Christopher Colombus Essay

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During my formative years in kindergarten and elementary school I remember the nursery book rhyme taught to all of us children. "In fourteen-hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue." We had school plays that tried to recreate his intrepid ocean journey. I wasn't the best at remembering lines, so I played the part of the Pinta, one of Columbus' ships. As most school children are taught, we learned about how he was the first to discover the Americas, that he was a merchant looking for a trade route to India, that he was the first to prove the world was round, and that if it wasn't for him America as we know it would not be here.

As I grew up, other historical facts started to tarnish the pristine image of Columbus. Leif
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He described those murdered natives and their people in his log as "evil...and that they eat men." Curiously enough, every mention of native people before that day was how friendly, giving and peaceful they were.

The Spanish returned with not three, but with seventeen ships and over a thousand soldiers and six priests on Columbus' second voyage. A little known fact was that the second voyage was financed mostly by confiscating wealth from the Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. The stories of rampant cannibalism and godless peoples infected the crew. They were not so well behaved as on the first voyage. They were at war and lusted for gold. They raped and pillaged mercilessly. Soldiers argued as to whose sword was sharper, and proved it by lopping off the head of the nearest native. Live infants were routinely fed to the Spanish dogs of war. And captured native women were given to his crewmen as rewards. All this occurred under Columbus' watch and with his approval.

Whether it be by the sword, forced labor, starvation, or disease the population of natives in the Caribbean, estimated at three million in 1492 before Columbus landed, was driven to extinction. The reason that nearly the entire population of the Caribbean islands is black is that there are no brown skinned natives left. The only people that remain are the descendants of those brought over during the slave trade.

Proponents of celebrating Columbus

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