Christopher Columbus was a sailor and an explorer who realized that the journey east to India was a difficult one by land or sea, and he wanted to find an easier route for the Europeans to travel there. To do this, Columbus tried to calculate the distance that a ship would have to travel to sail west from Europe to Japan. Columbus incorrectly estimated the distance, but he did determine a route that he thought would bring him to Japan and eventually India by sailing west. Columbus then designed a proposal for a voyage to India via the west that he brought to the King of Portugal. The king rejected the proposal, however, and Columbus was forced to seek funding from Spain. The Spanish Queen Isabella agreed to fund the expedition, and Columbus ultimately set sail for India in August 1492.
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Last updated: 12/29/2017
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