Can you believe some people don't consider the extermination of Native Americans an act of genocide? Native Americans once lived in peace, but then European colonists such as Christopher Columbus began to invade their land. At first, the Natives and them treated each other with respect, but soon after, Columbus turned on the Natives' and used their generosity to his advantage. Aside from brutal acts of abuse, murder, and thief, they also brought diseases such as small pox and measles which slowly began to wipe out their population. Millions of Natives suffered during this time, but the most appalling aspect of this situation was the fact that Columbus denied his part in the eradication. Genocide is defined as "the destruction of a nation, or ethnic group," a term coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944 after the Native American tragedy had already occured. Although the Native Americans once worshiped Christopher Columbus, his hunger for gold, slavery, and conversion of religion led to their destructive downfall.
When Christopher Columbus discovered that the Native Americans held a plethora of gold, he went in search for it, slaughtering anyone in his way. Columbus and his men committed lurid acts such as rape and murder to obtain this precious, auric treasure. His agreement with Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand is what instigated his desire for gold, for they promised him 10% of all profits. Quoted from, "The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 the Voyages of the Northmen," Columbus wrote to the highnesses saying, "Gold is most excellent; gold is treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world," (Bourne, p.412) which explains his wicked attempts to take over the Native American land. Prior to his thirst for wealth, many other selfish decisions were made, for instance, his intent of slavery and power. Columbus then made returning trips to the Americas bringing more of his men to help put his plan into action.
To commence his plan of...
Cited: Bourne, Edward G. The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 the Voyages of the Northmen. New York: C. Scribner 's Sons, 1925. Print. 4, December 2013.
"Raphael Lemkin and "genocide"," Native American Genocide. Raina Delma, 2005. Web. 29, November 2013.
"Columbus, 1942," Native American Genocide. Raina Delma, 2005. Web. 29, November 2013.
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