Why Was Christopher Columbus So Important to World History?

Christopher Columbus is a name that is etched in the history books for centuries. He was a famous explorer who discovered America in 1492.

His discovery of the New World changed the course of world history and opened up new opportunities for trade, exploration, and colonization. In this article, we will discuss why Christopher Columbus was so important to world history.

Early Life and Background

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. He grew up in a family of weavers and traders.

His father was a wool weaver who also traded on the side. Columbus spent his early years working with his father and learning the art of trading and navigation.

The Search for New Trade Routes

During the 15th century, trade between Europe and Asia was booming. However, the existing trade routes were long and dangerous, with many challenges like pirates and storms. This led to an increased demand for new trade routes that would be shorter and safer.

Columbus believed that he could find a new route to Asia by sailing westward across the Atlantic Ocean. Many people thought that he was crazy to propose such an idea because they believed that the earth was flat. However, Columbus had studied ancient texts and knew that the earth was round.

The Voyage of Discovery

In August 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail with three ships – The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria – on his voyage of discovery across the Atlantic Ocean. It took him over two months to reach land because he encountered many challenges like storms, navigational errors, and mutiny among his crew.

Finally, on October 12th, 1492, Columbus landed on an island in what is now known as The Bahamas. He named it San Salvador and claimed it for Spain. This discovery opened up a whole new world of opportunities for trade, exploration, and colonization.

The Legacy of Columbus

Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America had a profound impact on world history. It opened up new opportunities for trade, exploration, and colonization. It also led to the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultures between Europe and the Americas.

However, Columbus’s legacy is not without controversy. His arrival in the New World led to the displacement and genocide of indigenous people. Many people argue that his actions were motivated by greed and a desire for power.


In conclusion, Christopher Columbus was an important figure in world history because he discovered America and opened up new opportunities for trade, exploration, and colonization. However, his legacy is complex and controversial. Regardless of one’s views on his legacy, there is no denying that his discovery changed the course of human history forever.