Why Is Christopher Columbus Bad

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Christopher Columbus is neither a villain nor a hero, he is a person in history whose actions can be reflected on and learned from. Judging if Columbus was a good or bad person based on modern values and beliefs would lead to a biased conclusion; Columbus “lived in earlier times [and] w[as] different from us [people today]; [he] faced different circumstances, and [he] had different views on many issues” (Perlman 6). The definitions of good and bad when Columbus explored the New World were different from modern perspectives; the people who lived in 1492 might have considered the explorer as a brave pioneer. There is an equal chance he was viewed as a merciless invader, but neither can be determined as fact. Whether Columbus was good or bad depends on perspective—different people will have different answers—so rather than …show more content…
Columbus’s discovery of America is often considered an act of greatness, while his treatment of Native Americans is often considered as an act of cruelty. But how Columbus’s actions are interpreted is irrelevant. The explorer’s actions do not solidify his title of hero or villain. Instead of focusing on the question of whether Columbus is a hero or a villain, he should be considered as a historical figure that modern society can learn from. Although historic figures such as Columbus do not necessarily “teach us [people today] particular lessons,” they can still “tell us [them] how we [they] might live in the world” (Wood 6). People of the past did not exist to teach what is right or wrong, which makes the character of Columbus irrelevant to what can be gained from evaluating his life. Whether or not Columbus was a hero or a villain does not change how he impacted the world and helped shape