What did Christopher Columbus really accomplish in the New World?

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samson98 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Christopher Columbus never accomplished his goal of finding a trade route to Asia, his four voyages to the New World changed the course of world history and sparked the birth of the modern era. He accomplished the following on his four voyages:

  • On his first voyage, Columbus became the first European since the Vikings to discover the New World on October 12, 1492. He explored the area around the Bahamas and Cuba. He also established La Navidad, the first Spanish settlement in the New World.

  • On his second voyage, Columbus did not have any major accomplishments. When he returned to La Navidad, he found the natives had destroyed the colony and killed the inhabitants. He spent most of his time dealing with this issue.

  • On his third voyage, Columbus and his crew became the first Europeans to see the South American coast.

  • On his final voyage, Columbus explored the Central American mainland.

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