The Columbus Controversy Essay, Research Paper
Christopher Columbus has been praised as a great man and a hero in some sorts to us all, while in reality; he is quite a controversial figure. What he accomplished is definitely significant and he should be praised for it but there are those who feel that he should be looked down upon for some of the things that he did while he discovered America. My personal opinion is that while I may not agree with some of the things that Columbus did and the way he treated the natives, he should still be praised for what he did
By saying that I think Columbus should be praised for what he did I am not defending Columbus as a person. One thing that he did was stealing gold and silver from the areas he explored. To make matters worse the gold and silver that he stole did not benefit the Spanish economy, it only made the rich richer and the poor poorer. As if that weren t bad enough Columbus treated the Native Americans he ran into terribly. He enslaved and killed a number of natives and should be denounced for it. There is no excuse for the way he treated them. However, credit should be given where credit is due.
Columbus made a mistake, a rather large one, but a mistake nevertheless. Although he shouldn t have had such disregard for the natives, he did discover the New World and that is quite an accomplishment. While some may say that Columbus was not the first one to cross the Atlantic and that the Vikings had done it may years before, they are forgetting that when Columbus began colonization in America and without him we would not have these United States that we live in today. To quote the historian Paolo Emilio Taviani, The Columbian discovery was of greater magnitude than any other discovery or invention in human history
Another benefit of Columbus discovery to the rest of the world was the way it helped the world s economy. I said earlier that Columbus brought stolen silver and gold back with him to Spain, which hurt the Spanish economy. What I did not say, however, was that his finding the America helped the worlds economy. He found a route to the New World, which other explorers could use. This also opened up new land to be colonized so many countries benefited from this new route.
Whether Columbus should be highly regarded or deplored is a controversy that will most likely never die. The progress he made was indescribably important to the course of human history but it does not excuse the mass genocide he committed. Columbus should be looked down upon for his bad deeds, but respected for what he did for civilization as a whole.