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What were some outcomes of Columbus' voyage?

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kupkake9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 5, 2013 at 12:26 AM via web

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What were some outcomes of Columbus' voyage?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2013 at 12:39 AM (Answer #1)

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We can think about the outcomes of this voyage in both the short and the long term.

In the short term, the voyages led to the destruction of the natives of the lands that Columbus found.  Some of them were killed outright.  Others were enslaved.  Many died of diseases brought by the Europeans.  This was the main impact of these voyages in the very short term.

Later, Columbus’s voyages led to the domination of the area from Mexico south to Peru by the Spanish.  This resulted in the destruction of the major native civilizations like the Incas and the Aztecs.  It also resulted in the enrichment and empowerment of Spain.  Spain was lucky enough to get the gold and silver of the mines of Mexico and Peru.  This helped make Spain more powerful than it previously had been.  Of course, the Spanish conquest of these areas also had other impacts such as the spread of Christianity among the natives whom they conquered.

All in all, the major outcomes of this voyage were the destruction of Indian societies and the enrichment of Spain.

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industrialtechguy | eNoter

Posted April 5, 2013 at 1:42 AM (Answer #2)

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The negative consequences of the exploration and conquering of existing native civilizations are well documented and quite deplorable.  The spread of the "nation-state" of "civilization", by the european settlers was for economic purposes and to bring trade to the first areas of the western hemisphere such as the Dominican Republic where Columbus' groups started their first colonizations.

It is somewhat debatable whether those past actions of settling and conquering existing indigenous peoples was "good" for the rest of the world.  We as humans today can look at the history and judge it as entirely negative, however our own existence would probably not have occured had mankind not "advanced" and discovered new lands.  The manner of inflicting political and religious values on other people in which the history of settling distant lands, wars, money, power have been created is all a very interesting subject and does have alot of bad value systems associated with it.  The exploitation of people and their natural resources and lands and way of life in many respects is extremely negative since the way it was done was by force.

Not all is negative however if you look at something such as modern medicine and the advances made- can be traced back to herbal solutions that were discovered by settlers interacting and arriving on distant shores.  Or in "trading" partnerships that were started enriched both parties (the indigenous people and the settlers), however the lop-sided "deals" made in favor of the settlers were most likely not "fair" if viewed in todays eyes knowing what we know.

I think one needs to stand back and look critically at what the alternative situation of the world might be, had Columbus not sailed or the Europeans had not explored. 

The original question was the "outcome", one might consider that the earth was not any longer considered flat once the explorers left their home countries.  Mapping and geographic landmarks were discovered by these voyages as well.

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