What Part Did Religious Ideals Play In The Renaissance Voyages Of Columbus - Essay Example

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An author of the essay "What Part Did Religious Ideals Play In The Renaissance Voyages Of Columbus?" claims that without the powerful lure of Christianizing the New World, their Catholic Majesties may perhaps never have sponsored the voyages. …
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What Part Did Religious Ideals Play In The Renaissance Voyages Of Columbus
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Download file to see previous pages European monarchs broke away from feudalism to form powerful alliances with the new and wealthy merchant class, whose members were eager for new trading routes, for access to spice markets and for the fabled wealth of the East. Each of these elements was significant for the voyages of discovery, but they were heightened by the missionary character of Christianity and the ideals urged upon its followers by the New Testament. To conquer lands, not just for their riches but also in search of converts, proved to be powerfully motivating.1 So alluring in fact that concerns over navigational knowledge paled into insignificance and ‘faith’ was substituted for sound maritime practices. Without the powerful lure of Christianizing the New World, their Catholic Majesties may perhaps never have sponsored the voyages. And without the conversion zeal exhibited by Christopher Columbus, there may not have been four voyages. Thus the religious ideals of the Renaissance world, of the Spanish Monarchs of Columbus the man played a major role in bringing about the voyages. There can be no doubt about the religious commitment of Isabella of Castile. She ascended to the Spanish throne in 1474 and in the following years contributed greatly to strengthening the dominance of Catholicism in Europe. She was a woman who would be famed throughout history for her great political foresight but who would also plunge all of Christendom into a frenzy of religious ‘cleansing’, through her ‘devotional fanaticism’.2 Isabella was determined to reclaim ‘Christendom’ from the Moors, to which purpose she had committed Spain to quasi-religious wars in the Middle East and on Spanish soil for nearly two decades. She finally completed her Reconquista of Spain with Granada, which was retaken in 14923 and the mood of victory heightened into an atmosphere of pious euphoria throughout the Mediterranean.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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