Columbian Exchange Dbq Essay

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On October 12, 1492, an Italian merchant by the name of Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the New World. With him he brought three ships and a small crew of Spaniards. After exploring other islands, Columbus came one that he called Hispaniola; here, they found seemingly primitive and naϊve natives that they immediately began to take advantage of. However, little did they know that this first meeting would bring exploration of South and Central America that would wreak havok among the Natives. Throughout the period of European Expansion, Natives were ripped from their home and forced to work day in and day out. Almost every single person from the New World, whether a slave or not, was seriously impacted by the spread of diseases.Furthermore,…show more content…
The Spaniards gave them gifts of beads and red caps.(Doc 1) They believed these gifts would encourage the Natives to show them where the gold and other wealth was. However, as Columbus became more and more frustrated with the lack of help from the Arawaks, his treatment of them became increasingly worse. Eventually, all of the Arawaks were in slavery and were being worked to death. They were treated as sub-human and had no freedom.They recieved very little food, so many starved to death.(Doc 5) Columbus demanded at least a thimble-sized amount of gold every three months from each Native. If they did not reach this goal, their hands were chopped off. In addition, many of the Arawaks were forced onto encomiendas, cash crop plantations, where they were regularly worked to death. Seeing the impending doom, the suicide rate of the Arawaks skyrocketed just so they could avoid the fate of those around them. The freedom of the Arawaks was completely removed just a short time after the arrival of Columbus. As a result, the original 250,000 Arawaks living on Hispaniola in 1492 disappeared until none remained in 1555. The Arawaks were once a thriving tribe, but the Spaniards changed this forever. They took them as slaves and dehumanized them for years until there were none left to torture
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