From generation to generation, societies or groups of civilians have been discriminated by a higher authority. The question of whether or not this is ethical will be an ongoing debate for centuries. People all across the nation tend to always focus on the good and disregard the bad. According to A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn and personal letters written by Columbus himself, Christopher Columbus main motivation was gold and anything that got in his way was to be defeated. His early encounters with the Arawak Indians showed his incentive to acquire money and the cruel behavior that was given to the Arawaks. Columbus completely took advantage of these ignorant Indians by turning them into prisoners. Zinn shows that Columbus did not take the time to learn the culture of these Indians; he simply attacked them and viewed them as opponents. Zinn’s observations ring true to me because, now that I think about it, the Arawak Indians do not receive much recognition for the beginning of the Americas, and they were the first ones on the new land. The brilliant philosopher Howard Zinn deplores Christopher Columbus early journeys in search for land and gold. Although he was an Italian citizen, he was sent by the King and Queen of Spain to bring back gold and acquire new lands. Zinn’s basic complaint of Columbus is that he mistreated the newly found Arawak Indians which could have benefited our country. While examining past history showing the importance of less fortunate groups, Zinn notes that “...the limited extent that any one person, however he or she strains, can see history from the standpoint of others.” Zinn’s point is that if Columbus and his crew took the time to examine the culture of the Arawak’s, our understanding of early American history would be much clearer. They were the first humans on this new land whose way of living was diminished by the selfishness of Columbus to become wealthy. Zinn is surely right about the mistreatment of the Arawaks prevented us from understanding the lifestyle of the first Americans. When focusing on what Columbus did, Americans viewpoints will always differ. Some see him as a mass murderer who took advantage of the people he came across, and was only interested in wealth. While other’s will always have that opinion that the cruel things he did was necessary for him to become successful. Was the killing of hundreds upon hundreds of innocent Indians required for Columbus to become successful? Zinn acknowledges this by saying “he mentions the truth quickly and goes on to other things more important to him. Outright lying or quiet omission takes the risk of discovery which, when made, might arose the reader to rebel against the writer.” The essence of Zinns argument is that history does show that there was genocide of these Arawak Indians, but moves on quickly from that to another topic of discussion. Textbooks tend to bypass this and focus on other more important things, such as Columbus finding new land and gold. Zinns theory of historians focusing on the good more than the bad is extremely useful because it proves the ignorant opinion of many Americans regarding the incident between Columbus and the Arawak Indians. This is a situation that causes peoples perspective to be somewhat misleading regarding historical events. People are not familiar with the hardships some had to overcome because historians simply do not find that important. They would rather focus on the successful events that took place. Columbus was a man of much of intelligence and a great captain of the sea. However, his ways of doing things are not always agreed upon when looking back on his accomplishments and flaws during his expeditions. While explaining his first encounters with the Arawak’s, Columbus writes “Weapons they have none, nor are acquainted with them, for I showed them swords which they grasped by the blades, and cut themselves through ignorance.” Columbus emphasizes that these…
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa,
Italy. The son of Susanna and Domenico Columbus.
Christopher’s father was a weaver, and Christopher used
to help his father and comb sheep’s. He had three
brothers and one sister. Bartolomeo, Giovanni, Giacomo,
and a sister Bianchinetta. Christopher was the oldest. All
siblings were being educated in school, but Christopher
usually took lots of days off school and worked at the
docks. His interest of traveling then started when he saw…
Christopher Columbus’ reasoning behind his expedition to North America as we now know it has a deeper, more selfish meaning than what he would have us believe. He spends the beginning third of his letter affirming the value of continuing the venture into “the Indies”, speaking of gold bearing rivers, simple Indians willing to trade gold for tidbits of leather, fertile soil, and God’s spirit willing them to take it all. He also began to do something strategic that would force some level of commitment…
Christopher Columbus got his first look at the Atlantic ocean when he was working as a sailor on a commercial vessels. When he was young he spent most of his time learning to sail and make maps. By 1477 he was working in Portugal and later joined the Portuguese merchant fleet.
When Columbus worked as a merchant sailor Portugal was trying to find an eastern route to Asia because the route around Africa was taking too long. Columbus thought it would be quicker to sail west…
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…
country, in every district in the world, the name Christopher Columbus is known and recognized amongst many. Many view him as an outstanding navigator and explorer while others tend to look at him as a terminator and destroyer. Columbus is supposedly one of the most biographical man in the fifteenth
Century and onwards. It can be said also that Columbus was an adventurer classified as a modern man. “Christopher Columbus belonged to an age that was past, yet he became…
Christopher Columbus was the first man who thought that the earth was round.
So Spain believed him and funded his voyage west. This all happened in 1492. Many
people think Columbus is a hero; but in reality he is a villain. Christopher Columbus is a
villain because he brought diseases to Hispaniola, and took Taino as slaves.
To begin, Christopher Columbus is a villain because he killed a lot of
people. To demonstrate, on document #3, Zinn says “By…
Hello everyone! Today I will be talking to you about an explorer named Christopher Columbus. Let me start by telling you about his background. Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator and colonizer. He was born in October and in the year of 1451.He was born in Genoa, Italy. His Italian name was Cristoforo Colombo. He was the son of Domenica and Susanna Fontanorossa. His wife’s name was Filpa Moniz Perestrolo. He had 4 siblings. Their names were Bartholomew, Giovanni, Bianchinetta…
Week 4 Essay
In 1492, Columbus Sailed The Ocean Blue
August 3, 1492, Columbus sailed from port of Palos, Spain, with three ships, one larger ship, Santa María, nicknamed Gallega (the Gallician), and two smaller vessels, Santa Clara, nicknamed Niña (the Girl), and the Pinta (the Painted). As it is so often stated, the rest is history. For centuries, the history books have lead many people to believe the misconception that Columbus was America’s great discoverer. Unfortunately, this…
Response to Howard Zinn article
History is something we constantly refer to progress ourselves as humans, we learn from our mistakes and continue to strive from our successes. But who is to say what is a horrible mistake or a courageous act of valor? That which was documented about what happened so long ago, was done by a person who spread the story or wrote it down from their perspective. Howard Zinn’s argument that there is no…
AP U.S. History Summer Work
Zinn Study Questions
Zinn Chapter 1: pp.1-11
Columbus, The Indian, and Human Progress
1. Zinn’s main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States is to show history from the viewpoint of others.
2. This is Zinn’s thesis for pages 1-11: These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by religion of popes, the government of kings, and the frenzy for money that marked Western Civilization and its first messenger…