Essay on Christopher Columbus: Villain or Hero?

1521 Words7 Pages
For more than five centuries Americans have lifted Christopher Columbus to heights of greatness and god-like. We celebrate his life as though he was a man that had done us a great favor. In resent years Christopher Columbus has come under scrutiny, his life and works being questioned more than celebrated. There have be many great men and women that contributed to the building of our great nation but they do not receive anywhere as much recognition as Columbus. When a person begins to study the actual accounts of the "finding of the New World" they begin to wonder if Columbus should adored or hated for his actions. As a child I was taught that Columbus was a great man that had accomplished great things for the sake of humanity, but in…show more content…
Gold became his journey's fleece and grail. A few days before departure he was still tracking rumors about "an exceedingly great quantity of gold" in Hispaniola, "where he could get it for nothing." That search continued on all four of his voyages, but the Indies never yielded him much treasure (William Howarth). Columbus' journey didn't start out to be a bad idea, he even gave examples of how he tried to reason and befriend the indigenous people of the Americas. "I," he says, "in order that they would be friendly to us--because I recognized that they were people who would be better freed [from error] and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force--to some of them I gave red caps, and glass beads which they put on their chests, and many other things of small value in which they took so much pleasure and became so much our friends that it was a marvel" (Columbus Quote from Christian History). Columbus did do the world a great service when he made his exploration and some people would argue that to their own graves. "The greatest event since the creation of the world, excluding the Incarnation and death of Him who created it;" Francisco Lopez de Gomara (1552). "After 500 years the Columbian legacy has created a civilization that we ought not, in all humble piety and cultural relativism, declare to be no better or worse than that of the Incas.
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