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Columbus's Outpost among the TainosSpain and America at La Isabela, 1493-1498$
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Kathleen Deagan and Jose Maria Cruxent

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300090406

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300090406.001.0001

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The Historical Setting

The Historical Setting

(p.7) Chapter 2 The Historical Setting
Columbus's Outpost among the Tainos

Kathleen Deagan

José María Cruxent

Yale University Press

This chapter presents the fifteenth century as a period of unprecedented maritime exploration and economic expansion overseas by Iberian powers, not only in the Americas but also in Africa and Asia. The enterprise of La Isabela drew upon various modes of expansion, combining elements from Columbus's own mercantile seafaring experience with the reconquest and colonial expansion of the Spanish Crown. European expansion in the fifteenth century was fueled by the fervor of the Iberian reconquista, the search for gold in Africa, and efforts to secure trade with Asia. It was made possible in large part by developments in shipbuilding technology and navigation, and Portugal led the way in this endeavor, capturing Ceuta on the Moroccan coast in 1415 and continuing throughout the fifteenth century to establish agricultural and trading entrepots along the west coast of Africa.

Keywords:   maritime exploration, economic expansion, Iberian powers, mercantile seafaring experience, Spanish Crown, Iberian reconquista

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