'for the World of the Caribbean the Arrival of Columbus Constituted a Major Turning Point

Topics: Europe, Christopher Columbus, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 5 (1950 words) Published: December 7, 2012
'for the world of the caribbean the arrival of Columbus constituted a major turning point

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who was credited with "discovering" the New World (a European term for the continents of North America and South America). Columbus made four voyages to the Caribbean and South America between 1492 and 1504. As a boy, Columbus worked as a sailor on merchant and war ships in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1476 he went to Lisbon, Portugal, where he learned mathematics and astronomy which are subjects that are vital for navigation. In the early 1480s Columbus began to seek a sponsor for an expedition to Asia. He wanted to prove his theory that it would be faster and easier to get to Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean opposed to the theory of the Portuguese of going around Africa and into the Indian Ocean. For several years Columbus proposed his idea to the king of Portugal, but he was turned down. Undaunted Columbus went to try his luck in Spain. He first met with Queen Isabella I in 1486. Finally, in April 1492, Isabella and her husband, King Ferdinand V, signed an agreement with Columbus in which they agreed to pay for his voyage. According to this agreement, Columbus would be named admiral, become the governor of any lands he discovered, and receive a tax-free ten percent share of any riches found in the new lands.

The voyages of Christopher Columbus changed history. When he landed on Hispaniola he brought what was later coined the 'Columbus exchange'; a dramatically widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture and human populations (including slaves), communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Columbus is the first documented European visitor of the New World, himself along with his men introduced diseases that ravaged the native population and decimated entire cultures and civilizations. They introduced the Indigenous people to their European weapons, inherent racism and control by a foreign power. By rediscovering the New World, Columbus set in motion a chain of events where by the other European nations would follow in his footsteps; he had set of the gold rush in Spain which would lead to the enslavement of a people, permanently change their concept of the world map and start a long term race of imperialism to explore, exploit and settle the New World. Nevertheless Christopher Columbus's arrival constituted a major turning point for the world of the Caribbean.

Daniel Paul “ The event that led the European Nations to destroy many of the civilizations of the two continents, and drastically diminish the remainder, resulted from what was almost impossible accident of faith. If it had not already occurred, it would be virtually impossible to envision’’

The aftermath of Columbus's arrival was disasterous. In the journal of Columbus(1492) he states'' They are generally fairly tall and good looking, well made,They ought to be good servants and good skill and I believe that they would easily be made 'christians' because it seemed to me that they belonged to no religion.'' The Spanish felt superior immediately to the "savages" they discovered in the New World, and treated them accordingly. He led the establishment of a colonial regime in the Caribbean and consequently brought about the genocide of a people. After his first discovery (Hispaniola)he was convinced he had reached Asia he went back to Spain and according to Hilary Beckles he brought with from the Caribbean a small quantity of gold, some coconuts from Guanahani and a few taino. His royal sponsors were disappointed however he promised to do much in his report to his royal sponsors.'' I will procure as much gold as they need as well as a range of exotic goods, particularly spices, drugs, cotton and silk. He then left Spain with a fleet of 17 ships.

Columbus established the first colony at Hispaniola for he believed it contained gold...
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