During and slow, however. Taxes and heists increased

the late medieval and early Renaissance Periods European countries began to
establish discovery, trade, and expansion. They aspired to develop trade with
the Far East. European nations offered wool, gold, lead, and tin in exchange
for Persian rugs, Chinese Porcelain, glass, and exotic spices. The institution
of trade routes benefitted trading countries during the Commercial Revolution,
an era when countries gained political domination and built empires. Like other
European countries, Spain sought after riches. Christopher Columbus, an Italian
explorer during the 1400s, promised the Spanish monarchy a more profitable
route to the Indies. Spain was threatened by the Portuguese monopoly on
enslaved Africans and expansion in the Atlantic. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella then recognized
the need for Columbus. In addition to riches, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
saw the opportunity to spread Christianity throughout the New World. Spain
could have sent a Spanish explorer to find trade routes, but they sent an
Italian instead. With the desire to gain profits and spread Christianity, the
Spanish monarchy sent Columbus instead of a Spanish explorer because he was the
only explorer who presented a plan to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

wanted to profit from Columbus’s expeditions. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella

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knew that optimal trade routes would induce
lucrative Asian markets. Despite the consequent religious distribution, the
Crusades increased maritime trade between the Eastern and Western countries. The
desire for these products created new markets for merchants as people during the
Crusade experienced the quality of silk, the utility of porcelain, and the aromas
of exotic spices. The Silk Road connected Europeans cities with Eastern cities.

Merchants’ ships facilitated the trade. Transporting goods along the Silk Road
was expensive and slow, however. Taxes and heists increased the price of
trading along the Silk Road. Muslim middlemen collected taxes as the goods
moved back and forth. There were incidents of looting caravans with treasures. In
addition to seeking a water passage to the wealthy cities of the East, explorers
wanted to discover a route to the exotic Spice Islands in modern-day Indonesia,
whose location was kept secret by Muslim rulers. The lure of profit pushed
explorers to seek new trade routes to the Spice Islands and to eliminate Muslim
middlemen. Upon learning from cutting-edge scholars that the world was round
and that they could reach the East by going westward, different European powers
began to compile plans, funds, and ships in order to find a new route to Asia.

Columbus’s hope was for a faster trip to the Indies, a goal that would increase
Spain’s profits.

was also motivated by the possibility of spreading Christianity throughout the
new world. The year 622 carried a new challenge to Christianity. A prophet
named Muhammad claimed that he received a revelation that became a foundation
of the Islamic Faith Near Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Quran, which contained the revelations
received by Muhammad, identified Jesus Christ as a prophet, not as. Islam
spread throughout the Middle East and into Europe until 732. Later on, European
Christians began the Crusades, a movement of violence with Muslims to secure of
Holy Lands—this region spanned from modern-day Turkey in the north along the
Mediterranean coast to the Sinai Peninsula—under Islamic control.  The Crusades began in response to Muslim
control in Europe. The city of Jerusalem is a holy site for Jews, Christians,
and Muslims; the three religions lived there in harmony for centuries, based on
evidence. However, in 1095, European Christians decided not only to reclaim the
holy city from Muslim rulers but also to conquer the entire region. The
Crusades provided the religious outlook for the Reconquista, which in turn
inspired Atlantic colonization. The Reconquista, or “reconquest,” refers to the
800 years of violence and expulsion of Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula, an
area that consists of Spain and Portugal, after the failed Crusades. The
Crusades and the Reconquista cemented religious intolerance, and the Christians
looked to colonization as an opportunity to spread the Christian Faith.

Particularly in the strongly Catholic nations of Spain and Portugal, religion drove
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to convert Native Americans and bring
Christianity to new places.

needed an explorer to carry out the tasks of gaining profit and spreading
Christianity. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella chose Columbus over Spanish
explorers because there was no competition. Unlike Columbus, Spanish explorers
did not propose an expedition. He was their only option. Columbus was their
only opportunity to acquire new trade routes to the Indies. The monarchy had no
choice but to fund Columbus’s voyages because his promises would deliver King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s motivations: to obtain profit and disperse

Ferdinand and Queen Isabella funded Columbus’s voyages because they wanted to
gain profit and spread Christianity. They supported Columbus instead of Spanish
explorers because the native explorers did not offer the monarchy an
expedition. Columbus was their only option.