in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue....yada yada. The real history pertaining to Columbus is much bleaker than the surface explanation that every second grader receives about the discovery of the new world by Europeans. Countless atrocities against native peoples were committed by Columbus and his men once they had sailed into the Caribbean, including slavery, genocide, and torture, yet many of these truths are overlooked. Some may argue that, though his morals come into question, his bravery does not because he and his men unknowingly sailed across the Atlantic, not knowing what would be on the other side, but I ask, is this true? Did Columbus exhibit bravery in undertaking the unknown of sailing across the Atlantic or did he know what he would find?
The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria were tiny, and definitely not a way of transportation that I would ever agree to, but besides that, Columbus was aware of what he and his men would come across once they had sailed the ocean blue. Fun fact: The Portuguese were already aware of the Caribbean Islands on the West side of the Atlantic because they had already discovered the strong West-ward winds that easily and effectively carried a strong current all the way to the New World. The Portuguese were the main sailors of this time period and relied heavily on the stars for navigation. Between the time of the Portuguese's realization of the new world and Columbus' supposed discovery of it, the knowledge of these winds and navigation using the stars were kept as a nationally-held secret of the Portuguese government. Luckily for Columbus, he became aware of a Portuguese navigator who had kept his notes in a journal. Chris must have thought that this particular guy had something good hidden among his notes, so he stole the man's navigation book when he got a chance. Here is where he discovered the new world. Essentially, Columbus' first knowledge of a new world to the West was not when he first sailed through the Caribbean islands, but much earlier, even before he had gotten the approval of Queen Isabella of Spain. His crew probably had no idea, and I'm sure they feared that the world would eventually end and they would sail right over the edge, but as for Columbus, he knew that there would be new land waiting for him on the other side of the ocean if he could get the funding and men to take him there.
When the thirteen colonies had finally gained independence in 1776, there was excitement in the air, but also anxiety over a whole new set of problems that a young country faces when its vulnerability is at an all time high. Various governments were tried among the now 13 states, such as the failed Articles of Confederation, in which the first years of our country were chaotic and unorganized. Debate roared between anti-federalists and federalists about which course of action should be taken in establishing a new democracy, but in the end, federalists won in establishing a central constitution. List three benefits that our country received in establishing out unifying constitution during our early years as a nation.
Three reasons that I can think of off the top of my head: 1.) With a unifying government, a standard currency was issued, which had been a big problem for the colonies up to this point. Different states had different currency that was worth varying amounts; Virginia money would just not do if one found themselves in Georgia. Finally, one currency was issued by the federal government that strengthened and secured the weight of money. 2.) A young nation faces vulnerability, especially when it is not unified. If our states had not joined together, then it would have been more likely that our revolution would not have stuck. Some states may have failed economically and would have vouched for rejoining Britain or may have been picked off by one leading world power or the next. Unification allowed our young country to strengthen itself as one force against other nations. 3.) Things were confusing during this time because there was little consistency throughout the 13 colonies. By enacting a constitution that bound everyone together, an outline of democratic governance was issued and to be carried out throughout the new nation. Although there were obvious discrepancies in who benefited from the law and who did not, this was an attempt at holding all states accountable in recognizing the constitution and the laws that were to govern all citizens.
World War I, the war to end all wars, did just the opposite of what it was thought to do. WWII is seen as a direct cause of the Great War along with detrimental decisions, like the Treaty of Versailles, which makes historians view World War II as something that could have been avoidable, in retrospect. With that said, was WWI an inevitable war or were there opportunities in which this devastating war could have been avoided?
When first studying WWI, or any historical point for that matter, many tend to begin their exploration at the start of an event. Good historical work and analysis comes from looking at the 'before' and the 'after' in greatest detail, after all, the point of history is to understand why things happen the way that they do, and what will happen in the future as a result. In trying to make a long-story short, I believe that it was a war that had roots going back to the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821. Though it seemed like Europe entered into the Great War out of pure chance, like with the assassination of the Arch Duke Ferdinand, the continent had been slowly moving in that direction for decades, and the signs were visible. The whole Murphy's law thing applies here, things that can happen, will happen. Maybe in retrospect, WWI could have been avoided, but in looking at the roots leading up the start of World War I, I have reason to suspect that these long-held tensions would have led to something eventually.