Christopher Columbus and the Definition of America as Booty by Beatriz Bodmer

Christopher Columbus and the Definition of America as Booty by Beatriz Bodmer

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It should be said that Christopher Columbus was responsible for the discovery of what he thought the new lands could provide rather than the discovery of the ‘New World’. Since most of his ventures landed him and his followers to lands that were inhabited by people, who were favorable to trade, where culture, politics, and religion had been established, his discoveries were really a way of supporting his model for self-good. I will analyze the paper by Beatriz Bodmer “Christopher Columbus and the Definition of America as Booty”, to argue that despite Columbus’s quest for discovery, he did so with preconceived ideas that he would use to his benefit of convincing others of what he discovered and how these discoveries would benefit him.
Christopher Columbus began many of his adventures with preexisting sources and models from well-known philosophers and explores, mixture of inventions, misrepresentations and concealment (Bodmer,10). Despite his knowledge of geography and cosmology, he used models that were complex and contradicting, providing factual and mythical reports of what he could expect to find on the islands he would soon explore. The most detailed information which was creditable based on objectivity and accurate accounts were described by Marco Polo. The book ‘Travels’, would become a resource used by Columbus to compare his discoveries, for here it would reveal actual and potential problems that were identified by Marco Polo (Bodmer, 13,14). According to Polo, land that was located beyond the reach of commercial expeditions would belong to the first man who could reach them, according to the rules of the imperialistic pattern of appropriation (Bodmer, 16). As Columbus’s imagines of finding lands rich ...


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...he understood, by caveats of : “ he understood that”, “ it seemed to him”, or “ he believed that” , this made what he heard as irrelevant, since this provided no effect on the ultimate message (Bodmer, 34-35). The consequences represented in Columbus’s writings is presented as objective and comprehensive rather that subjective and biased and he would use literary privileges to create America using his imaginary model as he saw fit (Bodmer, 36.37). Columbus’s use of imaginary models provided him two functions, one personal that allowed him to validate his theories and prove accuracy to his plan, and confirms in his own estimation that he as God’s chosen agent and second to justify his ventures and establish his prestige (Bodmer, 39). Columbus’s representation of American was that of imagination but would be viewed by historians and “the civilizing of America”.



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