Christopher Columbus Essay

Submitted By KillettM
Words: 635
Pages: 3

Michael Killett 12.01.10
Eng 24- D18D Fall semester
Exposing Christopher Columbus
Have you wondered how Christopher Columbus became so popular? Or maybe challenged what you know about him? Well if not I have, after reading “LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME” by JAMES W. LOEW I felt like my views of a hero were based on lies of omission. I felt growing up when teachers taught student from the textbook they made us believe that Christopher Columbus was a well rounded, respectable Hero but now that I am older I feel that most of the knowledge I know about Christopher Columbus was lies. As you continue to read my essay I will provide reasoning in order to support my opinion.
Growing up students are taught that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, but what they failed to mention was that “People from other continents had reached the Americas many times before 1492” (Loewen. 33). To add to that statement Loewen also stated that “If Columbus had never sailed, other Europeans would have soon reached the America. Indeed Europeans may already have been fishing off Newfoundland in the 1480’s. In a sense Columbus’s voyage was not the first but the last “discovery” of the Americas.” (Loewens. 33) Now if you ask a average student who discovered “The Americas” they will say Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas, but if you really think about it how could you discover new land if people already lived there? But everyone goes by what they read in textbooks. Unless you’re someone who reads deep into history you will believe only what you see and not what is purposely omitted.
Another reason I look at Christopher Columbus differently is because historians re-wrote his life to make it sound more interesting then it was. From what I have read in “LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME’’ by James w. Loewen his journals merely match the text that are written in history textbooks. For example it was written that “Columbus’s own journal reveals that the three ships enjoyed lovely sailing. Seas were so calm that for days at a time sailors were able to converse from one ship to another. Indeed, the only time they even experienced even moderately high seas was on the last day, when they knew they were on land” (Loewen. 52) but from what I read in text books was that they encountered severe storms and high…