1254 in Italy, Marco Polo lived there. Young man with lots of money, no job, thinker. He heard a rumor that somewhere to the East, there was a place of incredible wealth. Europe at this time was poor and superstitious. It was called the Indies, also called Cathay. So he put together a caravan and headed east to find the Indies. He finally found it. Rumors had turned out to be true; it was paradise. He then came back to Europe with things he brought back from Portugal. He went back about 3 more times.
1480- Europe. England and France existed, but no Germany yet. Beyond that is Russia. Nothing much to the south of England and France except Italy.
Portugal- King Henry. Little country with no natural resources/wealth/nothing there, not even gold. Surrounded by predators. An idea of an Empire was formed. No other empires existed.
Because of the Crusades, King Henry could not get to the Indies.
In 1488 Bartholomew Diaz, a friend of Henry, sets sail to find Portugal. He got to the end of Africa, and gave up and went back.
1490-Another nation has just been born in Europe. Named Spain. The king and queen are Ferdinand and Isabella. Lots of fragmented kingdoms until it was split and divided into two; Aragon and Castile. No resources, but very beautiful.
1492- The Spanish government was considering an empire. Random man shows up. Christopher Columbus- from Italy. He developed a theory that the world was round. He did not have a lot of money, just left home, and looking for someone to try out his theory. Ferdinand did not like him, and thought he was a fake. But Isabella liked him and allowed Columbus to leave for the “Indies”. He was facing mutiny until someone spotted land. He was convinced he found the Indies. He really found the Caribbean. He put up a flag of Spain. Now Spain owns the island and everything else beyond that. He was told to go back to the discovered land by Spain government. Finally around 1500 he was “fired”. So he...