How did competition, money, or love bring about change throughout history?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We can identify many instances in history where competition, love, or money (or a combination of these) brought about change.  Let us look at some examples.

We can argue that money brought about the “discovery” of the New World.  During the 1400s, people like the Portuguese and Spanish were trying to find ways to bypass the Venetians and the Muslims who dominated the trade in spices.  The Iberians wanted to find other ways to get to India from Europe so that they could use those routes to get spices themselves.  The spice business was, in those days, very lucrative.  Christopher Columbus was, of course, trying to find a way to get to India by sailing west when he reached the Americas.  This desire for money on the part of the Europeans led to change because it caused the New World to be discovered.

If we define “competition” as efforts to gain greater power than a rival, we can see where competition changed history as well.  One of the major competitions in history was the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  Both of these powers wanted their ideology to take over the world.  They were competing with one another to show that their system was better and/or to simply gain control of more of the globe.  This competition changed history by bringing about things like the nuclear arms race and, more benignly, the space race.  It also led to the situation we have today where the US is the world’s only superpower.

The impact of “love” on history is harder to identify.  I will argue that love brought about various efforts for social justice.  For example, we can argue that it was love that drove abolitionists to protest against slavery in England and in the United States.  We can argue that it was love that motivated Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi.  People who love justice and who love their fellow human beings have brought about important changes like these.  They have helped to bring more justice to the world.