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Columbus, de Gama, and Zheng He! 15th Century Mariners. Crash Course: World History #21

by CrashCourse • 940,226 views

In which John Green teaches you about the beginning of the so-called Age of Discovery. You've probably heard of Christopher Columbus, who "discovered" America in 1492, but what about Vasco da Gama?...

De Gamo had a beard, obvious winner!
And he died having testicles
The BIGGEST mistake that done by Chinese(Ming Dynasty) during that period of time was not conquering the world while we can...I mean fuck we invented Gunpowder, compass and many others things that surpass the rest of the world for decades or even centuries. Instead of killing the natives, raping the local women, looting all the treasures and natural resources and colonising anywhere we went, forcibly install our language and philosophy to the local population while sailing bon voyage around the world we went everywhere and make friends with EVERY FUCKING ONE !!! Heck imagine what happens if Chinese did the exact same things that the British, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch done during this age of discovery... We were too kind and civilized ... I blame Confusionism and Buddhism in this matter.... Because of him now we Chinese have to face the shame and humiliation that are avoidable since the early mid 19th century cause by the western Europeans and fucking Japs !
+Chu Kim To be fair the Japanese would go on to kill millions of Chinese people during WW2.
+Steven H Wang Yes, but that is before we understood the threat from Europeans. What happened was terrible, a real tragedy for our grandparents generation. But it is up to our generation to mend our issues and unite against the real enemy: the northern Nordic Europeans. 
Historical fact, Christopher Columbus enjoyed raping 9 year old girls as did many of the members of his crew. They would cut the hands off of natives for no crime whatsoever, they would then force the natives to wear their severed hands around their necks. This served as a warning to other natives, to do as you were told and to submit to power. This is the legacy of Christopher Columbus, this is the truth.
+Peter I shut the fuck up Peter I, you dont even have computers in your time.
But the vikings was the first to european to discover americas 500 years before coloumbus C:
+metalheadSAZ so much for no flame wars
I think it's worth mentioning that Columbus wasn't even the first European to discover the Americas... The Norse explorer, Lief Erikson, is generally accepted as the first European to discover North America when he was blown off course on his way to Greenland (Although there are some written records about it that predate even this event). He discovered Newfoundland 500 years before Columbus ever set sail, and established a small settlement called "Vinland," now known as, "L'anse aux Meadows"
+Bradley Whelan hey genius it was also in fairly odd parents bitch
as cool as it is to think that Zheng-he had epic mecha flagships, from an engineering standpoint those things would be damn near impossible to take on rougher seas. They found the rudder for one of those supposed flagships and it was a rudder sized for a ship of about 60m (which was average ship for the Western countries) instead of the supposed legendary 180m ships that Zheng-he might have had. Shame on you, John! I expected you to mention that.
Well you know this channel, it's only interested in the narrative that everything Europeans do is wrong and inferior than the non-Europeans. It's revisionist history and isn't known for it's accuracy. 
Gotta love playing the Ming in Europa Universalis 4
+vadas pikas yeah, if russia gets time of troubles, you can take them over in a few wars.  I once did a world conquest as Lithuania, i can give you some pictures if you want
i did it myself:D got all the russia  and half of japan just becouse;D
De Gama and the Zheng He didn't do anything that anybody else has not done before. They only followed the coast. Columbus did something new, he dare to sail on the open ocean. This was unknown and unexplored. Not many people would do that. I is a gigantic acomplishment.
What does he mean by "Scrappy little Portugal"?
+Siddiq Ismail Portuguese had 5 enclaves on our west coast Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli collectively known as Estado da India Portuguesa Dadra and Nagar Haveli was liberated in 1955 and Goa, Daman and Diu in 1961.
To you folks that are defending Europeans colonizing, saying that if other empires around the world had the technology to conquer countries overseas then then they would. Just have a look at Zheng He's armada which could rival all of Europe combined, they didn't go off on large conquest.
Zheng He based his work on an extensive knowledge of the trading routes and a prowess of governance, travelled the world as a means not to conquer, but to connect. Sure he wasn't innovative, at least not in the way de Gama and Columbus were, but he expanded and reconciled the ways in which we view the world in a way that I have the most respect for.
The Wall began construction around 200 BC. The majority of today's wall was built in the Ming era.
Zheng he is still the best
De Gama brought diseases to the native amazon. Columbus is an idiot. The Vikings attacked the native americans for being native americans but lost the battle then went back to europe with 0 treasure. Zheng Ha had a huge fucking fleet and can easily destroy a continent and went to the unknown waters without balls. I would join Zheng Ha`s fleet!!
+Deepak Sharma Slavery was everywhere in the world. The only thing unusual about Europe in this regard is that they ended slavery. It was the Europeans who ended slavery in India. "Passages of Arthasastra, Smritis and the Epic Mahabharata suggest that the social institution of slavery existed in India by 1st millennium AD, likely by the lifetime of the Buddha.[1]" This quote is from a wiki article. If you go to the article it will give you numerous well researched books on the subject. 
I just want to dress up in a bear costume and shit on your chest.  Call me strange but in my culture, this is seen as a clean and healthy pursuit.
Just wandering, for an alternate history experiment.... what if Zheng He discovered Australia?
+ciao wutang Muslims and Indians. To be specific 
It would be HIGHLY unlikely since Zhang's voyage only covered existing trade routes and the fleet would be completely incapable of operating more than a few weeks away from an established port.
That is biased. My teacher is using this to inform the class and they're not getting a good perspective on the Portuguese thanks to you. Your job as an informer is not to tell the world your opinion, it's to let people think for themselves. Just give the facts. "Glorified Pirates?" How dare you! That's Ignorant and insulting!
The Portuguese tried to capture Mogadishu but they were pushed back. Mogadishu is truly a historic place Ibn battuta travelled there at its height and Zheng he ,even tried to take over but just gave up and traded with them. It was never apart of the Swahili coast it was always controlled by Somalis and spoke Somali which is just as old if not older than Arabic.
Zheng He's armada never had an idea of taking any land that they found... dont bullshit here
+CrazySoon9413 somalis are natural born warriors we defended our land from portuguese invaders in the 16th century and liberated the swahili and arabian coast from them for a brief period and captured and killled 1 of vasco da gama sons 
I'd rather be Columbus!
Such ignorance! You talk about "beginning" of the Age of Discovery and you only talk about Vasco da Gama?  After the conquest of Ceuta in 1415 (which cut the slave trade of Europeans in those areas) the Age of Discovery began for the Portuguese. Vasco da Gama reached India in 1498. It was several years of exploration and learning. Not to talk about Pedro Álvares Cabral, the one that reached Brasil. Too much information not told, most of it before Vasco da Gama. "Scrappy little Portugal" is just idiotic. Portugal has the oldest frontiers as a country in Europe. Before Spain existed as a unified country. I almost bet the info you got was from wikipedia or less. I know you are u.s.american but still... Columbus was Portuguese trained. He went to Lisbon in 1476 and remained there for several years, seeking the support of the Portuguese king and gathering nautical and geographic intelligence from the returning sailors. He even married a Portuguese woman; obtained navigation charts and related information from his father-in-law, >>>Bartholomew Perestrelo<<<, who was the governor of the island of Porto Santo in Madeira (just an island we discovered). You don't even talk the why we went to India by that route and the importance of that maritime route. Your words are well suited for you "if you are not an expert in something do not pretend to be an expert in something".
Mmm, Spain was already the leading power in Europe before the New World's resources had a significant impact. One could say that, altogether with the colonization of the new world, the other events (After the unification of Castile and Aragon and the reconquest of Granada) that made Spain the top power were the Italian Wars and the Habpsburg heritage through Charles the Vth, both of which were achieved up to the 1520s, that is before even the conquests of the Aztecs or the Incas were conducted or before any significant base of power and trade could be established. The Spanish Kingoms were largely ignored by central european powers because they were focused on their southern front (aka, the muslims) and also because they were divided and were often rivals. But when there were no more moors to conquer, they turned their attention to Europe, and the 2 major kingdoms in the peninsula united, creating a strong competitor in the European theatre, and let's not mention they later inherited the Burgundian territories and became rulers of the HRE,  and all that would had happened even if the discovery of America had not happened.  To be honest, the wealth of the Americas mostly contributed to inflation problems and to encourage the rulers of spain into getting involved into costly and pointless conflicts...
2:34 - Meters motherfucker, do you use them?
No, he is American
While He may have seen the most funny hats and De Gama may have conquered the most funny hats, I think Columbus may have been the best mariner because his efforts LED to the most funny hats. 
this channel is the only the reason why i'm passing ap world history . 
Lief Eriksson is my choice.
The Kingdom of Prestor John was mentioned in legend as being located somewhere in Asia, possibly India.  This video is in fact the first time I've ever heard of Prestor John being in Africa.
A retired British submarine commander named Gavin Menzies has written 2 books about the exploits and marine exploration of both the Portuguese & Zheng he's Treasure Fleets simply called; 1421 & 1434. These 2 books expand greatly on the topic covered in this video. In these books he suggests that the 7 voyages of Zheng he's Fleet were also an attempted to physically map the world. It is also suggested that Columbus may have had a copy of a Chinese made map of the Caribbean given to Portuguese sailors (so they would pay tribute to China) and that that a copy of the map was subsequently stolen by Columbus' brother Bartholomew who was working for the Portuguese navy. Why did Columbus call the Caribbean the West Indies if he thought he had reached India? A plausible explanation might be because the title on the copy of the Chinese map given to Columbus may have read Xi Yin Di in Chinese. Xi means west. Yin is the opposite of yang (yin and yang). Yang is also Chinese for the Pacific Ocean so yin may represent the ocean opposite the Pacific which is the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic at that time was known by Chinese, Muslim and European sailors alike as the Great Western Ocean. And finally the Chinese word Di means map. It is entirely plausible that the name West Indies was the literal translation from the Chinese Xi Yin Di meaning Western Ocean map or the map of the other side of the world. The rest is history.
haha spain was the greatest power in europe... yeah right
I start watching this to study for history midterms realize halfway thru tht it doesnt have all the info i need yet continue watching it cuz its interesting and awesome. 😀
Who gives a fuck about de or da. What matters is that people know what happened in history
+Afonso Goncalves And who did the things that happened in history. Yeah. Might as well call him Boso the Pope, what does it matter?
2:59 Mr. Green, Mr Green! How much was that Master Sword over there by the box? And why did the Chinese have it?
3:01, I would just like to point out the master sword (LoZ) in the pile with all the other swordy stuff.
I'd want to be Zheng He. He hurt the least number of people. Also, he wasn't a Christian. (But that's really just a side note since he was still a monotheist.)
+十八画生 So... he was one of those guys that blended in Islamic beliefs with their own native religion?
Simple Vasco da Gama the creator of the modern trade, besides the Spanish, British, French and Dutch, always came after the pioneer nation of discoveries, Portugal. 
John, when you said red corner, and then refer to Zheng He, and he was Chinese, was that a joke on communism? 
By the time columbus reach america the portuguese had already disvovered brazil. Bullshit video
This is when the world got fucked soon as Spain found the wester hemisphere
Sagres school is one of the oldest naval academies in portugal 
This video makes me proud for being Portuguese.
Did anyone notice the master sword in the thought bubble?
Oh yeah, first thing I saw ^u^b
I like the way you say that he loose both testicles, like they where a toy car, that one would bring to the beach, on holiday when one was maybe 5/6/7 years of age at the time, and suddenly, being a child, you would go off to explore and realizes that you left the toy down without thinking and now it is gone. Honestly I love the videos. Keep up the good work. 
Many of these comments are biased. But they do have historical truth.
Racist against the portuguese...
They can say what they want doesn't matter!we are becoming a immoral nation ! Viva Portugal
Am I the only one that loves his humor...? He always puts a fun side to learning History that I enjoy. <3
As a Puerto Rican  raised in Old PR, I think the Chinese had it right, Might at the time was right. As for Cristobal Colon(in Spanish), he screwed us mighty, The Conquistadores were brutal bastards, our Natives were decimated either in revolts or by killing all the men in a village and raping all the women. Oh well this is the prize for me to have a kindle
The mythical '400ft Chinese Treasure Ships' never existed and the fleet was travelling  along trade routes that had seen heavy use over the previous 2,000 years: But Green isn;t one to let minor details like 'facts' get in the way of his blinkered anti-Western revisionist fantasy.
Fav qoute: "Columbus you have to sit in the polka dot corner..." XD
Portugal did colonize Bangladesh Myanmar and Bombay
Age Of Empire alredy learn me this xD miss the game.....
Columbus was a faggot
I would be Vasco De Gama.
Is no one going to mention the fact that they are learning about history from John Green?!
yeah, you know what "China" means in Chinese ? "Middle Earth". Torkien would say, "What ?!!!"
+Sobaan Tuan and it's Tolkien, not Torkien.
+Collin Buckman I heard its 'middle Kingdom', Zhongguo.
Run! A comment war's a-brewin'!
that's a tough one actually, zheng he actually did something but every fucking 1st grader in the U.S. know who Columbus is AND he has his own holiday!  
I'll keep My Nuts and choose De Gama
Also, Columbus was working for the Portuguese
Is there not a theory that Zheng He landed in western South America?
Age of Empires III?
I would rather be like David Tennant. 
his name is Vasco da Gama and not de Gama
Dear CrashCourse team : Whenever you talk about Islam, you put a picture that is actually saying the word Salam (Peace). Other than that, I really enjoy watching this channel. Keep up the good work :)
Like if you saw the Skyward Sword. 
how dare you call dr zoidberg an idiot!
i want to be like zheng-he ... but with balls.. :P
Team Zhang He! ....Just kidding. I only like him because he visited Indonesia, even though the idea of a nation-state called Indonesia wasn't exists back then.
Lol, Zheng He is too fucking kind and friendly compared to the Dutch
A couple mistakes that u say: A.great wall was built in qing dynasty B.zheng he actual name is Zheng ho
Nothing else, you wanna add something shifu.
+Deepak Sharma Manchus and Mongols are pigs. Both halting Chinese advancement in science. 
Can you make a video on Ivan the terrible or Ivan IV?
the portuguese savages went round the world pillaging non white european lands when they reached the horn of africa they met furious warriors 
there is australian aboriginal verbal history about a huge fleet with funny little men visiting aus maybe a decade before any european
Neighbour Spain? I thought Spain did not exist at the time... And Isabella of Spain?
Just saying columbus was portuguese he was a spy and the brother of the portuguese king his mission was to trick spain to go west his real name was goncalves zarco it has been proven his notes were all in portuguese he had a portuguese wife and son all of his paintings he looks exactly like the portuguese king brother the one in italy was painted by a artist that never saw columbus (goncalves zarcos) there many more proof that indicated that columbus was portuguese
7:15 Come here people who are saying he didn't hit a continent, that he only hit some islands. Come here... Dahh! Also master sword on 3:00
Link master sword at 2:58 xD
2:58 I like the Master Sword on the left there. :)
Am I the only one who notices that he keeps misspelling Islam? سلام : hello اسلام: islam
How did they measure speed on a boat? I'm curious.
+Filipe Sampaio Araújo  Oh yeah, I remember something like this. thanks =)
+Filipe Sampaio Araújo Hence why we still use the term to this day. 
I really like these videos. My teacher is using them as an aid to my World Civilizations class which is really cool because I'd read John Greene's grocery list (; Unfortunately, I was disappointed by their approach to Columbus. John Greene usually seems to be a very active humanist, fighting for women's rights, education, etc. Yet, he glosses over that A) Columbus didn't discover America, the Vikings did first and the Native Americans were already there. B) Columbus did only find a handful of islands and he never even accepted that they were new territory; he swore until his death that he was in the East Indies and C) he brutally murdered, raped, and tortured the Native Americans, which Greene even vaguely joked about. I didn't think that was cool. Other than that, these are typically great videos, I appreciate them (:
columbus discovered
I would be Columbus because I like my mailman.
actually columbus only hit some is- 
omg, THANK U for this video
0:43. Subtitles. Comment on what YOU see.
columbus history is wrong beacuse columbus was looking for india not indonesia when he found america thats why people are called indians ...correct it 
why would i like to be Columbus , guy who is blamed by entire world for discovering america , and making USA possible  ... 
+Patrick Joseph Klocek idiot , you brought nationalist to power in yugoslavia in order to destroy comunism in yugoslavia , you brought us war , and than watched thousands of yugoslavs die on CNN . we ( ex -yugoslavs ) are united in only one thing we hate americans more than we hate eachother .
+kerim zekovic Good lord, Kerim, do you really think Americans created Bosnian, Croatian, Albanian, Slovenian, and Serbian nationalists!?!?  Gavrilo Princip was a Serbia nationalist in 1914.  The Americans had nothing to do with that!  Tito simply suppressed Yugoslav nationalism for 30 years.  Once Tito died, it was all going to bubble back to the surface and it did.  It is a tragedy of Europe that Yugoslavs weren't able to peacefully dissolve their state the way the Czechoslovaks did and the way the English and Scottish were willing to do just weeks ago.  But don't blame it on the Americans.  
is that the master sword from legend of zelda at 3:00?
I will not discuss who was the most important, but I would want to point out a grat historical error: henry the navigator was dead when vasco da gama was a child, 38 years before the arrival of vasco da gama in calecut, so in no way he could had been is protegée.
You're right, João II was his sponsor. The Infante D. Henrique did send Gil Eanes and Alvise Ca' da Mosto; everyone from Diogo Cão (who actually did most of the exploring of Africa's east coast) on was under João II or Manoel I. 
Actually Columbus was not the first European to discover the Americas, it was the Vikings led by Leif Erickson in 1000 and his father saw it in 982.
Vasco "DA Gama" not "de Gama." Not a big deal, but still! He's kind of an important historical person.
I do not think that Zheng He's ship size is backed by solid historical archive. Chinese official historians are famous for being vague and exaggerating when giving quantitative accounts.
+edinatro I've seen in several lectures some really badly grounded wishful arguments (I would say lies), glorifying some Oriental or indigenous "cultures", in order to sell the multiculturalism that he subscribes to. A touch of evil of his world history lectures.
You do not think this you do not think that ... just say that you hate Asian you fucking white supremacist
Meh... Alvares de Cabral was better than Vasco da Gama
Foi mesmo? Na verdade eu acho que Vasco da Gama foi um capitão mais eficaz do que Pedro Álvares de Cabral; ele pelo menos logrou chegar até onde queria chegar. Pedro Álvares de Cabral quase que viu um terreno na distância e se falou, "Oi, vamos ver o que é isso aí!"  Então ele descobriu, mas não fez muito na verdade. Foi Sousa (cujo prenome não lembro) que começou a fazer algo com o Brasil. 
+Filipe Sampaio Araújo Talvez, mas mesmo sem querer conseguiu mais riquezas para Portugal que Vasco da Gama. E mais território.
Curious how America is presented as a land known by everyone, and at the same time, free of claim. Columbus was an EXPLORER who made his journey against the odds whereas Zheng He and da Gamma were skilled MERCHANTS with more or less ships and crew that made ludicrous business in an already existent market.  Signed: The inventor of gold's formula that doesn't use it.
Da Gama also made his journey against the odds, though... His crew mutinied and wanted to return to Portugal. Da Gama cut off three people's heads and hung them on a mast, then threw the pilot, the navigator and all their tools overboard and basically said, "I'm the one who's running this bitch, come with me if you want to live." And he made it to India that way.  Then when some of his men were seized in Calicut by Muslim traders, he seized some Muslims in return, exchanged the captives, then lit up the city with his cannons. That started a war between the Portuguese and the Muslims in the Indian Ocean.  On the way back, da Gama's brother Paulo died. He stopped to bury his brother Natal and later found his own way back to Portugal.  Pretty impressive when you think about it. I think of Columbus as a GAMBLER (who was also pretty arrogant), Zheng He as a MERCHANT, and da Gama as a SOLDIER. If I had to rank them, I would put da Gama first for being a goddamn crazy person, followed by Zheng He, because he was very good at what he did, and Columbus last, because Columbus was an asshole. If you lie, brag, and refuse to leave the ship's hold until the goddamn queen of Spain comes and asks you to come out, I have no respect for you. Queen Isabel was a busy person. 
Mineth Minsuka Shared on Google+ · 2 months ago
i would be vasco de gama
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