Why did Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand change their mind and decide to pay for Christopher Columbus's journey?

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Jan 23, 2016


Profit and Religion


There are multiple reasons why the monarchs of Spain wanted Columbus to explore the New World, the largest ones being gold and the spread of Christianity.


During the scientific revolution, Europeans developed many inventions that helped them. Cartographers created more accurate maps, sailors learned to use tools like the astrolabe, and the Atlantic Powers, Portugal and Spain, competed to find a trade route to Asia that bypassed the Mediterranean sea.
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World Map as of 1492. Columbus severely underestimated the size of the world, causing the confusion between Native Americans and Indians.

To reach Asia, Europeans would have to cross the Mediterranean, which was mostly under Muslim control. Some Europeans still resented Muslims because of the Crusades, and did not want to rely on them during trade with Asia.

Isabella and Ferdinand realized that if Columbus found a route through the Atlantic Ocean to Asia, Spain would become a world power, and could control trade to Asia.


During the scientific revolution, the Church was possibly one of the most powerful organizations in the world, Their power was especially prominent in Spain, where Catholicism was extremely popular. Ferdinand and Isabella were avid supporters of the Church, and wanted to spread Catholicism in every way possible. This eventually led to the Conquista and the mass genocide of Native Americans.
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Spanish Conquistadors established military bases to kill and convert Native Americans

Columbus was mainly interested in the profit, but Ferdinand and Isabella realized that if a trade route through the Atlantic to India was opened, they could spread Catholicism throughout Asia. If Christianity became prominent in Asia, then Europeans would be many times as powerful as the Muslims, which would allow them to control the Mediterranean, along with most of the known world. This persuaded them to fund Columbus's voyage, and the voyages of many others after him.

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