Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress From: Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (1980)
Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress From: Howard Zinn, A Individuals’s Historical past of america (1980)
Arawak women and men, bare, tawny, and filled with marvel, emerged from their villages onto the island's seashores and swam out to get a better have a look at the unusual massive boat. When Columbus and his sailors got here ashore, carrying swords, talking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, introduced them meals, water, items….
These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands had been very similar to Indians on the mainland, who had been outstanding… for his or her hospitality, their perception in sharing. These traits didn't stand out within the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated because it was by the faith of popes, the federal government of kings, the frenzy for cash that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus…
The knowledge that Columbus needed most was: The place is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he anticipated can be on the opposite aspect of the Atlantic -- the Indies and Asia, gold and spices. For, like different knowledgeable individuals of his time, he knew the world was spherical and he might sail west to be able to get to the Far East….
In return for bringing again gold and spices, they promised Columbus 10 % of the earnings, governorship over new-found lands, and the celebrity that might go together with a brand new title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea. He was a product owner's clerk from the Italian metropolis of Genoa, part-time weaver (the son of a talented weaver), and skilled sailor. He set out with three crusing ships, the biggest of which was the Santa Maria, maybe 100 toes lengthy, and thirty-nine crew members….
So, approaching land, they had been met by the Arawak Indians, who swam out to greet them… They'd no iron, however they wore tiny gold ornaments of their ears.
This was to have monumental penalties: it led Columbus to take a few of them aboard ship as prisoners as a result of he insisted that they information him to the supply of the gold. He then sailed to what's now Cuba, then to Hispaniola (the island which immediately consists of Haiti and the Dominican Republic). There, bits of seen gold within the rivers, and a gold masks introduced to Columbus by an area Indian chief, led to wild visions of gold fields….
Due to Columbus's exaggerated report and guarantees, his second expedition was given seventeen ships and greater than twelve hundred males. The intention was clear: slaves and gold. They went from island to island within the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives….
Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus despatched expedition after expedition into the inside. They discovered no gold fields, however needed to fill the ships returning to Spain with some sort of dividend. Within the 12 months 1495, they went on an awesome slave raid… then picked the 5 hundred finest specimens to load onto ships. Of these 5 hundred, 200 died en route. The remainder arrived in Spain and had been put up on the market by the archdeacon of the city….
When it grew to become clear that there was no gold left, the Indians had been taken as slave labor on enormous estates, identified later as encomiendas. They had been labored at a ferocious tempo, and di ed by the hundreds. By the 12 months 1515, there have been maybe fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there have been 5 hundred. A report of the 12 months 1650 reveals not one of the unique Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.
Inquiries to Take into account:
What's Zinn’s normal opinion of Columbus? On what proof does he base his opinion? What's Zinn’s view of “Western” civilization? How does he evaluate it with the tradition of the natives? In Zinn’s opinion, was Columbus’ “discovery” of America a significant achievement? Clarify why or why not.
Columbus Day: A Time to Have a good time By Michael S. Berliner, Ph.D.
The Ayn Rand Institute
Columbus Day approaches, however to the "politically right" that is no trigger for celebration. Quite the opposite, they view the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 as an event to be mourned. They've mourned, they've attacked, they usually have intimidated faculties throughout the nation into changing Columbus Day celebrations with "ethnic range" days.
The politically right view is that Columbus didn't uncover America, as a result of individuals had lived right here for hundreds of years. Worse but, it is claimed, the primary legacy of Columbus is dying and destruction. Columbus is routinely vilified as an emblem of slavery and genocide, and the celebration of his arrival likened to a celebration of Hitler and the Holocaust. The assaults on Columbus are ominous, as a result of the precise goal is Western civilization.
Did Columbus "uncover" America? Sure—in each essential respect. This doesn't imply that no human eye had been forged on America earlier than Columbus arrived. It does imply that Columbus introduced America to the eye of the civilized world, i.e., to the rising, scientific civilizations of Western Europe. The consequence, finally, was america of America. It was Columbus' discovery for Western Europe that led to the inflow of concepts and other people on which this nation was based—and on which it nonetheless rests…
Previous to 1492, what's now america was sparsely inhabited, unused, and undeveloped. The inhabitants had been primarily hunter/gatherers, wandering throughout the land, residing from hand to mouth and from each day. There was just about no change, no development for hundreds of years. With uncommon exception, life was nasty, brutish, and quick: there was no wheel, no written language, no division of labor, little agriculture and scant everlasting settlement; however there have been countless, bloody wars. Regardless of the issues it introduced, the vilified Western tradition additionally introduced monumental, undreamed-of advantages, with out which most of immediately's Indians can be infinitely poorer or not even alive.
Columbus needs to be honored, for in so doing, we honor Western civilization. However the critics don't wish to bestow such honor, as a result of their actual aim is to denigrate the values of Western civilization and to glorify the primitivism, mysticism, and collectivism embodied within the tribal cultures of American Indians. They decry the glorification of the West as "Eurocentrism." We should always, they declare, exchange our reverence for Western civilization with multi-culturalism, which regards all cultures as morally equal. In actual fact, they don't seem to be.
Some cultures are higher than others: a free society is healthier than slavery; purpose is healthier than brute pressure as a approach to take care of different males; productiveness is healthier than stagnation. In actual fact, Western civilization stands for man at his finest. It stands for the values that make human life potential: purpose, science, self reliance, individualism, ambition, productive achievement. The values of Western civilization are values for all males; they minimize throughout gender, ethnicity, and geography. We should always honor Western civilization not for the ethnocentric purpose that a few of us occur to have European ancestors however as a result of it's the objectively superior tradition….
Inquiries to Take into account:
What's Berliner’s normal opinion of Columbus? On what proof does he base his opinion? What's Berliner’s view of “Western” civilization? How does he evaluate it with the tradition of the natives? In Berliner’s opinion, was Columbus’ “discovery” of America a significant achievement? Clarify why or why not.
Do you end up in settlement extra with Zinn’s view of Columbus or with Berliner’s? Clarify.
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