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Christopher Columbus And His Goals Essay

2687 words - 11 pages

Christopher Columbus and his goalsCertainly, Columbus was a devout Catholic. He lived during the period of the great Spanish Inquisition, which led to the defeat of the Jews and Muslims. Perhaps he wanted to continue the Spanish legacy and spread the faith toward the west. However, personal ambitions may have also sparked Columbus's interest in finding a water route to the Indies. He asks for gold many times from the natives and searches all the islands in hopes of discovering more. He views the natives as a source of economical benefit, hoping to employ them for practical purposes. Even though there are not any indications of immense amounts of gold and spices in the New World, Columbus continues to ask for more Spanish support in order to pursue his desire for fame. Throughout his logbook, Columbus brings to light another reason for his exploration. He mentions his divine purpose as his right to the New World. He thinks that God has chosen him to discover and cultivate this new found land. Columbus has chosen to include both his God given right and his own intentions in his journals, but he uses his divine purpose to justify his desire for wealth, glory, and manipulation of the Indians. He has in essence covered his selfishness with a holy sentiment prevalent among many contemporaries of his time, thus creating a pure self-image for himself.

Columbus justifies his many of his actions through his divine purpose. He believes that he has discovered the Garden of Eden mentioned in the Bible, "For I believe that the earthly Paradise lies here, which no one can enter except by God's leave." (221). Eden can be viewed as heaven on earth; humans living in eternal bliss loving each other and God. Unfortunately, once Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, they sin against God and are banished from the garden forever. Only a man without sin, one that was somehow unaffected by the fall of Adam could enter the garden. The fact that Columbus is able to walk around the "garden" shows that he believes he is such a pure figure. Columbus also stresses that it is only by God's permission that one can enter Eden, "no one can enter except by God's leave." Thus he has been chosen by God to rediscover heaven on earth and has been given a divine purpose. Throughout his logbooks, Columbus portrays himself as a righteous man on a quest for God, therefore implying the wholesomeness of all his actions.

Many of his actions signify Columbus's belief that he had truly discovered the Garden of Eden. He constantly describes the natives as being "naked as their mothers bore them." These descriptions begin almost every introduction about a new group of natives during the first voyage implying that most if not all the Indians were not clothed. They obviously were quite comfortable without any attire since it appeared to Columbus that no one was fully dressed. Columbus adds the phrase "As their mothers bore them" to show the childlike qualities of the Indians. When a child...

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