Christopher Columbus Essay 2/9/15 – 2/23/15 (Stopped from 2/14/15 – 2/22/15)
So, Christopher Columbus made a voyage. Big deal. But was it a good voyage, or a bad one? My point exactly. That has confused hundreds of smart people that studied the issue a lot. So, in this very essay, it will say why it is so hard to decide whether Christopher Columbus was a good or bad man. First it’ll be about slavery, then the Columbian Exchange, then the inspiration that he gave to other explorers.
You thought you knew how the fight for peace that Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, etc. fought in started. Black slavery! But did you know how that started? Not the Civil War! It started with Christopher Columbus’ voyage. How? Well, first, Columbus tried to enslave the Taino Native Americans that he “discovered”, but they died out after working too hard in the fields. So, he went to Africa, and hooked them up with rich people as slaves. And the Africans didn’t die out after hard work. (Well, some of them did, but I’m talking about the majority.) Then, the Europeans kept them as slaves for the next 475 or so years.
Most people think that the Columbian Exchange was entirely amazing. On some parts, yes. On other parts, no. Very, very big NO. The good parts were that Europe got crops like tomatoes, (ironic, with the whole pizza thing.) pumpkins, and potatoes, while the Americans got coffee (again, irony, because Columbia is world-renowned for its coffee.), citrus fruits like lemons, (Florida is world-renowned for its citrus fruits, bring the irony) and livestock. But, (here comes the bad part.) the Exchange brought the diseases smallpox, influenza, typhus, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, and the most ironic: malaria. (Mosquitoes in the Amazon and Africa give malaria and yellow fever.)
One of the main good effects of Columbus’ voyage was the inspiration he gave to explorers like Henry Hudson, Giovanni de Verrazano, etc. It’s very possible that little Henry Hudson, when he heard of Christopher Columbus, was thinking, Hmm.. I want to do that too! And he did. He hopped on four different boats and discovered New York on the third one. So would the city that never sleeps even exist? But that’s a different story for a different time.
Now you know how hard it is to decide whether Columbus’ voyage was a good or bad one. There were things like the fact that we got stuff like lemons, then there was stuff like the fact that we got malaria. But my dad came up with an idea: why don’t we just celebrate the good things Columbus did and ignore the bad things? So there doesn’t have to be all this arguing. So, keep learning!
William E. Lee