August 3rd, 1492 : Columbus Sets Sail

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On August 3, 1492 Christopher Columbus set forth on an expedition that would later make a great impact on future explorers. This voyage would also change the way many saw the routes around world.1 Columbus was one of the first who decided to attempt traveling westward toward China. Although Christopher Columbus did not succeed in finding an alternate route to China, he did begin the foundation of westward exploration.2 Columbus was an Italian explorer. Throughout his lifetime, Columbus suceeded in leading four voyages in total to the New World. On this particular voyage Columbus set sail from the Spanish port of Pallos on August 3rd. Prior, preparation for this expedition had taken some time, Columbus needed to get backing, crew, and other necessities to take along for his trip. Christopher Columbus was in command of three ships : The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria. Columbus’ main intentions were to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.3 Columbus believed this route would be far easier and faster than any of the eastern routes the Europeans had normally taken.4 Unfortunately, Columbus never accomplished his original goal, however, he had discovered for Europe the New World. This New World would soon have the power to over the next century to contribute in making Spain the wealthiest and vigorous nation on Earth. Columbus also never realized the influence his discoveries would have on future explorers as well.5 One of the explorers Christopher Columbus had influenced was John Cabot. In May of 1497, Cabot set sail along with his son, Sebastian, under King Henry VII’s authority. Cabot, like Columbus, sailed westward and held this course for an estimated distance of 700 leagues, first spotting land on June 24. Primarily, the crew believed this land to be part of the dominions of the Grand Chain, which was
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