Columbus the Jerk

Topics: Christopher Columbus, Caribbean, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 2 (607 words) Published: June 7, 2012
Most people know that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but are probably unaware of all the destruction that he caused in doing so. Columbus had an urge to sail west to the Indies where he ended up finding North America and did not even realize it. In fact, he made four voyages, mainly to the Caribbean and part of the north coast of South America and was sure it had to be the Indies. He was looking for gold and spices that he had read about, but was in the wrong place. His exploration brought so many bad things to people. Enough reason to consider Columbus a jerk.

Other than discovering a route that permanently linked the shores of the Atlantic, there was nothing good that came from any of Columbus‘ voyages. He was deceitful and merciless, stopping at nothing to obtain what he wanted. When Columbus reported to Spain, he exaggerated about the amount of gold that was there, reporting that there was an abundance of gold when there was really very little gold, only scarce amounts in riverbeds. The largest amount of gold he received was on his first arrival and was an accumulation of many years. The natives of the land, the Arawaks, were responsible for collecting a certain amount of gold. If they did not collect enough gold, they were killed. These killings led to more and more. They died from overwork and from new European diseases. They killed themselves. And they took pains to avoid having children. Life was not fit to live, and they stopped living.

Columbus was also big in slavery and slave trade. Slavery was going on when he left Spain, but he decided that the Arawaks could be used for trade with other goods. He tried to set up a trade of slaves for cattle, but that wasn‘t approved. His men rounded up many of the Arawaks to transport as slaves to Spain, since Columbus had to send something in replacement of all the nonexistent gold. He and his crew basically enslaved this whole race of people, and from the time he first came upon them in 1492 through...
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