When you realize that Ferdinand and Isabella drove the last Moors out of Spain on this date in 1492 it is not hard to see the wheels and gears turning in their heads as they wondered what they could do with a 'landed' and heavily armed aristocracy at loose in their new Realm. Pushing Columbus to see what lay to the West was an investment they must have been happy to make since the option was factional fighting until the end of time with their nobles and grandees.
So, Columbus made his way West and found a place he might have called New Spain and went home to report his find and the King and Queen of Spain must have pledged everything save their underwear to underwrite their nobles attempts to seize new lands and fortunes on the far side of the sea.
Ever wonder what would have happened if the King and Queen of Spain had decided to simply pour that 800 years of stored hatred and military supremacy into launching an assault across the Strait of Gibraltar and across north Africa and into plundering Mecca and Isfahan and Qom?
Talk about a different world.