Factors Contributing to Christopher Columbus' Voyage

Topics: Christopher Columbus, Spain, Ferdinand II of Aragon Pages: 2 (712 words) Published: July 14, 2013
Christopher Columbus departed Spain on August 3, 1492 for his first voyage. He stopped at the Canary Islands for a final restocking and left there on September 6. He was in command of three ships known as the Pinta, the Niña, and the Santa María. On October 12, they first sighted land which turned out to be a small island in present-day Bahamas (Minster, 2012a). There are various factors which influenced Christopher Columbus to undertake this voyage. He had a personal interest and determination to find a faster more efficient route to the East Indies. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella financed his voyage because they were interested in material wealth and converts for Spain. The time period in which Columbus lived also had a great influence since the Renaissance period was a time of exploration and finding new meanings for existence.

Christopher Columbus examined mostly southward voyages of the Portuguese into the Atlantic and Africa and thought that one could also sail westward and ultimately reach India. This belief was also influenced by accounts he read from the travel accounts of writer Marco Polo. Columbus may have conceived this idea of sailing west to reach Asia as early as 1481 in a correspondence which he sent to Italian Scholar, Paolo del Pozzo Toscaneli. Apart from proving his theory of traveling westward, Columbus also had a personal interest on the voyage. When King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella approved his voyage, Columbus would become viceroy of all the lands located and he would keep a tenth of all values found (“Thinkquest,” 2013). When Columbus sighted land, he believed he had reached the Asian islands as is evident in his self-promoted letter which he sent to the King and Queen of Spain.

When Columbus developed his theory of sailing westward across the Atlantic in search of a shorter route to Asia, he first submitted his proposal in 1484 to John II, King of Portugal. He wanted the Portuguese to finance his expedition across the...
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