European Explorers


Sailed for Spain


Reasons for Sailing

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer.  When he was younger he sailed on trading ships. Christopher Columbus wanted to apply his sailing skills and use them to find a water route to Asia. During his time silks and spices from India/Asia traveled over land or by a long water route that traveled around the tip of Africa. Columbus believed that instead of sailing east as other sailors had done that he could sail west and find a shorter water route to Asia. 

Route Taken and Obstacles Faced

At first Columbus went to the king of Portugal for money for his voyage, but the king refused. Finally, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain gave Columbus the money he needed for his voyage. 

In 1492 Columbus left for his journey with three ships; the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria. The first place they landed was an island Columbus named San Salvador. Since Columbus thought he had made it to the Indies he named the natives on the island Indians.


While on the island Columbus and his men looked for gold. They also explored other islands he named Hispaniola and Cuba. Soon after arriving the Santa Maria was damaged and Columbus was forced to end his exploration and return home to Spain.

Columbus returned three more times to explore the Caribbean islands and Central and South America. Even though Christopher Columbus never found his water route to Asia he did find a "New World" that Europeans did not know existed.