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Christopher Columbus was an Italian mariner who had an unconventional idea about the world, which set him apart from his contemporaries. It wasn’t that the world was round. Most educated people already knew that by the late 1400’s. What he believed was that the world was much smaller than previously thought. This meant that a ship could sail west from Europe and land in the Indies easily.
This was a very attractive idea for several reasons, but most importantly if it was true it would allow whoever controlled the route unprecedented access to the markets of the indies.
However, there was no monarch in Europe that felt the plan had any chance of success, so Columbus went from country to country trying to find a buyer. Finally, he arrived in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, the king and queen of the newly unified kingdom of Spain. After several attempts, Columbus finally convinced the two monarchs to fund his voyage, but as you know he found the New World. Columbus made several voyages back and forth after discovering the New World, and although he died not knowing what he had found, his discoveries changed the world. He made Spain the most powerful nation on earth for 250 years, began the exchange of items between both the old and New World and the eventually decimation of all the natives of that discover continent.
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