The discovery of America

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

Author and references

The "discovery" of America can be understood as the "inaugural event" of Western European domination over the rest of the world. In fact, it is this event that creates the conditions on the one hand for the formation of an economy that tends to be unique on the world scale, and on the other hand for the establishment of the European model of life and culture as a largely hegemonic model on the scale of the planet.

On 12 October 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived in Guanahani (renamed San Salvador), convinced that he had reached the Indies from the west. The first impressions of Columbus are reported in the famous Diary of navigation of the first day: “They all go naked as their mother made them… They must be good servants and of good intelligence, because I see that they immediately repeat what I tell them. And I believe that they can easily become Christians, because it seemed to me that they had no religion ”. Physical nudity therefore refers to spiritual and religious nudity.

A sort of immense and unthinkable void of culture and faith opens up to the European gaze that it will be necessary to fill. The misunderstanding, the European disavowal of Amerindian realities essentially consists in not understanding their complexity, in reducing it to the dimension of the savage, the primitive, the without history. The contract stipulated with the Spanish rulers stipulated that Columbus would become viceroy of all the discovered territories.

He was also assured of a hereditary title and 10% of all precious metals mined in the lands he would be able to conquer for Spain. Columbus's small fleet left the Spanish port of Palos on August 3, 1492, with about 90 crewmen. Three days later damage to the Pinta tree forced a stop on the Canary Islands. On 6 September the three ships set sail. Columbus kept the bow towards the west until 7 October when, on the advice of Martin Pinzòn (commander of the Pinta), he decided to head south-west.

In the meantime, the crew's discontent and mistrust of their commander grew, whose project, over time, seemed more and more unsuccessful. Just when hopes were being lost, at dawn on 12 October 1492.

add a comment of The discovery of America
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.