The New World

When Christopher Columbus returned to his native land with the news of his discovery Europeans immediately began to refer to it as “the New World.” For the past half millennia the Americas have been called the New World. For desperate millions the New World offered the hope of a fresh start, free from the grinding poverty and oppression of the remnants of a feudalistic system in Europe, that at the time of Columbus’s discovery still had not fully recovered from the ravages of the Black Death, famine and the so-called Hundred Year’s War, which combined, had reduced the population in some parts of the Old World by as much as two-thirds.