Life in the big cities of Europe when Columbus set sail in 1492 were unhealthy, unsanitary, and very brutal conditions. Many poor and people who couldn’t support themselves would starve to death and also many people were dying of diseases that were spreading through the cities. “For most of its people a land of violence, squalor, treachery, and intolerance.” In-migration from the countryside was a vital part to if the cities were to be saved from going extinct. Conditions with famine were harsh. “The rich ate, and ate to excess, watched by a thousand hungry eyes as they consumed their gargantuan meals. The rest of the population starved” The slightest fluctuation in food price could cause the sudden death of thousands. 2.
If one ventured outside the cities of Europe to the countryside, the quality of life was no better. “Areas such as Castile and Andalusia were wracked with harvest failures that brought on mass death.” With the harsh conditions people frequently turned on each other during witchcraft hysteria. “Because of the dismal social conditions and prevailing social values it was a place filled with malice and hatred, temporarily bound by the majority in order to harry and persecute the local witch.” 3.
The wealthy of Europe were preoccupied by their need for foreign luxuries. The wealthy were after silver and gold, while on Columbus’s expedition that is what they were out to seek. “The crusades had begun four centuries earlier, had increased the appetites of affluent Europeans for foreign luxuries.” Columbus had set on his expedition and reached The New Land but the native people he encountered did not have an abundance of gold like he had expected. Columbus came up with the system called the requerimento, to help encourage the Native Americans into finding gold. If they objected to the offer they would make war against the Native Americans and kill or taken slaves. 4.
Columbus’s first impression on the New World was that it was filled with new...
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