Christopher Columbus's plan
Europeans had enjoyed a safe land passage, the Silk Road that led to the Indies and China, which represented rich sources of valuable goods such as silk and spices. But after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, the land route that led to Asia became more dangerous than ever before. Due to these circumstances in the 1480s, the Columbus brothers developed and proposed a plan to reach the Indies by sailing west across the "Ocean Sea." Even though Christopher was not right in calculations of degrees of longitude that separated the Far East from Europe, his knowledge about the trade winds proved to be the key to the successful navigation of the Atlantic Ocean.
Christopher Columbus's expedition proposals
- In 1485 explorer presented his plan to King John II of Portugal. Colombus proposed for the king to equip three sturdy ships and give him one year to sail out into the Atlantic in search of a western route that would have led to the Orient, and return. He also asked to be given one-tenth of all revenue and to be made "Great Admiral of the Ocean" of all lands he discovered. The king then submitted the proposal to his experts, who rejected the idea. In their opinion, Christopher's estimation of a travel distance of 2400 miles was far too low.
- The next meeting with the proposal also did not have any success. After two years of negotiations, continuous lobbyings, and audiences at the Spanish court, Columbus finally received approval in 1492. At first, Queen Isabella turned him down by the advice of her confessor, but then Ferdinand intervened, and the queen sent a royal guard to fetch Columbus. Later, Ferdinand claimed credit for being the cause of the island discovery.