In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But what if Columbus never came back from his voyage? Columbus's three ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, might have run out of water, threatening the lives of all the sailors. They could have been lost at sea, or shipwrecked in a storm because they sailed during hurricane season. Or, most likely, Columbus might have reached the Caribbean and never returned to Europe. In fact, Columbus's largest ship, the Santa Maria, ran aground on a Haitian reef. Columbus barely made it back to Europe after his first voyage.
So what if Columbus sailed off into the Atlantic and never returned? Would Europe have given up on a western route to Asia, or would other countries have eventually sent their own voyages? Without silver and gold from the New World flowing into Europe, would the Habsburgs have maintained power? Would the British Empire exist? With less competition, would the Ottomans have conquered Europe? Without Columbus's voyage, the world's history would look drastically different.
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Some Other Explorer Would Have Run Into The Americas, Only Delaying The Same Inevitable Outcomes
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Portugal Would Have Become The Major European Trading Power
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The Aztec Empire Would Have Continued To Grow Through Central America
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The Inca Empire Would Have Conquered South America
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China Would Remain A Powerful State And Control Trade In Asia
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North American Tribes Would Have Consolidated Into Multiple Adversarial Native American Nations