Why Did Columbus Refer to the Native Americans As “Indians”?

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Christopher Columbus called the Native Americans “Indians” in the mistaken belief that he had found India. Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492. This geographic region was later renamed the “New World.”

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer and navigator under the patronage of Spain. He embarked on a voyage in 1492 to reach Asia, particularly India. He first set foot in the Bahamas, continuing on to the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. Convinced that he had found India, Columbus returned to Spain to report his discovery, although he exaggerated on some accounts. Owing to his mistaken success, Spain funded his next expedition to explore more islands.