The essay covers Columbus and Vespucci and cultural influences on the discovery of the new world.
The world in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was vastly different than it is today. The Crusades had given Europeans a taste for the riches of the East. Travel was dangerous. Communications were uncertain, at best. The nations of Europe were all monarchies undergoing the breakdown of the feudal system due to the commercial revolution. Gutenberg's advances in printing during the middle of the fifteenth century meant that ordinary people had begun to learn to read. The Church was in a position where she could, and did, wield both secular and spiritual power. The educated cla…
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