early years of the Republic, the federal Congress also moved toward ending slavery and thus toward achieving voting rights for all blacks, not just free blacks. For example, in 1789 Congress banned slavery in any federally held territory in 1794,  the exportation of slaves from any State was banned  and in 1808, the importation of slaves into any State was also banned.  In fact, more progress was made to end slavery and achieve civil rights for blacks in America at that time than was made in any other nation in the world. 
In 1820, however, following the death of most of the Founding Fathers, a new generation of leaders in Congress halted and reversed this early progress through acts such as the Missouri Compromise, which permitted the admission of new slave-holding States.  This policy was loudly lamented and strenuously opposed by the few Founders remaining alive. Elias Boudinot &ndash a president of Congress during the Revolution &ndash warned that this new direction by Congress would bring &ldquoan end to the happiness of the United States.&rdquo  A frail John Adams feared that lifting the slavery prohibition would destroy America  and an elderly Jefferson was appalled at the proposal, declaring, &ldquoIn the gloomiest moment of the Revolutionary War, I never had any apprehensions equal to what I feel from this source.&rdquo  Congress also enacted the Fugitive Slave Law allowing southern slavers to go North and kidnap blacks on the spurious claim that they were runaway slaves  and then passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing slavery into what is now Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska. 
This new anti-civil rights attitude in Congress was also reflected in many of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. For example, in 1835 North Carolina reversed its policies and limited voting to whites only,  as also occurred in Maryland in 1809. 
The Democratic Party had become the dominant political party in America in the 1820s,  and in May 1854, in response to the strong pro-slavery positions of the Democrats, several anti-slavery Members of Congress formed an anti-slavery party &ndash the Republican Party.  It was founded upon the principles of equality originally set forth in the governing documents of the Republic. In an 1865 publication documenting the history of black voting rights, Philadelphia attorney John Hancock confirmed that the Declaration of Independence set forth &ldquoequal rights to all. It contains not a word nor a clause regarding color. Nor is there any provision of the kind to be found in the Constitution of the United States.&rdquo 
The original Republican platform in 1856 had only nine planks &ndash six of which were dedicated to ending slavery and securing equal rights for African-Americans.  The Democratic platform of that year took an opposite position and defended slavery, even warning that &ldquoall efforts of the abolitionists [those opposed to slavery]. . . are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences and . . . diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union.&rdquo  The next Democratic platform (1860) endorsed both the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott decision  Democrats even distributed copies of the Dred Scott ruling to justify their anti-black positions. 
Specific Constitutional Rights for African-Americans
When Abraham Lincoln was elected the first Republican President in 1861 (along with the first ever Republican Congress), southern pro-slavery Democrats saw the handwriting on the wall. They left the Union and took their States with them, forming a brand new nation: the Confederate States of America, and their followers became known as Rebels. During the War, Lincoln implemented the first anti-slavery measures since the early Republic: in 1862, he abolished slavery in Washington, DC  in 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, ordering slaves to be freed in southern States that had not already done so  in 1864, he signed several early civil rights bills  etc. After the war ended in 1865, the Republican Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and the 14th Amendment providing full civil rights for all blacks, thus fulfilling the original promise of the Declaration of Independence.
Most southern States ignored these new Amendments.  Congress therefore insisted that the southern States ratify and implement these Amendments before they could be readmitted into the United States. 
Until their readmission, the civil rights of the Rebels in the South &ndash including their right to vote in elections &ndash were suspended.  The Constitution authorizes that certain civil rights may be suspended &ldquoin cases of rebellion&rdquo or when &ldquothe public safety may require it&rdquo (Art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 2). In fact, because the Rebels had taken up arms against their own nation &ndash an act of treason according to the Constitution (&ldquoTreason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them . . .&rdquo Art. III, Sec. 3, cl. 1), they could have been executed (Art. III, Sec. 3, cl. 2). Instead, amnesty was granted to the Rebels if they took an oath of fidelity to the United States, which most eventually did. (Regrettably, after their readmission, and after Democrats regained the State legislatures from Republicans, those States worked aggressively to circumvent the 14th Amendment in violation of the pledge  they had taken.)
Because the Rebels (who had almost exclusively been Democrats) were not allowed to vote in the early parts of Reconstruction, Republicans became the political majority in the South and since nearly every African-American was a Republican and could now vote, most southern legislatures &ndash at least for a few years &ndash became Republican and included many black legislators. In Texas, 42 blacks were elected to the State Legislature,  50 to the South Carolina Legislature,  127 to Louisiana&rsquos,  99 to Alabama&rsquos,  etc. &ndash all as Republicans. These Republican legislatures moved quickly to protect voting rights for blacks, prohibit segregation, establish public education, and open public transportation, State police, juries, and other institutions to blacks.  (It is noteworthy that the blacks serving both in the federal and State legislatures during that time forgivingly voted for amnesty for the Rebels.  )
During the time when most southern Democrats had not yet signed the oath of fidelity to the United States and therefore could not vote, they still found ways to intimidate and keep blacks from voting. For example, in 1865-1866, the Ku Klux Klan was formed by Democrats to overthrow Republicans and pave the way for Democrats to regain control  &ndash as when Democrats attacked the State Republican Convention in Louisiana in 1866, killing 40 blacks, 20 whites, and wounding 150 others.  In addition to the use of force, southern Democrats also relied on absurd technicalities to limit blacks. In Georgia, 28 black legislators were elected as Republicans, but Democratic officials decided that even though blacks had the right to vote in Georgia, they did not have the right to hold office the 28 black members were therefore expelled. 
Because of such blatant attempts to nullify the guarantees of the 14th Amendment, the Republican Congress passed the 15th Amendment to give explicit voting rights to African-Americans. Significantly, not one of the 56 Democrats serving in Congress at that time voted for the 15th Amendment. 
Democratic Efforts to Limit Voting Rights for Blacks
During Reconstruction (1865-1877), Republicans passed four federal civil rights bills to protect the rights of African-Americans, the fourth being passed in 1875.  It was nearly a century before the next civil rights bill was passed, because in 1876 Democrats regained partial control of Congress and successfully blocked further progress. As Democrats regained control of the legislatures in southern States, they began to repeal State civil rights protections and to abrogate existing federal civil rights laws. As African-American US Rep. John Roy Lynch (MS) noted, &ldquoThe opposition to civil rights in the South is confined almost exclusively to States under democratic control . . .&rdquo 
Devious and cunning methods were required to circumvent the explicit voting protections of the 14th and 15th Amendments, and southern Democrats implemented nearly a dozen separate devices to prevent blacks from voting, including:
Suppressive election procedures
Black codes and enforced segregation
Physical intimidation and violence
Restrictive eligibility requirements
Rewriting of State constitutions
The poll tax was a fee paid by a voter before he could vote. The fee was high enough that most poor were unable to pay the tax and therefore unable to vote. Although the poll tax affected both whites and blacks, it was disproportionately hard on blacks who were just emerging from slavery, many of whom had not yet established an independent means of living. A poll tax was first proposed in Texas in 1874, right after Democrats reclaimed power from the Republicans,  but it was North Carolina in 1876 that became the first State to enact a poll tax,  and other southern States quickly followed. 
Literacy tests required a voter to demonstrate a certain level of learning proficiency before he could vote. In some cases, the test was 20 pages long for blacks, and those administering the tests were white Democrats who nearly always ruled that blacks were illiterate. In Alabama, the test included questions such as, &ldquoWhere do presidential electors cast ballots for president?&rdquo &ldquoName the rights a person has after he has been indicted by a grand jury.&rdquo  Democrats required blacks to have an above average education before they could vote but then simultaneously opposed black education and even worked with the Ku Klux Klan to burn down schools attended by blacks.  Clearly, they did not intend for blacks to vote.
&ldquoGrandfather&rdquo clauses were laws passed by Democratic legislatures allowing an individual to vote if his father or grandfather had been registered to vote prior to the passage of the 15th Amendment.  Since voting in the South prior to the 15th Amendment was almost completely by whites, this law ensured that poor and illiterate whites, but not blacks, could vote.
4. Suppressive election procedures
Some election procedures (such as &ldquomultiple ballots&rdquo) were intentionally made complex and misleading. For example, a Republican voter might be required to cast a ballot in up to eight separate locations &ndash or sometimes to cast a vote for each Republican on the ballot at a separate location &ndash before the ballot would be counted. Democratic officials, however, often failed to inform black voters of this complicated procedure and their ballots were therefore disqualified. 
5. Black codes and enforced segregation
Black Codes (later called Jim Crow laws) restricted the freedoms and economic opportunities of blacks. For example, in the four years from 1865-1869, southern Democrats passed &ldquoBlack Codes&rdquo to prohibit blacks from voting, holding office, owning property, entering towns without permission, serving on juries, or racially intermarrying. 
National observers at that time concluded that the South was simply trying to institute a new form of slavery through these Black Codes.  This tactic was obvious to African-Americans, thus causing black US Rep. Joseph H. Rainey (Republican from SC) to quip: &ldquoI can only say that we love freedom more &ndash vastly more &ndash than slavery consequently we hope to keep clear of the Democrats!&rdquo 
Southern Democrats went well beyond Black Codes, however, and also imposed forced racial segregation. In 1875, Tennessee became the first State to do so,  and by 1890 several other southern States had followed.  As a result, schools, hospitals, public transportation, restaurants, etc., became segregated. (Even though the Republican Congress had already passed laws banning segregation, the US Supreme Court struck down those anti-segregation laws in a series of decisions in the 1870s and 1880s.  )
Once the Democrats regained State legislatures at the end of Reconstruction, they began to redraw election lines to make it impossible for Republicans to be elected, thereby preventing blacks from being elected.  For example, although many blacks were elected as Republicans in Texas during Reconstruction, when the last African-American left the State House in 1897, none was elected (either as a Republican or a Democrat) for the next 70 years until federal courts ordered a change in the way Texas Democrats drew voting lines.  Furthermore, although Republicans had been an overwhelming majority in the State legislature during Reconstruction, after Democrats redrew election lines, for several decades there were never more than two Republicans serving in the House nor one in the Senate.  This pattern was typical in other southern States as well.
Another way Democrats could keep blacks from being elected was by enacting Democratic Party policies prohibiting blacks from voting in their primaries. When Texas later codified this policy into State law, the US Supreme Court struck down that Texas law in 1927,  but not the party policies. The Democratic Parties in Georgia,  Louisiana,  Florida,  Mississippi,  South Carolina,  etc., therefore continued their reliance on white-only primaries. Because Democrats solidly controlled every level of government in the South (often called the &ldquosolid Democratic South&rdquo  ), this policy had the same effect as a State law and again ensured that no black would be elected. In 1935, the Supreme Court upheld this Democratic policy  but then reversed itself and finally struck it down in 1944. 
8. Physical intimidation and violence
In 1871, black US Rep. Robert Brown Elliott (Republican from SC) observed that: &ldquothe declared purpose [of the Democratic party is] to defeat the ballot with the bullet and other coercive means. . . . The white Republican of the South is also hunted down and murdered or scourged for his opinion&rsquos sake, and during the past two years more than six hundred loyal [Republican] men of both races have perished in my State alone.&rdquo  Elliott&rsquos term &ldquocoercive means&rdquo accurately described the lynchings as well as the cross burnings, church burnings, incarceration on trumped-up charges, beatings, rape, murder, etc.
The Ku Klux Klan was a leader in this form of violent intimidation by Democrats. As African-American US Rep. James T. Rapier (Republican from al) explained in 1874, Democrats &ldquowere hunting me down as the partridge on the mount, night and day, with their Ku Klux Klan, simply because I was a Republican and refused to bow at the foot of their Baal.&rdquo 
Of all forms of violent intimidation, lynchings were by far the most effective. Between 1882 and 1964, 4,743 persons were lynched &ndash 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites.  Why were so many more blacks lynched than whites? According to African-American Rep. John R. Lynch (Republican from SC), &ldquoMore colored than white men are thus persecuted simply because they constitute in larger numbers the opposition to the Democratic Party.&rdquo 
Republicans often led the effort to pass federal anti-lynching laws,  but Democrats successfully blocked every anti-lynching bill. For example, in 1921, Republican Rep. Leonidas Dyer (MO) introduced a federal anti-lynching bill in Congress, but Democrats in the Senate killed it.  The NAACP reported on December 17, 1921, that: &ldquosince the introduction of the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill in Congress on April 11, 1921, there have been 28 persons murdered by lynchings in the United States.&rdquo  Although some Democrats introduced anti-lynching bills across the decades, their Democratic leaders killed every effort and Congress never did pass an anti-lynching bill. 
9. Restrictive eligibility requirements
Election policies designed to limit black voting included requirements that a voter must reside in a state for two years, his county for one year, and his ward or precinct for six months before he could vote.  This requirement especially limited the effect of workers seeking employment &ndash often blacks. After the poll tax was abolished, some States, still trying to achieve the same effect, enacted annual registration fees for voters. The lower courts struck down such fees in 1971  in 1972 the Supreme Court struck down the excessive filing fees established by Democratic legislatures  these fees were designed to prevent what the Supreme Court had termed the &ldquoless affluent segment of the community&rdquo  from participating as candidates.
10. Rewriting of State constitutions
As a part of Reconstruction, most southern States had been required to rewrite their State constitutions to add full civil rights protections.  However, less than two decades later, many States revised their constitutions to remove those clauses. For example, in 1868 North Carolina had rewritten its constitution to include civil rights,  but in 1876 it amended its constitution to exclude most blacks from voting.  Over the next two decades, Democrats in Mississippi,  South Carolina,  Louisiana,  Florida,  Alabama,  and Virginia  also altered their constitutions or passed laws to negate many of the rights given to blacks during Reconstruction.
Other restrictions used by Democrats to keep blacks from voting included property ownership requirements. For example, in Alabama in 1901, a voter was required to own land or property worth at least $300 before he could vote  (today that would equate to more than $6,500.  ) Some States would withhold voting rights for the &ldquocommission&rdquo of a crime &ndash not for a serious crime or a felony but rather for violating any of a long list of petty offenses (unemployed blacks or those looking for work were often charged with vagrancy, resulting in a loss of their voting rights). 
An Historical Sidenote
Current writers and texts addressing the post-Civil War period often present an incomplete portrayal of that era. For example, africana.com notes: &ldquoSoutherners established whites-only voting in party primaries . . . or gerrymandered electoral districts, thus diluting the strength of black voters.&rdquo  Although it is true that both whites and southerners were the overwhelming source of difficulties for African-Americans, it was just one type of southern whites that caused the problems: southern racist whites. There was another type of southern whites: the non-racist whites, many of whom suffered great persecutions and even loss of life for supporting blacks. These whites are often unrecognized or unacknowledged in black history and are wrongly grouped with racist whites through the use of the overly broad terms such as &ldquosoutherners&rdquo or &ldquowhites.&rdquo To make an accurate portrayal of black history, a distinction must be made between types of whites.
For example, the Rev. Richard Allen (1760-1831), a founder of the AME church in America, suffered many injuries at the hands of &ldquowhites&rdquo: he was a slave, his mother and brothers were sold separately and his family was split by his master, Allen was opposed by prominent Gospel ministers, etc. Yet Allen understood that only some whites were hostile. In fact, in his own memoirs, Allen openly acknowledges whites who helped him. For example, Allen writes to other blacks: &ldquoI hope the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush [a white signer of the Declaration] and Robert Ralston [a white wealthy merchant] will never be forgotten among us. They were the first two gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor Africans to worship in.&rdquo  Allen also notes that in 1784 when he started his first church in Philadelphia, &ldquothere were but few colored people in the neighborhood &ndash the most of my congregation was white.&rdquo  Such positive portrayals of black/white relations are too often missing from black history pieces today instead, &ldquowhites&rdquo are described as oppressors. Some were some were not.
Another illustration is provided by the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments. Constitutional amendments must be passed by a margin of two-thirds in Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the States. Those Amendments abolishing slavery and providing civil rights and voting rights for African-Americans were passed by two-thirds of the white men in Congress and by white men in the legislature of three-fourths of the States &ndash an overwhelming majority of these white men were Republicans and were not racists. (Among the literally hundreds of whites voting for these amendments were two African-American Republicans elected in Massachusetts in 1866.  )
Therefore, the africana.com quote would be much more historically correct &ndash although more politically incorrect &ndash were it to read: &ldquoDemocratic legislatures in the South [instead of just &ldquosoutherners&rdquo] established whites-only voting in party primaries . . . &rdquo This weakness of distinction is typical of far too many black history writings addressing the post-Reconstruction era.
An Obvious Purpose
It is clear that many southern Democrats despised blacks and Republicans and used every possible means to keep them from power. This hostility was evident in the numerous devices they used &ndash including violence. In fact, after examining the abundant evidence, Republican US Sen. Roscoe Conkling (nominated as a US Supreme Court Justice in 1882) concluded that the Democratic Party was determined to exterminate blacks in those States where Democratic supremacy was threatened. 
The Democrats&rsquo hostility was evident not only in their actions but also in the words they used to describe blacks and Republicans. Democrats applied epithets that were at that time considered base, vulgar, and derogatory &ndash terms such as &ldquoscalawags&rdquo (those in the South who had opposed succession)  or &ldquoradicals&rdquo (early Republicans were considered radical because their party was bi-racial and because they allowed blacks to vote and participate in the political process). 
Clearly, because Republicans embraced and welcomed blacks as equals, Democrats abhorred and bitterly opposed them. As black US Rep. Richard H. Cain (Republican from SC) explained in 1875: &ldquoThe bad blood of the South comes because the Negroes are Republicans. If they would only cease to be Republicans and vote the straight-out Democratic ticket there would be no trouble. Then the bad blood would sink entirely out of sight.&rdquo  Many Democrats today &ndash including many black Democrats &ndash have picked up the Democrats&rsquo long-standing hatred for Republicans without understanding its origins. They often blame that generations-long contempt on issues other than the anti-black, anti-Republican sentiments that shaped their Party, but history is clear.
Fighting the Constitution
Decades after the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments, many Democrats still steadfastly opposed those protections. In 1900, Democrat US Sen. Ben Tillman (SC) declared: &ldquoWe made up our minds that the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were themselves null and void that the [civil rights] acts of Congress . . . were null and void that oaths required by such laws were null and void.&rdquo  Democrats such as Rep. W. Bourke Cockran (NY), Sen. John Tyler Morgan (AL), Sen. Samuel McEnery (LA), and others agreed with this position and were among the Democrats seeking a repeal of the 15th Amendment (voting rights for African-Americans).  In fact, Sen. McEnery even declared: &ldquoI believe . . . that not a single southern Senator would object to such a move&rdquo  (of the 22 southern Senators, 20 were Democrats  ).
Effect on Black Voting
Unrelenting efforts by Democrats to suppress black voting were successful. Eventually, in Selma, Alabama, the voting rolls were 99 percent white and 1 percent black even though there were more black residents than whites in that city  and in Birmingham &ndash a city with 18,000 blacks &ndash only 30 of them were eligible to vote.  Black voters in Alabama and Florida were reduced by nearly 90 percent,  and in Texas from 100,000 to only 5,000.  By the 1940s, only 5 percent of blacks in the south were registered to vote. 
More Recent Civil Rights Efforts
In the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, a few Democratic leaders began to oppose their own party&rsquos policies against blacks. Democratic President Harry S. Truman from Missouri was perhaps the first and most vocal national Democratic leader to advocate strong civil rights protections,  yet his party rejected his efforts.  Reformers such as Truman learned that it was a difficult task for rank-and-file Democrats to reshape their long-held views on race.
In fact, in 1924 when Texas Democratic candidate for Governor, Ma Ferguson, ran against the Democratic Ku Klux Klan candidate in the primary, it cost her the widespread support of the Texas Democratic Party.  Democrat Franklin Roosevelt understood his Party, however, and in his 1932 race he made subtle overtures to blacks but avoided making any overt civil rights promises. FDR was so unsuccessful in this approach that his Republican opponent, Herbert Hoover, received over 75 percent of the black vote in that election. 
Unlike FDR, Harry Truman worked boldly and openly to change his party. In 1946, he became the first modern President to institute a comprehensive review of race relations and, not surprisingly, faced strenuous opposition from within his own party. In fact, Democratic Sen. Theodore Bilbo (MS) admonished every &ldquored blooded Anglo Saxon man in Mississippi to resort to any means&rdquo to keep blacks from voting.  Nonetheless, Truman pushed forward and introduced an aggressive civil rights legislative package that included an anti-lynching law, an anti-poll tax law, desegregation of the military, etc., but his own party killed all of his proposals. 
Southern Democratic Governors, denouncing Truman&rsquos proposals, met in Florida and proposed what they called a &ldquosouthern conference of true Democrats&rdquo to plan their strategy.  That summer at the Democratic National Convention when Truman placed strong civil rights language in the national Democratic platform, a walkout of southern delegates resulted. Southern Democrats then formed the Dixiecrat Party and ran South Carolina Gov. Strom Thurmond as their candidate for President.  (It was concerning this 1948 presidential bid by Thurmond that Republican Sen. Trent Lott (MS) uttered his disgraceful comments  that made national news.) Thurmond&rsquos bid was unsuccessful he later had a change of heart on civil rights and in 1964 left the Democratic Party. In 1971, as a Republican US Senator, Thurmond became the first southern Senator to hire a black in his senatorial office. 
In 1954, additional civil rights progress was made when the US Supreme Court rendered its Brown v. Board of Education decision,  integrating public schools and ending segregation. (Significantly, the Court was only reversing its own position taken nearly sixty years earlier in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision that upheld segregation laws enacted by Democratic State legislatures.)
In 1957, and then again in 1960, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower made bold civil rights proposals to increase black voting rights and protections.  Since Congress was solidly in the hands of the Democrats, they cut the heart out of his bills before passing weak, watered-down versions of his proposals.  Nevertheless, to focus national attention upon the plight of blacks, Eisenhower started a civil rights commission and was the first President to appoint a black to an executive position in the White House. 
In 1963, following the Birmingham riots, Democratic President John F. Kennedy proposed a strong civil rights bill. Its language was taken from the wording of Eisenhower&rsquos original civil rights bill (before it was gutted by Democrats) and from proposals made by Eisenhower&rsquos civil rights commission.  Kennedy&rsquos tragic assassination halted his bill.
In 1964, the 24th Amendment was added to the Constitution, abolishing the poll tax. Significantly, on five previous occasions the House passed a ban on the poll tax but Senate Democrats had killed the bills each time.  As early as 1949 (as part of Truman&rsquos proposed civil rights package), Democratic Sen. Spessard Holland (FL) introduced a constitutional amendment to end poll taxes, but it was 1962 before it was approved by the Senate.  Significantly, 91 percent of the Republicans in Congress voted to end the poll tax but only 71 percent of the Democrats did so and in the Senate, of the 16 Senators who opposed the 24th Amendment, 15 were Democrats.  (The 24th Amendment banned poll taxes only for federal elections in 1966, the US Supreme Court struck down poll taxes for all elections, including local and State.  )
In 1964, Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson picked up the civil rights bill introduced by President Kennedy. However, even though Democrats held almost two-thirds of the seats in Congress at that time, Johnson could not garner sufficient votes from within his own party to pass the bill. (Johnson needed 269 votes from his Party to achieve passage but could garner the support of only 198 of the 315 Democrats in Congress.  ) Johnson therefore worked with Republicans to achieve the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, followed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. (The 1965 Voting Rights Act by Johnson was a resurrection of Eisenhower&rsquos original language before it had been killed by Democrats. When it was finally approved under Johnson, of the 18 Senators who opposed the Voting Rights Act, 17 were Democrats. In fact, 97 percent of Republican Senators voted for the Act.  )
The 1965 Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests and authorized the federal government to oversee voter registration and elections in counties that had used voter eligibility tests. Within a year, 450,000 new southern blacks successfully registered to vote  and voter registration of African-Americans in Mississippi rose from only 5 percent in 1960 to 60 percent by 1968. 
The 1965 Voting Rights Act opened opportunities for African-Americans that they had not enjoyed since Republicans had been in power a century before the laws and policies long enforced by southern Democratic legislatures had finally come to an end. As a result, the number of blacks serving in federal and State legislatures rose from 2 in 1965 to 160 in 1990. 
Current Controversies &ndash and Successes
In recent years, much national media coverage has focused on allegations of election fraud in Dade County and West Palm Beach, Florida St. Louis, Missouri Michigan (the buying of votes) New Mexico (the destruction of thousands of uncounted ballots) etc. Significantly, each one of these incidents occurred in an area that was overwhelmingly Democratic and where the elections had been administered by Democratic election officials. The fact that such problems occur in areas under Democratic rather than Republican control might surprise many today, but it would not have surprised African-Americans a century ago.
In 1875, African-American US Rep. Joseph H. Rainey (Republican from SC) declared: &ldquoWe intend to continue to vote so long as the government gives us the right and necessary protection and I know that right accorded to us now will never be withheld in the future if left to the Republican Party.&rdquo  In fact, on the floor of Congress, Rainey told Democrats: &ldquoYour votes, your actions, and the constant cultivation of your cherished prejudices prove to the Negroes of the entire country that the Democrats are in opposition to them, and if they (the Democrats) could have [their way], our race would have no foothold here. . . . The Democratic Party may woo us, they may court us and try to get us to worship at their shrine, but I will tell the gentleman that we are Republicans by instinct, and we will be Republicans so long as God will allow our proper senses to hold sway over us.&rdquo 
The original philosophies and actions of both major parties are vividly documented in history but are largely unreported today. And while there has been good and bad on both sides, a general pattern is clearly established: African-Americans made their most significant gains as Republicans. Even today many of those patterns still remain. It is significant that black Republican US Rep. JC Watts (OK) chaired the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. Watts was the third African-American to chair a National Republican Convention (the first was US Rep. John Roy Lynch (MS) in 1884 and then US Sen. Edward Brooke (MA) in 1968)  however, no African-American has ever chaired, or even co-chaired, a Democratic National Convention. Similarly, in the 130 years that Democrats controlled Texas, only 4 minority individuals served Statewide in the 8 years that Republicans have controlled the State, 6 minority
ECON Exam 1 - CH 2
(b) (i) Cuba's GDP per capita in 2013 is 38% ([5,700 / 15,000] × 100) of America's GDP per
capita in 1950.
(a) The U.S. economy produces .18 trillion (0.01 × $18 trillion = .18 trillion) worth of
additional output when GDP increases by 1.0 percent.
(a) Because the population in China is growing at an annual rate of 0.8 percent, GDP must
grow by more than 0.8 percent per year for GDP per capita to grow.
During that same decade the share of manufactured goods (e.g., cars, appliances) fell from 16
percent to 12 percent.
What was the dollar value of manufactured output
(a) Compute the average income of U.S. households.
(b) If all incomes were equalized by government taxes and transfer payments, how much would the average household in each income quintile gain (via transfers) or lose (via taxes)?
(b) i. The highest quintile (the highest fifth) would lose $112,200 ($72,800 - $185,000 = -
$112,200) via taxation.
ii. The second fifth would lose $11,200 ($72,800 - $84,000 = - $11,200) via taxation.
iii. The third fifth would gain $20,800 ($72,800 - $52,000 = $20,800) via transfers.
iv. The fourth fifth would gain $41,800 ($72,800 - $31,000 = $41,800) via transfers.
v. The lowest fifth would gain $60,800 ($72,800 - $12,000 = $60,800) via transfers.
June 18, 2013 Day 150 of the Fifth Year - History
Unit 19 -- The Revolution in Exploration and Discovery (1450-1700)
The Crusades, which began in 1096 A.D. and continued for two centuries, did not achieve their major goal, the permanent control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. However, the ships traveled back and forth between Europe ferrying the Crusaders to the Holy Land brought back to Europe many new and exciting products from Asia through the Middle East.
A great profit was made by the merchant ships that returned to the Italian port cities of Venice, Pisa, and Genoa filled with the greatly sought-after goods from Asia. Venice grew to become one of Europe’s largest and most prosperous cities, largely as a result of its trade in luxury goods from the Far East. Silk, porcelain, and metalware from China, spices and coffee from Indonesia and the Philippines, tea and spices from India, and a variety of rare new woods never seen before in Europe, were but some of the goods that excited Europe.
In addition to Venice, Genoa developed into a major port city for ships that carried the new goods to the rest of Europe. Milan became a major trade center for goods that were carried by land over the Alps into central Europe.
But establishing trade with Asia was not an easy task. Many obstacles -- religious, political, and technological -- seemed to block the way.
19.1 Marco Polo (1254-1324 A.D.) stirs a passion for exploration
About 1260 A.D., two merchants from Venice, Nicolo and Maffeo Polo, set out from Venice along the Silk Road on what proved to be a very rewarding trading trip to China.
According to the accounts published years later by Marco Polo, son of Niccolo, arriving in China in 1265 A.D. they met and were befriended by the great Mongol leader, Kublai Khan , emperor of the Yuan Dynasty . How two Venetian merchants caught the attention of the mighty emperor we are not told.
The Polo brothers returned to Venice in 1269 A.D. with a fortune in jewels, porcelain, and other Chinese goods.
They also brought back from the Khan a request to the pope for 100 Christian missionaries to teach the Chinese the Christian faith. The request was not fulfilled, probably due to the conflict in Rome in 1269 A.D. concerning who the successor to Clement IV (died 1268 A.D.) would be. Rival factions prevented a successor being chosen until 1271 A.D. when Gregory X was selected. Four priests eventually volunteered to travel to China but soon returned to Rome after experiencing culture-shock along the Silk Road. The request for missionaries was never fulfilled. A great opportunity to evangelize China was missed.
The brothers again set out for China in 1271 A.D., this time accompanied by Nicolo`s seventeen-year-old son, Marco Polo.
In their travels along the Silk Road, the Polos saw many strange animals, heard numerous strange languages, tasted exotic foods, and experienced other sights in a long and difficult three-year trip eastward. Arriving in China, the Polos were welcomed back by the Mongol troops of their old friend, the Khan.
Whether or not Marco embellished his stories with exaggeration, he recorded that the Khan took a strong liking to the young Venetian and sent him on many official tours of his vast kingdom as his representative on commercial and political business. Finally, after nearly two decades in the service of the Khan, the Polos were permitted by the Khan to return home, if they would agree to accompany a Yuan princess who had been promised in marriage to a Persian king (probably to create stronger trade ties between Persia and the Yuan Dynasty).
They left China in an entourage of 14 ships and 600 people, most to serve the princess and to impress her new husband. They traveled through Indonesia to Sri Lanka and India and then to their destination in the Persian Gulf. Along the way Marco saw farmers harvest the peppercorns, tea, and other spices that were so highly valued in his homeland.
When they returned to Venice in 1295 A.D., the Polos had been absent from Italy for twenty-four years. They arrived during a time of warfare between Genoa and Venice and, probably because they were viewed as possible spies, were imprisoned in Venice.
While in prison Marco dictated to another prisoner an account of his travels and experiences in the advanced civilization of the Yuan Dynasty. In it he described such Chinese inventions as the magnetic compass, movable type printing, paper making, and the use of paper currency. It was also a description of the cultural practices, the languages, and religious practices of China.
The account, published under the title, Il Milione , was widely read in Europe and stimulated an even greater interest in the wonders of the Far East. Il Milione was translated into several European languages, including English ( The Travels of Marco Polo ). It fueled the interest and imagination of soon-to-be explorers, including John Cabot of England and Christopher Columbus , a native of Genoa who would sail to the New World under the sponsorship of the king and queen of Spain.
19.2 The World of Trade in the Indian Ocean
An extensive world of trade had existed in the Indian Ocean for centuries, to the virtual exclusion of Europe. China, India, and the African kingdoms regularly trades silk, slaves, spices, gold, silver, metalwares, and ivory. India was an important staging point for ships traveling between Africa and China. By 1400 A.D. China had the most advanced economy in the world.
Although trade and travel between China and Europe existed even during the Roman Empire, the rise in power of the Ottoman and Persian empires from the 12th century on made travel and trade increasingly difficult for the Europeans. The Ottomans controlled all trade in the Eastern Mediterranean Ocean, North Africa (most countries in North Africa by this time had converted to Islam), and the Spice Islands (Indonesia had also converted from Hinduism to Islam).
The Persians, as was the case also with the Ottomans, extracted heavy taxes from merchants traveling through their territories.
Thus, Europe had to find new trade routes to Asia and the Spice Islands. The growing demand for silk, cotton, gold, silver, ivory, textiles, spices, and gun powder became a major concern for European rulers. European industries that produced textiles, wool, and German metalware needed to find new routes to their customers in Africa and Asia.
The Ottoman interference in the Mediterranean threatened the commercial survival of Venice, Genoa, and Milan.
Venice had become an important middle man in trade between Asia and Africa. The Mongol Empire traded European slaves and guns to Venice for trade with Africa for gold, silver, and ivory. Genoa dominated trade in the Black Sea and Western Mediterranean areas, but were increasingly harassed by the Ottomans. Genoa provided the sailors, ship captains, and the know-how for the later Portuguese and Spanish explorations.
Of great concern was the increasing blockage of the important slave trade that existed between the Mongols in the Balkans and Eastern Europe who were shipping European slaves to Africa and the Middle East.
19.3 Causes for European Exploration and Expansion
After the Black Death ended in 1354 A.D., the population of Europe exploded . And with population growth came an explosion in demand for silk, cotton, and spices. Spices were important to the Europeans due to the lack of preservatives or refrigeration. Food that was spoiled or even rotten became palatable when the rich spices of the Orient were added.
A new religious fervor spread throughout Europe in reaction to the rapid expansion of Islam into North Africa and the Christian Balkans. A new passion to “get there before the Muslims do” motivated exploration and discovery of new peoples.
A whole generation of young, highly trained soldiers in Spain , after the defeat of the Moors was completed in 1492, were looking for new campaigns. With a lack of opportunity at home, soldiers trained to fight the Moors now were available for new overseas projects.
New technology in ship building created faster, sleeker ships (the caravel ), the sternpost rudder which made steering ships much more accurate and easy, arming of ships with the new canon, the magnetic compass, the astrolabe (which enabled captains to plot their travel using latitudinal and longitudinal readings), and more accurate charting methods drove the desire of Europeans to new areas of exploration.
The bankruptcy of Spain caused by the long campaign to drive the Moors from Spain, made exploration to find new routes to the Spice Islands and new deposits of gold and silver necessary.
The loss of financial revenue in Portugal, the leading merchant fleet linking the Spice Islands to Europe, due to the new Ottoman dominance in the Indian Ocean forced new alternatives to be obtained.
And when these factors resulted in two actual, successful trips to be achieved in 1429 A.D. (Christopher Columbus) and 1520 A.D. (Magellan), all lights flashed green in England, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Italy for new exploration of routes to Asia and the Spice Islands.
19.4 The Chinese Explore Trade Routes (early 15th century)
Between 1404 and 1433 A.D., several decades prior to Columbus’ first journey, large merchant naval fleets sailed from China throughout the Indian Ocean, making trade contacts not only with port cities in the India Ocean but also along the eastern coasts of Africa.
They traded porcelain, lacquerware, silk, and cotton in exchange for gold, silver, and ivory. Most importantly they established permanent trade ties with these areas. The Chinese ships were superior to anything constructed in Europe. They were four to five times larger than European ships and possessed a technology not known to Europeans. The largest ships were over 400 feet long and 150 wide and were protected by a fleet of military vessels manned by over 20,000 soldiers.
This was not the first Chinese naval venture. During the Yuan Dynasty the Mongol rulers built a large naval fleet. Marco Polo described huge five-masted ships that regularly traded with Ceylon, India, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Had the Chinese emperors in the 15th century continued in their quest to develop world trade, the history of the world would be radically different. The Chinese were poised technologically to sail around the tip of Africa and to sail westward in search of new trade centers. Perhaps a Chinese captain instead of Columbus would have first discovered North America.
However, increasing pressure from the Mongols to the north diverted the attention of the emperors away from trade expansion to defense of the dynasty, and Chinese naval explorations inexplicably ceased.
To read more, go see Ancient Chinese Explorers , by Evan Hadingham, posted at Nova Beta , http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/ancient-chinese-explorers.html
The Ottoman Empire relied upon Greek sailors and captains from Ottoman-controlled Greece to conduct most of their sea trade during the 15th and 16th centuries. Trading partnerships between Venice and the Ottomans established shipping lanes across the Adriatic Sea from Greece to Italy. The Ottomans never entered in a major way into the competition for sea trade.
In North Africa, however, it was a different story. The semi-autonomous Ottoman states of Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli made sea traffic through the Mediterranean a dangerous business for European shipping. Because most of the raiders were from the Berber tribes of North Africa, the north coast of Africa was called the Barbary Coast and the Islamic raiders became known as the Barbary Pirates.
They found something other than shipping to be much more profitable -- the capture of ships, crews, captains and cargo. Seized sailors were often sold into slavery. Captains and ships were sold back at the price of a heavy ransom. At other times they extorted large payments in order to allow merchant ships to pass through their waters.
The Barbary pirates did more the seize ships and sailors. They also raided the coastal areas of Spain, Southern France, and East Africa to seize slaves for the slave markets in the Middle East. Their raids were so frequent that parts of the coastal areas of southern Spain were abandoned by their original inhabitants.
Their piracy continued on into the 18th century when the Barbary pirates were finally defeated by the fledgling navy of the United States under President Thomas Jefferson. Listen to the lyrics of The Marines’ Hymn of the United States’ Marine Corps:
“From the halls of Montezuma,
We will fight our country’s battles,
on the land and on the sea.”
19.6 Naval competition between the Netherlands, Portugal, England, France, and Spain in the 15th-18th centuries
From the 15th century onward ships sailed from Europe in search of not only new routes to Asia, but also to find the cities of gold that were featured in the fables of European sailors.
The Dutch sailed successfully around the tip of Africa into Asian waters and there they competed with the Portuguese and English for control of the spice trade. They colonized what became known as the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) in the mid-16th century and held that colony until 1948. This enabled them to control the production and trade of three crucial spices: nutmeg, cloves, and mace, as well as controlling the exporting of precious woods from Indonesia. The Dutch also created large tea and coffee plantations in the East Indies.
The Dutch also made a brief attempt to colonize North America where they founded New Amsterdam (now New York), but were soon driven out by the English. In 1609 an English explorer, Henry Hudson , who was under the employment of the Dutch Republic, reached the harbor of present-day New York, and sailed up the river that now bears his name. In 1625 a Dutch colony, New Amsterdam, was planted on Manhattan Island by Peter Minuit. It was surrendered to the English in 1664 and renamed, New York.
The Portuguese were the first to find a route around the tip of Africa to India and then to Asia. They soon were embroiled in intense competition with the Dutch and the English. The Portuguese were also chief rivals with Spain.
To settle the conflict between the two Catholic countries, Pope Alexander VI in May 1493 drew an imaginary line down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean 480 km (298.25 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands. Portugal was granted free access to all sea routes to Africa, India, and Asia east of that dividing line, and all previously unclaimed lands east of that line. Spain had free access to all routes to the Americas, Asia, and India, and all previously unclaimed lands west of that line.
At the time of Alexander’s initial intervention, little land in the Americas had been discovered or explored. But when the Portuguese realized the great advantage Spain gained through Alexander’s arrangement in potential land in the Americas, they petitioned for an adjustment to Alexander’s solution. Thus, in June 1494 the line was re-negotiated westward to a new distance of 1,770 km (1,099.83 miles) through the Treaty of Tordesilla , so named for the Spanish town of Tordesilla where the treaty was signed.
This gave Portugal access to the colonization of Brazil. Because the boundaries of Brazil were poorly defined, the Portuguese pushed for expanded borders without significant opposition from the Spanish.
The major sponsor and encourager of the Portuguese explorations was Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460), son of the Portuguese king. Henry was the prime mover in developing trade between Portugal and other countries and continents. Ironically, we are told, he never personally sailed aboard a ship. He was especially interested in exploring the west coast of Africa, which became the key area for providing African slaves to Portugal -- now the key European slave market.
With Henry’s funding and encouragement over 50 expeditions were sent out, including Vasco da Gama, who in 1498 became the first European to sail around the tip of Africa to India. By 1452 the Portuguese had so successfully developed trade routes circumventing the Ottoman-controlled trade routes, that Portugal became the European trade center for gold and slaves.
Several enduring Portuguese colonies were established in Brazil (where the national language is still Portuguese), the Spice Islands (Portuguese East Timor), Macao (a neighbor of Hong Kong), the Portuguese Azores, and the African colonies of Portuguese Angola and Mozambique.
England under Queen Elizabeth I developed an expansive trade and exploration campaign, supported by the world’s largest and most powerful navy. They competed with the Dutch and the Portuguese for trade with the Orient, leading to their eventual colonization of India, and, in the 19th century, port cities in China.
One of Elizabeth’s favorites at the royal court was Sir Walter Raleigh, a daring sea captain who consistently thwarted and badgered the Spanish by seizing Spanish galleons filled with gold and silver on their way to Spain from the colonies in Peru and Bolivia. Raleigh also forced Phillip II to postpone launching the Armada by raiding the coast of Spain and destroying the seasoned wood that was necessary to construct the water kegs needed by the sailors of the Armada.
One hundred years earlier John Cabot, a Venetian seaman and explorer, sailed under the sponsorship of King Henry VII, Elizabeth’s grandfather. In 1497 his ships landed in North America, the first Europeans to do so since the Vikings. His landfall is not specifically known. Some believe it was in Nova Scotia, others in Newfoundland, and some believe it might have been in Maine. A second exploratory journey in 1498 was ill-fated and probably returned to England by 1500.
His son, Sebastian Cabot , was later commissioned to find a Northwest Passage through present-day Canada to the Orient.
Sir Francis Drake (1545-1596) was selected by Queen Elizabeth to lead a sailing expedition around the world. Setting sail from Plymouth, England in December 1577 with six ships, Drake sailed to Brazil, then through the dangerous Magellan Straits at the southern tip of South America, up the coast to Panama, then reached as far, possibly, as California, or even Vancouver Island. where he claimed the territory for England. He then successfully sailed across the Pacific Ocean to the Indonesian islands, westward through the Indian Ocean to the tip of Africa, and then northward to England where he arrived in 1580. Drake was the second European to successfully sail around the world, and achieved what Magellan did not -- he personally completed the entire trip (Magellan died in the Philippines). Drake was also a major participant in the active slave trade in which England was a main competitor with the Spanish and Portuguese in the lucrative slave trade which dealt with not only African slaves, but also slaves taken from the Caribbean Islands.
John Cook was a late 18th century English explorer and navigator who sailed three times to the Orient, was the first European to touch Australia’s eastern shore, discovered many Pacific islands, and was the first to sail around present-day New Zealand. Cook landed in the Hawaiian Islands and there was murdered by Hawaiian natives.
During his travels, Cook created the first accurate maps of the Pacific Ocean and the first accurate maps of the coastlands of Europe.
Under Queen Elizabeth I and James I, the first English colonies in the New World were established. Jamestown , founded in 1607, was the first English colony in North America. In 1612 a second colony was established on the island of Bermuda. Later colonies were established at Plymouth (1620) by Pilgrim settlers, the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, and the Connecticut Colony in 1636. The establishment of these colonies resulted in a great wave of English settlers arriving in North America during the decade 1630-1640.
Queen Elizabeth I also founded the East India Company in 1600 for the purpose of developing trade with the Dutch East Indies. It soon found it more profitable to deal with India. The company soon controlled the production and exportation of Indian cotton, indigo dye, saltpeter ( nitrate needed in the production of gunpowder), tea, and opium. Because India had traditionally served as a middle man in trading Chinese products, especially porcelain and silk to Africa and Italy, the company gained control of that industry as well. Eventually the East India Company became the instrument used by Britain to colonize India.
France was early involved in the exploration of North America.
The Italian, da Verrazano , sailing under the French flag was the first European to locate the bay of New York, reaching it in 1524.
In 1603 Samuel de Champlain explored the Saint Lawrence River, traveled south into New England, and in 1609 established the colony of Quebec in the newly formed New France. He later was the first European to discover Lake Champlain, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario, all components of the Great Lakes. In 1629 he persuaded Cardinal Richelieu, French regent who served the young king Louis XIII, to encourage French nobility to fund the new colony of Quebec. In 1634 Champlain sent explorers as far west as present-day Wisconsin.
By the early 17th century French fur trappers and missionaries traveled as far west as Wyoming, established bases throughout the Great Lakes region, including present-day Chicago and Michigan, and conducted fur-trade along the Mississippi River as far south as present-day New Orleans, establishing there an important trade base and French colony.
About a century later, France was defeated by Britain in the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763), known to Americans as the French and Indian War. France lost control of its land possessions east of the Mississippi River. In 1803, France also lost its land possessions west of the Mississippi River through a sale made by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to the American President Thomas Jefferson. The Louisiana Purchase was consummated at the cost of $15 million dollars. Quebec remained the only significant French land holding in North America, which was quickly engulfed by large numbers of English who founded and settled British Canada.
(Above: Wedding of Ferdinand and Isabella,
1. Wedding of Ferdinand and Isabella
2. Monument a Colombo , Barcelona, Spain
3. Moorish leaders surrender to Spanish king and queen.
Spain’s important involvement in the exploration and discovery by European nations that marked the 15th-18th centuries can be viewed as follows:
• the impact of the two early explorer-discoverers, Christopher Columbus and Magellan.
• the impact of the Conquistadors on the discovery and development of the Americas.
• the impact of the vast gold and silver mines of Spain’s American colonies on the economies of Spain and Europe, and how Spain’s initial wealth ultimately led to its economic downfall.
• the strange counterbalance between Spain’s treatment of the conquered peoples in the Americas and the efforts of the Spanish Church to evangelize them.
• Spain’s lasting impact on Latin America.
The year 1492 was a momentous year in the history of Spain and Europe. Although best known as the year in which Columbus sailed to the New World, several other events also made 1492 A.D. an important year in the history of Europe in general and Spain in particular.
In 1469 A.D. Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille/Catalonia married, bringing into one kingdom through their marriage the whole of Spain.
From 711 A.D. Spain had been under the influence and control of the Islamic Moors. Little by little the control of the Moors was eroding, beginning in the north of Spain where the Kingdom of Asturias was overthrown in 718 A.D. Although it was not until 722 A.D. that a Christian kingdom could be securely established. This is considered to be the first Christian victory over the Islamic Moors in Spain, in the long struggle called the Reconquista .
The last chapter of the Reconquista was written in 1492 when the last of the Moors were driven from Grenada in southern Spain.
The battle against the Moors was costly in lives and money. The national treasury of Ferdinand and Isabella was virtually empty. They needed a quick transfusion of gold and silver into the national coffers. Columbus seemed to them to be a means by which new wealth could be acquired from a new route to the Spice Islands as well as confiscation of the fabled gold deposits in the New World.
Not only the Moors, but also Spanish Jews, were being driven from Spain in 1492. In fact, Columbus had to use the port of Palos instead of the larger port of Cadiz because Cadiz was flooded with ships carrying thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing to the Middle East, North Africa, Italy, and Greece. All of their assets were confiscated by the throne and by the Roman Church. They were offered one alternative to emigration, and that was conversion to the Christian faith. Many did do so, but this produced a later problem in Spain, producing the Inquisition. How could the Spanish Catholic determine who truly converted and who did so outwardly simply to avoid emigration?
The article below, “ Why Did Columbus Sail? ,” further points out the major events of 1492 in Spain.
Two important early explorers Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan
19.6.6 Christopher Columbus
In 1492, six years before Vasco da Gama of Portugal made his historic trip around the tip of Africa to India, opening up a new sea route to Asia, a sea captain from Genoa, Italy, Christopher Columbus , was commissioned by the king and queen of Spain to explore a new route westward to the Spice Islands. And with that voyage Columbus changed the world -- as the Europeans had known it --for all time.
Columbus (1451-1506) was born during the late Renaissance in Italy. It is perhaps no accident that some of the foremost explorers of the late 1400s and early 1500s were Italians, men who were exposed to the far-reaching cultural awakening that was the Renaissance.
From childhood he was fascinated by the sea and dreamed of becoming a sailor--maybe even one day becoming the captain of his own ship! He listened eagerly to tales told by seafarers who had sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean Sea, bringing back rich cargoes for Genoa`s wealthy merchants.
When he was about twenty years of age, his dream of going to sea was finally realized and saw many different peoples and lands on his voyages around the Mediterranean. At the age of twenty-five, he had the most exciting time of his life when he sailed aboard a ship that sailed out onto the immense Atlantic Ocean.
After escaping a pirate attack at sea, Columbus settled in the Portuguese city of Lisbon, Europe`s most important center of world navigation. Columbus spent eight years in Lisbon, working as a mapmaker and receiving the greater part of his education.
After his marriage to a Portuguese woman, and fathering several children, Columbus became convinced he could reach Asia by sailing westward from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean. Most with whom he shared his ideas dismissed him as an idle dreamer, but Columbus was determined and ambitious in his quest.
A fervent Christian, Columbus also had a burning passion to evangelize peoples along his route to Asia. His journals expressed his belief that God had chosen him to carry the Gospel of Christ to the people of Asia.
His concerns as a Christian were expressed in a letter Columbus wrote to the king and queen of Spain after landing on the island of San Salvador in 1492, in which he stated:
"I have no doubt, most serene Princes, that were proper devout and religious persons to come among them and learn their language, it would be an easy matter to convert them all to Christianity, and I hope in our Lord that your Highnesses will devote yourselves with much diligence to this object, and bring into the church so many multitudes, inasmuch as you have exterminated those who refused to confess the Father, Son and Holy Ghost [this refers to the Spanish conflict with the Moors] , so that having ended your days (as we are all mortal) you may leave your dominions in a tranquil condition, free from heresy and wickedness, and meet with a favorable reception before the eternal Creator, whom may it please to grant you a long life and great increase of kingdoms and dominions, with the will and disposition to promote, as you always have done, the holy Christian religion, Amen. . . . " (Personal Narrative of the First Voyage of Columbus To America, from a manuscript recently discovered in Spain, Boston: Published by Thomas B. Wait and Son, 1827, p. 80 Google eBook)
“. . . . Your Highnesses ought not to suffer any trade to be carried on, nor a foreign foot to be set upon these shores except by Catholic Christians, as the object and sum of the present undertaking has been the increase and glory of the Christian religion. . . ." (Ibid., p. 109 )
". . . . I named the first of these islands San Salvador , thus bestowing upon it the name of our holy Saviour under whose protection I made the discovery." ( Ibid., p. 240)
Columbus believed that his mission to find a route to Asia was a divine task. From his personal diary we read:
“At this time I have seen and put in study to look into all the Scriptures, cosmography, histories, chronicles and philosophy and other arts, which our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies [present-day Indonesia] and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea.” (Christopher Columbus, Book of Prophecies, p. 178, quoted by Kay Brigham in Christopher Columbus, His Life and Discovery in the Light of His Prophecies, Clie Editorial, 1991, p. 82.)
(Note: Kay Brigham’s book is an excellent book to read further about the personal faith of Christopher Columbus.)
Columbus took his plan to Henry VII of England, Francis I of Spain, to the king of Portugal, and was turned down by all three monarchs. Columbus then approached the king and queen of Spain. Eventually their sponsorship was obtained through the intervention of a close friend.
The Spanish monarchs’ primary interest was to rescue the Spanish economy. The royal riches had been depleted by the military efforts to drive the Muslim Moors from Spain. A new route to Asia would bring them untold financial success, it was hoped.
Finally in May of 1492, the coming expedition was announced publicly.
Three swift ships were purchased and stocked with supplies for the voyage -- the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. The ships left the docks with 90 crew members on August 3, 1492.
On the morning of October 11, 1492 land was sighted. The next day, October 12, 1492, Columbus was the first European to set foot on an island in the present-day Bahamas. It was Columbus`s day of triumph. He and the crew immediately gave thanks to God for a safe arrival in a worship service and he planted both the royal banner of Spain and a wooden cross on the beach of the island he named “San Salvador” -- Holy Savior. Thus, in seventy days Columbus completed an historic transatlantic voyage that eventually led to European settlement in what would later be called the New World. What was so amazing about his skill as a navigator was not sailing to the New World. The continents of North and South America were so large almost anyone could land there sailing from Europe. But to find his way back again to his home port in Spain -- that was a demonstration of his advanced sailing skills.
For the rest of his life Columbus believed that he had landed on perimeter islands of either India or “Cathay” (the 15th century name for China). He immediately referred to the islands’ inhabitants as “Indians.” However, he also sent men inland on one larger island to look for the capitol city of “the Khan” (the term used in Spain for the Chinese emperor). So, there was evident confusion on Columbus’ part about where his ships had actually landed.
Columbus on this first trip to the New World visited numerous nearby islands, including Cuba, which he made his main base of operations and center of the new colony established. He made three trips in all between Spain and the the New World.
Three questions arise from Columbus’ discovery of the New World.
1. Why does history say that Columbus “discovered” the New World, when other peoples had already inhabited North and South America for thousands of years before his “discovery”?
People from Asia/Siberia migrated to North and South America in several waves. We now know from DNA test results that the Siberian people who settled and today live in South America are distinct from the Siberian people who settled and live today in North America. Original studies indicated that four distinct haplogroups migrated into North and Central America in waves across the Bering Sea bridge. These are labeled A, B, C, and D. A, C, and D, scientists maintain, came from Siberia.
The “B” people, however, came to South America probably from Japan and the South Pacific islands via boats. The “B” DNA is found today only in aboriginal people in Japan, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. It is found among certain tribes today in North America.
And to complicate the matter further, a fifth haplogroup, labeled “X,” has been identified, and “X” is not found anywhere in Asia! It is found today in Europe and the Middle East! It has been found, for instance, in the ancient ancestors of the Basque people in northern Spain.
Recent finds in Oregon (2012) also have located a distinct, heretofore unknown, people who migrated into North America along land bridges that connected Siberia to North America during the Ice Age. The Clovis culture, known for their unique spearhead technology, long were held to be the first group into North America. The new group recently discovered (2012) in the Paisley Caves area of Oregon, seems to pre-date the Clovis culture. And DNA tests show them to have been distinct from the Clovis people.
There are other recent discoveries pointing to the same conclusion. A trawler in the North Atlantic pulled up a mastedon skeleton, and with it a stone spear head or cutting tool probably used to butcher the mastedon. It closely resembles tools made by a migratory group whose remain have been found in Spain and Portugal. “Since the 1930s, archaeologists have favored a single migration from Siberia to Alaska as the epic event that peopled the Americas about 13,000 years ago. Stone tools found at Clovis, N.M., and elsewhere, suggested that a single culture spread across much of the continent. This ‘Clovis first’ idea became entrenched. But starting in the 1990s, archaeologists dated sites in Texas, Chile and the mid-Atlantic region to pre-Clovis times.” ( Radical theory of first Americans places Stone Age Europeans in Delmarva 20,000 years ago , Brian Vastag, The Washington Post , February 29, 2012, found at http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-02-29/national/35443796_1_archaeologists-blade-stone-tools/2).
Other finds also point to early arrivals in Latin America that pre-date the arrival of migratory peoples from Asia.
A skull was found in 1999 in South-Central Brazil by archeologists and numerous skeletons in a nearby burial site that seem to indicated that these were people with Negroid features. Speculation is that they may have been related to the early Aborigines of Australia who traveled across the Pacific. ''’We can no longer say that the first colonizers of the Americas came from the north of Asia, as previous models have proposed,’ said Dr. Walter Neves, an anthropologist at the University of Sao Paulo, who made the initial discovery along with an Argentine colleague, Hector Pucciarelli. ‘This skeleton is nearly 2,000 years older than any skeleton ever found in the Americas, and it does not look like those of Amerindians or North Asians.’''( An Ancient Skull Challenges Long-Held Theories , Larry Rohter, New York Times , October 8, 1999, found at http://www.nytimes.com/1999/10/26/science/an-ancient-skull-challenges-long-held-theories.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm)
Therefore, the settling of North and South America probably was done in numerous waves of migration into the two continents and from different places in Asia and perhaps the South Pacific and even Europe. And archeologists have long wondered at the great similarities between the pyramids of Egypt and those constructed in Central and South America. Were there sea-links between Africa and South America? Not to mention Egyptian mummies and German skeletons that show strong amounts of nicotine in their remains, people who died long before the European voyagers of the 16th century began shipping tobacco from the New World to Europe.
Who got here first? Who really “discovered” America? That is a question no one can yet answer. But we do know that from the traditional European perspective, the explorer who first “discovered” the New World in modern times was Christopher Columbus.
If you are interested in DNA studies and current thinking about how and when the ancestors of the Native Americans came to the Americas, see the following articles and videos.
“ Native American DNA Links to Six ‘Founding Mothers,’” Malcolm Ritter, New York Associated Press, March 13, 2008 at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080313-AP-native-amer.html
2. If Columbus was “the first European” to have “discovered” the Americas, why are they called the “Americas” and not the “Columbias”? And why are their inhabitants called “Americans” and not “Columbians”?
Between 1497 and 1507 an Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, made six trips to South America. His major contribution to Europe’s knowledge of the New World were his very accurate maps, primarily of the eastern South American coast.
Although his actually landings were few and brief, he later recounted his journeys to a friend, Lorenzo de Medici, who was so fascinated by the stories that he personally published what became very popular and widely-read accounts. A German mapmaker, Martin Waldseemuller, published Vespucci’s map of South America in 1507 and labeled it “America” in honor of Vespucci. The name stuck and the two continents have been known as the Americas from that point forward.
3. Was Columbus a hero or a villain?
The impact of Columbus’ arrival in the Bahamas has caused great debate today. Is he a hero or a villain, a Christian missionary or a slave trader, an explorer in search of souls or a merchant in search of financial profits?
For four hundred years Columbus was lauded as a visionary explorer. Cities, colleges, and universities have been named in his honor, including a national U.S. holiday, Columbus Day. However, towards the end of the 20th century other voices began to question and attack his motives and his treatment of the islands’ original inhabitants. The term “Indian” was decried as a demeaning term, and Columbus was described as a slave trading, gold seeking, ego-maniac. The debate continues. More recently new voices have entered the arena in defense of Columbus and maintain that the anti-Columbus voices are simply another arm of “political correctness.”
The anti-Columbus authors point to the introduction of European diseases into the Americas that decimated whole populations of original inhabitants, that Columbus seized slaves, not only to work for the Spanish but were sent back to Spain for exhibit much as one would an animal, and that he ruled over the new colony as a despot.
Political correctness tends to see any claims by any particular religion to be “the only way” to be absolutist and arrogant. Who is to say, they maintain, that the original inhabitants Columbus encountered were any less ignorant of a true God than he? And who is to say that one culture is superior to another? Or one religion better than another?
Furthermore, the argument goes, Columbus opened the door to centuries of ill-treatment of the Meso-Americans, as they were to be referred to rather than the supposedly demeaning term “Indian.” The ill-treatment continued not only through the later Spanish conquistadors, but also through the American settlement of the West and the disruption of the native American cultures.
And so, his detractors maintain, Columbus stands for everything that went wrong as a result of the invasion by Europeans into the Americas. Native American groups is North America have lobbied to have “Columbus Day” changed to “Native American Day.”
The supporters of Columbus respond with the following arguments.
• Columbus was a man of his times and of his culture. Columbus must be viewed, not through 20th century eyeglasses, but t as a man who lived in a 15th century culture. Seizing land and peoples was an extension of European feudalism.
• There were no existing university courses or books available on “how to best contact a foreign culture” or “how to best evangelize another people.” Columbus and the Spanish put into practice what was common to all European nations at the time.
• European diseases carried by explorers into the New World was hardly a planned attack on the native population, since there was no knowledge in that day about germs or how contagions developed. In fact, on returning to Spain, the explorers, including Columbus’ crews and those that came after, carried back new diseases to Europe contracted in the Americas. So the disease issue was a two-way street.
• The Spanish and Columbus viewed themselves as possessors of a superior Christian culture who had an obligation to treat the native inhabitants more as children to be protected and instructed than as slaves. They could not be left in their original condition of ignorance. They needed instruction in the Christian faith. Did not Christ die for their salvation as well as for the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians?
• Columbus showed a great compassion for the peoples he encountered and saw his trips as designed by God for their evangelism. His diaries and letters written both before and after his historic trips contain personal compassion for the natives he encountered and his zeal to seek their conversion to Christ. He urged the king and queen of Spain to send priests to work with the people and to instruct them in the Christian faith.
• Columbus did sign an agreement with the monarchs of Spain which guaranteed him 10% of the profits from not only his own trips but for all those that followed. Such an agreement does not make him necessarily a despicable exploiter but a typical businessman. After all, he was the one who took the greatest of risks in making his initial trips across the Atlantic.
• The entry of Columbus into the New World opened two continents to European and Asian cultures, civilizations, technologies, medicine, trade, and eventually united an entire southern American continent with one language.
What your history textbooks may not have told you
Kevin A. Miller, editor of Christian History
The bright noon sun beat down on the stone walls of the Church of St. George in Palos, Spain. Inside, in the cool quiet, knelt Cristóbal Colón, captain general of three small ships anchored in the town’s inlet below. With Columbus saying confession and hearing mass, were some ninety pilots, seamen, and crown appointed officials. Later that day they would row to their ships, Colón taking his place on the Santa María, a slow but sturdy flagship no longer than five canoes.
The next morning, Friday, August 3, 1492, at dawn, the Santa María and its companion caravels caught the ebb tide and drifted toward the gulf. Their sails began to fill, and the crosses boldly emblazoned on them caught the light. Their mission—the wild-eyed idea of their foreigner captain—was to sail west, away from all visible landmarks. They would leave behind Spain and Portugal, the “end of the world,” and head straight into the Mare Oceanum, the Ocean Sea.
In that Ocean of Darkness, some feared, the water boiled and sea monsters gulped down sailors so foolish as to sail there. Beyond—if they lived to see it—lay the fabled island of Cipangu. There, in the land of the Great Khan, houses were roofed with gold, streets paved with marble. And this was but one of 7,448 islands Marco Polo had said were in the Sea of China. But even if they reached the Indies, how would they get back, since currents and winds all seemed to go one way?
Why Take the Risky Voyage?
Commander Cristoforo Colombo (as he was known in his hometown of Genoa, Italy) was taller than most men so tall, in fact, he couldn’t stand inside his cabin on the Santa María. He’d had “very red” hair in his younger years, but since he’d passed age 40, it had turned prematurely white. His face boasted a big nose and freckles.
Columbus, as we know his name today, was an experienced mariner. He had sailed the Mediterranean and traveled to parts of Africa, to Ireland, and probably even to Iceland. He boasted later in life, “I have gone to every place that has heretofore been navigated.” He knew the Atlantic as well or better than anyone, and he probably knew more about how to read currents, winds, and surfaces of the sea than do sailors today. “He [our Lord] has bestowed the marine arts upon me in abundance,” Columbus said.
For nearly seven years, the “socially ambitious, socially awkward” Italian had become a fixture at the Spanish court, ceaselessly lobbying for his crazy “enterprise of the Indies.” A royal commission in 1490 had judged “that the claims and promises of Captain Colón are vain and worthy of rejection.… The Western Sea is infinite and unnavigable. The Antipodes are not livable, and his ideas are impracticable.” Yet Columbus had pressed on, proving, as he said, “If it strikes often enough, a drop of water can wear a hole in a stone.”
Why? Why would someone, anyone, doggedly spend years getting funding for a death-defying feat?
The Misleading Textbook Answer
The textbook answer, as any schoolchild could recite, is that Columbus wanted to find a trade route to the Orient. Writer Robert Hughes expressed the conventional wisdom: “Sometime between 1478 and 1484, the full plan of self-aggrandizement and discovery took shape in his mind. He would win glory, riches, and a title of nobility by opening a trade route to the untapped wealth of the Orient. No reward could be too great for the man who did that.”
That’s true, but incomplete so incomplete it’s misleading. At least later, Columbus saw his voyage in much greater terms: “Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also the Holy Spirit who encouraged me with a radiance of marvelous illumination from his sacred Scriptures, … urging me to press forward?”
Columbus felt that Almighty God had directly brought about his journey: “With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible … and he opened my will to desire to accomplish that project.… The Lord purposed that there should be something miraculous in this matter of the voyage to the Indies.”
There may be many things we don’t know about history’s most famous mariner. We don’t know exactly what Columbus looked like. We don’t know the precise design of his three ships. And most bizarre of all, we don’t know—and will probably never know—the spot where he came ashore.
But we know beyond doubt that Columbus sailed, in part, to fulfill a religious quest. Columbus’s voyages were intense religious missions. He saw them as the fulfillment of a divine plan for his life—and for the soon-coming end of the world. As he put it in 1500, “God made me the messenger of the new heaven and the new earth of which he spoke in the Apocalypse of St. John [Rev. 21:1] after having spoken of it through the mouth of Isaiah and he showed me the spot where to find it.”
Columbus was visibly and verbally “an exceptionally pious man,” writes historian Delno C. West. “Throughout his journals and letters, we find him constantly in prayer, invoking the names of Christ, Mary, and the saints and solemnly giving praise to God.”
It was typical for Spanish crewmen daily to recite the “Our Father” and other prayers. Columbus’s men did, too. But Columbus went far beyond conventional practice.
His son Ferdinand wrote, “He was so strict in matters of religion that for fasting and saying prayers he might have been taken for a member of a religious order.” He knew his Vulgate Bible thoroughly, and he probably took it (or a collection of Scriptures) on his voyages. Whenever he faced a storm, a waterspout (tornado-like whirl of seawater), or rebellious crewmen, he made vows to God. “Religion was always his first refuge in adversity,” writes Columbus scholar Felipe Fernández-Armesto.
A main source for information about Columbus is his contemporary Bishop Bartolome de Las Casas. Las Casas fearlessly criticized many fellow Spaniards, yet he did little but praise the mariner: “He was calm and serious, friendly to strangers, gentle and kind to his family.… In nearly everything he undertook to plan or to accomplish, he would begin with ‘In the name of the Holy Trinity I will do this or look to that.’ … He fasted most observantly on all the fast days of the church he participated frequently in confession and Communion he prayed at all the daily canonical hours, just as the priests and monks … He was extremely zealous for the honor and glory of God with deep longing he yearned for the evangelization of these peoples and for the planking and flourishing everywhere of people’s faith in Jesus Christ.”
The overwhelming evidence has led Delno C. West to conclude that Columbus “is best viewed as an ‘evangelical’ Christian—not in the modern sense of the word ‘evangelical’ but in the sense of the Catholic tradition and church of the times.”
Evangelical? In 1501 Columbus wrote, “I am only a most unworthy sinner, but ever since I have cried out for grace and mercy from the Lord, they have covered me completely. I have found the most delightful comfort in making it my whole aim in life to enjoy his marvelous presence.” He constantly associated with reform minded Franciscans and spent perhaps five months at the white-walled monastery of Santa María de La Rabida. He may have been a member of the Franciscan Third Order (for lay people). At least once he appeared in public wearing a Franciscan habit and the order’s distinctive cord.
But he and his faith were wholly medieval. He died more than a decade before Martin Luther would post his 95 Theses protesting the abuse of indulgences. In fact, advances on indulgences helped pay for Columbus’s voyage. He read from the Vulgate Bible and the church fathers but, typical for his era, mingled astrology, geography, and prophecy with his theology. Columbus and his faith reflected, to use Alexander von Humboldt’s phrase, “everything sublime and bizarre that the Middle Ages produced.”
But only in the last 40 years—and particularly in the last 10 have scholars examined Columbus’s religious motivations. Not until last year was his most important religious writing—the Libro de las profecías, or Book of Prophecies—translated into English.
Columbus’s deep Christian faith still causes academic bewilderment. Some scholars attribute his recurring encounters with a heavenly voice to mental instability, illness, or stress. Others complain that Columbus’s biographers described him as more religious than he really was. Some protest that Columbus was greedy and obsessively ambitious, so he couldn’t have been truly religious, as if competing qualities cannot exist in one person.
But why explain away his intense religious devotion, when it was obvious to those who knew him and persistent throughout his writings?
Concludes Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer Samuel Eliot Morison, “There can be no doubt that the faith of Columbus was genuine and sincere, and that his frequent communion with forces unseen was a vital element in his achievement.”
Columbus would need that vital element. The voyage was immediately beset by calamities a broken rudder, leaks so bad they needed immediate repair, and threatened capture by the Portuguese. A week after losing sight of the Canary Islands, the pilots discovered to their consternation that the compasses no longer worked right. (They varied a full degree at various fumes of the day, because of the rotation of the North Star, which pilots had thought was fixed in its location.)
On September 23, the ship hit a calm, causing the seamen to complain they’d never be able to get back to Spain. But later, the sea rose without the aid of any wind. This “astonished them,” and Columbus compared it to the miracles that accompanied Moses.
After going a month without seeing land, the men belly-ached about the endless voyage. But on October 11, the ship’s log records, they began seeing signs of shore: seabirds, bits of green plants, stacks that looked they had been carved, a small plank. At 10 that evening, Columbus saw a faint, flickering light like a candle in the distance. Few took it as a sign of land, but when the crew gathered to sing Salve Regina (“Hail, Queen”), Columbus instructed his men to keep careful lookout. He would give the first person to sight land a silk jacket and 10,000 maravedis.
Then the Pinta (“Painted One”), the fastest of the three ships, sailed ahead. At about 2 A.M., a crewman yelled “Tierra!”—land.
At daylight, the wide-eyed Europeans saw people “as naked as their mother bore them” and many ponds, fruits, and green trees. Columbus and his captains went ashore in an armed launch and unfurled the royal banner and two flags. Each was white with a central bright green cross flanked by a green F and Y for “Ferdinand” and “Isabella.” Columbus declared that these obviously inhabited lands now belonged to the Catholic sovereigns.
But what land was this? Where was he? The navties called the island Guanahaní. Columbus dubbed it San Salvador, “Holy Savior.” He probably figured he was, in one writer’s words, at the “gateway to the kingdom of the Grand Khan.”
Columbus had woefully miscalculated—by thousands of miles. Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell explains, “In six stages of calculations, Columbus had cooked the figures to suit himself and reduced the width of the Ocean Sea to 60 degrees, less than a third of the modern figure of 200 degrees for the distance between the Canary Islands and Japan.… Providence or fool’s luck—placed America in the middle of the sea to save him.”
Columbus said it was Providence. As he wrote to Ferdinand and Isabella late in his life, “I spent six years here at your royal court, disputing the case with so many people of great authority, learned in all the arts. And finally they concluded that it all was in vain, and they lost interest. In spite of that it later came to pass as Jesus Christ our Savior had predicted and as he had previously announced through the mouths of His holy prophets.… I have already said that reason, mathematics, and maps of the world were of no use to me in the execution of the enterprise of the Indies. What Isaiah said was completely fulfilled.”
Now here he was, standing in the distant isles of the Indies. So he called the Taino-speaking peoples of the Arawak tribes “Indians.” The name, though flatly wrong, stuck.
Good Christians, Good Slaves
Soon many natives gathered. They had coarse black hair—“almost like the tail of a horse”—with “handsome bodies and good faces” painted with black, red, or white paint. “I recognized that they were people who would be better freed [from error] and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force,” Columbus concluded.
“To some of them I gave red caps, and glass beads which they put on their chests, and many other things of small value, in which they took so much pleasure and became so much our friends that it was a marvel.” The natives soon brought “parrots and cotton thread in balls and javelins and many other things,” which they traded for “small glass beads and bells.”
“They should be good and intelligent servants,” Columbus wrote, “for I see that they say very quickly everything that is said to them and I believe that they would become Christians very easily, for it seemed to me that they had no religion. Our Lord pleasing, at the time of my departure I will take six of them from here to Your Highnesses in order that they may learn to speak.”
In other words, they would make good Christians and good slaves. The cross and sword had come together. The modern concept of separating church and state had never entered Columbus’s mind. His sovereigns were Christian princes to extend his nation’s borders was to extend Christianity to conquer and enslave new lands was to spread the gospel. Even when Columbus forcibly subjugated Hispaniola in 1495, he believed he was fulfilling a divine destiny for himself and for Aragon and Castile and for the holy church.
Indeed, he saw himself on an evangelistic mission. In the prologue to his account of the first voyage, Columbus wrote to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella: “I had given [a report] to your Highnesses about the lands of India and about a prince who is called ‘Grand Khan,’ … how, many times, he and his predecessors had sent to Rome to ask for men learned in our Holy Faith in order that they might instruct him in it … and thus so many peoples were lost, falling into idolatry and accepting false and harmful religions and Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes, lovers and promoters of the Holy Christian Faith … thought of sending me, Cristóbal Colon… to see how their conversion to our Holy Faith might be undertaken.”
Columbus was the advance man for a mighty evangelistic campaign. He would open new worlds and unseen peoples to the gospel. In a sense, he would be like the legendary giant Christopher, who carried Christ on his back across a wide river. He also, a Christopher, a “Christ-bearer,” would carry Christ across the wide Ocean Sea to peoples who had never heard the Christian message.
In his later Book of Prophecies, he cited various Scriptures that validated that mission:
• John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
• And especially Isaiah 60:9—“For, the islands wait for me, and the ships of the sea in the beginning: that I may bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the Lord thy God.” In Columbus’s mind, the islands were waiting for him he would bring their sons to the Lord (and not incidentally, bring their silver and gold as well).
Las Casas agreed that “Columbus showed the way to the discovery of immense territories” and many peoples “are now ready and prepared to be brought to the knowledge of their Creator and the faith.” As a sign of that work, on every island he explored, Columbus erected a large wooden cross.
After ten weeks of exploring the coastline of Cuba and Hispaniola, continually trading trinkets for gold, Columbus and his men hit a problem. In the wee hours of Christmas morning, a sailor decided to catch some sleep and left the tiller in the hands of a boy. The Santa María ran aground.
But what most would have viewed as a calamity, Columbus did not: “It was a great blessing and the express purpose of God” that his ship ran aground so he would leave some of his men. Yes, the ship was wrecked beyond repair, but now he had lumber—lots of it—for building the necessary fort. He left a small garrison of men with instructions: treat the natives well and don’t “injure” the women explore for gold seek a place for permanent settlement.
The Niña and Pinta sailed for home in January. On February 12, the ships encountered a frightening storm. Waves broke over the ships, sails had to be lowered, and soon they were driven by the wind until they were wildly lost. “I knew that my life was at the disposal of Him who made me,” Columbus wrote, “and I have been near death so often.… What made it so unbearably painful this time was the thought that after our Lord had been pleased to enflame me with faith and trust in this enterprise, and had crowned it with victory, … His divine Majesty should now choose to jeopardize everything with my death.… I tried to console myself with the thought that our Lord would not allow such an enterprise to remain unfinished, which was so much for the exaltation of His Church.”
The storm raged on. On February 14th, Columbus gathered his crew on the heaving and rolling deck to pray and make vows. They put chick-peas in a cap and had sailors draw to see which one picked the chick-pea with a cross cut into it. That sailor would go on a holy pilgrimage to a shrine of the Virgin Mary if they landed safely. Columbus drew the cross-marked bean.
Apparently, on that frightening day, Columbus also heard a celestial voice. In his youth, he felt God had promised him that his name would be proclaimed throughout the world. And at age 25, he had survived a shipwreck and six-mile swim—a sign, he told his son Ferdinand, that God had a plan for him. But this was different.
Although the words are recorded only indirectly, God spoke to Columbus and assured him that God would take him to safety. God had given him great favor in allowing him to accomplish this great feat. God would allow him to complete what he had begun.
The next day Columbus’s men spotted an island in the Azores less than three weeks later they landed triumphantly on the Iberian peninsula.
“Communion with Celestial Joys”
When Columbus anchored the Niña in Palos, seven months after he’d left, shops closed and church bells rang. Columbus had forwarded a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella: “Our Redeemer has given this triumph… for all of this Christendom should feel joyful and make great celebrations and give solemn thanks to the Holy Trinity … for the great exaltation which it will have in the salvation of so many peoples to our holy faith and, secondly, for the material benefits which will bring refreshment and profit.”
Columbus was greeted in the Barcelona court as “Don Cristóbal Colón, our Admiral of the Ocean Sea and Viceroy and Governor of the Isles discovered in the Indies.”
According to Las Casas, “The King and Queen heard [Columbus’s report] with profound attention and, raising their hands in prayer, sank to their knees in deep gratitude to God. The singers of the royal chapel sang the ‘Te Deum laudamus’ … and indeed it seemed a moment of communion with all the celestial joys.”
Spain had now emerged, in one historian’s words, “as the greatest empire since antiquity.” In “a year of marvels,” to quote historian Carry Wills, three profound changes had occurred:
1. Ferdinand and Isabella, who had just united their kingdoms, soundly defeated the Moors, signaling the end of an Islamic presence in Europe.
2. The Catholic sovereigns had expelled all Jews and seized their assets. Columbus had used the port of Palós, in fact, because the larger Cádiz was flooded with thousands of fleeing Jewish refugees.
3. A Spanish pope had been elected.
And now this—a new gateway to the Indies. A new country, militantly united behind Christianity, had arisen and would dominate the world for a hundred years.
To Columbus, all this was a sure sign of the end times.
For years a prophecy had circulated that “the restorer of the House of Mt. Zion will come from Spain.” For hundreds of years, the holy sites of Jerusalem had been held captive by the infidel Muslims. But according to ancient prophecy, that day would soon end. And Columbus believed he would be part of making it happen.
Following St. Augustine’s teaching, Columbus knew that all history fell into seven ages—and he was in the sixth, the next to last. Furthermore, Augustine had said the world would end 7,000 years after its creation. That was a mere 155 years away, and much had to happen: all peoples of the world would convert to Christianity, the Holy Land would be rescued from the infidels, the Antichrist would come.
Columbus thought that Ferdinand and Isabella were God’s chosen instruments to recapture Jerusalem and place the Holy City under Christian control. This was not some sidelight in Columbus’s mind it was a central passion. As scholar Pauline Moffitt Watts has written, “This was Columbus’s ultimate goal, the purpose of all his travels and discoveries—the liberation of the Holy Land.”
Not that he would personally lead the armies. No, he would help pay for the expensive crusade. The Crusaders’ Book of Secrets, written in the early fourteenth century, said it would take 210,000 gold florins to mount a crusade. If Columbus could find enough gold in the Indies especially if he could find the lost mines of Solomon, which were known to be in the East—he could pay for a Holy Land crusade.
When Columbus had left his men on Hispaniola in early January, he told them he hoped “in God that on the return … he would find a barrel of gold that those who were left would have acquired by exchange and that they would have found the gold mine and the spicery, and those things in such quantity, that the sovereigns before three years will undertake and prepare to conquer the Holy Sepulcher.”
Columbus thirsted for gold he was obsessed by it. When he says sincerely,“Our Lord in his goodness guides me so that I may find this gold,” we cringe. But writers who accuse Columbus of raw greed miss part of the point. Columbus wanted gold not only for himself, but also for a much larger reason: to pay for the medieval Christian’s dream, the retaking of the Holy Land. “The primary motivation in his quest for gold was spiritual,” argues Delno C. West.
As soon as Columbus had returned to Spain, he told Ferdinand and Isabella he would provide 50,000 soldiers and 4,000 horses for them to free Christ’s Holy Tomb in Jerusalem. “You are assured of certain victory in the enterprise of Jerusalem,” Columbus later wrote to them, “if you have faith.”
But much to Columbus’s disappointment, the longed-for crusade to recapture the Holy City was never undertaken. Although Ferdinand and Isabella made military strikes into Muslim-held North Africa, they never mounted a grand crusade.
Columbus was at the high point of his life. In his remaining 14 years, difficulties would only intensify the qualities in his life:
• His wanderlust. He took three more voyages across the Atlantic, each lasting several years and filled with harrowing storms, crew rebellions, illnesses (at one point his eyes bled), and encounters with native Americans.
• His passion for evangelism. In May 1493, he asked Ferdinand and Isabella to set aside 1 percent of all gold taken from the islands to pay for establishing churches and sending monks. They instructed him “to win over the peoples of the said islands and mainland by all ways and means to our Holy Catholic Faith” and sent 13 religious workers on his second voyage. In his will, Columbus instructed his son Diego to support from his trust four theology professors to live on Hispaniola and convert the Indians.
• His inflexibility. To his death he continued to argue (against other evidence) that he had landed in Asia. As a colonial governor, he ruled the farmers and settlers with such a heavy hand they rebelled. Columbus was arrested and shipped back to Spain in chains.
• His drive for titles and money. Columbus became absolutely wealthy, “a millionaire by any standard.” But he had driven such a hard bargain with the crown—hereditary titles and “the tenth part of the whole” of gold he found—that the monarchs continually had to limit his power and wealth. Columbus spent his last years in legal battles and worries that his estate would be whitled away.
• His encounters with the voice of God. Columbus had at least two more, both in dark hours.
In 1499, he said, “When all had abandoned me, I was assailed by the Indians and the wicked Christians the Spanish settlers who were rebelling against his inept administration]. I found myself in such a pass that in an attempt to escape death I took to the sea in a small caravel. Then the Lord came to help, saying, ‘O man of little faith, be not afraid, I am with thee.’ And he scattered my enemies and showed me the way to fulfill my promises. Miserable sinner that I am, to have put all my trust in the vanities of this world!”
In the Americas again four years later, he found himself alone. His worm eaten ship was trapped by low waters from getting out into the open sea. A local Indian cacique [ruler] had vowed to massacre the Spaniards. Some of Columbus’s men had been killed. Feverish and in deep despair, he wrote, “I dragged myself up the rigging to the height of the crow’s nest.… Still groaning, I lost consciousness. I heard a voice in pious accents saying, ‘O foolish man and slow to serve your God, the God of all! What more did he accomplish for Moses or for his servant David? From the hour of your birth he has always had a special care of you.’ ” The voice continued at length and closed with “Be not afraid, but of good courage. All your afflictions are engraved in letters of marble and there is a purpose behind them all.”
• His belief in his role in end-times prophecy. Late in life, with the help of a friend, a monk, Columbus assembled excerpts from the Bible and medieval authors. The unfinished work, titled Book of Prophecies, uses Scriptures to show that God had ordained his voyages of discovery and that God would be doing further wonderful things for the church. Some have criticized Columbus for the “providential and messianic delusions that would come to grip him later in life” and accused him of megalomania.
Columbus was often egocentric and, by today’s standards, loose in his hermeneutics. But he wasn’t the first or last Christian to read his personal destiny into a Scripture verse. Scholar Kay Brigham writes that he was “a man who had an extensive knowledge of God’s plan for the world, revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and of the particular role that he was to play in the fulfillment of the divine purposes.”
Certainly he sailed to “make a great lord of himself,” as his crew members grumbled. But he sailed for far more. As Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, “This conviction that God destined him to be an instrument for spreading the faith was far more potent than the desire to win glory, wealth, and worldly honors, to which he was certainly far from indifferent.”
Columbus concluded the log of his first voyage with one simple desire: “I hope in Our Lord that it [the recent voyage] will be the greatest honor to Christianity that, unexpectedly, has ever come about.”
Copyright © 1992 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian History magazine.
This article is reprinted here by permission of the publisher.
A still greater feat than Columbus was yet to come. It was the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan who in 1519 embarked on a trip which would be the first to sail across the Pacific Ocean--and all the way around the world. Although their commander, Magellan, died in battle in the Philippines, a handful of survivors of Magellan`s well-planned voyage returned home in 1522 after three grueling years at sea.
In 1518 Carlos of Spain, who was to become Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, signed an agreement to sponsor a journey by Magellan to seek a route around the world, but primarily a route to the Spice Islands in the East Indies from the Pacific side, so as to avoid the confrontations with Islamic pirates in the Mediterranean.
His journey around the tip of South America and across the uncharted Pacific Ocean included many dangerous and threatening situations and his crew threatened mutiny on numerous occasions.
Finally in 1521 Magellan reached what is now known as the Philippine Islands. He and his crew made a great friendship with their early contacts on the islands and were persuaded to stay several months to recuperate and replenish their supplies of food and water. Early in their stay a very important chief grew very ill and was on the point of death. Magellan spent several days with the man and prayed for him, asking God to heal him and to show the islanders His power. On the third day, the chief sprang to his feet, completely healed! Soon he and the entire island were converted to faith in Christ.
A neighboring island, however, were traditional enemies of the new Christians. Whether urged on by the now Christian chief or due to a threatened invasion, Magellan set sail for their island with 40 of his men. The Christian chief pleaded with Magellan to accompany him with his warriors, but Magellan refused, stating that if God could raise one chief from the death bed, he could deliver Magellan and prove His power. It was a foolish decision. Magellan’s ship was stranded at low tide on a sand bar. He and his entire group were killed by natives of that island.
Several weeks later Magellan’s crew continued their trip west, eventually visited the Spice Islands, and then continued their journey westward to Europe. They had completed their journey around the world, proving once and for all that the earth was a sphere and that trade with Asia was possible via a route across the Pacific.
19.6.8 Other Spanish Explorers
Ponce de Leon in 1513 explored the east coast of Florida for Spain in search for gold and what was rumored to be the fountain of youth.
Vasco de Balboa in 1513 sailed along the northern coast of South America, and landed in present-day Central America. He crossed the isthmus of Central America on foot and was the first European to set his eyes on the Pacific Ocean.
Hernan Cortes in 1519 landed on the coast of present-day Mexico with a small band of 600 men. He soon discovered that he had landed in the middle of the vast and powerful Aztec Empire. The Aztecs used their power to conquer surrounding tribal groups, primarily to secure human sacrifices for their gods. The Aztecs were hated by their conquered neighbors who soon saw Cortes as their opportunity to gain their freedom. Their combined forces approached the capitol city Tenochtitan. The Aztec ruler, Montezuma, believed that Cortes was either the return of his long-lost grandfather, who by Aztec tradition had sailed West on a trade mission, or a god. When he sent a gift of gold to Cortes to either welcome or appease him, that was all the Spanish needed to intoxicate them for more gold. That was the purpose of their trip, to gain new sources for gold and for spices!
The introduction of European diseases whcih wiped out a vast majority of the native people, the introduction of guns, and mounted soldiers on horseback with their war dogs, resulted in a speedy and complete conquest of the Aztec Empire and surrounding tribes.
Francisco Pizarro in 1531 set out from Central America with only 200 soldiers to locate the rumored Inca Empire. Again, disease, guns, and horses quickly defeated the Inca resistance. By 1535 the Spaniards were in control of the entire region. Soon vast amounts of gold and silver were discovered in both Peru and Bolivia. Mining was begun and native people were forced into labor to work the mines. Later when disease and rebellions made the process more difficult and when more manpower was needed, slaves from Africa were imported to work the mines.
The gold and silver from Peru and Bolivia filled the Spanish treasuries with immense wealth and created the numerous routes between South America and Spain.
Hernando De Soto was a captain in Pizarro’s conquest of Peru. In 1539 De Soto returned to the New World, this time as leader of an expedition of nine ships, 620 men, 220 horses, and numerous priests, craftsmen, engineers, and farmers who came from Cuba and various sections of Spain. The intention was to explore the west coast of Florida and the middle of the newly discovered continent.
De Soto landed at present-day Bradenton, Florida, just south of Tampa, and began his journey northward. Disease and battles along the way quickly decimated the native populations. De Soto took male slaves from each area and forced them to carry cargo until they could continue no longer. He then had them killed and took slaves from the other peoples through whose territories he passed.
De Soto traveled up the present-day Route US 10 to Tallahassee, Florida where he made camp for about a year. Hearing of gold deposits in the north, in 1540 De Soto made his way north through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, seeking gold. Frustrated with the results, the expedition headed south to meet two supply ships in the Gulf of Mexico, but they were attacked by the Mobila tribe (present-day Mobile, Alabama). Although De Soto won the fierce battle, he lost many of his men and most of his supplies. Fearing his men would tell the story of the Spanish losses to the Spanish ships, in 1541 he turned westward into Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, then to the banks of the Mississippi River in present-day Mississippi where De Soto died if a high fever.
The survivors eventually decided to attempt to reach Mexico City, first by foot, and then, returning to the shores of the Mississippi, to build rafts to sail down the river, into the Gulf , and on to Mexico City. They were followed by hostile native America all the way to the mouth of the Mississippi. Several months later 311 of the original party reached Mexico City. Most remained in the Americas and settled in Mexico and Peru.
He then continued to the west until he reached the Mississippi River, the first European to reach that river.
19.6.9 The Encomienda System: Feudalism Introduced to America
The conquest of New Spain was different than other conquests in history. Disease and superior weaponry virtually decimated the native population. Those who did remain were introduced to European feudalism by means of the Spanish Encomienda System.
Spanish colonists flocked to New Spain and became the backbone of the Spanish colonies.
The Spanish feudal system was based upon the following societal classes.
Viceroys: Spanish elite who were appointed by the monarchy to run the five separate regions of New Spain.
They ruled their regions as feudal lords ruled their domains in the Middle Ages. They distributed land to the peninsulares , who, in turn, were expected to protect the native Americans as parents would their children, and instruct them in the Christian faith.
Peninsulares: a select group of civil officials sent to administrate the colonies. These officials were at the top of the pyramid.
Creoles: people born in the colonies to Spanish parents, and considered inferior or “hicks” by the colonists who came to the colonies from Spain. Because not born in Spain, they were refused access to leadership positions in the government, but because born to Spanish parents, had full access to education and business.
Mestizos: people born in the colonies to Spanish and native American parents.
Mulattos: people born in the colonies to Spanish and African parents.
Native Americans: these people had little freedom or were forced into labor on plantations and in mines. They were at the bottom of the pecking order, and were especially mistreated by the creoles, mestizos, and mulattos.
Not all of the peninsulares treated the native Americans humanely. In many cases they were treated worse than animals, because they were replaceable while animals like horses were less so. This caused Catholic missionaries to complain to the viceroys, the monarchy, and even to the Pope in Rome, requesting intervention to make life more humane for the native Americans.
Their appeals for change were heard by many, but the change that was instituted was not a response of Christian compassion and love for those they sought to convert, but was rather the decision to ease their work load by bringing into the colonies a larger work force. What they had in mind was not more colonists from Spain, but, rather, the introduction of slave workers from Africa!
A great controversy arose between the clergy and the peninsulares and viceroys . The clergy were accused of attempting to create a Church-dominated kingdom with the clergy in charge of the kingdom. The viceroys and peninsulares dismissed the complaints brought by the clergy as coming from biased, self-seeking opponents.
The clergy fired back with accusations against the viceroys and peninsulares --that they could not care less about the souls of the native Americans and threw them aside when ill or dead as one would trash.
Native Americans and African slaves both occupied the very bottom of the social chain in Spain’s Ecomienda .
19.6.10 The Columbian Exchange
De Soto’s expedition contributed to the founding of what became known as the Columbian Exchange, the exchange of people, animals, foods, plants, and technology between Europe and the New Spain (the Americas).
From Europe and Africa pigs, horses, goats, sugar cane, paper, guns, and technology crossed the Atlantic to the America. From the Americas corn, potatoes, yams, squash, beans, cocoa, peanuts, gold, and silver flowed to Europe.
The introduction of corn and potatoes into Europe produced a fairly rapid growth in population, which had declined because of the “Little Ice Age” that began around 1350 A.D. and the Black Death of 1348-54.
Sugar beets and sugar cane that came to the America from India with Columbus, soon became a huge industry in the Americas, especially in the Caribbean. Large plantations were created in the Spanish colonies which increased the need for labor. When disease caused the native population to decline, as with the gold and silver mines in Peru and Bolivia, African slaves were imported to work on the sugar plantations.
Beyond a new commercial exchange between Europe and Africa and the Americas, the gold and silver flowing to Spain opened up new and expanded doors for trade across the Pacific with the Ming Dynasty in China (whose economic system was based on gold and silver) and with the Spice Islands of the Philippines and Indonesia.
19.6.11 Slavery in the New World
In Africa the Portuguese had established economic ties with strong African kings who provided the Portuguese with large numbers of conquered slaves. The earlier supply of Islamic slaves from Spain and Christian slaves from Eastern Europe in the slave markets of Europe and the Middle East dried up after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492. Increasingly Spain depended on native American slaves to work the gold and silver mines and to serve on the sugar plantations. As indigenous slaves in South America declined in numbers, increasingly African slaves were needed.
Portugal was more than ready to supply the needed new workers.
As has been the case throughout human history, in general, the treatment of the native and African workers was brutal, harsh, and inhumane.
But something new and unique about slavery developed as part of the Columbian Exchange. Attitudes and perceptions about slavery changed radically. Ethnicity and race became attached to slavery.
For the first time in history slavery became identified by ethnicity and color. Up until this time slavery was identified with conquest and victory in war -- not ethnicity or skin color. The conquerors inevitably enslaved the conquered. In this form slavery had always existed in Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is as old as mankind.
The Christian nations of Europe, however, had to find a way to justify slavery. Increasingly African slaves were identified as descendants of Ham, one of the sons of Noah. Ham had discovered his father, Noah, naked in his tent. Rather than covering him and hiding the event, Ham told his brothers, who then went in to cover their father. Ham was cursed for his behavior. Church leaders began to identify this curse with skin color -- dark slaves taken from Africa.
And Islam was presented with a major problem in Africa in a dispute between the Muslim missionaries and Muslim slave traders. The Qu’uran forbids one Muslim from enslaving another Muslim. Islamic missionaries in North Africa opposed the activity of Muslim slave traders.
Therefore, Islamic trade traders justified their behavior in Africa by declaring the tribal groups living south of an arbitrary line drawn across the African continent as sub-humans, pagans eligible for death or slavery! Islamic slave traders were free to capture slaves south of the line. Islamic missionaries were free to convert people living north of that line.
For this reason, today the continent of Africa is composed of a solidly Islamic north and a majority Christian south where the conversion rate to Christianity is progressing faster than the birth rate.
19.6.12 An Economic Revolution
The revolution in exploration and discovery gave birth to a new global economy.
The Columbian Exchange created a need for new financing methods. The expeditions were expensive. Maintaining plantations in the New Spain were very costly. The shipping and purchasing of slaves was enormously expensive.
Several important developments made possible a new way of conducting commerce.
The Roman Catholic Church lifted its ban on charging interest for loans. Once blessing was given to new banks to lend and borrow money and to charge interest, those with wealth in Europe became players in the new investments in the New Spain.
The system of joint stock companies emerged, in which merchants and investors pooled their resources, sold stock in the new companies, reduced the risk to individual investors, and made available vast amounts of working capital for investments in mining and agriculture, as well as the many ships required to transport goods.
A new population of middle class merchants arose, acting as middle men in the new system of trade.
Not only the Spanish, but also the Dutch and British created joint stock companies. In England the Muscovy Company for trade with Russia and the East India Company for trade with India were created. The Dutch East India Company funded and controlled shipping to the Spice Islands (Indonesia) and led to the colonization of Indonesia by the Dutch.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony , and the colonies planted at Plymouth and Jamestown were all made possible by joint stock companies, who expected a return on their investments through new trade for goods and natural resources with the native peoples and the colonists in those areas.
Spain began a stead economic and political decline after 1600 A.D. The easy acquisition of silver and gold from Peru and Bolivia resulted in a major miscalculation that severely damaged the economic future of Spain. Because of the new wealth Spain did not engage in new methods of production as did other nations in Europe, relying instead on its wealth to purchase the goods demanded by its people. The steady use of silver and gold by Spain greatly increased the amount available in Europe, drove the value of silver and gold down, and resulted in Spain becoming one of the least financially healthy nations in Europe.
By 1510 50% of all silver from the mines in Bolivia were being shipped to India to purchase tea and cotton and to China for silk and porcelain. The Chinese increasingly only accepted silver in trade with European merchants.
1. Contacts between Europe and Asia--especially China, the Spice Islands, and India--greatly increased in the late 13th century, producing important merchant cities in Venice, Milan, Genoa, Lisbon, and Madrid.
2. Formerly most trade routes were overland, but beginning with the 13th century naval shipping became the major means of trade.
3. The Persians, Ottomans, and North African Muslims, through harassment, heavy import and export taxes, and seizing of cargo forced Europeans to find new routes to Asia.
4. Between 1450-1650 several countries became leaders in naval shipping: China, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, England, and France, and others, like India and Italy, served as middle men in the expanded trade.
5. New technologies in the construction of ships and navigation instruments made long sea journeys possible.
6. The Treaty of Tordesilla in 1491 was negotiated by Pope Alexander VI between Portugal and Spain in an attempt to settle their growing dispute over creating trade routes to the Spice Islands.
7. Prince Henry the Navigator encouraged and funding trade between Portugal and others countries and continents, leading to new routes to India and the Spice Islands, as well as opening the door to trafficking in slaves from Africa.
8. Queen Elizabeth and James I were English monarchs who sponsored a great growth in naval power, shipping, and establishing colonies in the New World.
9. Christopher Columbus in 1492 was the first European to set foot in the New World since early attempts by the Norsemen in the 9th and 10th centuries.
10. Columbus was commissioned by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 to find a new sea route westward to the Spice Islands.
11. Columbus was a Christian who desired to reach unknown people groups with the Gospel of Christ.
12. The Americas were named for Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who sailed six times to the east coast of South America and made fairly accurate maps of the coastline.
13. Ferdinand Magella sailed for Portugal in 1519, successfully made his way around the tip of Africa, across the Pacific, and although he, himself, died in the Philippines, his crew continued the trip westward to Portugal, arriving in 1521, the first known humans to circle the earth by ship.
14. Other Spanish explorers claimed vast areas of North and South America for Spain and established the Columbian Exchange between Europe, Africa, and New Spain.
15. Large gold and silver deposits in New Spain created great wealth in Spain, but ultimately led to its economic decline.
16. The rapid expansion of shipping, plantation building, and trade produced a new system of joint stock companies to fund the new ventures.
What You Should Be Able to Do By the End of This Unit:
1. Explain the causes for and outcomes of the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494.
2. Explain the reasons for and the success of the Ottoman Empire in restricting European trade with Asia.
3. Describe the cultural and military collision between the Spanish and the Aztec and the Inca empires and analyze why these empires collapsed.
4. Explain the founding and organization of Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires in the Americas and assess the role of the Catholic Church in the colonial administration and policies regarding indigenous populations.
5. Assess ways in which the exchange of plants and animals around the world in the late 15th and the 16th centuries affected European, Asian, African, and American Indian societies and commerce.
6. Analyze why the introduction of new diseases in the Americas after 1492 had such devastating demographic and social effects on American Indian populations, not only in South America but also in Florida and the Caribbean.
7. Assess the effects that knowledge of the peoples, cultures, geography, and natural environment of the Americas had on European religious and intellectual life.
8. When assigned to one of five discussion groups in class, be able to make a class presentation concerning one of the following:
Respond to these questions and use them as your outline to teach the class.
1. How did the Crusades and the Renaissance open up Europe for an awakened interest in other lands?
2. What European’s prior journey especially spurred their interests? Where did he spend 17 years?
3. What items were primarily traded between Europe and Asia?
4. What were the major obstacles to trade overland between Europe and Asia?
5. Refer to the map on page 226 in Spielvogel and explain it.
6. How and why were the Ottoman Turks the major obstacle for trade between Europe and Asia?
7. Where else besides Asia did Europeans have ideas about exploring? Why?
8. What were the three major incentives for people to engage in exploring?
9. How did religion play a part in all of this?
10. Have one of your group read the box on page 308 in Spielvogel aloud to the class re Marco Polo
11. What light, fast vessel was popular with the early explorers of the late fifteenth century?
12. What were maps and other navigational aids like during this period, and how did sailors find their way?
Respond to these questions and use them as your outline to teach the class.
1. What five groups of people from Europe gradually made their way along the coasts of Africa, Asia, and the New World?
1. Who were the two big competitors early on in the race for exploration?
2. In the book it is not mentioned what they were competing for. In the East Indies, now know as Indonesia, were spices, coffee, rubber and Portugal got there first. Portugal made their way around Africa and India. This is why Da Gama’s trip was so important. This drove Spain crazy and they tried to push Portugal aside. Columbus’ trip was really to find a way to the Spice Island via the Pacific.
3. What they don’t tell you in the book is this. There was a princess from the English royal family who was married to John I of Portugal. They had nine children. One of her sons was Henry. He learned from Philippa many tales of the sea. She was very interested in early explorers and told her children many of these stories over and over again. Her son, Henry, grew up with the same great interest. He was nicknamed Henry the Navigator because when he became an influential prince, he spear headed the drive for Portugal to hit the seas and travel to Asia. It was under his leadership that da Gama sailed. The Spanish take credit for naming the Philippine Islands for Philip II of Spain, but their competitor, Portugal, claimed that they named the islands for Philippa, the mother of Henry the Navigator.
4. What did Diaz do? Why was da Gama’s trip so important?
5. How did the Portuguese ever break through the Muslim blockades in the Mediterranean?
6. Read to the class the article, Life At Sea , on page 325 in Spielvogel .
Respond to these questions and use them as your outline to teach the class.
1. Whose story of travel had Columbus heard about that increased his desire to explore?
2. What was his plan, in contrast to the route taken by the other explorer in the story?
3. What is not found in the textbook: the motivation of Ferdinand and Isabella to fund the voyage by Columbus during the two years prior to 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella has used all their resources to drive the remaining Islamic forces and citizens from Spain. Islamic rulers had controlled most of Spain since 712 AD. The cost in money and troops was large. Spain was virtually bankrupt. New wealth was needed to fill up the Spanish royal treasury. Hence, with rumors of vast supplies of gold and silver in the New World, and even the possibility of reaching the Spice Islands from the opposite direction taken by the Portuguese had great promise. So, Columbus was their man.
4. What was Columbus’ personal motivation for the voyage?
5. What was happening among the crew just before they sighted land? What did Columbus ask them for?
6. Where was Columbus certain he had landed? How did this tie in with the ultimate purpose for the trip? Where did he actually land?
7. Until he died, what was Columbus certain of?
8. How many trips did he make from Spain to the New World?
9. According to the author of the textbook, why had Europeans not discovered the New World sooner? What seems to have been God’s plan?
10. What was the Line of Demarcation issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1493? Why was this necessary?
11. Show the class the Line of Demarcation found on the map on page 314 in Spielvogel . If you were looking t the map in 1493 instead of 2008, who would you have thought got the better of the deal, Spain or Portugal? Why?
12. What were the three major results of the Line of Demarcation?
Respond to these questions and use them as your outline to teach the class.
1. By the time Magellan was ready to begin his journey in 1519, what had everyone realized about Columbus’ earlier trip?
2. What did Magellan decide to do about this?
3. Who were the first people he encountered, where did they live, and what did he call them?
4. What happened so that he only had three ships when he reached the Pacific Ocean?
5. How did the Pacific Ocean get its name, and what does it mean?
6. Tell the story of what happened when Magellan with his remaining crew finally reached the Philippine Islands.
(1) Tell the story of the miraculous healing of the chief of the island on which Magellan landed.
(3) What does this story tell you about the personal faith of Magellan? Would you have put your faith on the line to the degree that Magellan did?
(4) Where and how did Magellan die? Why did he go to his death with only a few soldiers and refuse the help of the friendly chiefs?
7. How did Magellan advance the heliocentric hypothesis of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo? What impact do you think this had on Europe?
Respond to these questions and use them as your outline to teach the class.
1. Cover each of the major explorers listed in these pages. Review the memory techniques to remember their names.
2. What did each one do specifically?
3. What was the Requerimento ? Would you be in support of it? Was it God’s way of doing things? Was Spanish commitment to faith in Christ, as expressed in the Requerimento , more material or spiritual?
4. Read to the class The Legend of El Dorado on page 322 in Spielvogel .