Who Influenced Western Culture the Most? Luther, Columbus, Gutenberg, or Charles Darwin?

The four men Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus, Johannes Gutenberg, and Charles Darwin played important roles in the society, influencing the paradigm shifts of in western culture. Luther was an important figure in the formation of protestant reformation; a movement impacted the western culture strongly by demanding religious freedom. Luther disagreed with the Roman Catholic doctrines and wrote about it to enlighten followers. He also translated the bible from Latin to Germany, making it easier for people to read the Bible on their own and make their own judgment. By so doing, Luther influenced western culture by promoting rights to freedom of airing own opinion and embracement of individualistic mindset in the western culture.

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Columbus was a navigator and explorer who discovered and eventually colonized America. He introduced the slave trade and other forms of product exchanges from the Bahamas to Spain. His voyages created an opening for colonization and its effect in different parts of the world, it promoted slaves trade and other goods exchange trades at the international level or between Europe and other foreign nations. Gutenberg was the inventor of a movable printer and he became the first person in Europe to enhance efficiency book production methods. His invention promoted reading in the region and knowledge development. It also became the foundation of other technological development during the industrial revolution in the western world (Rapson, 2003).

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Darwin was a scientist who developed evolution theory and the national selection theory of survival is for the fittest. His theory claimed that species were not created by God as a religion taught but they evolved from some primitive version. Although his theories were strongly criticized by religious groups that believed in creation, his work is being highly appreciated,  especially since his national selection theory can be highly used to explain capitalism and wealth variation in the society. His work brought a new perspective of life to western people, changing their culture from a religious-based perspective to a more scientific-based view (Rapson, 2003). 

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Each of the four men made a unique contribution that influenced western culture in a great way even today. However, among them, Columbus can be regarded as a person who had the greatest influence in western culture. Columbus navigation resulted in the opening of trade between different regions or countries, which has since been a trend not just in western nations but in the entire world. His voyages can be said to be responsible for the growth of international trade and globalization experienced in the world today. He also played a great role in enhancing the slave trade which eventually resulted in population diversity and immigration during his time. The final result of slaves’ inclusion in the western society resulted in the diversity seen in the world today. The impact of Columbus’s action is strongly felt in western culture through international trade and globalization and through immigration and population diversity in the world.

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