Christopher Columbus ' Discovery Of The Americas

919 Words Sep 8th, 2014 4 Pages
Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the Americas set the precedent for the European conquest of it. In fact, his tactics of taking land, wealth, and labor from the indigenous populations were carried out by many of the Europeans who later came to the Americas. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, whose country eventually benefited from this endeavor, financially supported Columbus. However, not all people included benefited from Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of the Americas. It also led to the decimation of several populations of indigenous peoples. Bartlomé de Las Casas provided a first hand account of the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola. In his account, Las Casas states “the multitude of people who had originally lived on [Hispaniola]… was consumed at such a rate that in those eight years ninety percent had perished.” Furthermore, Adam Smith reported that “to the natives, however… all the commercial benefits which can have resulted from [the discovery of America] have been sunk and lost in the dreadful misfortunes which they have occasioned.” Through comparing these sources from different time periods and regions, we can confirm that Columbus’ discovery of the Americas led to drastic consequences for the Native Americans, whilst improving the quality of life and economic standing for Europeans.
The contact between Europeans and Native Americans was heavily oppressive and strained. The Europeans found Native Americans to be savages, as they did not live in ways that adhered to…
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