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How did the search for new routes to Asia lead Europeans to explore the Americas?

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How did the search for new routes to Asia lead Europeans to explore the Americas? Towards the end of the middle ages more and more countries started voyaging and trading across the seas. After the Renaissance, the new rulers of England, France, Portugal and Spain, who had gained considerable power through several long wars, began looking for ways to increase their wealth. Trading with China and other Asian countries was quite profitable at that time. The trade routes across the Mediterranean were out of the question, for they were controlled by Arab and Italian merchants; therefore other routes needed to be found. Portugal was the first of these countries to set out in search of new routes. ...read more.


In August of that year, three ships by the names of "Santa Maria", "Nina" and "Pinta" set sail across the Atlantic, captained by the great Italian sailor Christopher Columbus. He, along with a crew of 90 sailors, planned to reach the East Indies off the coast of Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean. For months there was no sign of land anywhere, and the crew members were starting to lose faith in Columbus. Finally, on October 1, 1492, they sighted a flock of birds flying southwest. Columbus ordered his men to change course and follow the birds. Then after nearly two weeks, on October 12th, they spotted land. ...read more.


Once Columbus reached the Americas, nothing could stop the flood of explorers and settlers who followed him." (The American Nation, page 70.) After Columbus, Europeans poured into the West Indies and seized Indian lands. They believed that they had a right to do so because the Indians were not Christian like they were. Christopher Columbus never intended to reach the Americas. He, like many others as himself, was looking for a faster and easier way to reach the East Indies and Asia for trading matters. He also wanted to benefit from the great trading going on in Asia, but as fate would have it, he landed in the West Indies, the Americas, and was the first to discover the land of the Indians. ...read more.

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