Why Is Christopher Columbus A Hero

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Christopher Columbus is widely celebrated for his voyages to the Americas, which initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World. Paolo Emilio Taviani describes the great physical and mental attributes of Columbus. Taviani tries to convince his readers that Columbus is this brave and heroic superman. Columbus is traditionally viewed as a hero, but what is a hero? In my opinion a hero is courageous; a hero does not back down in the face of adversity and is willing to sacrifice himself for the betterment of humanity. A hero does not care about materialistic commodities and will show compassion for others. Basil Davidson, in “The Curse of Columbus” proved to me that Christopher Columbus is not a hero. Davidson implies that Columbus could very …show more content…
His biography in the encyclopedia even described him as being on the verge of insanity and also says that he “raised crosses everywhere”. Davidson claims that Columbus was the father of slave trade in the Americas; which was the true enduring curse of Columbus. Columbus landed in the Caribbean and opened up the “New World”; using slaves as his pawns to create to develop this newly discovered land. Columbus saw men as goods for sale; the natives of the “New World” were kidnapped and auctioned off in Spain. Also, twelve years after Columbus’s first voyage, African slaves were imported into the Caribbean. This was the start of what was known as “triangular trade”. Trade goods would be sent from Europe to Africa in return for slaves. Then, these African slaves would be shipped across the ocean and sold for mostly sugar or other raw materials to bring back to Europe. This method of trade was highly profitable for the Europeans and would go on for centuries before being stopped. Christopher Columbus’s greed is shown by his relentless tactics to gain as much as he possible, regardless of how many lives were lost. He showed no compassion for another human’s life and would take advantage of them because of their racial or social …show more content…
Before the “New World” existed , human deviation was believed to grow with distance outside of the “known world” because people did not know any better. Europeans thought that people outside of their known world were strange. They would often classify these foreign people as creatures; creating superstition, distrust, and xenophobia. This, however, was not considered racism by Davidson. Slavery was first seen with the Portuguese, which came about a half a century before the Europeans. It began with the import of a few hundred trans-Saharan captives. These slaves had much more far opportunities than the slaves that we think of today. They were able to prove their ability and have the opportunity to raise their social status; actually becoming members of society if proved worthy. After 1500, the outlook on slavery changed dramatically. People became more greedy and less sensitive to the slaves that were being bought and separated from their families. This is how we can tell where and when racism began. Davidson poses the argument that racism began with the early consequences of Christopher Columbus. Regardless of whatever prejudices existed in the world before Columbus, the seeds of modern day racism were planted during the Europeans’ early voyages. Columbus often justified the enslavement of these people through racism. Racism came into full actualization

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