Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen-hundred-ninty-two. He came over from Spain in three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria and discovered America, or at least that was what I was taught in elementary school. Since then there has been much controversy going on over the issue of weather or not Christopher Columbus really "discovered" America because when he landed in San Salvador he was not alone. Native Americans already inhabited the land and they had been there long before Columbus, but this doesn?t mean that he should be atacked stripped of his dignity.
Reed Irvine, chariman, and Joe Goulden, director of the media analysis for Accuracy in Media, state in the acticle History Should Continue to Acknoledge Columbus as a Discoverer:
The "presence" of the North American Continent had been known to the persons living there for centuries before arrival. But Columbus, and those who followed him, recognized the significance of the New World; in this sense they certainly deserve credit for having "discovered" America.
Over five hundred years ago he landed in the Americas and now we are starting to question weather or not he should be given credit for discovering America. This doesn?t seem fare. After so many years without controversy it?s just been recently that we have started to question the lagitamitity of his discovery. What brought on this sudden change? Perhaps is was the coming of the five hundred year celebration of our country that brought this on, or maybe now some of the Native Americans are finally starting to speak out, but no matter what the reason may be it shouldn?t be taking place. Columbus should still be given the credit for discovering America. It was the first time that anyone was recognized for landing on a new continent and he still deserves respect.
Irvine and Goulden feel bad for Columbus, too. "Poor Christopher Columbus. Five hundred years after the fact, the explorer is beng stripped of recognition as the man who ?discovered? America and the New World."
There are many people who believe that Columbus should not be credited for discovering America because the Native Americans were there first. They owned and operated the land, therefore they had right to be on it. Columbus had no right to barge in, take over their village and destroy all that they knew including them. This may be true, but accordng to Henry Noble Sherwood in Columbus and the Indians:
The Indians thought Columbus and his men had come down from Heaven...[and] when Columbus and the sailors went back to their ships, the Indians followed...Over five hundred wanted to go; they thought they would reach Heaven in this way.
Columbus was like a God in the eyes of the Native Americans and they believed that he could save them. They followed him around and wanted to find out more about these strage people who had landed on there territory. The natives saw no harm in Columbus and his men and offered them most of the things they had as gifts. They were willing to give the Europeans anything they wanted. All of the things the Europeans had were new to them. For example in Columbus?s own journal, I Take Possession for King and Queen, he states that:
I showed one my sword, and through ignorance he grabbed it by the blade and cut himself...They traded and gave everything they had with good will, but it seemsto me that they have very little and are poor in everything.
Many people believe that since the Native Americans were so docile it was easy for Columbus to take advantage of them. However, since this was a new land to him he only knew that he wanted to conquer it in the name of Spain for Ferdinand and Isabella. He didn?t realize that he was doing anything wrong. He lived ina time of slavery and that was all he knew. It was a way of his life, therefore he brought it with him to the new world.
Despite all of the negative conotations people have made in reguard to Columbus there are many good things that have evolved from him landing in the Americas. Kirkpatrick Sale, a professional writer, mentions in What Columbus Discovered:
What counts, what is absolutely crucial, is that with this act two vastly different cultures, which had evolved on continents that had been drifting apart steadily for millions of years, were suddenlt joined. Everything