Christopher Columbus: Hero or Zero?

Topics: Christopher Columbus, Slavery, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 2 (686 words) Published: November 29, 2010
Christopher Columbus: Hero or Zero?
In October we celebrate the man who found America. People are taught at a young age that Christopher Columbus was a hero when in fact he was a murderer. Yes, he found a land that was unknown to his people, but in his findings, he murdered, raped and enslaved the true natives of this country. Columbus and his men destroyed the civilizations, cultures, and land of the Native Americans. These actions should not be portrayed as heroic. When you read about his thoughts and actions during his voyages, you can see that Columbus was not civil towards the natives he encountered. When he first sighted what he called “Indians” he saw a group of unclothed people, their nakedness, to him, represented lack of culture and religion. To Columbus, this was an opportunity to spread the word of God and exploit the Native Americans. He thought they would be easy to defeat because of their apparent defenseless and a source of profit because the Native Americans could easily be enslaved. It clearly did not occur to Columbus to consider these people anything but slaves. His thoughts were only a fraction as to what was to come. In Columbus’s letters you can sense his arrogant attitude in claiming the lands he found. He wrote a letter telling of his discovery to his friend Luis de Santangel, in this letter he wrote, “And there I found very many islands filled with people innumerable and of them all I have taken possession for their Highnesses…” Columbus never considered the fact that these islands, and their inhabitants, were not his to take and change as he pleased. Columbus informed Spain of his new discovery when returned. He brought with him many new things, as well as kidnapped Indians to pay tribute to Spain and lionize himself. Any Indians that were not taken to Spain were made slaves on the islands. The settlers that came to the islands with Columbus were allowed to select any Indian they wanted for a slave. Enslavement was...
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