Week 2: The Meeting of Two Worlds

I find the title of the video interesting as this event has always been described as a “discovery” but in the recent years I have changed this to an “exchange”.

It is interesting to consider 1492 the “birth” of Latin America. The region has always been there with well developed cultures, yet it is interesting to consider that Latin America became what it is because of this exchange.

I have never thought of Columbus as a hero or villain. I only know that what came afterwards was one of the most tragic events in relation to the culture of Latin America and the civilizations that existed there. Columbus is considered by many a villain, especially if you take into consideration how wrong his calculations were in regards to having reached India.

After Reading:

While I was reading the journal, there were parts in which it was obvious that the point of Columbus voyage was not necessarily to find India and have trade with them, but it had to do with the three G’s (God, Gold and Glory). From this perspective, it could seem that Columbus and his crew were not in the journey for the exploration part of it, but rather they were in it because of the benefits and promises that the Spanish Crown was going to grant them. It is fairly obvious when the first thing he notices when he lands is the lack of religion in the place and more importantly how they had some gold on them. The exploration was more for the benefits to come if they succeeded at it, and I think that it is very clear after having read Columbus’ journal.

One thing I found very interesting and wonder why that was, was that when they were traveling, Columbus reported less leagues travelled to his crew. I wonder why this was done and what the purpose behind it was.

After reading his journal, it becomes a bit clear that Columbus was not really a hero, he was more into the exploration for the benefits and the gold rather than to establish good connections and learn more about the land. Everyday it seems he becomes more ambitious to continue and explore in search of gold and that seems to be the driving factor behind the voyage.

My question for discussion has to do mostly with the language that Columbus uses to describe his voyage. It seems that he tries to add some magic and mystery. I wonder why he wanted to describe his voyage in such a way. It probably has to do with the fact that he wanted to impress the Spanish Crown in order for them to give him and his crew more riches.

I already knew the story behind the second reading and it was probably one of the most violent events during the Conquest. It is an important event because we can see how the Spanish Crown had the intention of Christianizing and teaching the Catholic religion, but although they said it was not going to be through coercion, in the end it certainly was through violence against those that were against being converted, as is the case with Inca Atagualpa.

1 thought on “Week 2: The Meeting of Two Worlds

  1. Sophie Chevalier

    Hi! I agree that Columbus was mainly seeking out benefits from the Spanish Crown and I wonder if he ever genuinely humanized the people he encountered, rather than simply focusing on the three G’s.


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