Happy Columbus Day! Why was Columbus imprisoned in 1500?
#118087. Asked by star_gazer. (Oct 11 10 5:11 AM)
Bobadilla arrived in August, 1500, with 500 men and a handful of native slaves that Columbus had brought to Spain on a previous voyage: they were to be freed by royal decree. Bobadilla found the situation as bad as he had heard. Columbus and Bobadilla clashed: because there was little love for Columbus among the settlers, Bobadilla was able to clap him and his brothers in chains and throw them in a dungeon. In October, 1500, the three Columbus brothers were sent back to Spain, still in shackles. From getting stuck in the doldrums to being shipped back to Spain as a prisoner, Columbus’ Third Voyage was a fiasco.
Aftermath and Importance:
Back in Spain, Columbus was able to talk his way out of trouble: he and his brothers were freed after spending only a few weeks in prison.
After the first voyage, Columbus had been granted a series of important titles and concessions. He was appointed Governor and Viceroy of the newly discovered lands and was given the title of Admiral, which would pass to his heirs. By 1500, the Spanish crown was beginning to regret this decision, as Columbus had proven to be a very poor governor and the lands he had discovered had the potential to be extremely lucrative. If the terms of his original contract were honored, the Columbus family would eventually siphon off a great deal of wealth from the crown.
Although he was freed from prison and most of his lands and wealth were restored, this incident gave the crown the excuse they needed to strip Columbus of some of the costly concessions that they had originally agreed to. Gone were the positions of Governor and Viceroy and the profits were reduced as well. Columbus’ children later fought for the privileges conceded to Columbus with mixed success, and legal wrangling between the Spanish crown and the Columbus family over these rights would continue for some time. Columbus’ son Diego would eventually serve for a time as Governor of Hispaniola due to the terms of these agreements.
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