Columbus Controversy

We generally regard Columbus in high esteem. But historians have a different story to tell. Based on Columbus’s own diary, records at different countries, and pieces of history, it has been found that Columbus’s main aim were gathering of riches, and he breached all humanity in his zeal to gather riches.

Whenever he hit upon new lands, he brought misery to the local in habitants. He put them to torture, making them slaves, and even transporting them in inhuman conditions to sell them at slave markets. He had forcefully converted people to Christianity, and had been violent on them, looting their riches. He also spread many diseases amongst the natives. His greatest assault was, perhaps, in the island of Hispaniola. He transported most of the inhabitants to slave markets of Spain, and many inhabitants died en route. The ones that remained were forced to work like animals in search of Gold in mines. After his massive assault, a mere few hundred of peaceful Taino, the inhabitants, remained, from a possible figure of 2,50,000 people.

As historians have continued to learn and write more about the real life of Christopher Columbus, controversy has arisen over the validity of honoring the explorer as a hero. Like many European explorers, Columbus encountered many indigenous people throughout his voyages. Singularly focused on his mission to find riches and conquer new lands, Columbus and his teams treated the indigenous groups they came across as obstacles to their greater mission. There are three main sources of controversy involving Columbus's interactions with the indigenous people he labeled "Indians": the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity, and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas. Historians have uncovered extensive evidence of the damage wreaked by Columbus and his teams, leading to an outcry over emphasis placed upon studying and celebrating him in schools and public celebrations. In a place which is now Caribbean country of Dominican Republic, he ordered mass execution of people to suppress a revolt, and marched the executed, dismembered bodies in public, to instill fear in the inhabitants.

Ultimately, the state caught up with the misdeeds of Columbus. An administrator was sent from Spain, who arrested Columbus and his brother and send them back to Spain, taking the Governor’s post away from him. He did win his freedom, and he did ultimately made a fourth and last voyage, but by then all his powers and prestige had been robbed of him.

As governor and viceroy of the Indies, Columbus imposed iron discipline on what is now the Caribbean country of Dominican Republic, according to documents discovered by Spanish historians in 2005. In response to native unrest and revolt, Columbus ordered the a brutal crackdown in which many natives were killed; in an attempt to deter further rebellion, Columbus ordered their dismembered bodies to be paraded through the streets.

This historical evidence against Columbus has given birth to protests against celebrating his successes or day dedicated to him. Protests are against organization of parades and celebrations in school as well. But protests apart, this controversy will lead you to think the true effect of Columbus. Whether the civilization he brought with him, and the more advanced Europeans culture, worth the brutality and the long term consequences that were doled with it.

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