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Columbus Day Essay

912 words - 4 pages

Every year, on the second Monday in October, the people in the United States celebrate a national holiday in memory of Christopher Columbus, the one who discovered the new continent. Citizens are able to spend a whole day off from work or school to reflect on his greatness and children look up to him, as an amazing person for being able to “discover” America. However, this greatness should in no way be glorified, because it is absurd to call Columbus a hero. Columbus had taken credit for things that he didn’t accomplish, brutally abused Native Americans and caused slave trade, which led to mistreatment of Native Americans for years to come. I really believe that Columbus day should not be ...view middle of the document...

“Columbus had an impressive personality, something akin to what is now called a star quality (27)”. It was unlikely for a weaver son to go to school, but Columbus however taught himself to read and write (21). All these examples showed that Columbus was a hard worker, very determined and would stop at nothing to get what he needed. Capitalism was growing during his time growing up, where money was essential, so having those characteristic were needed. This was however no excuse for Columbus to take credit for other peoples work or cause the genocides.
During Columbus arrival to the Americas, Columbus turned to a massive slave attack to fill up his ships. Columbus and his brother rounded up fifteen hundreds Arawak’s (men, women, and children) and imprisoned them in pens that were guarded by men dogs (Koning 82). Of the five hundred slaves, three hundred arrived alive in Spain, where they were put up for sale in Seville (Koning 82). The slave trade immediately turned out to be “unprofitable”, for the slaves mostly died. Columbus wrote in the diary that “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves to be sold. (Koning 82).”
In addition to the slave trade, Columbus needed to prove his success. Columbus needed gold to fill the empty ships that were going back to. To do so Columbus and the Spaniards created a system where men, women, boys and girls over the age fourteen had to collect gold for the Spaniards (Koning 82). Every three months, Indians had to bring a hawks bell filled with gold dust to one of the ports (Koning...

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