a period of European economic expansion, colonialism, and mercantilism which lasted from approximately the late 13th century until the early 18th century. It was succeeded in the mid-18th century by the Industrial Revolution. Beginning with the Crusades, Europeans rediscovered spices, silks, and other commodities rare in Europe. This development created a new desire for trade, and trade expanded in the second half of the Middle Ages. European states, through voyages of discovery, were looking for new trade routes in the 15th and 16th centuries, which allowed the European powers to build vast, new international trade networks. Nations also sought new sources of wealth. To deal with this new-found wealth, new economic theories and practices were created. Because of competing national interest, Europeans had the desire for increased world power through their colonial empires. The Commercial Revolution is marked by an increase in general commerce, and in the growth of financial services such as banking, insurance, and investing. an Italian explorer, navigator, colonizer and citizen of the Republic of Genoa. Under the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean which established permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World.
In the context of emerging Western imperialism and economic competition between European kingdoms through the establishment of trade routes and colonies, Columbus's proposal to reach the East Indies by sailing westward eventually received the support of the Spanish Crown, which saw in it a chance to enter the spice trade with Asia through a new westward route. During his first voyage in 1492, instead of arriving at Japan as he had intended, Columbus reached the New World, landing on an island in the Bahamas archipelago that he named "San Salvador". Over the course of three more voyages, Columbus visited the Greater and Lesser Antilles, as well as the Caribbean coast of Venezuela and Central America, claiming all of it for the Crown of Castile