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Christopher Columbus: A Pitiable Man

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It has been argued over time that Christopher Columbus was not the hero that he is made out to be. After all, every child learns that he was solely responsible for finding the Americas. From hearing that, one would think immediately that he was a great man and never ponder the subject any further. But, for the ones who do dig deeper in the events that took place because of Columbus's doings, they are astounded to find how cruel he really was. Is Columbus a terrible man? You will have to make up your own mind but facts lead many people to believe that he wasn't just the hero who found the Americas, but he went looking for it with appalling intentions.

Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor, set out through the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 under the Spanish flag looking for a westward route to the Indies. His trip seemed impossible to many people, including his 90 person crew. His bravery and tenacity proved useful because he reached what he thought to be the Indies but was actually what we call the Americas today. Of course, this seems completely harmless and very audacious but, our textbooks leave out the fact that he was making this journey out of pure greed. Spain agreed to fund him if and only if he repaid his dept in gold, spices and any other resources he could bring back. This dept possessed Columbus to steal anything he could get his hands on including the benign Indians that inhabited the Americas. He took innocent souls as slaves and sold them. The few Indians left on the Americas were killed by diseases that Columbus brought over with him. Loewen in "Lies My Teacher Told Me" says, "Estimates of pre-Columbian population range as high as eight million people. By 1555, they were all gone." He took 1,200 Taino people on his ships to be sold as slaves. James Weatherford reports in "Examining the reputation of Christopher Columbus" that the ones that died were just thrown overboard. Although, there were far



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