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Christopher Columbus: Villain Or Hero? Essay

618 words - 2 pages

In 1492, Christopher Columbus unintentionally discovered America, when he landed in the Caribbean Islands, while looking for a direct sea route to Asia. Despite the fact that Columbus believed he had found a direct sea route to India, he has been called the discoverer of America and hailed as a hero. More recently, however, he has been called a villain, with accusations saying that not only did he not discover America, but also that he was the cause of slavery and oppression in the Americas. These allegations are absurd and lack logical evidence.

Christopher Columbus has been discredited with discovering America, because for thousands of years, Native Americans had thrived on the land he claimed he discovered. There are also claims that the Phoenicians, Jews, Romans, Hoei-shins, Vikings, and the Portuguese landed in America long before Columbus; but these claims have yet to be backed by solid evidence. Columbus was not the first person to be on the shores of America, or maybe not even the first European; but when he landed, he brought the new land to the attention of a growing Western Europe. Before Columbus landed, America was sparsely populated and underdeveloped. There were hundreds of bloody wars and few scientific advances in North America. After Columbus returned to Spain, the Europeans began to come to America by the thousands and brought with them permanent colonies, new ideas, technologies, plants, and animals. Columbus' critics do accredit him with bringing oppression to the Americas.

After Columbus returned to Spain, the Spanish government took a great interest in the Americas, especially South America. Spanish explorer, Hernando Cortes, landed on the coast of South America, and battles between the native Aztecs and the Spanish soon ensued. The Aztec population was estimated at 25...

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