There has been historical contradiction on the role Columbus played in the dominance of Europe of the world. Even though textbooks have different accounts of events, the role played by Columbus was a fundamental one. He was the first explorer and sailor to discover America, and the possibilities it presented. Through the discovery, the process of conquering began.
Columbus was crucial to forming history, even though it is hardly recognized in many of the history books after 1482. He was not the first sailor to discover Americas, but he was the last upon whom paths were opened from a world that was beyond Europe. Prior to his arrival in America, Europe was a secluded continent. It remained socially incapable of change and was involved in the same kinds of activities. Europe had never imagined of exploring the American world. The trade routes it had remained the same, and it was fixed on the social issues it had had for centuries. Columbus goes into history books as the man who exposed Europe to new possibilities.
When he discovered America, he brought the knowledge of the world that would cause the expansion of Europe in the centuries to come. Before then, sailing was not considered an option and the trade routes remained the same. Because of the fixed routes, Europe could only trade with India. After he introduced sailing, he opened a passage in which Europe could interact and trade with the outside world, America being one of them. Therefore, the social and economic rigidity of the European continent changed to become more flexible and accommodative of the different world that Columbus had made open to their disposal.
Contrary to common historical belief, Turkey was responsible for the opening of new routes of trade. However, the fact is Turkey maintained the routes across the Mediterranean because it was a source of wealth to them. When Columbus introduced sailing, he passed his idea of the world being round, and therefore opens to circumnavigation. Through his theory, he was able to make Europe find new routes to interact in the rest of the world, since it had only been limited to India.
In addition, Columbus played a vital role in the subsequent European dominance of the world after the age of exploration. Through the sailor, Europe was able to gain material and outside insight into the perspectives that shaped its growth for the next 500 years. First, Europe improved its ship navigation and built better ships to help them with fostering international trades. Ships became the new way for effective trade between Europe, America and the rest of the world. Through such trade, it acquired the technological know-how that resulted in the expansion of its military base.
However, because of their unique military guns, Europe achieved dominance over America, Asia and Africa.
Moreover, it was through Columbus that the strategy for amassing wealth began. According to the history maker, the person with the most gold was capable of doing anything. Columbus suggested that whoever had the wealth could control everything in the world, including the minds and souls of the people in it. Thereafter, people started looking for wealth in an effort of having an advantage over their counterparts. Gold was sought for in as far as Haiti. Sailing made possible the concept of gathering of wealth to maintain dominance.
It opened up the routs that were substantially needed for access to places that had gold. Thus, the journeys to conquer Islands began. When Europe learnt of Haiti, it became convinced that islands were the main sources of wealth. European sailors, therefore, embarked on journeys to look for gold and treasures in Islands. Such explorations led to the conquering of Ireland and many others. The islands that existed in America were especially easy to conquer because of the smallpox attacks that had been catastrophic for the American people.
Through such conquests, Europe was able to amass the wealth needed for continuity in armament and the building of a strong army. Europeans traveled as far as Africa to gather wealth and achieve new colonies. In addition to the need for political dominance, countries such as Spain highly valued religion. Spain had the need to get colonies that it could convert to follow its religion and expand. The only achievement the Spaniards needed was the conversion of as many people as possible into their religion.
For them, such an endeavor would ensure they had the religious dominance that they were interested in. Through sailing; they pried on the weak people and forced them to convert to their religion. However, it was a strategy for more control over the conquests. They realized that after converting people into Christianity, they had the chance to do with them as they pleased.
Furthermore, Columbus shaped the course of history that is not usually discussed in history books. From the time he first sailed to America, he had participated in changing the world for a long time. It was his great detailed tales of what he had keenly observed in America and other European conquests that led to their dominance. History was made when he could clearly explain what he saw and present possibilities for conquests. His knowledge of slave trade, which resulted from his sailings, proved to be paramount to European aggression and rise to dominance (Loewen, James, 52). Europe borrowed the ideas and exemplified them to a higher degree because it had the means to do so. Even though there have been suggestions that expeditions were first fostered by Henry the navigator, it is clear that the exploration of America first started with Columbus.
Before his existence, there was no knowledge of the world beyond what Europe new and traded with. Columbus studied their culture and reported back to Europe, specifically Spain on the possibilities that lay in America. In addition, Columbus led to successful studies on famous voyages such as the Vikings and provided a window for the study of new opportunities. The study enabled Europeans to build on voyages that were better and bigger to ensure they fully exploited America and got ahead of all the others.
Columbus led to the rise of expeditions from African, Asians and Indians. The period when this began is called the pre-Columbus period, where everyone was in a rush to shape their histories. The expeditions led them to Mexico, where they explored the cultures and tried to establish conquest. Even though there is no history of such explorations being successful, they helped form interracial interactions. Such interactions have formed the basis of what America is today. The Africans that found their way into America helped form the African American community, which is forms the heart of America today.
Columbus helped shape the geographical knowledge that people had of the earth. Before Christopher Columbus, the world was believed to be flat. Most sailors were scared of exploring the Atlantic ocean for fear that they would sail to its end. Their views were based on the shape of the moon, which they assumed to depict what the earth was. Most of them believed the moon to be a reflection of the earth.
However, Columbus changed the perception the people had and taught them the world was round. He helped sailors notice that one point of the ocean led to another. Given the level of science and geography education at the time, the theory of circumnavigation seemed strange. However, the sailors took initiative and explored the Atlantic Ocean while creating trade routes. The theory of Columbus on the geography of the earth shaped what was to be taught in classrooms in the next centuries after his death.
Therefore, based on the above, and exceeding the misconceptions surrounding the times of Columbus, it can be inferred that he helped to shape most activities that have taken place over the centuries. Economic aggression, political insurgency and racial relations were all fostered through sailing and international trade. Columbus played a mandatory role in shaping the course of sailing in his time.
Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: New Press, 2008. Print.