Since the first landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492, Native Americans were grossly mistreated, with many of them being enslaved, forced to convert to Christianity or murdered. Queen Isabella of Spain had actually decreed that the Natives were to be treated as subjects of the Spanish empire, and would therefore have the same rights as citizens, although this was almost immediately ignored.Know More
In fact, Christopher Columbus, against the orders of Queen Isabella, enslaved 500 Natives and sent them to Spain. When Queen Isabella heard of this, she said the slaves were to be freed and sent back to Hispaniola. This would be the beginning of a long-standing conflict between the policy of Spain and the actual actions that were carried out during the colonial period.
The Natives were constantly brutalized. When some rebelled, they were either killed or captured as prisoners of war and then enslaved. Each Native was required to bring the Spanish a certain amount of gold every 90 days. Failing to do so resulted in execution.
This brutal treatment of Native Americans extended to other territories, like Puerto Rico, Cuba and Jamaica. The Natives virtually disappeared from these areas, as most were either murdered or killed by the bacteria of European diseases, of which they had no biological immunity.
New laws, called "encomienda," were created that declared the Natives were part of the land. So, when settlers bought land, they also bought the inhabitants of the area. The Natives were then legally forced into enslavement. A similar law, called "mitad," forced Natives who lived within 30 miles of a mine to work there for 6 months. The work was deadly and almost always fatal, where only 1/5 of those sent to work in the mines survived.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism
Many people believe that Columbus Day should not be celebrated because Christopher Columbus committed atrocities against Native Americans. They argue that it creates a false narrative about the discovery of the Americas and contributes to the disenfranchisement of Native Americans.Full Answer >
While several European ships explored Australian soil, the first known landing occurred in 1606, navigated by Dutchman Willem Janszoon with his ship the "Duyfken." Janszoon landed on the western coast of Australia, meeting the Aborigines on this initial visit.Full Answer >
Christopher Columbus died in 1506 from Reiter's Syndrome, an illness caused by intestinal bacterial infections or sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea. No one is sure how old Columbus was at the time of his death, but historians place his age at around 55.Full Answer >
Christopher Columbus married Felipa Moniz Perestrelo in 1477. She died approximately two or three years later giving birth to their son, who was christened Diego.Full Answer >