Summary Of Columbus The Indians And Human Progress

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Chapter 1 Chapter 1, entitled Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress depicts the Europeans’ initial encounter with the Arawak Indians of the West Indies . The Arawaks greeted Columbus and his crew with hospitality, but little did they know they would soon be taken advantage of and have their culture virtually destroyed. Columbus’s journal entries about this first meeting indicate his feelings of superiority to the Arawaks, which led to enslavement, murder, and rape. The Arawaks were forced to work in gold mines and were killed at the will of the Europeans. Millions of natives were killed in slavery, war, and, mining. This first encounter parallels the conquests of Cortes with the Aztecs, Pizarro with the Incas, and English settlers in Virginia and Massachusetts. Howard Zinn’s ironic title of this chapter helps portray his viewpoint of these events. At this time, it may seem as though both Columbus and the Europeans and the Indians both made progress within their own cultures. Both can be seen as advanced civilizations in their own ways. However, when the two cultures met, the opposite of progress was made. Instead of working…show more content…
Slavery began in North American; the first black slaves were brought to settlements in Virginia. It is believed that at first, these slaves were thought of as the white servants brought over from Europe. However, the black servants were treated differently than the white servants, and then were considered slaves. Europeans sometimes justified their slave trade with the fact that Africa had their own slave system. However, The European slave trade was much more cruel, whereas the African system was similar to the European feudal system. The conditions of slave ships and slave marches to and from the ships were inhumane and unsanitary, to say the

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