What were Christopher Columbus' goals?

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Christopher Columbus believed, like many other explorers, that there were riches waiting to be found in the New World. Columbus was a sailor and trader who had done business around the Mediterranean and along the Gold Coast-- with rumors that a trade route could be established in the Atlantic Ocean, naturally he saw it as a business opportunity. European demand for spices, gold, and other luxury items was rising with a sense of panic as the Ottoman Empire closed around them, cutting off trade routes to the South and East. As competitive spirits between Spain and Portugal (two major colonist-trade nations) were rising, Columbus felt that it was in his best interest, and the best interest of Spain, to take a leap towards what most people believed to be the edge of the world. 

Though Columbus expected to sail directly to the Eastern edge of Asia, he found the Americas in his way. No matter! This provided him the opportunity to evangelize the locals he encountered. He both "claimed" land in the Americas for Spain and initiated the process of Christian imperialism in the New World. 

Columbus' goals and motivations were entirely the product of the economic, political, and religious context he had grown up in. All of Europe were in high competition with one another to become the wealthiest and most expansive nations (or empires) while facing the threat of the Ottomans closing them off from their sources of wealth. Columbus believed that it was his duty to evangelize non-Christians, and his God-given right to claim land and profitable resources for the Spanish monarchs. These were his goals. 

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What was Christopher Columbus' goal?

Christopher Columbus set sail across the Atlantic Ocean with the goal of finding a faster route to Asia.  Trade with Asia was desirable, as many goods were available there that could not be found in Europe.  Silk, rice, ivory, porcelain, and tea were among some of the popular goods imported to Europe from China and other Asian countries.  The main transportation routes from Europe to Asia were by land, such as the Silk Road.  This mode of travel proved to be difficult, however.  Land routes went through many different countries, and conflicts sometimes prevented merchants from passing.  The idea of finding a route over the ocean became a popular one.

In 1492, Columbus set sail with his crew on three ships.  They eventually arrived in the Bahamas, but they thought they had reached Asia.  Next they went to Cuba, which Columbus thought was China.  It was not until later that explorers realized how far away Asia truly was when traveling west.

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What was Christopher Columbus' motivation to go to the New World?

Columbus's motivation for his voyage was to reach Asia by sailing west. Neither he nor his backers (nor the people who thought his voyage ill-advised) knew that he would reach the "New World" by sailing west. By reaching Asia, he hoped to find a direct route to the markets of Asia, especially the spice islands. Direct trade with merchants there could be fabulously lucrative for whatever European nation that could establish...

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it, and Columbus pitched his plan to Portugal, at the time the leader in exploration among the European kingdoms, before he went to the newly unified kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. Obviously the captain who made such a discovery would become among the most celebrated and wealthy men in Europe. Columbus wanted wealth, titles, and fame as well as the satisfaction of proving (against the majority of educated opinion) that one could reach Asia by sailing west. Columbus believed the world much smaller than most scholars, and therefore thought Asia reachable by sea. (All agreed, by the way, that the world was round, and none knew the Americas were there). Columbus also had religious motives. He hoped to spread Christianity to the people that he met in Asia. So his voyages were driven by a combination of personal ambition, the profit motive, and religious piety. 

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