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1492 – A new perspective?

To most people of European origins, 1492 beings up the name ‘Christopher Columbus’. To most Jews of European origins, 1492 brings up the word ‘expulsion’.

The former, if they stop to think about it, see his voyages as having been funded by Ferdinand and Isabella. The Encyclopaedia Britannica puts it this way:

Consortia put together by a royal treasury official and composed mainly of Genoese and Florentine bankers in Sevilla (Seville) provided at least 1,140,000 maravedis to outfit the expedition, and Columbus supplied more than a third of the sum contributed by the king and queen.

That paragraph contains two omissions.

The anachronism

1. The expulsion began on March 31st.

2. The expelled Jews were stripped of any wealth, jewelry etc before they left. All went into the royal coffers.

3. Columbus set sail on August 3rd.

Conclusion: Jewish money funded the exploration.

The omission

The Britannica entry states that the money was provided by Genoese and Florentine bankers in Sevilla (Seville).

It does not mention that those bankers were Jews. Money-lending, prohibited by the Church, ensured that there were no other money-lenders. Money-lending was not permissible until the Medici popes set up their own bank in Rome, soon followed by the Lombards, (whence the £ sign).

The money might once have been in the hands of the Jewish bankers, once advisers to, and protected by, the Court, but once the expulsion decree, under the influence of the Inquisition, was signed, expelled.

Do any historians disagree with the premise that it was appropriated Jewish money which funded Columbus’s voyage of discovery?

About the Author
Retired medical practitioner, Dr Peter Chester Arnold OAM, fled 1960s apartheid South Africa for Australia. He has since graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and has been a professional editor for more than 30 years on politics, sociology, medicine, history and Holocaust studies.
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