Education About Asia: Online Archives

Facts About Asia: Two Significant Maritime Achievements

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Editor’s Note: During the fifteenth century, the Italian Christopher Columbus and the Chinese Zheng He led two major series of seafaring expeditions (with the exception of Columbus’ last voyage that occurred early in the sixteenth century). “Facts about Asia” contains information about the voyages of both men.

Purposes of the Voyages: The purposes of Columbus’ four voyages were to find a trade route to the Indies, to expand and enrich both the Spanish empire and Columbus (who received a tenth of all riches acquired), and to convert the natives to Christianity, some of whom were also enslaved.