Columbus had a strong interest in the rich east by reading Marco Polo’s “Oriental insights”.
He believed in the increasingly popular theory of the earth circle at that time.
He believed that the earth was round.
As long as he sailed westward from the coast of Europe, he could reach India and get a lot of gold and spices.
Columbus and Santa Maria: at dawn on August 3, 1492, three sailboats set sail from the port of barotu at the southern tip of Spain and headed west.
Columbus, who led the fleet, stood in the bow of the flagship Santa Maria, overlooking the boundless sea and lost himself in thought.
At the moment, his mood is very complex, full of hope, but also feel that the future is slim, and a bit of fear.
Because in Christian legend, the sea is surrounded by bottomless abyss, and when the ship reaches there, it will be swallowed by the demons around it.
The rough sea is unpredictable.
The end of this trip may be to reach a place full of gold or be buried at the bottom of the sea.
At that time, he did not realize that this was the first step on the road of human geographical discovery.
The origin and birthplace of Columbus (1451-1506) has always been a controversial issue, but most scholars believe that he was born in Genoa, Italy, where his maritime career was developed.
He took part in many sailing activities when he was young.
At that time, Europe was undergoing a profound social change.
After nearly a thousand years of development, social productivity has been significantly improved.
With the development of social economy, people’s demand for money is also increasing.
Due to the shortage of money in circulation, it seriously restricts the accumulation of capital.
At that time, the currency used in Europe was mainly gold coins, and gold was an important ornament and a symbol of wealth, so people’s desire for it was infinite, while the annual gold mining in Europe was very limited.
The reason for the lack of gold also lies in the previous unbalanced trade between the East and the West.
With the increasing development of commodity economy in European society, the demand for Oriental luxury goods is also increasing.
Spices, silk, porcelain and other products from the East are constantly transported to the west, while the West has no products to exchange, only gold and silver, resulting in a large outflow of gold and silver.
All this led to a frenzied search for gold.
Columbus once said, “gold is an amazing thing! Whoever has it can do whatever he wants and do everything.
With gold, he can send his soul to heaven”.
This is the psychological portrayal of Europeans at that time.
Engels also pointed out: “the Portuguese are looking for gold on the coast of Africa, India and the whole Far East.
the word gold is a spell that drives the Spanish to cross the Atlantic to America.
gold is the first thing that white people need when they first set foot on a newly discovered coast.
” But where to find gold? Some people place their hopes far away overseas and in the East.
This is not unreasonable.
The key is how to get there.
Italian traveler Marco Polo described the east very rich in his “Oriental insights”, saying that it was full of gold and spices.
However, it was not easy to go to the east at that time.
Going to the Far East had to go through thousands of difficulties and dangers.
In the 11th century, European feudal lords once organized crusades to plunder in the East, resulting in heavy casualties.
Taking a peaceful approach is also fraught with difficulties.
At that time, there were three important trade routes to the East: one was in the north, passing through Asia Minor, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea to Central Asia.
One is in the middle, from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf through the two river basins, and then from the sea to all parts of the East.
Another is in the south, passing through the port of Egypt to the Red Sea, and then by sea to the East.
The northern route is occupied by Turks who are hostile to Europeans, and the Ottoman Empire is at war with the Holy Roman Empire.
The other two are controlled by Arab businessmen, and the hostility between Islam and Christianity makes it impossible for Europeans to pass here.
All contacts between the East and the West must go through the hands of Arabs, and the price of goods should be increased by 8 ~ 10 times after they are transferred by Arab businessmen.
For a long time, European nobles and businessmen wanted to bypass the Middle East and find another way to China and India.
By the end of the 15th century, Europeans finally had the conditions to realize this wish.
At the end of the 15th century, Europe had formed relatively strong nation states, such as Britain, France, Portugal and Spain.
Any undertaking can be carried out under the sponsorship of the state.
At that time, the knowledge of astronomy and geography also developed greatly, and the earth circle theory of ancient Greek geographers became more and more popular.
In terms of navigation, European shipbuilding technology has been greatly improved.
The compass needle invented by China has been applied in Europe.
Navigation in the sea can not lose its direction, which makes long-distance navigation possible.
At the same time, a number of adventurous navigators and sponsors have emerged in Europe.
Columbus is the most typical representative in the discovery of new routes.
“Santa Fe agreement”: in order to realize his wish, Columbus sought funders everywhere, but ran into a wall everywhere.
Most people didn’t believe him and were more reluctant to spend their money on this adventure.
In 1486, Columbus came to the Spanish palace with strong economic foundation, stated his ideas and ideas to the king of Spain, and put forward some conditions.
The king of Spain signed the “Santa Fe agreement” with Columbus on April 17, 1492, decided to give sponsorship, and made him the suzerain and ruler of the land to be discovered in advance, that is, the admiral of all islands and continents personally discovered or acquired by him in all oceans, and the hereditary governor of the newly discovered land.
He has the right to keep 120 of the total income on the new land as his own, But the sovereignty of these lands belongs to the king of Spain.
Discover the new world: after some preparation, Columbus finally set out from Spain on August 3, 1492.
His fleet consists of three galleons and 87 sailors.
Columbus commanded the fleet to sail westward.
He carefully observed every flock of seabirds and every piece of water and grass he saw on the way, and did not miss any clues.
In the early morning of October 12, 1492, after more than two months of navigation, looking forward to the land for a long time, the crew complained everywhere and almost rebelled.
When a sailor on the bow suddenly exclaimed, “ah! Land!” It turned out that he vaguely saw a piece of land ahead in the moonlight.
At dawn, they came to an island.
Columbus immediately went ashore.
Facing the prosperous vegetation, he happily announced that this was Spain.