Thoughts on Columbus

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the previous readings that we have been assigned in this class, but I did not enjoy reading The Four Voyages. I do tend to appreciate factual information more than entertaining stories in regards to books, but that is only when I enjoy the subject that I’m reading about. History is not one of my main interests, and this collection of anecdotes did not interest me very much. But I do of course understand how important the events are that are discussed in the book. Without Columbus’ conquering having occurred, the world we’re accustomed to would be completely different. I always find the “butterfly effect” very interesting when it comes to historical events. If certain events in our history happened even slightly differently, our entire world could be completely different than it is. If Columbus did not end up sailing towards the Americas, and made it to East India like he originally intended to, I wonder who would have been the man that took Columbus’ place as the person who would have brought European traditions to the natives in America. It was bound to happen eventually, not that it is correct in any way though.

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella told Columbus to win over the inhabitants, but to ensure that he does not cause them any harm or injury. These words clearly went in one ear and out the other, because Columbus was far from treating the natives with the respect that they deserved. Instead of attempting to assimilate with the native peoples, Columbus and his men went the violent route and treated them inhumanely in order to gain riches and to spread Christianity as best as they could.

After hearing about Columbus as a hero my whole life, it was interesting reading a more detailed and factual account of his voyages. Columbus has his own holiday dedicated to him even though in retrospect, his actions likely do not warrant a day of celebration in his honor. It may be that I am not that interested in history, or that I’m just not particularly interested in the story of Christopher Columbus, but this was not one of my favorite readings so far. Looking forward to discussing in class with everyone!


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Columbus

  1. Did King Ferdinand and Isabella really want Columbus to protect the natives? The impression I got was that they supported Columbus simply for the gold. Constantly Columbus was under pressure to produce results or come home a failure. I don’t think King Ferdinand and Isabella are absolved of responsibility.

  2. The “butterfly effect” reminded me of the show Community which there is as episode where they go through the different scenarios that could have happened.
    It was interesting that he recognizes these people and their lands and yet he says that he acquired the islands in their name, renaming them. And how he judges people on how civil they were by how they dressed, how they responded to them and how they trade items.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *