Colonization of the New World

3463 WordsSep 30, 201214 Pages
Colonization of the New World The discovery and colonization of the “New World” was one of the most significant and influential events in the known history of mankind. It has shaped our present by changing the course of our past and is a time of such great significance that it would be all but impossible to understand today without at least some comprehension of the why 's of yesterday. What was it that drove such a myriad of people to risk so much to tame the wild and vast lands we now know as and call the Americas. What were the reasons, motivations, causes, events, and possibilities that captured the minds and hearts of so many different peoples from such divers backgrounds? What led them to leave their friends, families, and…show more content…
According to Howard Zinn it was for the Gold. Zinn claims that it was money and power that were driving forces behind Columbus. He tells us that Spain promised him a 10% cut of all the gold found, governorship of any new found lands, and the new title of Admiral.[2] Gold and the regulation thereof are the primary focuses of Columbus ' letter to the King and Queen of Spain, thought to have been written around the year 1492, but definitely written after the his initial discovery.[3] So whether wholly or in part it appears that riches and power were factors contributing to Columbus ' decision to risk so much. After all he made multiple trips across the Atlantic not just one. So apparently he was concerned with more than just the discovery of a trade route. Columbus ' discovery was made possible by the Spanish Crown therefore all new found lands were claimed in the name of Spain and a Spanish flag planted on the soil thereof in testament to this fact. Spain was still a catholic nation at this time and the Spanish monarchy still acknowledged the Pope as the dominant spiritual authority on the Earth. However it would not be long after Columbus ' discovery that all of Europe would be shaken to its very foundation and set ablaze in what we now call the Protestant Reformation. This revolution in spiritual thought was the result of a simple
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