A Summary of his Life and Career
Christopher Columbus was an explorer from Italy who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean trying to find a route to India to trade spices. From1492 to 1504 he had four tours to South America and the Caribbean. He was born in 1451, in Italy, and received little formal education. Being a self- taught man; Columbus was later able to study Latin and Castilian. In 1475, he sailed to the Aegean island of Chios. In1477, he cruised together with marines from Portugal to England. In 1479 he wedded Felipa, who later passed away in 1485. Later in 1487, he left Portugal to Castile, whereby he found a mistress, a 20-year old orphan and re-married again.
In what ways was Columbus a hero?
Columbus found America and begun exploration unlike other individuals. Later on, there was mass colonization, availability of more resources like silver and gold, as well as giant increment in trade. Additionally, Europeans learned new ways of farming from the indigenous populations and acquired new crops like potatoes, corn, tomatoes and cocoa. This can be recognized as heroism. Also, there are wonderful discoveries that Columbus made that shows that he was a real hero.
In what ways was Columbus a villain?
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed ocean blue and after reaching his destination, he killed, enslaved and raped innocent natives (The West and the World 142). I consider Columbus a villain. He was a harsh, delusional and self-centered man. He oversaw the murder of several Indians and authorized others to be enslaved. He also failed to prevent his crew from raping the innocent natives even to an extend he himself raped an Indian lady. Additionally, although he was a delusional man and self-centered, he was a stubborn ego maniac who convinced himself that the world was less by 25% from its actual size. By thinking that he attempted to save the lives of his slaves and offering them everlasting life by transporting them back to Spain, he further thought that he received personal messages from above. Even if Columbus discovered that the world was spherical, he was not the only person with such a thought because ideas of similar voyages had been proposed earlier.
What points made by Sale (again, your opinion) are valid and which are invalid?
In my opinion, it is invalid to use huge amounts of money to build monuments, publications, exhibitions, cruises and many others for celebrations and self-congratulations (Sale 444). People like Columbus achieved what could be achieved by others years later. Their achievements were also accompanied by failures and should not cost governments huge sums of money in celebrations. I think that the idea of coming up with a broad-based coalition is valid for the military. Also there is validity in that Columbus destroyed the American culture forever despite the fact that he discovered America (Sale 445). Additionally, various vices grew, such as genocide of the indigenous, colonization of the world, slavery of people of color and environmental destruction. These cultures used to live in harmony and in a peaceful world with a multitude of treasures, but were moved from a human land to an extremely hostile world, which is also valid.
How should we celebrate Columbus today?
There is always a holiday on Monday and second week of October to celebrate the Columbus Day as the day of America’s discovery. In my own opinion, this day should be celebrated despite ruining the American culture and introduction of other vices in the continent, but he also did a good job because he brought change that led to the lifestyle we lead today.
Sale, Kirkpatrick. “What Columbus Discovered.” The Nation 18 (1990): 444-46.
Toynbee, Arnold Joseph, and Luis Rodríguez Aranda.The world and the West. London: Oxford University Press, 1953.