Progress Of Humanity Essay, Research Paper
Does the progress of humanity ignited by Columbus justify the cost of the lives of the Native Americans? No… human progress is not justified by the cost of Native American lives. The Native Americans died due to the greed of Columbus. By killing the Native Americans, Columbus did not aid the progress of humans. This can be seen by the way Columbus took credit for discovering land first, then ordering his men to kill the Arawaks of the Bahamas ( like the Native Americans of America) when they refused to trade with them, and also when Columbus found no gold on his journey, he took the Natives as slaves.
The text, A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn, tells the story of a sailor named Rodrigo who saw the land . The first man to see land would get a pension of 10,000 gold pieces. Rodrigo saw land but never got the money because Columbus claimed that he had seen land the night before, so he got the reward. This is a good example of how Columbus greed is wrong. This example is not affiliated with the death of anyone, but it does show that Columbus did not care who he stepped on to get what he wanted . Since he took the money away from someone who had less money than him, it is
evident that he only cared about himself, and therefore would not care about the death of a few underlings.
One could argue that Columbus really did see land the night before and that he was telling the truth, but if the ships traveled throughout the night without stopping, then it would be impossible for Columbus to have seen the land the night before.
When Columbus arrived in the Bahamas (he was actually try to find a shortcut to Asia), the Arawaks traded most of their supplies to him and his men. After a while Columbus took the Arawaks for granted by thinking that theArawaks would give him all of their supplies. However, when the Arawaks started running out of supplies for themselves, they refused to trade, so Columbus ordered his men to kill them. This is a prime example thatColumbus greed overcame his humanity. Columbus did not need the Arawak s supplies to survive, while the Arawaks did. If Columbus had cared the slightest bit, then he would have accepted their refusal to trade.
One could argue that Columbus was right and that the only way to aidthe human race was by killing a few Savages. But that would not make anysense. How would murdering over half of the 250,000 savages living in theBahamas possibly aid humanity?
Columbus journey to the Asia (he ended up in the Bahamas) was to getgold and silver, but when this quest was unsuccessful, Columbus thoughtthat instead of returning empty handed, he would bring a few savages back asslaves. He thought that by kidnapping innocent people and selling them hewas doing the right thing. Again, how is taking hostages and selling them, good for the human existence?
One could argue that this is what people did in those days, but doesthat make it right? Many of the Arawaks died on the journey back to Spain. Did their death aide the human progress ?
Like Richard lll, Columbus never cared who he had to step on in orderto achieve his goals. Richard lll murdered his own brother just to become king. Columbus was driven to attain wealth, fame and to save himself from the king.