What were three reasons Columbus was looking for a new route to Asia?  

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jking22 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Despite being most famous for finding the Americas, Christopher Columbus's first voyage in 1492 was actually funded, by the rulers of Spain, as an attempt to find a new trading route between Spain and Asia. The first reason Columbus undertook this voyage, was because he believed that by traveling east over the ocean, rather than west by land, he would be able to reach Asia in much faster and safer manner than the traditional route, or the newer route, discovered by the Portuguese, which included sailing all the way around Africa. The problem with this thought was two-fold, first Columbus did not know he would run into another continent between Europe and Asia, and second, he grossly underestimated the circumference of the earth, causing him to miscalculate how long the journey would take. His second reason for embarking on the voyage was one of wanting personal wealth and fame. He thought that by discovering this new trade route, and also being privileged by the King and Queen of Spain to 10% of all the riches he found, as well as all the land he found, he would be able to achieve this. Finally, his third reason for embarking on the voyage was to spread Catholicism from Europe to Asia, and the rest of the world, an idea that both Columbus and the King and Queen of Spain thought was important at the time. Hope this helps!

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