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The financial issues behind Christopher Columbus's journey to america - Term Paper Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Christopher Columbus and the Endeavor to Obtain Financing for His Exploration What is of particular interest concerning Christopher Columbus voyage and the financial support that preceding such an endeavor is the lengths to which Columbus engaged in order to make the trip into an actuality…
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The financial issues behind Christopher Columbuss journey to america
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Download file to see previous pages As was the prevailing story of European competition and balance of power politics, the nations that held on tentatively to their nation’s respective crowns were abjectly paranoid about any one of their neighboring states/competitors gaining an advantage. Likewise, each of the nations of Europe hoped to garner a larger share of the ongoing trade with Asia which served to generate such wealth. Had it not been for the fact that a very small possibility existed that Columbus’ plan might succeed coupled with the extreme riches that were related, it is doubtful that any of the European monarchs would have even considered funding such a fanciful mission. In this way, a type of competitive advantage paranoia gripped the Queen of Spain as she and her advisors recommended that even though the trip was one of great uncertainty with regards to the percentage chance it held for success, the gamble may indeed pay off. Prior to approaching the Queen of Spain, Columbus had been on a tireless quest to obtain funding for this endeavor. Columbus first approached King John II of Portugal in the hopes that the Portuguese would choose to fund the mission. Rather than making a decision on the evidence that Columbus gave to the King, the king turned over the information to his trusted advisors and counselors and had them perform what we might today call a risk assessment of the possible rewards of such an endeavor as compared to its overall costs and risks. King John’s Portuguese advisors soon returned to him with their determination. The advisors noted that the proposal was indeed a risky one; however, they did not turn it down based on this point alone. The reason the advisors/counselors suggested that the trip should not be funded was due to the fact that they considered Columbus’ own calculations with respect to the actual distance that Asia was from the coast of Europe to be fundamentally flawed. Columbus himself noted to the King that he believed Asia was a mere 2,400 miles from the Portuguese mainland.1 As such, by the calculations of the cartographers and contemporaries of Columbus the actual number was far greater. The answer of “no” from the advisors and counselors of European monarchs would come to be an expected result for Christopher Columbus on his sojourn through the monarchical courts of Europe around the end of the 1480s. Somewhat disheartened by the rejection of the Portuguese, Columbus next turned to the English court in the hopes that they might fund his expedition. It is interesting to note here that Columbus did not necessarily target those wealthiest nations in all of Europe in a quest to fund his exploration; instead, he targeted those that had a long history of sea-faring and navigation. Perhaps in this way, Columbus made it difficult on himself to obtain funding as those advisors of kings and queens oftentimes would deny Columbus’ request based on the fact that he was providing incomplete and/or faulty information regarding the total perceived distance in which he would locate the continent of Asia. Eventually, Columbus plied his request with the Spanish court of Queen Isabella her husband Ferdinand. Upon presenting his request to the Spanish court, the response was initially much the same that he had received at various other European courts up until that time. Queen Isabella referred the matter to her advisors/counselors and said that a decision would be initiated and based upon ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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