The discovery of America is one of the more important milestones in the history of the world. This is because reaching the Americas was the starting point of what would be called as the age of exploration, the era when the modern phenomenon of globalization can trace back its roots.
Most may not ask who discovered America since it has been drilled to us since preschool but it is still to important to learn more about the man who discovered America, as he not only discovered America, he discovered a New World and with it, opened new possibilities that had tremendous impact on the course of human history.
The man widely regarded as the one who discovered America as we all know, is Christopher Columbus. He wasn’t the first man to reach it though as there were numerous other people who beat him to it including the Native American Indians and the Eskimos. He wasn’t even the first European to set foot in the continent as seafaring Vikings have already reached North America five hundred years earlier.
So if Columbus is far from being the first man or even the first European on the America, why is it then that he is considered to be the one who discovered America? It is because only with his discovery did the whole of Europe became aware of a new continent, a continent they dubbed the New World.
Another logical query would be: if Columbus was the one who discovered America, then why wasn’t it named after him? Should it not be named Columbia in honor of the explorer who opened the eyes of Europe to a whole new continent? The answer to this question is simple: because another explorer, by the name of Amerigo Vespucci named the continent after him first when he went to the Americas after Columbus. Naming it after himself, mapmakers then followed by labeling the new continent as America and by then everyone have always referred to Columbus’ discovered continent as ‘America’.
After Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of America, all of Europe scrambled to carve up the newfound continent. It for this reason why Columbus is regarded as the man who discovered America since his discovery radically changed everything forever.
Christopher Columbus may always be simply as the explorer who discovered America but there is so much other things to learn from the story of the man who reached the New World and changed history.