Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress
Before you read the packet “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,” write down all you think you know about Christopher Columbus, including myth as well as reality. Please use a list format. Columbus was a Portuguese explorer, but worked for Spain.
Columbus’s voyage in 1492 was made to find an alternate route to China, leaving Europe from the east rather than the west. Columbus did not discover the Americas, natives occupied the land and Vikings such as Leif Erikson had already come across the continent, it was just not well documented. Columbus never actually reached the continent of North America, he landed somewhere in the Caribbean. Columbus called the natives he found “Indians” because he believed he had reached India. Columbus died believing he had reached Asia rather than the Americas. 2.
During or after reading the packet, write down passages that support and/or contradict each item that you listed in assignment #1 above. Cite page numbers in parentheses at the end of each quotation. •
Columbus was a Portuguese explorer, but worked for Spain. “He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands" (1) “He was a merchant’s clerk from the Italian city of Genoa, part-time weaver (the son of a skilled weaver), and expert sailor” (1-2) •
Columbus’s voyage in 1492 was made to find an alternate route to China, leaving Europe from the east rather than the west. “For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to get to the Far East” (1) “It was early October 1492” (2)
Columbus never actually reached the continent of North America, he landed somewhere in the Caribbean. “There were signs of land…It was an island in the Bahamas, the Caribbean sea.” (2) •
Columbus called the natives he found “Indians” because he believed he had reached India. “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found” (1) “He insisted he had reached Asia.” (2)
“Columbus called them Indians, because he miscalculated the size of the earth.” (14) •
Columbus died believing he had reached Asia rather than the Americas. “Columbus’s report to the Court in Madrid was extravagant. He insisted he had reached Asia (it was Cuba) and an island off the coast of China (Hispaniola).” (2) 3.
In a paragraph or two, discuss the events and actions discussed in the packet that were not originally part of your thinking about Columbus. This article gave me more insight on the things I believed about Columbus and also taught me some things that I never knew about Columbus’s voyage. In my list I claimed that Columbus was Portuguese but this was entirely incorrect. Columbus was from Genoa, Italy as stated in the quote “He was a merchant’s clerk from the Italian city of Genoa, part-time weaver (the son of a skilled weaver), and expert sailor”(1-2). An item I mentioned was that Columbus died believing he had reached Asia. The article never specifically accepts or denies this idea. The article also never states that Columbus never reached America. So, after reading this article I still do not know if these items that I listed are correct or not. After reading this article my view of Columbus has shifted from seeing him as a hero to seeing him as a villain. He did not share knowledge with the world in a positive way. Upon discovering new people, rather than trying to learn about their culture and share ideas, he enslaved and killed them. Columbus depleted the population of the natives and took credit for discovering the land in which they lived on. 4.
Choose one of the following quotations and respond to it: “… for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance…” –Columbus This quote shows how different the two societies are. One could argue that the Spaniards were much more advanced than the natives, but the development of the societies were so different from...
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