A What is History of the Columbus Expedition in America

ln 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. That’s the one date everyone remembers, the date in virtually every school child’s history textbook. But, they leave out pretty much everything about Columbus and his exploration of the New World. It’s the part many people have yet to learn about. For years, Columbus has been presented to us as a hero. In 1934, President Roosevelt even gave Columbus his own holiday. To this day, we celebrate his discovery of America. What is found in history textbooks now, have seemed to show another side of Christopher Columbus, a side that they wouldn’t dare teach in elementary school. It’s the rest of Columbus’s tale of discovery.

This paper will show you that Christopher Columbus didnâ€TMt technically “discovera€ America and that his actions were much louder than the words we read about in school. Third grade seems like such a long time ago, yet I remember the Christopher Columbus story like it was nothing. It started out with a boy named Christopher Columbus; he was born and raised in Genoa, Italy. He grew up wanting to be an explorer. He also grew up believing the earth was round, yet no one believed him, so the great explorer intended to prove it. He was going to find a westward route to India.

To go on this exploration, he needed ships and men and the only one who was willing to provide him with this was Queen Isabella of Spain. She provided Columbus with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. He set sail in 1492 and after about two months they had reached land. Columbus believed he had reached India. He had no idea he had encountered another part of the world. He actually ended up in the West Indies, the island we today call Haiti. Because he thought he was in India, when he met the people that already lived there he named them Indians.

They all got along very well. The Indians taught them how to grow food and use the land to survive. Columbus and his men would trade a lot with the Indians and they all lived happily ever after. That’s pretty much where our textbook stopped. I have never learned anything else about Columbus until now. There is so much that my third grade teacher left out and didn’t explain. REASONS FOR HIM NOT BEEN A HERO Columbus gets a lot of credit for discovering a land that already had people living on it, a land that has already been encountered by other people way before Columbus was even born. In 70,000 to 12,000 B.C. Siberia explorers sailed to Alaska.

In 10,000-600 B.C., Siberians also went to Canada and the state we now call New Mexico. A little more recently the Vikings in 1000-1350 came from Greenland and Iceland. They traveled to Labrado, Baffin Land, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Cape Cod and further south. Around 1311 and 1460 explorers from West Africa came across to Haiti, Panama, and Brazil (Loewen 48).

These were only a few of the many encounters of the Americas. A result of these explorations was the establishment of Indian villages and the life they began to lead. The fact that Columbus didn’t actually discover America isn’t the idea that is most disturbing when considering the misleading history that children are taught.

It is the information that was kept from us while younger that now should be revealed, since we are at the age that we can comprehend and understand the significance of the information that was withheld from us. Christopher Columbus is said to be born and raised in Italy, yet he could not write in Italian. There is evidence that says he was Jewish and that he converted to Christianity, most likely in Spain. He wanted to grow up and become and explorer, that he did. He believed the world was round and wanted to prove it because no one believed him, not true.

He knew the world was round, as well as most of the other people at that time. Columbus actually wanted to set sail to find gold and to convert the people of India to Christianity. So, he set sail and in about one month reached land. One month, thatâ€TMs it. Many books ignore the fact that he stopped over at the Canary Islands for a month in between his voyage. So in actuality it was only a month long voyage. When he reached land, the land he thought to be India, he called the people that lived there Indians.

The Indian tribe he encountered was the Dieno tribe. Dieno means good and noble, which described the Dienos perfectly. They were a very amiable tribe and welcomed Columbus, although they were extremely curious about him. Columbus was extremely kind to the Indians at first, his initial impression was quite favorable. He wrote in his journal on October 13, 1492: At daybreak great multitudes of men came to the shore, all young and of fine shapes, and very handsome. Their hair was not curly but loose and coarse like horse-hair. All have foreheads much broader than any people I had hitherto seen. Their eyes are large and very beautiful.

They are not black, but the color of the inhabitants of the Canaries. I was very attentive to them, and strove to learn if they had any gold. Seeing some of them with little bits of metal hanging at their noses, I gathered from them by signs that by going southward or steering round the island in that direction, there would be found a king who possessed great cups of gold.

At dawn the next day, Columbus sailed to the other side of the island, and saw two or three villages. He ended his description of them with these words: could conquer the whole of them with fifty men and govern them as I pleased. Columbus kidnapped ten to twenty-five Indians and took them back with him to Spain. Only seven or eight of the Indians arrived alive.

He took them because he wanted to teach them Spanish in order to be translators between himself and the Indians. Ferdinand and Queen Isabella then provided Columbus with seventeen ships, 1,200 to 1,500 men, cannons, crossbows, guns, cavalry, and attack dogs for his second voyage. When Columbus and his men returned to Haiti in 1493, they demanded food, cotton and gold. Whatever the Indians had, they wanted. To ensure cooperation of the Indians, Columbus used punishment by example. When an Indian committed any type of offense, the Spanish cut off his ears or nose.

The Indians could only take so much of this, soon they said enough is enough and began to revolt. They refused to plant food for the Spanish and they abandoned towns near the Spanish settlements. Finally, they began to fight back but their weapons were nothing compared to the Spaniards rifles and cannons. The attempt of resistance gave Columbus an excuse to start a war. On March 14, 1495 he set out to conquer them. He had 200 foot soldiers and 20 cavalry with crossbows, cannons, lances and swords, not to mention horses and 20 hunting dogs. Of course, the Spanish won. From then on, Hipiola just became a land of chaos.

Spaniards hunted Indians for sport and murdered them for dog food. They would make bets as to who could kill a man in one blow. They would hang the Dienos from a stake a few feet away from the ground. The Spaniards would put sticks and logs underneath them and start a fire. The helpless Indians burned alive. Columbus was upset because he could find any gold, so he set up a system.

All Indians who were 14 years old or older would have to go out and find a bell of gold dust; all the others were to have 25 pounds of cotton. Whenever an Indian delivered his portion, he would receive a brass or copper token which he must wear about his neck as proof that he had made his payment. With a fresh token, an Indian had three months to find more and receive a new token. If an Indian were found without a fresh token the Spaniards would cut of the Indians hands.

Eventually this system deteriorated so Columbus started the encomiedna system. Columbus commended villages to individual colonists. Let just say it was another word for slavery. He first kidnapped 500 Dieno and brought them to Spain. Half died on the way there and the other half died in Spain because they couldn’t withstand the climate. In 1502 he made the encomiedna system an official law in Haiti. He sent the first slaves across the Atlantic, and sent more slaves, around five thousand more than any other individual.

Queen Isabella opposed slavery and returned some back to the Caribbean, but other nations soon imitated Columbus, beginning slave trading. The colonists made the Indians mine for gold for them, grow food and even carry them where they wanted to go. There one particular revolting part of the slave trade that was sexual.

Columbus was rewarding lieutenants with native women to rape. The slave trade destroyed whole Indian nations. Indians that were imprisoned died but were quickly replaced. Columbus would just import other Indians from the Bahamas. Because the Indians were dying, Indian slavery then led to the massive slave trade on the other side of the Atlantic, from Africa. This trade also began in Haiti, started by Columbus’s son.

In a letter found to King Ferdinand written from Pedro de Cordoba he writes: As a result of the sufferings and hard labor they endured, the Indians choose and have chosen suicide. Occasionally a hundred have conception and childbirth…Many, when pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in such oppressive slavery.

Spaniards forced Indians to work in mines rather than in the gardens which led to a spread of malnutrition. Disease, new to the Indians, played a large role in deaths, smallpox and the measles killed thousands. Some Indians tried to flee but the Spaniards just followed. An estimate population before the Spanish set foot in Haiti was around 8,000,000 people. When Christopher Columbus returned to Spain, he would leave his brother, Bartholomew in charge. In 1496 while in charge, Bartholomew took a count of approximately how my Indians there were. There remained only about 3,000,000.

Yet, by 1516 only around 12,000 Indians remained. By 1542 fewer than 200 were alive and by 1555, they were gone. In 1493, Columbus stole all he could see (Loewen 38). Bet you won’t see that in a childâ€TMs textbook any time soon. Columbus, did stumble upon a new land. He did discover a new people and culture. Should we call him a hero for this although he destroyed the land and abused the people? This is a very debatable issue that will go on for years, but according to Christopher Columb’s journal and many other reliable sources these happenings did take place, nevertheless, we continue to celebrate his controversial life.

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