The Reputation of Christopher Columbus

Powerful Essays
The Reputation of Christopher Columbus

When judging a person's importance in history it becomes hard not to

judge that person without characterizing their achievements as either negative

or positive. It becomes even harder when all of the facts are not known and

when a reputation has already been established. Christopher Columbus is such

a person. Through history, from the time he sailed to the present, debate as

to whether this man should be deemed a hero or a villain has raged. Facts

about his life have been tainted by embellishments and myths have been

accepted as truths. So how does one come to a conclusion about this man?

History has hardly taken a middle ground on Columbus, from his own sons

writings to present day students in classrooms. Historical debate of

Columbus will always continue. His life has been scrutinized by his

contemporaries, the hero makers, the historical progressives and especially

now in the times of multi-culturalism.

The story of Columbus is one of misunderstandings and embellishments and

the myths of his voyages begin with himself. For it was he who reported to

the monarchy of his efforts and achievements and it was he who took all of the

glory. The first to establish Columbus as a classical hero was his own son

Ferdinand. He took the life of his father, as told to him by his father. The

true background of Columbus is one of mystery as of today because the only

writings by Columbus himself have been proven false. Ferdinand used the

documents of his father's voyages that give the first real account of Columbus

and his times.

But early on Columbus was not without his detractors including his own

patron Isabella. Even though Columbus gained the ...

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...eeds should never be done because no one person is perfect. Columbus

changed the world he and his conteporaries lived in.contemporaries knew it and that is the truth.

Works Cited:

1. Alexander, Larry, " Columbus to be Remembered Here" Lancaster

Intelligencer Journal, Oct. 11, 1991 B1- B2.

2. Dillon, Sam, "Schools Growing Harsher in Scrutiny of Columbus", New

York Times, Oct 12, 1992.

3. Krauthhammer, Charles, "Hail Columbus, Dead White Male" Time, May 27,


4. Phillips, Carla Rahn and William D. "The Textbook Columbus: Examining

the Myth" Humanities, Sept/Oct. 1991 27-30.

5. Roy, Joaquim, " Isabella of Castille: Reflections of a Queen." Five

Hundred, May/June, 1989.

6. Wilford, John Noble, "Discovering Columbus", New York Times, August

11, 1991.

7. Wills, Gary, "Man of the Year", New York Review,Nov21, 1991 pp

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