Christopher Clombus Is Not A Hero

1972 words - 8 pages


"In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue." That's the one date everyone remembers, the date in virtually every school child's history textbook. But, they leave out pretty much everything about Columbus and his exploration of the New World. It's the part many people have yet to learn about. For years, Columbus has been presented to us as a hero. In 1934, President Roosevelt even gave Columbus his own holiday. To this day, we celebrate his "discovery" of America. What is found in history textbooks now, have seemed to show another side of Christopher Columbus, a side that they wouldn't dare teach in elementary school. It's the rest of Columbus' tale of "discovery". This paper will show you that Christopher Columbus didn't technically "discover" America and that his actions were much louder than the words we read about in school.
Third grade seems like such a long time ago, yet I remember the Christopher Columbus story like it was nothing. It started out with a boy named Christopher Columbus; he was born and raised in Genoa, Italy. He grew up wanting to be an explorer. He also grew up believing the earth was round, yet no one believed him, so the great explorer intended to prove it. He was going to find a westward route to India. To go on this exploration, he needed ships and men and the only one who was willing to provide him with this was Queen Isabella of Spain. She provided Columbus with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. He set sail in 1492 and after about two months they had reached land. Columbus believed he had reached India. He had no idea he had encountered another part of the world. He actually ended up in the West Indies, the island we today call Haiti. Because he thought he was in India, when he met the people that already lived there he named them Indians. They all got along very well. The Indians taught them how to grow food and use the land to survive. Columbus and his men would trade a lot with the Indians and they all lived happily ever after. That's pretty much where our textbook stopped. I have never learned anything else about Columbus until now. There is so much that my third grade teacher left out and didn't explain.
Columbus gets a lot of credit for "discovering" land that already had people living on it, a land that has already been encountered by other people way before Columbus was even born. In 70,000 to 12,000 B.C. Siberia explorers sailed to Alaska. In 10,000-600 B.C., Siberians also went to Canada and the state we now call New Mexico. A little more recently the Vikings in 1000-1350 came from Greenland and Iceland. They traveled to Labrado, Baffin Land, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Cod and further south. Around 1311 and 1460 explorers from West Africa came across to Haiti, Panama, and Brazil (Loewen 48). These were only a few of the many encounters of the Americas. A result of these explorations was the...

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