Columbus Day Controversy Essay

724 WordsFeb 19, 20093 Pages
The anniversary of the day, October 12, 1492, when Christopher Columbus landed in the San Salvador Islands is celebrated by many countries in the Americas. Columbus’ landing was not the very first in the Americas, but he was the first European to claim land for a European nation. Many people celebrate and praise the day as the beginning of a culture, but some are violently opposed to celebrating this man, who, to them, began a culture which continues to display many evils. In my opinion, although Columbus who brought home slaves himself, and treated natives brutally if they could not find gold for him, did not set a good example for settlers coming after him, such a huge transgression cannot be blamed on one man, when hundreds of men after him did not put a stop to these evils. “Columbus is responsible for the murder of millions of indigenous people,” says The people who wrote this website assert that, if Columbus had never discovered the Americas, Native Americans and African Americans would never have been harmed. This ignores the fact that Columbus’ voyage was not an isolated event, but was part of a European age of discovery. Columbus’ encounter with the Americas was without question a momentous event in World History. Balance and honesty require recognition of the fact that both good and evil followed this initial encounter. Contrary to Robideau’s claim that the “political structures of Native Nations in the Americas not only saved Europeans from constant famine in Europe but also taught them much about freedom and democracy”,(Myth Keepers of Columbus) it was in post Columbian America that democracy, first conceived in Ancient Greece, became a reality. It was in the United States that the idea of equal justice under law became enshrined in our Constitution. It was in the United States that representative democracy first became the norm.

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