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Christopher Columbus Discovers America

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Christopher Columbus was a complicated man. He had all these dreams and goals that he had achieved, but he did not achieve them the way that many of the human race believed that he did. Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy. He was an Italian-American as he called himself. His father was a wool merchant from the middle class. He had started as a sailor at a young age traveling around on short voyages as a teenager. He went to the island of Khios, which was the closest he had ever been to asia, it was modern day greece. He had done a few smaller trade voyages at this age in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Columbus’s original goal for this expedition was to chart a new western sea route for the trade of spices and gold to India, China and even some parts of the asian islands.

As Columbus was older he became a captain and he set out onto his first voyage on August 3rd, 1492. He left with three ships. The Santa Maria, The Pinta, and Nina. On October 12th, 1492, Columbus had reached the Bahamas. With his calculations, he would have never made it to Asia. He was thousands of miles off. Though he swore he had reached China, he had not.

He eventually went back to Spain in March of 1493, he had brought back, spices, gold, and “Indian” prisoners. Columbus left once again on September 24th 1493, onto his second voyage. He left with 17 ships and around 1200 men. He had followed more of a southerly approach in attempt to make it to Asia. It was not until his third voyage across the atlantic that he had not yet realized that he had not made it to Asia.

What was the reasonings for the creation of this holiday and why? Today many people feel that Columbus was such a bad person that the holiday should become Indigenous Peoples Day. Some historians have said that it is mainly religion based. Christopher Columbus was a Catholic and many have believed in his ways. Thirdly, it is known that Columbus did not actually discover the Americas first, and have been proven so.

Christopher Columbus arrived to the Americas in 1492. When he arrived to the land, the Arawaks, who were the natives, had joined them among shore to greet the travelers. They had brought them food, fresh water, and gifts. The Arawaks lived in village communes, they had a developed ways to grow corn, yams, and cassava. They could spin and weave, but they had no horses or work animals to help make their work easier. Columbus had been keeping a journal from his travels, in it he had wrote in it the day he had met the Arawaks, he wrote,

“They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned... . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

That was the start of the hatred of Christopher Columbus. Later on that same night Columbus had wrote “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.”1 When his journal was brought out to the public Columbus fooled everyone on his discoveries. He did more harm than good to these people. He took them as prisoners and sailed to modern cuba and then to Hispaniola. Forced them into labor to find gold for himself. If they did not find gold to give him, he would punish them and in many cases cut off their hands. It is completely understandable why people would want this holiday to become Indigenous Peoples Day. Indigenous Peoples day would be a day to celebrate the Native Americans. On October 12th, 1992, is the first time that Indigenous Peoples day has been celebrated. There is not much change in the holiday beside who the holiday is celebrated of. Along with his cruelty of the Natives, he hated them because they did not all believe in the same god as he did. He is Catholic and they are Christians.

Columbus Day started as early as the 18th century. Some have said that it was celebrated by parties and parades but there is no information found of celebrations prior to the 400th anniversary of the “first founding” of our nation. In 1892, Benjamin Harrison encouraged people to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of this beautiful nation; In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it as a federal holiday. Mostly everyone celebrated until 1992 when the truth came out about Columbus. Prior to 1992, many disagreed with Columbus’s actions already. Those who have continued to celebrate don’t know that Columbus Day started as a Catholic holiday.


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