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Christopher Columbus was born around 1451 in Genoa, Italy. By the time he was a teenager he worked on a ship and stayed at sea until about 6 years later in 1470 when the ship he was on was invaded by French Privateers. The boat didn’t survive and ended up at the bottom of the ocean and Columbus washed up on shore with a piece of driftwood from the remains of his ship. When he arrived at the shore he traveled until he found his way to a town called Lisbon. There he studied “mathematics, astronomy, cartography, and navigation.”(Day, C.).
Columbus wanted to sail to Asia by going west and landing on the other side of the continent. When he explained his idea to officials in Portugal and England, he wasn’t given any funds or ships. It was until 1491 when he found responsive admirers, which were the Spanish Monarchs. Christopher Columbus wanted to be wealthy and powerful and so did the Monarchs, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Columbus also wanted to spread Catholicism all around the world. Columbus had a contract with the Spanish rulers saying that he would keep 10% of everything they might find on their journey. It also included in the contract that he would become governor of any land he might have found.
With the help of Ferdinand and Isabella, he successfully sailed four journeys across the Atlantic sea to the New World from Spain. His original idea was to travel by sea west across the Atlantic Ocean to get to Asia. Columbus and his crew set sail from Spain in three ships called the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria on August 3, 1492. When he arrived on one of the Bahama Islands, he believed he landed in Asia. He went from island to island, where we know now as the Caribbean Island, for months searching for the riches he had promised to find for the Spanish patrons. The goods, which he never found, were “pearls, precious stones, gold, silver, spices, and other objects and merchandise whatsoever” (Day, C.). He left 40 men behind and went back to Spain. Columbus returned six months later to see the Hispaniola land demolished and left his brothers and some enslaved native Americans behind to repair everything that was broken.
Columbus enslaved all the Natives that were living in the New World when he arrived.
Instead of giving gold and other riches to the Spanish Monarchs like he said he would, he sent Queen Isabella 500 slaves. She disapproved of this “she believed that any people Columbus “discovered” were Spanish subjects who could not be enslaved”(Day, C.) and gave back the “gift”. Columbus left the Americas and in May of 1498, he returned to the disastrous Hispaniola land, where the colonists had executed a bloody rebellion against the Columbus’ crew’s carelessness and cruelty. Because of this, Columbus was arrested and returned to Spain and a new governor took over. In 1502 Columbus was clear of most charges and had no titles such as governor. He convinced the Spanish King to let him go on one more trip across the Atlantic Ocean. On this journey, he made it all the way to Panama. There he had to leave behind two of his four ships on the verge of an attack from hostile natives. He returned to Spain with nothing left but his aging body and died in 1506.
In conclusion, Christopher Columbus’ travels “paved the way for European Exploration” (Day, C.) he may have made the bridge that goes from Spain to the Americas but his reasoning on how he did things and why he did them was evil. Christopher Columbus intentions weren’t all good, yes, “he defied naysayers across Europe and led four voyages across an uncharted ocean in wooden sailing ships that were not designed to take on the punishing waters of the Atlantic.”(Myint, B. and Myint, B), but “Columbus and his crew enslaved native inhabitants of the West Indies, forced them to convert to Christianity, and subdued them with violence in an effort to seek riches.”(Plous, S.). His reasoning is why I believe he is a Villain.

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