There was a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who went down in history for starting the discovery of a new world. He had no plans for finding this new land. His goal was to find a quicker way to Asia for trade in which he would make pure profit. (Armento 17) Did this man live up to his reputation? Was he a man honorable enough to go down into history for finding a new land and starting a new era of exploration?
Christopher Columbus had great success, but also many failures. He was most successful as an explorer. He was probably the best navigator this world has ever seen. He navigated without modern instruments and no real substantial maps to know where he was going. (Marshall 53) Columbus was mocked and made fun of. People said he would die trying to find a quicker way to Asia. To finance his trip, he went to three world powers. They all declined, but he finally persuaded Spain to finance his voyage. (Davis 4) Columbus triumphed over the allegations and mocking, and sailed out to find power, glory, and gold. Despite his successes, he had his failures. When put up to the task of being the governor of this new land, he failed miserably. (Marshall 53) Columbus made all the wrong decisions. The people he appointed to be the overseers were cruel and tortured the Indians. Columbus had no idea what was happening. He was on his boat looking for other islands. On his third voyage, Columbus was arrested for his appointed governors mistakes. (Teacher hand out.)
In Columbus time, many people thought that the world was flat. (Armento 17) People thought that when one arrived at the edge of the world there were monsters that would eat them. What Columbus and other educated people knew was that the world was actually round. Columbus knew that it was possible to sail around the world without falling off the edge. The reason Columbus was not turned down by Spain, was because Spain was expanding and wanted more power. Spain thought if indeed Columbus was right about Asia, it would mean Spain would be in charge of trade between India and Europe . Spain also did not want other countries to find the supposed route first. (Armento 17)
Many good and bad things came from Columbus s four journeys to the new world . By going to the new world, he started a new era of exploration and wonder.
(Armento 18) Due to Columbus travels to a new land, some Americans have Spanish heritage and why some styles of architecture were greatly influenced. Our whole life style was derived from the people who settled the west coat and the rest of the country. There are also many negative aspects from Columbus coming here. Many of the Natives on the islands where Columbus landed are not there today, because of the harsh treatment and disease (such as smallpox) brought by the Spanish. In return, the Indians gave Columbus s crew syphilis, which later ravaged throughout Europe and parts of Asia killing many people. (Davis 5)
In honor of Columbus, we celebrate Columbus day and have parades, but it is clear that we have remembered his successes rather than his failures. His failures are forgotten in the midst of his triumph. Yes, Columbus deserves his place in history, but he does not live up to all of the expectations we remember him by.
Armento, Beverly J. et al. A More Perfect Union. Boston MA: Houghton
Mifflin Co., 1991.
Davis, Kenneth. Don t Know Much About History.
New York: Aron Books, 1995.
Manuel, David and Marshall, Peter. The Light and The Glory. Grand Rapids:
Feming H. Revell, 1977.