WEEK TWO

This week’s subject is surrounding the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and his first interactions with indigenous people. By watching the the videos and reading the articles I became more familiar with Columbus ambitions regarding his reasoning for starting his voyage towards western hemisphere. It was interesting to realize that his main driver for this journey was bringing back gold to Spain crown which would ultimately bring him fame and respect. However, I was surprised when I realized he was more of a businessman rather than a explorer. Also, It was impressive to recognize the way he connected¬†with natives during their first interaction; which again is a sign of him being a business oriented person. For instance, he tried to offer natives interesting objects from Europe and as a result, natives thought “he is a gift from god”. Thus, he made a strong first impression and gained natives’ trust to guide him through the unknown land.

However, based on some sources, there was a flip side to this story. According to these sources, when he became familiar with the land and realized the potential it has, for instance gold, he started to take advantage of natives. For instance, he used them as mine workers and setup unreasonable and brutal punishments for workers who could not bring him enough gold. Furthermore, his men used native women as sex slaves and raped and tortured them. Also, Columbus in his writings, constantly sees himself superior to natives. I believe this way of thinking finally leads him to use natives as slaves. I believe this gradual change in Columbus behavior is another sign that he was more of a business man rather than a person with morals who wanted to explore this world.

The most interesting point in this week’s topic for me is that even nowadays many people believe Columbus was an explorer and have solely positive thoughts and believes towards him. An instance of this claim is naming streets, universities and even a country after him. I think it is important to have a fair and realistic view of the history and give people credit when they deserve it and criticize them when they were wrong. Therefore, my question is what should be done to give people a more realistic view of Columbus and is it even important to do so?

Thank you for reading this post.

1 thought on “WEEK TWO

  1. isak parker

    I think it is important to give people a “a more realistic” view on Columbus by simply telling them the truth about his voyage. In the schools I have attended throughout my life, I have never received any lectures or teachings on Columbus. This said, I do believe the story of Columbus should be taught in schools with historical accuracy.

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