The Influence Of Columbus's Voyage On Europe And The Rest Of The World

1534 words - 6 pages

Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World was quite possibly the most influential event for the whole world in the last millennium. It opened up a whole new world for exploration, commerce, and exploitation for Europe which in turn affected the whole world, from the Americas to Africa. African and Native American slaves were needed to help unearth the potential from this exciting new land. In addition to Europe changing the New World, the Americas also affected Europe by foods such as the potato and corn, and resources such as gold and crops such as sugarcane. As you will see, these effects were both good and bad. Some helped the Europeans while hurting the Americans, while others were mutually beneficiary.It all started from a desire to find efficient travel routes to China and the Near East. Asia had been a trade partner with Europe for years, since Europe craved the extravagant spices that the Chinese possessed. However, it was quite inefficient to travel there, because one needed to go all the way around Africa and across the Indian Ocean. It was a journey of several months, so people began to think about other potential routes that were shorter. One way was to sail all the way around the world across the Atlantic until you hit Asia. Columbus took it upon himself to figure out a way to do this. His first step was to find out the distance across the ocean, given the circumference of the Earth. However, he made a crucial mistake in his calculation, for his estimate of the size of the Earth was incorrect. Therefore, he underestimated the length of the journey by what would have been several months. Although, it did not matter much, since he never made it to his destination.Instead of arriving is Asia as he had expected, Columbus beached his chip in a new, previously known land. As soon as he set eyes upon this new world he mistakenly called India, he saw a land of potential for wealth for him and his country. He met 'Indians', or Native Americans who were peace loving and simple people. Perhaps if he had viewed this profound discovery from a scientific standpoint instead of that of a man hungry for wealth and power things may have turned out differently. For he enslaved every last native to help him reap the bounty of a world copious in riches. In order to mine gold he though would be abundant, Columbus made the natives dig the mine shafts and work in dangerous conditions to yield a meager supply of the highly sought after metal. When Europeans found out the agricultural benefits of America, they had slaves work the fields planting and harvesting sugarcane as well as other crops. Columbus or any of his followers cared little for discovery or knowledge; they cared more for a more material reward, namely gold. Their craving for it let them to abuse the natives and work them until death just to show their benefactors that their money was well spent in endorsing them.Possible the most important gift from the Europeans to the Americans was their...

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