The fascination of the voyages of Christopher Columbus will forever be told and celebrated by many. Gloria Deak answers the questions about Columbus' historic endeavor to fill in the blank spots on who he was ,what he set out to accomplish, and where he succeeded. Deak describes Columbus as a great sailor whose success in crossing the Atlantic Ocean was an unequaled feat of navigation. She goes on to explain that very little is given accurately in the information we have on him to suggest that he was the gallant Renaissance figure often depicted in schoolbooks. She paints Columbus as an imaginative, courageous, and contained man with a capacity for extreme cruelty. One key aspect to his character she nailed down was his intense religiosity. He had a deep-seated belief in the Bible and logic of destiny that was noticeably messianic.
The journeys of discovery set out by Columbus and subsequent explorers motivated excitement for decades in Renaissance Europe. Although this enthusiasm was well founded, there was modest comprehension of the degree of what had been revealed. Scholars of the time found it inconceivable that the small islands first sighted by Columbus were connected fully. The precepts of traditional cosmography that were based of biblical beliefs worried geographers of the time that such an astounding discovery of an unnoticed hemisphere would question this belief. The adjustment of the Old World would be slow and often brutal. However, with the acquisition of gold, territorial, and Christianity expansion, there was much desire. The prudence and inquisitiveness were apparent, but the desire for mass conversion ensued for Europe could acknowledge the New World only by imposing its authority over it.
Did Columbus discover the New World? Deak says no. The continents of North and South America had been populated for millennia by a various blend of people. It may...