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Christopher Columbus

.. t find the trade route so Columbus wanted to get wealth from creating a gold mine on the islands, and by selling slaves. Only a small amount of gold was remitted to Spain, and didn’t repay much. The slave trade drew little wealth, nor support from the monarchs and citizens of Spain. The attempt to bring wealth to Spain was not accomplished.

The! entire expedition made by Columbus was an economic failure which put a hole in Spain’s poor economy which was made up of 98% poor peasants. Columbus established colonies in the islands which would be settled, and be founded as a mining and farming colonies that would produce their own food and create a profit by remitting gold to Spain. These colonies failed. “In selecting as the site for his second settlement the unprotected, unhealthy shore that he named Isabella, Columbus made his first serious blunder. Isabella never prospered, and Columbus paid it little attention,” (Parry, 349). In Columbus’s second voyage, he returned to his colony of La Navidad on November 27, 1493.

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The fort was completely destroyed, and all men were killed. The settlers fought among themselves about local women. They were also killed by the Tanos because the Spaniards stole, took some as slaves, and raped their women. The climate was a drastic change to the Spaniards, which created an unhealthy environment. Everyone got sick, and there was nothing to eat.

They complained of only tapioca, corn, fish, and yams to eat (Information Finder! , Lunenfeld, 2). The Spaniards started dying of malnutrition and their own created diseases, which the natives also got (see Appendix L). There was a revolt against the governor, Bartholomew, with whom the settlers were angered. The settlers were demoralized and wanted to leave. There was nothing to eat, disease spread, and fighting and dying was a common sight. “Columbus brought disappointment and political obscurity to his final years,” (1492 Exhibit, Internet). The established colonies failed.

Social problems between the inhabitants of the discovered islands and the Spaniards created a new long term problem. When the natives first saw the Spaniards, they ran to greet them, brought food, water, and gifts. The inhabitants did not bear arms or had iron, but they carried spears. They also became a little scared of the Spaniards, they believed they were gods from heaven. As the Spaniards began their hunt for gold, they also began to treat the inhabitants worse by taking advantage of them and their disadvantages. The Tanos people were no longer peaceful after they were mistreated harshly by the Spaniards.

The Spaniards now took complete control of the inhabitants. They were now their prisoners and slaves, working to bring the Spaniards the gold they wanted. The Tanos suffered and died from disease and abuse of the Spaniards. As they used the inhabitants for gold mining, they also sold some away to Europe as slaves. “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending! all slaves that can be sold,” Columbus (Zinn, 4). They natives were basically helpless against the Spaniards.

250,000 were killed from suicide, murder, mutilation, and killing of babies to save them from the Spaniards. From 1494 to 1508 over 3 million inhabitants died (Zinn, 3). Columbus purpose was to trade with the inhabitants he came in contact with. He went in, took complete control, conquered the island, took what slaves and gold he could, destroyed and killed all inhabitants. He had to motive for this.

It was not his purpose, and destroying a nation had no benefit. A purpose of establishing colonies was to spread Catholicism. Passengers, starting from the second voyage, were sent to spread Catholicism to the inhabitants of the islands, and to bring reverence to the colonies. Columbus wanted to go to the mainland and neighboring islands to train and have the inhabitants practice Catholicism. “To make them Christians..and conversion of great numbers to our holy faith, with acquisition of great lordships and rides and all their inhabitants for Spain,” Columbus, journal dated November 12, 1493 (Rethinking Columbus, 81). However, the colonies did not work, so spreading Catholicism went down with them.

The priests could not spread Catholicism to the inhabitants. They did not want to switch their religions. The settlers also failed to bring the religion to the inhabitants. The attempt at spreading Catholicism to the lands in the West was ineffectual. Columbus failed to achieve the purpose of each of the four voyages.

Although there were several benefits, most factors of the trips were failures. Spain initially wanted to find a Western sea trade route to the Spice Islands of China and Japan. It would bring wealth from trading. Columbus found no such route. As the voyages went on, colonization was key.

Several colonies were established, but all had problems and were failures. An important part of Spanish life was Catholicism. They wanted to spread the religion to the inhabitants of the islands Columbus came in contact with. This idea did not work. The natives did not convert as the Spaniards desired.

Catholicism went down along with the colonies. The relations between the natives and Spaniards turned into a Spanish conquest of the islands, they took control, gold, and slaves. The voyages did not result in wealth as expected in the first proposals. They did not acquire a trade route, and the gold mines did not have enough gol! d content. The amount of gold mined was a small amount compared to how much money was invested in the voyages.

Slaves had neither wealth nor lasting value from lack of support. The voyages failed the hopes and expectations of Columbus, his crew, the Spanish monarchs, and Europeans. Columbus is the most famous explorer in the world of history. Everybody knows who he is, but not exactly what he did. In elementary schools across the globe, kids are taught that Columbus discovered America, and was the founder of the two American continents.

They think of him as a visionary genius, a national hero. However, this is an false description, Columbus was a failed administrator, naive entrepreneur, and an greedy imperialist. This is not an opinion, it’s a fact. In Columbus’ third voyage, he and his brother were arrested and sent back to Spain by commissioner Francisco de Bobadilla for his maladministration (see Appendix M). It has been proven by primary sources, and mine and others’ research.

The colonies, and what happened between the Spaniards and the inhabitants, are perfect examples of his failures. This is related to how everybody thinks of him as the discoverer of a continent that he never reached. Look in children’s books, find a heroic discoverer. Look in! the inside sources, find a cruel, maladministrating conqueror. He is not what people learn. This research shows proof of his failures and tells people what to think of this man.


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