My thoughts on Columbus’ arrival in America, and the genocide of Native Americans.
I think that Columbus is guilty of genocide. I believe this because in his own journal he wrote about how easy the natives do what they want them to, and how they would make good slaves “They have no weapons and are all naked without any skill in arms and are very cowardly so that a thousand would not challenge three,” says the journal for December 16th “… Thus they are useful to be commanded and to be made to labor and sow and to do everything else of which there is need and build towns and be taught to wear clothes and learn our customs.” I think Columbus along with the people who came with him were guilty of genocide.
I believe this because he followed the steps to commit genocide. First the group was already divided into colonists and natives. Then the Natives were dehumanized and treated like animals. “Then Columbus made a plan to capture the natives and send them to Europe to work as slaves. Next most of the Natives were slain either by the hands of their captors, their own hands, or from overwork, or they were captured as slaves. “The fugitives in the mountains were hunted down with hounds; if they escaped capture, they often died of disease or starvation. Thousands killed themselves by taking a poison made from cassava. Many parents killed their infants to spare them a living death under Spanish rule. In only two years, half the 250,000 Indians on the island were dead… it was the beginning of genocide for the native population. By 1548…not 500 Indians remained in Hispaniola” And finally today people deny that Columbus is guilty of Genocide. Saying that he was a great man who discovered the new world and neglect to say that he was also the starter of genocide against the whole Native American people.
Christopher Columbus started out to find a new sea route to India and took with him three ships the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. After about 5 weeks Land was sighted at 2 a.m. on October 12, 1492, by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana, Columbus claimed they discovered a new land, he named it San Salvador. The land had already been discovered and was inhabited by many Native people. The native people he encountered were the Lucayan, Taíno or Arawak. They were a peaceful people who weren’t trying to hurt the Colonists. However the colonists didn’t have the same intentions. In Columbus’ journal he wrote about the natives. “It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion.” Later in his journal he wrote, “I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased.” The Taínos were enslaved by the Spaniards and worked to death in the mines and plantations they established on Hispaniola. Columbus imposed a burdensome tribute on every Taíno, which if he failed to pay; he would suffer mutilation or execution. When Columbus was in “the new world” he did exploring near Cuba and Hispaniola. The Santa Maria ran aground and had to be abandoned. The local natives let Columbus leave some of his men behind. “Columbus left 39 men and founded the settlement of La Navidad in what is now present-day Haiti.” Later before returning to Spain Columbus decided that since the natives were so easy to control he’d take some back as slaves. “Columbus kidnapped some ten to twenty-five Indians and took them back with him. Only seven or eight of the Indians arrived in Spain alive, but they made quite an impression on Seville.” Columbus’ voyage back may also have brought syphilis back from the New World.