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Personality of Christopher Columbus

From that time on, he devoted himself to the singular mission of finding support for this plan to seek a western route to the Far East.

At that time, the western portions of the Atlantic Ocean had not yet been explored by Europeans. Although the northern Vikings had reached America centuries before, their discoveries had long been forgotten. It was common knowledge among the scientists of the time that the earth was round. Thus, the idea of reaching Asia by circling the globe was already accepted as being theoretically possible. In this regard, Columbus was probably influenced by the writings of the Florentine philosopher Paolo Toscanelli, who suggested a westward route to Asia as early as the 1450's (Koning, 1991, p. 31). Columbus' unique contribution to this idea was found in his calculation of the size of the earth. He believed that the earth was much smaller than it really was. Because of this, he believed that the voyage to Asia would be much shorter than it really was (Koning, 1991, p. 31). Of course, Columbus' calculations were incorrect, and they help to explain why he thought he had reached Asia when he had actually stumbled onto a "New World."

In order to finance his journey to the west, Columbus first approached King John of Portugal. However, King John turned him down because his experts did not agree with Columbus' calculations and also because the Portuguese were committed to their search for a sea route around the coast of Africa. Columbus turned next to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Although they seemed interested in the idea, they were unable to act on it for several years because they were busy dealing with a war to expel the Moors from the south of Spain. Finally, in 1492, the Spanish monarchs agreed to finance Columbus in his westward exploration. He was provided with three small ships (the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria), as well as a crew of approximately one hundred men...

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Personality of Christopher Columbus. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 16:50, November 27, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304321454.html
 
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