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Columbus' Adventures In Hispaniola Essay

1734 words - 7 pages

Thesis: What happened after Columbus arrived in Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and Dominican Republic)? So many people still assume that Christopher Columbus was a hero, whether they know if that’s true or not. They think that he was a man that cannot be forgotten. What humans in the 21st century have forgotten is that Columbus was a nasty man. He was very cruel, especially after his arrival at Haiti, on December 5th 1492, with three ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria (“Taino Conquest” Latin American Studies). Of course, Columbus had always thought he had reached the East Indies in Asia, due to his underestimation of the size of the world’s vast seas. What he didn’t know was that there was no way he would reach Asia without a half dead and starving crew.

After Columbus arrived, the island where he had arrived was renamed to Hispaniola, since its shaped look like Spain. The island had almost a million inhabitants, as predicted by Bartolome de Las Casas (Raudzens, George "Hispaniola, 1492- 1514."), however, modern historians believe that the island only had about 300,000 inhabitants. Columbus and his fleet were greeted by Guacanagarix, one of the five caciques of Hispaniola. Caciques were the chiefs of tribes in the Bahamas at that time. On their first meet, the Tainos (the tribe that lived in the island) were shocked, and impressed at the same time to see horses and advanced technology regarding the Spanish weaponry. The Tainos did not see this “unknown race” as much of a threat, but Columbus thought differently to this (rather awkward) race. He thought the Tainos “looked like cowards and can be easily defeated and enslaved. ("The Wayfarer's Bookshop - Book Gallery.")” He also said, “They ought to make good and skilled fine servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language.” ("The Wayfarer's Bookshop - Book Gallery.") On 16th, 1493, Columbus left the island for Spain, and took with him six captives. Before Columbus had left though, he ordered to build a fortress using some of the remains from Santa Maria, which had sunk. This fort was called Fort Navidad or, La Navidad, and he left about 39 men in the fort (Maclean, Frances. "Smithsonian.com."). His goal was clear though, “To bring as much gold and slaves possible from the islands.”

Columbus set sail again to the island, this time on a very large scale “colonization and expedition project (Minster, “The Second Voyage of Christopher Columbus”).” In this voyage, Columbus brought seventeen ships, which had about 1300 men, including priests, farmers, and soldiers. He also brought about twenty horsemen. Also for the first time, domesticated animals that the Tainos had never heard of were being shipped, including pigs and cattle. Columbus’s goals were to expand the settlement...

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