How There Happened to Be American History
The discovery of the New World by Columbus was really an accident, but one of those accidents which had been long in getting ready to happen. The Crusaders opened new lands to Europeans and made the first direct contact with things which Europe if she did not actually need, most certainly could use to her advantage. The Italian Merchants perfectly placed geographically and old hands at trading became the middlemen in the trade which developed. Soon other European merchants began to dream of ways of circumventing the Italians and becoming the middlemen themselves. The Turks added taxes to the goods which passed through their lands and hence the European found himself paying not only the Italian middleman but also the Turkish infidel for goods which were no longer luxuries, but which now had become necessities. New routes had to be found and these almost inevitably had to be water routes. Then into Portugal came an Italian from Genoa. Columbus believed that by sailing a few thousand miles to the west he would be able to reach Cathay and the Indies. In October, 1492, he did find land, but it didn’t fit the description which Marco Polo had given of the Orient. Soon it became evident that Columbus had actually discovered a new and uncharted world. No one was particularly happy about these two continents which blocked the western route to the Orient.
KETC, St. Louis; John Francis Bannon; William J. Lesko
National Educational Television; Indiana University Audio-Visual Center
National Educational Television
IUL Moving Image Archive
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Other: GR00450760; MDPI Barcode: 40000003316546
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