Columbus Day Essay

1136 words - 5 pages

As discussed in class, there has recently been developed a different way of look at the man who "discover America". In the book Columbus: His Enterprise Exploding the Myth, written by Hans Koning, he takes a different and more ideological approach. The author describes the Columbus that brought change upon the Native, unlike the traditional approach we in the United State celebrate his landings. The Columbus brought sin and genocide among other things. In this book I have found that there is another side of Columbus that is easily overlooked due to his reputation of "Admiral of the Sea". The book also shows the reason for some of the cultural and governmental aspects of the New World.First, in class we have learned of the four voyages of Columbus, but Koning goes on a limb to emphasize reason for the exposition. Columbus did this out of pure selfishness he wanted to become rich and he was not going to give up on this opportunity to cash in big. It is not true that he was the first to think of the passage and in this time "...there was no educated man or woman who did not know that the world was round." The book illustrates the he waited around for about two years so the king and queen wood give him what he requested, 1/10 of the wealth for himself and his heirs and his titles of Admiral of the sea and viceroy. It is true that his ambition drove him to this great discovery as well as some good luck. Since he left from Spain the northeast tradewinds blew his ship into Central America, for if it were not for Spain Portugal would have discover America themselves. On the trip Spanish were scared to not be able to reach land but, Koning implies that ""¦our heart should (have) bleed for the people of the Caribbean, whose destiny was hanging in the balance (of) those fateful day." It is true that from the time the Spanish arrived they began to degrade the existing culture. In class we discuss the second voyage the one of settlement but instead could we call it that one of disaster. The only establishment built was that of race, which no matter what type of generosity the Indians showed they were considered savages. Koning goes on to blame the whole thing on Columbus because he was the one that realized the opportunity to take advantage of the natives. As stated in the book Ferdinand and Isabella want the second voyage to be that of "well and lovingly" with the Indians. When it was time to send back good dividend from the New World he saw two ways to increase his countries' wealth, gold and slaves. In response the Indians began massive suicides. In addition to the diseases discussed in class the population began to disintegrate. In the book the only think that Koning emphazises more is the insanity that Columbus portrays saying that God himself told him to look for the gold mines. In class we did not discuss this drive for his wealth, we did not mention that he was caught up the pursuit for riches so much and...

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