Discovery of America

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Voyages of Christopher Columbus
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"Discovery of the Americas" and "Discovery of America" redirect here. For other uses, see Discovery of the Americas (disambiguation). Voyages of Christopher Columbus|

The Four Voyages of Columbus|
Participants| Christopher Columbus and crew|
Location| Americas|
Date| Between 1492 and 1506|
Result| European exploration of the Americas|
In the early modern period, the voyages of Columbus initiated European exploration and colonization of the American continents, and are thus of great significance in world history. Christopher Columbus was a navigator and an admiral for Castile, a country that later founded modern Spain. He made four voyages to the Americas, with his first in 1492, which resulted in what is widely referred to as the Discovery of America[1] or Discovery of the Americas.[2] The discovery of the Americas has variously been attributed to others, depending on context and definition. For example, the Vikings (c. 1000) had previously established a settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. While Columbus was not the first European to voyage to the New World and did not actually reach the mainland until his third voyage in 1498 (when he reached South America, and the fourth voyage, when he reached Central America), his discoveries led to the major European sea powers sending expeditions to the New World to build trade networks and colonies and to convert the native people to Christianity. Pope Alexander VI divided "newly discovered" lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a north-south meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands (off the west coast of Africa). This division was never accepted by the rulers of England or France. (See also the Treaty of Tordesillas that followed the papal decree.). Columbus died an unfulfilled man though he was given the title “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” in April 1492.[3] * |

Background

The Virgin of the Navigators by Alejo Fernández, the earliest known painting[4] about the discovery of the Americas, 1531–36. Christopher Columbus was not the first to discover America but his voyage was the most popular voyage in the history of America during the civilization. Portugal's rival Castile (predecessor of Spain) had been somewhat slower than its neighbor to begin exploring the Atlantic. It was not until the late 15th century, following the unification of Castile and Aragon and the completion of the reconquista that Spain emerged and became fully committed to looking for new trade routes and colonies overseas. In 1492 the joint rulers of the nation conquered the Moorish kingdom of Granada, which had been providing Castile with African goods through tribute, and they decided to fund Christopher Columbus' expedition that they hoped would bypass Portugal's lock on Africa and the Indian Ocean reaching Asia by travelling west.[5] Funding campaign

In 1485, Columbus presented his plans to John II of Portugal, the King of Portugal. He proposed the king equip three sturdy ships and grant Columbus one year's time to sail out west into the Atlantic, search for a western route to the Orient, and return. Columbus also requested he be made "Great Admiral of the Ocean Sea" (for they called the Atlantic the Ocean Sea), appointed governor of any and all lands he 'discovered', and be given one-tenth of all revenue from those lands. The king submitted the proposal to his experts, who rejected it after several years. It was their considered opinion that Columbus' estimation of a travel distance of 2,400 miles (3,900 km) was, in fact, far too short.[6] In 1488 Columbus appealed to the court of Portugal once again, and once again John invited him to an audience. It also proved unsuccessful, in part because not long afterwards Bartolomeu Dias returned to Portugal following a successful rounding of the southern tip of Africa. With an eastern sea route now...
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