Should We Celebrate Columbus Day

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Each year the second monday in October is met with the familiar smells of a cookout and sound of the “1492” poem. Kids are taught all about how Columbus discovered America with the help of his three famous ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. But why is Columbus day a national holiday? What is celebrated? Any 3rd grader can answer that, it is a national holiday to celebrate Columbus finding America. But it’s not quite that simple. Columbus didn't actually discover America. In fact, he never set foot on North America. His four voyages led him to Caribbean Islands and the Central and South American coasts. Not only that, but he didn't even discover the places where his ships landed. Natives had already been living there for thousands …show more content…
It appears not. Columbus did not intend to discover the Americas, he was actually trying to sail around the world to Asia in an attempt to initiate trade outside of the Ottoman Empire controlled trade routes. Once he realized where he had landed was not Asia, he proceeded to enslave the local Taino tribe and force them to collect gold for him. They were punished with loss of limb or death if they didn't collect enough gold. Columbus was allowed to keep 10% of this gold and anything else he found on his trip according to a deal he made with the Spanish Monarchs before departing. Everything else would be given to Spain. Even with all of the riches Columbus gained for Spain through his exploitation of the native people, the Spanish government recognized how immoral his practices were and in 1499, he was stripped of his title as governor of the land he claimed. Along with his barbaric treatment of the natives, Columbus also contributed to countless native deaths through the introduction of diseases that the Indians’ immune systems were not accustomed to. This leads to the question, did Christopher Columbus do anything worth