The explorations of Christopher Columbus remain to be an integral part of history especially regarding the colonization of the Americas. One of the key things to realize is that Christopher Columbus though an explorer did not directly gain materially gains from his travel expeditions to the new continents in the Indies. Columbus was working for the Spanish Crown, and the gains that he obtained were to benefit the Spanish thrown. Columbus in his part did not find affection in his fame of exploration, but was more concerned about the spread of religion, in this case Catholicism, to the new world. Despite Columbus successes in the discovery of the new continents the fact remains that his Christian doctrine and the western ideologies at the time created a clash between Columbus’ understandings of the world compared to what was regarded as being legal by the Spanish thrown, as an entity. The backlash between church and state resulting from Columbus’ ideas and the Spanish state often left Columbus at loggerheads of the Spanish thrown. This accounts for the reason why Columbus was in the long run mishandled and imprisoned by the Spanish Crown.
II. Research Questions and Central Focus
Based on the life of Columbus, it is clear that Columbus was out to fulfill two important missions. First of all, Columbus as a representative of the state was used in the acquisition of information and prospects from foreign lands that would allow Spain as a European power to expand its national wealth. At the time, there were competing interests between various powers in Europe over power politics. The accumulation of wealth was used as an avenue of power and influence acquisition. This has often been referred by the academia as mercantilism. Therefore, Columbus was used by the crown in the furthering the mercantilist interests of the Spanish Empire. In addition, Columbus was being used by the Church to spread Christianity, in this case Catholicism to the new found lands. Some of the key research questions that this paper seeks to address include how successful Columbus was in the Spread of Christianity to the new lands; how the new religion of Christianity was received in the new lands; the implications of the spread of Christianity to both the social-political culture and traditional religions in the new world; and finally the tension that existed between Columbus as a missionary and the Spanish crown especially new two conflicting social-economic interests between the Church and the State in the new lands.
Existing scholarly literature on the topic,
The life of Christopher Columbus has been widely written by different authors. This research will use both primary and secondary documents in its research. Some of the scholar literatures that this research intends to use includes Journals, Periodicals, Books, and other peer-reviewed academic resources. Primary sources will include letters that Columbus wrote to the Spanish Crown .Some of the sources that will be used for this research are listed in the bibliography section below. The primary documents will be helpful for my research because they contain firsthand information that is not opinionated. This is fundamental for my research in order to avoid bias in my researching process.
The research paper will contain, but not limited to, the following sections. Introduction, a central thesis, a coherent body of arguments, and a solid conclusion that sums up the main arguments and final ideas that emanate from the research.
Columbus, Christopher. Christopher Columbus, letter to the king and queen of Spain. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, 199.
Columbus, Christopher. Select letters of Christopher Columbus, with other original documents, relating to his four voyages to the New world. London: Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 1847.
Greenblatt, Stephen. Marvelous possessions: the wonder of the New World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
Gómez, Nicolás. The tropics of empire: why Columbus sailed south to the Indies. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008.
Irving, Washington, and John Harmon McElroy. The life and voyages of Christopher Columbus. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.