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Christopher Columbus Quiz

Can you answer these questions about the famous explorer Christopher Columbus?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 14, 2019
First submittedOctober 13, 2019
Times taken4,069
Rating4.13
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Question
Answer
In what year did he start his first voyage?
1492
What were the names of Columbus's three ships on his first voyage?
Niña
Pinta
Santa Maria
What kingdom paid for his voyages?
(Technically two kingdoms joined by marriage)
Spain
(Castile & Aragon)
Who were the monarchs of those two kingdoms?
Ferdinand
Isabella
What shape did people in Columbus's time believe the world to be?
Spherical
What island chain did Columbus stop over at on his way to the New World?
Canary Islands
What modern-day country was Columbus born in?
Italy
What city was he born in?
Genoa
What U.S. state's capital city is named Columbus?
Ohio
What modern-day country was the first in the New World to be visited by Columbus?
Bahamas
Where did Columbus believe that he had landed?
Asia
What capital city was founded by Christopher's brother Bartholomew in 1496,
making it the oldest European settlement in the Americas?
Santo Domingo
What substance did Columbus brutally try to extract from the native populations
that he encountered?
Gold
What is the term for the process in which people, ideas, technology, crops, and diseases
mixed between the Old World and New?
Columbian Exchange
The Europeans introduced many diseases to the New World. What sexually-transmitted
disease is thought to be the only disease that traveled in the opposite direction?
Syphilis
Which modern-day country was the first one in the New World to be visited by
Europeans, more than 400 years before Columbus?
Canada
+6
level ∞
Oct 13, 2019
Was Columbus a bold visionary or a naive idiot who didn't understand geography? Was he a cruel tyrant or someone whose crimes have been exaggerated by anti-Spanish propaganda? The answer to both questions is yes.
+4
level ∞
Oct 13, 2019
That said, some of his cruelties are really beyond the pale. This quiz is not intended to be a celebration of Columbus.
+6
level 86
Oct 13, 2019
I think it is stupid that America has a day to celebrate him.
+1
level 73
Oct 13, 2019
Columbus discussions are never educational.
+5
level 61
Oct 14, 2019
Americans increasingly agree that his holiday is stupid. Some states have begun celebrating Indigenous People's Day on the second Monday in October. It will still be a while before the holiday is changed entirely, because an appreciable percentage of the population opposes any change like that -- no matter how much sense it makes -- on political correctness grounds, but I think the day is coming. The truth is that nobody really cares about Columbus Day. Nobody celebrates it. Nobody meets their family for Columbus Day dinner. They just like having a day off in October. I think if you proposed swapping that holiday out for Super Monday (the day after the Superbowl), people would overwhelmingly support the exchange.
+5
level 72
Oct 14, 2019
"Extract"? An interesting euphemism for stealing.
+5
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
Personally, Jerry, I would much rather have something stolen from me than "brutally extracted".
+6
level 71
Oct 13, 2019
Isn't South Carolina's capital also named after Columbus?
+4
level ∞
Oct 13, 2019
Good catch. Changed the question slightly.
+8
level ∞
Oct 13, 2019
It is a myth that that people in Columbus's time thought the Earth was flat. Educated people knew that it was round, and they also knew approximately how far it was from Europe to Asia. Columbus underestimated the size of the Earth and overestimated the size of Asia. Had the Americas not existed, Columbus would have run out of supplies before ever reaching Asia. That is why other kingdoms, such as Portugal, refused to fund his voyages.
+2
level 64
Oct 13, 2019
St Maria should work as a type-in for the ship.
+1
level 74
Oct 22, 2019
It's not an English name. Maybe Sta Maria in Spanish.
+5
level 57
Oct 14, 2019
Could 'globe' be accepted for the shape of the earth? I'm not sure but I always think of the earth as a globe before a sphere. It seems as appropriate to me.
+4
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
Sure, why not.
+3
level 65
Oct 14, 2019
Great quiz. Castile should only have one L though.
+3
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
Fixed
+2
level 72
Oct 14, 2019
I always thought it was spelled g-e-n-o-c-i-d-e but "exchange" is a novel way of spelling it
+9
level 35
Oct 14, 2019
The vast majority of Native American deaths were attributed to the diseases brought over to the Americas. There was no intent by Columbus to kill the upwards of 80% of the people on the continent. Yes, he treated the Native Americans terribly and exploited and backstabbed them, but there is a difference between a plague and a genocide.
+1
level 38
Oct 14, 2019
Only missed Canary Islands. Didn't expect to get Santo Domingo. Colombian Exchange should have been higher I would have thought.
+4
level 71
Oct 14, 2019
I don't get today off, so Columbus was still a jerk IMO.
+1
level 65
Oct 14, 2019
It may be worth adding something in the last question to make it clear that you are asking about modern day countries in the Americas (as opposed to Asia or Africa). But, based on the statistics, not many are getting confused.
+4
level 76
Oct 14, 2019
Look, I don't hold Columbus in a high regard, but I think we are over-satanizing him. Let me explain:
Yes, he came for the gold and mistreated horribly the natives... But, wasn't that the mindset of the Europeans of that time? Wasn't that the same mindset behind the Crusades, the African partitioning, the Opium Wars? The mindset of "We, Europeans, are the only civilized people. Everybody else is a bunch on barbarians" that lasted for so long. Columbus just acted the way everyone in Europe would!
And yes, the exchange brought a lot of deaths by illness unknown in the Americas, but I don't think Columbus (or anyone at the time) knew what was happening. We know it now, and that's why we don't contact the uncontacted tribes of the Amazonas or the North Sentinel island. So, squarely blaming him for the diseases brought is exaggerated (and people do it).
And let's not forget that most of the basis of our modern societies were brought in that same exchange...
+5
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
I'd have to disagree. Columbus was removed as governor due in large part to his cruelty and use of torture. Even by the standards of the day he was considered to be a tyrant. Nor were Europeans of the time more cruel than people in other parts of the world.
+2
level 69
Oct 14, 2019
Columbus' treatment of the natives was abhorrent even for the standard of his time and age. Many of his contemporaries were outraged at his actions, as the bishop De las Casas put in writing. I mean, we are talking about a man who sold nine year old girls as sex slaves. This was NOT commonplace at the time at all. To be honest, while there are feast celebrated in his honor or places named after him, I think we will be under-satanazing him.
+2
level 76
Oct 14, 2019
Look, I don't want to polish Columbus' image. But putting him as the Malevolent One, the image of everything that is wrong with the Europeans-Americans (as dwellers of the Americas, might I clarify), is either exaggerating the criticism against him, or trying to lighten the horrible things that the Spaniard, Portuguese, Dutch and English conquerors did (as in: they were bad... But Columbus was worst!! The Devil Incarnate!!)
+2
level 67
Oct 14, 2019
I came here partly because the caption under the quiz title on the home page puzzled me. "Say what you want about Colombus, but he's the reason many of you don't have to work today", if I am quoting it right. What does that mean?? If it's a joke then perhaps I am too uninformed to get it :P
+5
level 76
Oct 14, 2019
There's a trend in which people are over-satanizing him as the root of all evil in the Americas.
However, in the US, the second Monday in October (the nearer Monday to October 12, when he landed in the Americas), is a non-working holiday...
So, many of the people that blast him whenever they have the chance are having a holiday today due to him (Oh, the irony).
+4
level 61
Oct 14, 2019
The extent of the criticism may be excessive of late, but the criticisms themselves are still valid.
+3
level 76
Oct 14, 2019
Exactly. In my opinion, there's a borderline between harsh but fair criticism, and excessive criticism just for the sake of it. I believed that with Columbus said line has been crossed.
+2
level 61
Oct 14, 2019
The second Monday in October is a public holiday in the U.S. (and a day off work) to honor Columbus and his great accomplishment: discovering the "new world" (i.e., the Americas), but public opinion of him has plummeted in the last 15 years or so. People have realized that he didn't discover the Americas, as Native Americans already lived there, that he slaughtered the Natives who greeted him, that he didn't even know where he was and had grossly miscalculated his travel distance to India (which would have been fatal to his entire crew had he not bumped into the Americas) and that his bold claim that the world is round was not really bold at all, as many educated people at the time already knew that.
+2
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
It's a variation of the common trope "Say what you will about Mussolini, at least he made the trains run on time".
+1
level 72
Oct 14, 2019
It should be the ColUmbian Exchange, not the ColOmbian Exchange: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbian_exchange
+1
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
Fixed.
+1
level 66
Oct 14, 2019
Perhaps you should add “New World,” “Americas,” or “North America” to the first-visited question. Europeans visited plenty of North African and Middle Eastern countries prior to this.
+2
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
Whoops. Yes, that has been fixed.
+1
level 52
Oct 14, 2019
There is evidence of syphilis having existed in Europe long before Columbus went to America.
+1
level ∞
Oct 14, 2019
According to Wikipedia, the first written records of an outbreak of syphilis in Europe occurred in 1494 or 1495 in Naples, Italy.
+3
level 69
Oct 14, 2019
Ignoring Columbus's atrocities (which you shouldn't), having a day off in the U.S. for Columbus is stupid considering he never set foot on anything in the U.S. (save Puerto Rico). Also, as a Scandinavian-American, I am offended by how Leif Eriksson is always ignored since he beat Columbus by about 500 years.
+1
level 77
Oct 14, 2019
Leif Eriksson wasn't Catholic (Columbus Day in America was originally championed by the pro-Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus), and his voyages also did not lead to the European colonization of the Americas.
+1
level 66
Oct 14, 2019
Nor is he Italian, which was also a contributing factor...
+1
level 61
Oct 16, 2019
Till this day all they teach in schools is what a hero and visionary this brave man was. disgrace