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Age of Discovery


Main article: History of Haiti

The recorded history of Haiti began on December 5, 1492 when the European navigator Christopher Columbus happened upon a large island in the region of the western Atlantic Ocean that later came to be known as the Caribbean Sea. It was inhabited by the Taíno, an Arawakan people, who variously called their island Ayiti, Bohio, or Kiskeya. Columbus promptly claimed the island for the Spanish Crown, and renamed it La Isla Española ("the Spanish Island"), or Hispañola (later Anglicized as Hispaniola).

Portugal Leads Exploration

Main article: History of Portugal (1415–1542)

The exploration age begun as a result of trade, need for fresh conquests, and technological advances witnessed in Portugal. 15th century Portugal had sean many breakthroughs in the fields of mathematics and naval technology, thus making it the scientific center of that time. In light of their location on the European map, the Portuguese were a seafaring people. It's no wonder that most trade routes were by sea, delivering goods to England, Flanders, Italy, and the Hanseantic league towns. By land, trade would be more of a challenge for them, as they'd face the task of crossing Castile and Aragon territory (now modern-day Spain).

Columbus and New World

Main article: Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus, Italian Cristoforo Colombo, was a Genoese navigator. He made his fist voyage to the New World in August 3, 1492 with three ships: Santa Maria, Pinta, and Nina. In December 5, 1492, he arrived in northern Hispaniola, and later had to abandon the Santa Maria since she crashed ashore. He returned back to Spain, since his voyage was charted by the monarch thereof, with twenty-five natives (only seven survived the voyage) and left 39 men who founded the settlement of La Navidad.

La Navidad

Christopher, after one of his ships have wrecked, ordered his men to have the ship dismantled providing building materials for the construction of a small fortress. This would be the very first European settlement in the New Word. Christopher, however, returned to Spain, leaving Deiogo de Arana as governor.

When Columbus came back from Spain during his second voyage, on November 27, 1493 he arrived hoping to see a bustling village. To his surprise, only thing that was left of the village were corpse of his men. Nearby Tainos told him that the Natives retaliated against them because they mistreated the Tainos. Comlumbus did not give up, thus went and built another settlement further east called La Islabella, after his queen.

Unit 1 Vocabulary

  • Taíno
  • Bohio, Kiskeya
  • Hispaniola
  • Genoese
  • La Navidad & La Islabella

Unit 2 Vocabulary



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