Christopher Columbus - Hero or Villian? Short essay

Essay by RankojinHigh School, 10th gradeA+, July 2002

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Christopher Columbus

Was Christopher Columbus a world class hero, or a villain of the worst kind? Does he deserve the credit and fame that name is infamous for? Later in this work you will see why he could be considered hero and villain at once. As we learned, it's all how you interpret the facts given too you.

Christopher Columbus could be considered a villain for substantial reasons. He started many things that we today would consider intolerable by today's standards. But it was not in the year 2001; it was back in the late 1400's and early 1500's. People therefore had very different ideas of what moral or "right" methods of achieving goals were.

Christopher Columbus was first driven by greed, he was promised ten percent of the profits from the trip, governorship over the new-found lands, and the new title "Admiral of the Ocean Sea." On October 12, 1492 land was sighted.

The first man who had sighted land was supposed to receive ten thousand maravedis for the rest of his life. The man who sighted the land, Rodrigo, never received his bonus. Columbus said he had seen a light the evening before, and received the whole reward and Rodrigo never saw any of the wealth promised. When Columbus landed he was shocked what he found. The Arawak Indians had no horses or work animals, no iron, and only wore small golden earrings. Although they could spin and weave, could grow corn, yams, and cassava, they seemed to be his (Columbus's) ticket to the gold and riches. Columbus took several of the Arawak Indians aboard the ship as prisoners so they could lead him to the gold; although there were very limited amounts of the gold, only in riverbeds, not the fields of gold that Columbus had imagined.