For most people, C. Columbus and J.Cabot “discovered” the Americas while trying to reach India and the Far East famous for their spices. In reality before them, around 1000 A.D. the Vikings reached the shores of Newfoundland, and most likely some northern English fishermen knew about the rich fishing grounds off the province that joined the Confederation in 1945.
Columbus sailed with the financial support of Fernando and Isabel and other “profit-oriented” capitalists. He was out to maximize the benefits of the Caribbean islands he found, and in the process committed many atrocious acts, even ordered killings of innocent indigenous people trying to defend their ancestral lands.
These were done on behalf of his “investors” and for himself.
In those days, sailing the Ocean Sea (the name of the Atlantic Ocean at the time) was an arduous undertaking fraught with all kinds of dangers and unknowns.
He was a Genovese mariner and most likely familiar with geography, certainly sailing strategies, and commanding a crew of barely “tamed” individuals who participated in these adventures, but as Columbus sailed westward on the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, a troubled Venetian bridge contractor, Giovanni Caboto (later known as John Caboto in Spain, on the lam from his creditors in his hometown, was reinventing himself as an explorer.
He tried Spanish “investors” unsuccessfully, to fund his proposed sailings to the riches of the Indies.
Eventually, ha sailed fort eh English king, Henry VII, and somehow managed to land as the first European since the Vikings to land at Newfoundland, and attempted to search for the Northwest Passage.
The author has researched thoroughly about both adventurers and seekers of riches presenting little known facts to date.
This is a fascinating book that informs the reader about all kinds of intrigues both sailors used to fiancé their fleets and how they behaved upon stumbling on unsuspecting indigenous populations.
This narrative about the rich and varied history of the turn of
the century (15th to 16th) is a very valuable work that deserves to be on the shelves of each public and private library and all professors of history.
Anyone interested in history and how it evolved must read it to understand the reasons of why European monarchs and investors financed Columbus and Cabot.