Christopher Columbus Controversy

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“In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue” is a common phrase used to teach schoolchildren the history of exploration in North America. In the United States, we refer to Columbus as the first person to discover America. Not only do schools and government buildings close nationwide in remembrance of Columbus’s arrival to the New World on October 12th, our nation’s capital is the District of Columbia. However, Columbus was not the explorer, or person, history textbooks portray him as. According to Ward Churchill, Columbus was notorious for his arrogance and murdered nearly three million native Indians in South America simply for recognition in Spain (1). While Columbus did paved the way for exploration outside of Europe, Columbus …show more content…
Yet, according to Starchild, a NASA based company, the Pythagoras first proposed that the Earth was round in 500 B.C. Moreover, historians are certain in which educated people in Columbus’s time knew the Earth was round (Strauss). Columbus’s main objection in his expeditions was to find gold and slaves, not to prove the Earth was round. Because Columbus did not sail from Spain to prove that the Earth was round, information regarding the Columbus expeditions is not only conflicting, but also largely …show more content…
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, the primary financial providers of Columbus’s expeditions, insured first man who spotted land a yearly pension of 10,000 maravedis for life (Zinn 2). However, Columbus stated he saw the island several hours earlier and claimed the pension for himself (Crawford 25). Furthermore, when Christopher Columbus arrived on the Bahamian Island, the local Arawak Indians immediately greeted him and offered food, water, and gifts (Zinn 1). Despite the generosity of the Indians, Columbus took by force several Arawak Indians in order to get information regarding the location of gold on the island (Zinn 2). Subsequently, Columbus sailed to what is now Cuba and Hispaniola (what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) with the Indians he had kidnapped
(Zinn 3). When Columbus spotted gold in the rivers, he took more Arawaks as slaves in order to collect the gold. Not only did Columbus take by force thousands of Arawak Indians, he and his men also tortured and murdered any Indians who rebelled. However, the quantity of gold in which the Arawaks mined would not have impressed King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. As a result, Columbus kidnapped approximately one thousand Indians to sell as slaves in Europe, but many perished due to poor hygiene and cold weather while sailing (Crawford

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