Research Paper - Is Christopher Columbus a Hero or Villain

Topics: Christopher Columbus, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Native Americans in the United States Pages: 6 (2037 words) Published: November 21, 2010
Christopher Columbus found a new world and jumpstarted an age of exploration like no other. After he found the Americas there was massive colonization, giant trade increases and more resources such as gold and silver were being surfaced. Europeans learned new agricultural techniques from the indigenous people, the Europeans also acquired a large number of new crops to farm such as potatoes, tomatoes, corn and cocoa. With all of the pros that the age of exploration brought to Europeans it is hard for one to imagine that Christopher Columbus could be a villain. Could there possibly be evil behind some of the wonderful discoveries of Christopher Columbus? The problem is exactly what you just read, people only know the good things Christopher Columbus brought to the world and they ignore the terrible things he did. Christopher Columbus was a villain because his discovery of the Americas eventually leads to the destruction of Native American culture, he was not the first European explorer to land in America, and he did now accomplish his mission to find India The voyages of Christopher Columbus eventually destroyed and absolutely ruined Native American culture forever. Due to the discovery of the Americas, the Native American settlements were overcome by severe disease and military conquest. Many people claim that Christopher Columbus did not take part in any kind of conquest or enslavement of Native Americans but in an article written by William Phillips it says “He then began to enslave some of the islanders. According to Spanish law, if the local people peacefully accepted takeover by the Europeans, they were protected against enslavement as subjects of the Castilian crown, but if they made war, they could be seized as slaves. Some islanders were certainly at war against the Europeans, and Columbus used their resistance as a justification for outright conquest” (Columbus, Christopher: The Second Voyage) that clearly shows that he had no regard for the Native Americans and that he did not care if they were just thrown into slavery. That passage says that he enslaved Native Americans but he also took their resistance and conducted military conquest on of the Native Americans that resisted the European presence in the Americas. With his conquest against the Native Americans it is almost certain that the Native Americans were slaughtered because the Native Americans did not have nearly as much weapon technology nor the military experience or military training. The point of view that is missing is the view from the Native Americans that are resisting. The Native Americans that were resisting must have disliked the fact that Christopher Columbus and his men were just moving into the Native American land, taking over Native American settlements, enslaving the Native Americans and conducting military conquest on the almost defenseless Native Americans. Another thing that killed hundreds of thousands of Native Americans was disease, the Native Americans lived with very few diseases among them before the Europeans landed, the Europeans were almost the opposite and they lived with many diseases. In an article written on it says “The scope of the epidemics over the years was enormous, killing millions of people—in excess of 90% of the population in the hardest hit areas—and creating "the greatest human catastrophe in history, far exceeding even the disaster of the Black Death of medieval Europe"[10] that killed up to one-third of the people in Europe between 1347 and 1351” (Population history of American indigenous peoples). This epidemic was the worse than any other epidemic in the history of the world, it was even more deadly than the infamous “Black Death” it killed millions of Native Americans and in the areas where it hit the hardest it killed up to 90% of the population. The deadliest disease that killed the most Native Americans was smallpox. These diseases could travel faster than the...

Bibliography: Phillips, William D., Jr. "Columbus, Christopher (c. 1451–1506)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2008. 531-536. Gale World History In Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.
Pickering, Keith A. "Who Really Discovered America?" Web. 12 Nov. 2010. .
Unknown. "Population History of American Indigenous Peoples." Web. 12 Nov. 2010. .
Columbus, Christopher. "Medieval Sourcebook: Christopher Columbus: Extracts from Journal." Medieval Sourcebook. FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 13 Nov. 2010. .
Clark, Josh. "HowStuffWorks "Was an Irish Monk the First European to Reach America?"" Howstuffworks "History" Web. 14 Nov. 2010. .
Stern, Dr. David P. "The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus." NASA Polar, Wind, and Geotail Projects. 12 Dec. 2004. Web. 14 Nov. 2010. .
De Las Casas, Bartolemé. "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies." (1542)
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