WI: Henry VII funded Columbus

Dom

Moderator
Probably unlikely, but I read earlier today that initially, Columbus went to Henry VII for funding for his expedition.

What sort of differences would this make?

I'm not that informed on this area of history, but I suspect that issues at home would have made it impossible (Henry VII was yet to really secure his position as king, if I read correctly)

It was just a throwaway line in a book, but I did figure it an interesting possibility.

So, ideas? :)
 
It would probably end up with a still catholic England since she would need the domestic stability for herself to have free funds to embark on a colonization spree of newly discovered areas. And since the loss of Calais as a last continental holding in 1558 and seeing the religious basket case the continent has become she would be pretty inclined to find her fortunes across the Atlantic some hundred years and more before the RL schedule. Mind you, she would still have her traditional place in the continental sytem of anti french alliances but the importance of her combat input in any future wars would probably be pretty diminished.
 

Laurentia

Banned
It would probably end up with a still catholic England since she would need the domestic stability for her to have free funds to embark on a colonization spree of newly discovered areas. And since the loss of Calais as a last continental holding in 1558 and seeing the religious basket case the continent has become she would be pretty inclined to find her fortunes across the Atlantic.

That's assuming this doesn't butterfly the Reformation.
 
I wonder whether England would really be able to set up colonies with the same success and speed of the Spanish. I believe they had much less experience in running colonies.

Also, would Columbus take the same route if he worked for the English, sailing in the mid-Atlantic, or would he go through the North Atlantic, and sail to Canada?
 
That's assuming this doesn't butterfly the Reformation.

This late in the game, some sort of schism is almost inevitable. The Church had grown corrupt and there were a lot of people dissatisfied with the growing inconsistencies. Some preemptive reform would have helped a lot, but I am not sure it would be enough to extinguish the movement entirely.

You might be able to lessen it's impact or change the movement's face but the religious world is ripe for conflict.
 

Thande

Donor
This has been brought up before, TDM. I don't recall a full TL--maybe a couple of abortive attempts--but it was the basis of several maps. Notably I remember Diamond based a map on the idea that having Aztec gold rolling into your nation's coffers would inevitably ruin its economy in the long term, thus England getting in there early resulted in a weaker England (and a stronger Spain) by 1800.
 
Columbus leaves England with three ships, disembarking for the East. The expedition arrives at an island down a river initially assumed to be the Yangtze, but later named the St. George River. On this island, an outpost is established called Columbia. While the British soon realize that they aren't in China, they manage to profit from the new colony, and other outposts are established both up and down the river.
 
Depends on where Columbus lands. If he lands at gold-rich Mesoamerica or South America then England goes the way of OTL Spain - rich and powerful at the cost of decline.
 
I think this assumes that neither the Portugese or the Spanish don't decide to take it from the Backwater Nation that was England.
 
I think this assumes that neither the Portugese or the Spanish don't decide to take it from the Backwater Nation that was England.

Why do you want a fur trading outpost in the middle of nowhere when all of the spices and items of real value remain in China and the Indies?
 
Why would TTL's England neccesarily go the way of Spain ITTL? For one, England wasn't an uncontested military power in the 15th and 16th centuries like Spain was, so there's bound to be a much fiercer competition during the early phases of colonization.
 
Columbus leaves England with three ships, disembarking for the East. The expedition arrives at an island down a river initially assumed to be the Yangtze, but later named the St. George River. On this island, an outpost is established called Columbia. While the British soon realize that they aren't in China, they manage to profit from the new colony, and other outposts are established both up and down the river.

Didn't Columbus's plans include the Trade Winds in the equation? If so, he'd probably still end up in the Caribbean.
 
Depends on where Columbus lands. If he lands at gold-rich Mesoamerica or South America then England goes the way of OTL Spain - rich and powerful at the cost of decline.

Sailing from England, he won't land in Mesoamerica. Most likely somewhere between Virginia and New England. Spain may still end up with Mexico and South America.
 
If Aztec gold does start flowing in huge amounts to His Majesty's Treasury, that will enrich the monarchy and the associated aristocracy, dramatically shifting the power back to them and away from the emerging merchant/landed gentry class. Goodbye constitutionalism and parliamentary democracy.
 
Sailing from England, he won't land in Mesoamerica. Most likely somewhere between Virginia and New England. Spain may still end up with Mexico and South America.

I think it depends on his plans. When he was still trying to be funded by Portugal, his intention was to go to Cape Verde and from there to West. Under the Spanish, he replaced it by the Canary Islands. Maybe if funded by England he can still go to Cape Verde first, as the English couldn't be seen as a so threatening competitors by the Portuguese as the Spanish were.
 
I think it depends on his plans. When he was still trying to be funded by Portugal, his intention was to go to Cape Verde and from there to West. Under the Spanish, he replaced it by the Canary Islands. Maybe if funded by England he can still go to Cape Verde first, as the English couldn't be seen as a so threatening competitors by the Portuguese as the Spanish were.

Portugal and England were allies at this point, right?
 
Portugal and England were allies at this point, right?

Formally, through the Treaty of Windsor. But that is from 1386. But considering they used it in 1640 to seek English aid for throwing out the Spanish, and I believe the two had close economic ties, Columbus could certainly use the Cape Verde islands if the Portuguese allow it. I don't see why they wouldn't. How come, though, he didn't wish to use the Azores, Gonzaga? Was Cape Verde simply better for trade winds?
 
Formally, through the Treaty of Windsor. But that is from 1386. But considering they used it in 1640 to seek English aid for throwing out the Spanish, and I believe the two had close economic ties, Columbus could certainly use the Cape Verde islands if the Portuguese allow it. I don't see why they wouldn't. How come, though, he didn't wish to use the Azores, Gonzaga? Was Cape Verde simply better for trade winds?

Apparently is easier to go to West from Cape Verde and Canary Islands, while from the Azores is easier to go East.
 
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