Pros And Cons Of Christopher Columbus

819 Words4 Pages

In the United States and many other countries, Christopher Columbus is taught and known as a hero. But it is not entirely clear why. The only real achievement he had in life was that he was the first European to have “discovered” America and thus started the Age of Exploration. However, the discovery was at best accidental and his so-called achievement should be viewed in the context of the horrendous atrocities Columbus committed against the native Americans. If a true hero calls for a person of virtues worthy of admiration, Columbus is by no means a hero in the true sense of the word.

Throughout the U.S. history, Christopher Columbus has been credited with “discovering” America. Based on this point, a whole narrative has been created regarding …show more content…

It is not like no one lived in America. There was a whole population who had lived in America for a very long time. So if anyone discovered America, it would have been these natives. Also, technically Columbus was not even the first European to discover America. Historians note that it was actually the Vikings who were the first Europeans to land on …show more content…

When Columbus arrived in America, he was treated with peace and kindness from the natives who even gave him food for free. What did Columbus do in return? Not only did he call the natives savages, but he and his crew whipped, stole from, raped and enslaved the people who were being nice to them. These are not the qualities of a hero that we want to emulate.

Fifth, while it is true that Columbus and his crew were greatly outnumbered against the natives, it was not necessarily his leadership or military skills that prevailed against the larger contingent of natives. The Europeans carried germs to which they were immune, but to which the natives were not and a great number of the natives died from the diseases that these germs caused. It will be one thing if Columbus won battles against the greater number of natives against all odds, but if diseases did most of the job for him, it is difficult to find heroic virtues in Columbus’ victories.

Lastly, the Age of Exploration that Columbus apparently started was a good thing for the Europeans who became rich by exploiting the natives, but was not a good thing for the natives who suffered the European invasion. To the natives, the Age of Exploration was the age of exploitation and imperialism under which they had to suffer for a very long

Open Document