Christopher Columbus: American Hero or Is It All Just a Sham?

Nels Wilkins, Jr.
Writ 101 – UMHelena
May 28th, 2013

Christopher Columbus:
American Hero or is it all Just a Sham?

Now why would we want to reexamine everything that we had been taught regarding the seemingly great explorer Christopher Columbus? Possibly, because the Columbus story much closer resembles a work of fiction, than that of a factual portrayal of the discovery of our country. This is nothing more than a grandiose myth. One that should not be taken lightly, as it very well could have serious ramifications. This innocent, seeming tale is often a child’s first lesson concerning encounters amid contradictory cultures and races. Consequently, it lays a foundation for a child’s beliefs about society. This vague, romanticized legend of a heroic voyager tells children whose interpretation of history to accept, and whose to disregard.

Irrefutably one of the most celebrated and despised figures in world history Christopher Columbus' story is not an easy one to tell. Perplexingly, he is notorious as an executioner of native peoples, and yet there is a national Holiday celebrating this very man. One cannot effusively appreciate the legacy of Christopher Columbus without examining the tempestuous nature of his relationship to America's history.

In the American public school system, as well as in most private Christian based institutions, every child starting school learns the Columbus story and it always verves the same general way. “In 1492 Christopher Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue.” As the student, moves through the grade school years, and on to middle school, and eventually into high school, they are in essentially “spoon fed” little bits of information. Ranging from unequivocal, flagrant lies, slowly developing into a hazily more accurate account of these important historical events that were central to the foundation of our country. It seems there is an entirely different Christopher Columbus character for every age.


Cited: de Kay, James T. . Meet Christopher Columbus. New York, NY: Random House Inc, I968. Web.
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