The Reputation of Christopher Columbus Essay
When judging a person's importance in history it becomes hard not to judge that person without characterizing their achievements as either negative or positive. It becomes even harder when all of the facts are not known and when a reputation has already been established. Christopher Columbus is such a person. Through history, from the time he sailed to the present, debate as to whether this man should be deemed a hero or a villain has raged. Facts about his life have been tainted by embellishments and myths have been accepted as truths. So how does one come to a conclusion about this man?
History has hardly taken a middle ground on Columbus, from his own sons writings to …show more content…
New World. The other major critic of Columbus during this time was Las Casas.
He, however, was not necessarily opposed to the actions of Columbus as far as his adventures. Most of his complaints dealt with the treatment of the
Natives by Columbus and his men. What actions Columbus accepted his men doing was what Las Casas wrote about, but at the same time praised Columbus for his
Christian beliefs. Las Casas stated, " He it was who gave the light by which all others might see how to discover."4 It is safe to say that Las Casas was one of the first to see that the accomplishments of Columbus were of terrific importance, but that they should be weighed against the consequences of his actions against the natives.
The reason for the lack of information about Columbus can be attributed to the neglect of several people, but historians tend to place blame specifically on Peter Martyr, an Italian Cleric in the court of Barcelona.6
Mention of Columbus was slim, but more about the voyages. Mention of his courage, but not of the actual events that took place on the islands during this time. Gonzola de Oviedo wrote an Encyclopedia about the