Off to the New World: The Christopher Columbus Quiz

HISTORY

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Whether you consider him a visionary explorer or a barbaric invader, there's no doubt that Christopher Columbus was a fascinating guy. How much do you know about the explorer and his many voyages? Take this quiz to find out.

Where was Christopher Columbus from?

Cristoforo Colombo was born in Genoa, Italy.

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How old was he in 1492?

Columbus was born in 1451, so he was around 41 during his first voyage.

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How many voyages did he make to the New World?

Columbus took four trips to the Caribbean.

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Was the purpose of Columbus' first voyage to prove the world was round?

By 1492, people had known for a long time that Earth is round. Columbus wanted to prove that you could sail around the world.

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Where was Columbus trying to go on his voyages?

Columbus wanted to find a route to Asia by sailing west, thus opening up a new avenue for the spice trade.

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What's the modern name of the Spice Islands that Columbus was trying to reach?

The Maluku Islands in Indonesia were, at the time, the only place in the world to grow mace, cloves and nutmeg.

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Was Columbus the first European to reach the Americas?

Nope. Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson had sailed to Canada about 500 years earlier.

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Did Columbus ever set foot in what is now the United States?

Columbus hit many islands in the Caribbean and areas of the Central and South American coasts, but he was never in North America.

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In the 1480s, Columbus met with European monarchs to obtain sponsorship for a voyage. Where did he try first?

King John of Portugal was the first to turn down Columbus. The kings of England, France and Spain also declined.

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Columbus usually asked the monarchs for three ships and this amount of time to return from his journey.

Columbus estimated that he could sail over, explore and return within a year.

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Which country finally said yes to Columbus?

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain accepted Columbus' plan in 1492.

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In 1492, Columbus set out with three ships. One was named the Santa Clara, better known as the …

The Santa Clara was nicknamed the "Nina."

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What was the first stop on most of Columbus' journeys?

Columbus' fleets usually stopped to refuel and restock in the Canary Islands, off the coast of Morocco.

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Columbus accepted a prize from the Spanish monarchs for being the first to spy land on their voyage. Who probably should've gotten the prize instead?

Rodrigo de Triana, the lookout on the Pinta, shouted "land! Land!" at 2 a.m. on Oct. 12, 1492. Columbus later claimed he had seen "a light" a few hours earlier.

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Where was the first landfall on that 1492 voyage?

The ships first reached an island in the Bahamas that they named San Salvador.

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Where did Columbus think he was?

Due to some faulty calculations, Columbus was convinced they had reached Asia.

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How many slaves did Columbus take on his first day in the New World?

That first day in San Salvador, Columbus grabbed six natives because he thought they'd be good servants.

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When Columbus landed on Hispaniola (the island that contains Haiti and the Dominican Republic), about 250,000 natives from the Taino tribe lived there. Sixty years later, how many were left?

The Spaniards slaughtered and enslaved untold numbers of natives, and their diseases almost wiped out the rest of the natives.

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What was the first native tribe that gave Columbus and his crew any trouble?

The Ciguayo tribe of what is now the Dominican Republic shocked the Spaniards by fighting back when they were approached.

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When the crew landed in Cuba, where did Columbus think they were?

Columbus was convinced that it was Japan, but a few days later he decided it was China.

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Eighty-eight men came on the first voyage. How many men did Columbus bring with him on his second voyage, in 1493?

Columbus set off for his second voyage in search of gold with 1,200 well-armed men.

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When Columbus landed on the Venezuelan coast in 1498, he realized he was on a continental landmass. What did he suspect might be there?

Columbus was convinced he had stumbled upon the garden of Eden.

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On which island were Columbus and his crew stranded for a year during his final voyage?

Columbus' ships were beached after a storm near St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, and rescue was very slow in coming.

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Columbus' crew planted this crop in Haiti so they could restock on one of their most crucial foods.

Pickles were apparently an essential part of the sailors' diets, so they grew some cucumbers.

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What disease is it suspected that Columbus brought back to Europe?

There was a big syphilis outbreak in Europe in 1495, a couple of years after Columbus got back. Based on the strains, researchers think the explorers were the culprits.

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What's one disease that Columbus' crew probably brought to the New World?

Historians are pretty sure that the Europeans brought smallpox, along with typhus, cholera and the measles.

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When was Columbus Day made a federal holiday in the United States?

The first Columbus Day was celebrated in 1892, but it wasn't made official until 1934.

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Why was Columbus forced back to Spain in 1500?

Columbus was certainly mistreating and enslaving the native people, but it was his abuse of Spanish colonists that got him into trouble.

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Where was Columbus buried?

He was buried for the first time in Valladolid, Spain, and then exhumed and moved to the Dominican Republic, then Cuba, then to …

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Where are Columbus' remains today?

Columbus' ashes ended up in Seville, Spain.

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