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Personality of Christopher Columbus

13). Although Italian merchants continued to trade with the Moslems, their monopoly on that trade drove prices up for the rest of Europe. As a result of this situation, nations such as Portugal and Spain were actively searching for new sea routes which would gain them direct access to the riches of the Far East. During the late fifteenth century, Portuguese explorers began trying to circle Africa in order to reach Asia. At about the same time, Christopher Columbus became convinced that a new route to Asia could be found by traveling westward and by thus circling the globe.

In the words of Sale (1990), Columbus' personal motivations for this quest can be found in his drive for "God, gold, and glory" (p. 17). He was convinced that he had been chosen by God to find a westward passage. He believed that his mission included the conversion of the "lost souls" of Asia to the Christian God (Wilford, 1991, p. 159). Columbus' religious motives were even stronger during his later voyages to the New World, when he became obsessed with the idea of finding the legendary Garden of Eden (DorNer, 1991, p. 245). However, Columbus was driven by a desire for fame and fortune as well as for the fulfillment of God's purpose. Columbus' material interests were revealed even during his earliest negotiations with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. In return for his dis


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