The Impact Of Christopher Columbus'S Discovery
“In fourteen hundred ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue”, yes most of us have heard that children’s rhyme but what not everyone has heard of is the impact it had between two very different cultures. When one culture has been thriving for a while in one place and another group comes over and disrupts the peace, major conflict can be started. But of course, life must go on and they must both find a way to live together peacefully. Problem is, it never starts out this way as we will find when looking deeper into this time in history.
In 1492, Columbus had landed at the “new land” aka, present day Bahamas. Very different than his destination which was Asia. He was met by a group of natives whom he labeled as “indians”. With him he brought three ships and what is estimated 30 different diseases. Some of them being smallpox, malaria, and yellow fever. Not only this but he also forced a new religion on the natives and used them as slaves. On his journey home he even brought some of the natives back with him. For a man who had done such awful things, it really is a wonder that we have a whole day designated to his amazing “discovery”.
Imagine yourself, living your normal life and then one day someone shows up, makes you work for them, and gets you really sick. Well this was the reality for the natives. Though, it didn’t have to be this way. There were many alternatives to the affect Columbus had on this culture. For example, he could have shared his beliefs with them instead of forcing it upon them. He also should have not taken any of them as slaves. A big learning experience for him would be that you shouldn’t judge a culture because what they believe in is different than what you do. To him, discovery was worth much more than human rights.
A lot of the natives that Columbus had brought back with him to Spain did not survive. The ones that he did not take were forced search for gold and take care of plantations. In other words, they did not find a way to exist together peacefully. The newcomers had a very big advantage because at the time, they were a lot more developed as a country. Today, I don’t believe that there is very much trouble between the two countries. Thankfully, the spaniards didn’t stay long enough to cause any dramatic conflict.
In the end Christopher Columbus ended up “winning”. He left his discovery and went back to Spain with the slaves he had captured, gold, and spices. Though we cannot change what happened, we can learn from it. When discovering a new culture, you can’t just take out everything you don’t like and replace it with what you think should be in it. You have to accept it for how it is and respect that. After all, a world without any diversity really would be very boring.
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