Christopher Columbus was an Italian adventurer who discovered the Americans and began years of intercontinental colonization with his voyages. Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean four times from Spain occasionally in a span of a decade. He was adamant about finding a direct sea route To Asia, but he was never fruitful. Instead, he discovered the Americas. Despite the fact that he did not “find” the New World—millions of people so far lived there—his voyages marked the start of centuries of discovery. Near the end of the 15th Century, a trip from Europe to Asia was nearly impossible as it proved to be arduous since the route was long with a lot of challenges along the way such as hostile armies. As a result, European travelers resolved for the sea traversing along the Coast of West Africa. However, Columbus thought this was a long route and came with a plan that eventually led him to “discover” America by chance. He wanted fame and fortune. To gain permission for an institution of slavery that would finance the colonization of the Caribbean, Columbus, and those of his era fueled the legend of the psychotic, ruthless Carib with the Spanish empire. Although less older respondents, regard him as heroic similarly, the number of Americans that reject conventional beliefs about Columbus is small. Columbus might be remembered for being a trailblazer adventurer, but his acts triggered changes that ultimately destroyed the native people of America. In addition, despite the fact that the Interaction was mutually advantageous in certain ways, it’s fair to conclude that the disadvantages for Aboriginal Americans far outweighed the benefits. This study will therefore focus on the belief that Columbus was a villain and not a hero.
When Europeans first arrived in the Americas, most of them had had no idea that the cultures they met had social and spiritual practices that differed from their own; in reality, most of them thought indigenous societies had no religious ideology and culture at all. As the era of “discovery” rose to popularity, European money minded travelers occupied themselves with trade competing for resources while the missionaries competed to save souls. The Spanish had an easier time managing the natives since there were way too many compared to the natives. Slavery began around this time. The Spanish schemed a plan where they would give out natives as slaves to particular colonizers in exchange for Christianizing them. At the time, Catholic was popular in the New World, and the goal was to convert as many natives as they could. However, this was a contrast to Christian teachings, which led to a lot of controversy. The system was then structured in such a way that the indigenous people worked in missionaries and churches. When Christianity was introduced to the aboriginals, some assimilated some elements in their own practices leading to a new monotheistic system, while some outrightly defied their colonizers Faith and choose to stick to their own beliefs instead.
While the concept of introducing Christianity to the natives might have been guided by a sense of purpose in the hope of bringing the scripture to those who have never heard it before, as a chance to be saved, unfortunately, it didn’t prevent traumatic experiences to the natives. Even though in the face of the frequently harsh abuse of Native peoples by early Spanish conquistadors, missionaries held concern for the welfare of the native. By the seventeenth century, many other missionary newcomers in the form of Christian Protestants had settled in native America from England. One would like to believe that they were well meaning but sadly that was not the case.
Among them were profit seeking adventurers with affiliations with the church of England fighting back against the Clergy and pursuing religious liberty in a place where they could exercise their beliefs without their governments intruding. This led to a worldwide land religion controversy. Overall, these English colonists saw themselves as dwelling in a “virgin country” where true “civilization” had yet to emerge. They viewed their right to acquisition through the lens of old English legal practices focused on industry and usefulness, in which building buildings, erecting walls, and laying out plantations were all considered valid claims to land. These colonists viewed the free territory that needed to be settled, rather than as a pre-populated region.
The European exploration of the new land was more accurately defined by Aboriginal tribes as an invasion. Most had strong ties to the land, but no history of property ownership or personal land. They were frequently astounded that property could be purchased or resolved via treaties. Land to them was considered sacred since it was used to bury their dead, as a sustenance and home to the spirits. In a period of over 3 centuries, the indigenous people had been displaced from their original home and forcefully settled in reserved areas. European immigrants coined words such as cession to manipulate the Indian tribes.
Consequently, as a result of Columbus and his fellow explorers, the natives were exposed to deadly contagious diseases such as measles, cholera. Since the Indian tribes had never interacted with other people outside their territories, their immune systems were obviously defenseless. Generally, the Indian tribes had initially lived in a world free from diseases. There is less evidence on the exact magnitude these diseases had on the eradication of the native people, however, it is evident that it hugely depopulated the Native Americans.
The event of immigrants might have been well meaning in the beginning and even had good effects along the way, however that does not take away the fact that some of the harsh realities inflicted pain. Damage that did not allow for the good events that happened to flourish. In addition, the trauma resulting from ancestral wounding effect has been passed on from generation to generation. Historical trauma is evident in teenage natives of today with their demographics alone presenting high cases of drug abuse compared to other races in America.
A study by Manson et al. in 2005 and Sabin et al. in 2003 cited by Brave et al. reveals that some reports show that both American Indians and Alaska Natives and Indigenous Peoples have higher accounts of PTSD and depression (2011). Robin, Chester, and Goldman (1996) recognized the importance of identifying Native Americans’ cumulative and communal suffering due to their historical experience and continuing struggles. In addition, drug use addiction is a severe challenge (Walters 2004), with Indigenous peoples five times more likely than Caucasians to pass away from alcohol-related causes. In addition, suicide rates are twice as high as the state average; Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Native teenagers between the ages of 15 and 24. While alcohol is still the most commonly abused substance among American Alaska Natives, there is an increase in substance abuse like methamphetamines, Intravenous drug use, and the hazards of needle sharing, leading to deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
Meanwhile, the Senate formed a Specific Subcommittee on Indian Education in 1969 to look into the problems that Native students face. The study revealed that the “prevailing policy of forced assimilation” has had “devastating consequences on Indian child’s schooling.” Consequently, Poverty affects more than one-third of Native American children (Deyhle and Swisher, 1997).
The religious encounters between European missionaries and Indigenous tribes are inextricably linked to European colonists’ gradual seizure and settlement of tribal lands. Throughout much of American history, however, Native peoples’ religious claims to the land and its holy sites have received little attention. The inflictions in this text obviously have outweighed the good intention since no amount of good can alleviate pain as a result of emotional distress. Similarly, it is clear how discrimination has placed institutional racism victims at a disadvantage culturally, economically, socially, and even politically. Moreover, it is disheartening how ethnic inequality and inconvenience are still present in the lives of racialized people as a result.
While Columbus’ venture revolutionized paths, bringing exchanges from Continent to Continent, and the world started to come together as a whole, as well as laying the groundwork for the early establishment of the world economy; This European conquest led to the deprivation and backwardness in Asian, African, and Latin American regions.
Nunn, Nathan, and Nancy Qian. “The Columbian exchange: A history of disease, food, and ideas.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 24.2 (2010): 163-88.
EvOLVING, A. N. “THE IMAGE OF COLUMBUS IN.”
Schuman, Howard, Barry Schwartz, and Hannah D’Arcy. “Elite revisionists and popular beliefs: Christopher Columbus, hero or villain?.” Public Opinion Quarterly 69.1 (2005): 2-29.
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