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Christopher Columbus as a Famous Historical Figure Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2021

Introduction

Most of the historical figures and events studied in class are quite remarkable since they transformed the world forever. One of the individuals whose selflessness and determination stand out is Christopher Columbus. This discussion explains why this figure is the most attractive or compelling. A powerful political criterion is also offered to judge the actions and achievements of this great explorer.

Christopher Columbus: An Overview

Many historians agree that Columbus was born in Genoa (Italy) in 1451 (McGuirk 119). In 1470, his boat was attacked by the French privateers and sank. He managed to float to shore after the assault. He later traveled to Lisbon, where he studied astronomy, mathematics, and navigation. After completing his schoolwork, he came up with an ingenious plan that would change the modern world. After many failed attempts, the Spanish monarchs chose to sponsor Columbus for a voyage across the Atlantic. It was because of this determination that he completed his trips successfully in 1492, 1498, and 1502 (McGuirk 124). His journeys made it easier for Spain and other powers in Europe to learn more about this “unknown world.” He would later die in the year 1506.

Implications of Columbus’ Achievements

According to Conklin, Christopher Columbus did not really “discover” America as many historians acknowledge (46). This is the case because he was not the first person or explorer to visit the region. Many scholars and historians have indicated that several Viking explorers had managed to sail to Newfoundland by the end of the eleventh century (Miguel 386). Despite such arguments, the most outstanding fact is that his actions and dedications created a new kind of knowledge and understanding about the modern world.

His journeys are believed to have encouraged more people to embrace the power of exploration. People of different countries such as Spain and England were empowered to exploit these regions that had not been known before. Throughout the period, many Europeans were able to identify and exploit the natural resources in the Americas. On the other side, Columbus’ efforts were detrimental or impactful on the experiences and outcomes of many native populations (Conklin 72). For instance, the exploitation of natural resources and minerals in these regions affected the lives of many inhabitants negatively. The introduction of new diseases also led to the destruction of many native communities.

Legacy

Hunter indicates clearly that Columbus’ legacy is something that will continue to be studied by archeologists and historians for centuries (37). This is the case because his daringness and ability to explore the unknown world empowered different people and sailors to interact with the New World. Azarmandi also argues that his actions and journeys can be referenced as the origin of different transatlantic conquests that would occur from the 16th century (62).

This move created the best environment for colonization. Afterward, the world would encounter numerous challenges such as the American Civil War and the loss of territories to different European powers. Basically, the political aspects of the modern world should be attributed to the efforts and achievements of Christopher Columbus.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Columbus is accredited for the discovery and exploration of the Americas after his successful voyages across the Atlantic. Due to such achievements, a new order was established whereby colonialism became a reality. Several conquests would also be made, thereby resulting in the loss and misappropriation of natural resources in the Americas.

Works Cited

Azarmandi, Mahdis. “Commemorating No-bodies – Christopher Columbus and the Violence of Social-forgetting.” Somatechnics, vol. 6, no. 1, 2016, pp. 56-71.

Conklin, Wendy. Analyzing and Writing with Primary Sources. Shell Education, 2015.

Hunter, Nick. Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong. Heinemann Raintree, 2015.

McGuirk, Donald L. “New Research Supports a Modification of Samuel Eliot Morison’s Theory Concerning Columbus’s Inter-Island Route Through the Bahamas.” The Journal of the Society for the History of Discoveries, vol. 49, no. 2, 2017, pp. 114-131.

Miguel, Pedro L. “The Legacy of Christopher Columbus in the Americas: New Nations and a Transatlantic Discourse of Empire.” Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 95, no. 2, pp. 386-387.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Christopher Columbus as a Famous Historical Figure." May 7, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/christopher-columbus-as-a-famous-historical-figure/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Christopher Columbus as a Famous Historical Figure'. 7 May.

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