The Truth about Colombus

The Truth about Colombus

Length: 863 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
We humans tend to have very strategic communication skills, we can emphasize what we want our audience to focus on and de-emphasize what we want them to forget. For example, I was telling a friend of a contest that I had won but I left out a very important detail. The reason I had won was because the contestant who happened to be a lot better than me couldn't make it to the contest. Yet when I told the story it was in a way that showed me as the best even though that was far from the truth. One of the greatest "heroes" of all time is credited with the discovery of America, with large scaled bravery, and with spreading the message of salvation in Jesus Christ farther than anyone else. Yet very important details have been craftily omitted such as his slaughter of the indigenous people of America, his cowardice in taking advantage of a people that only treated him with kindness, and the spreading of diseases like Syphilis and Small Pox. Howard Zinn illustrates this exact point very well in his book "A People's History of the United States", stating that a picture has been painted of Columbus that shows him as pure, however, the artist has ignored his blemishes.

Zinn believes that Columbus's voyage to the Americas was one fueled by the idea of wealth and power and upon his arrival other evils such as the idea of slavery, exploitation, and murder penetrated his heart. Armed with Columbus's journals and Bartolome Las Casas's texts Zinn proves the cruelty that possessed Columbus, Zinn quotes Columbus's journal which states "They would make fine servants...With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want." Zinn believes that Columbus's life and actions have been ridiculously romanticized and that America has been celebrating the life of a mass murderer comparable to Hitler and Stalin. He states that historians have been telling the sweet little tale about Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492 but have been ignoring the true nature of this supposed Christian man. "He does not omit the story of mass murder..." says Zinn on Morrison ."..on one page, buried halfway into the telling of a grand romance... He mentions the truth (about Columbus committing genocide) quickly and goes on to other things more important to him." In other words, Morison tells the truth but then conceals it, in order to provide a faux placidity that diverts the reader from the horrid reality of Columbus's actions .

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Truth about Colombus." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=108190>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Dark Truth of Christopher Columbus Essay

- Christopher Columbus was an Italian sailor and explorer who travelled across the Atlantic Ocean in 1942, in search of a quick route to India Spice trading, which was at the time the largest industry in the world. Columbus made a total of 4 trips between 1492 - 1504 Columbus throughout time has been revered to as a hero, and the reason that many of us are even settled on this land, but there are many dark truths that will be touched upon throughout this report. Columbus starts his journey in August 1492, when he sets sail from Spain under the sponsorship of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain....   [tags: Explorers]

Research Papers
991 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Truth Is The Pursuit Of Truth

- Truth: Scientific Fact, Philosophical Perception, or Simple Fiction Humans are in the pursuit of truth within their every endeavour, however, truth evades us. We search for meaning in every relationship, every happening in our lives, every worldly event, for each and every waking moment. We search. Truth, as defined by Wikipedia is, most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. Truth may also often be used in modern contexts to refer to an idea of ‘truth to self,’ or authenticity” (Wikipedia, 2015)....   [tags: Truth, Religion, Epistemology, Belief]

Research Papers
1365 words (3.9 pages)

The Truth, Ignorance, Knowledge, And Indifference Of Truth Essay

- Life in Wool is a cycle of innocence, ignorance, knowledge, and indifference towards truth. While the people want to live knowing the truth, perceived truths are harmful and self-destructing. Hopes and dreams for a better life can cloud judgement and blur the line between reality and fantasy. This conflict causes the reader to question whether ignorance is really bliss as Howey highlights the blithe of children versus the knowledge of those seeking answers. There is a hidden truth to life in the silo, as hinted at in the passage, “As Holston ascended the last few levels, the last steps of his life, the sounds of childlike delight rained down even louder from above....   [tags: Mind, Truth, Water, Rain]

Research Papers
789 words (2.3 pages)

The, The Irrevocable Truth Essay

- “Derealization”: The Irrevocable Truth Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”-Voltaire. “Derealization” is about a story of a boy who derails reality to compensate for his harsh life. The David Mills encompasses literary tools such as illusion motif, weed pipe symbols, and the things being other to propel the character development of Shaymus. To convey his message of difficulties in finding truth in the world, Mills shows that one can only pretend for so long till the truth comes out and that no matter how one tries to hide something or pretend it does not exist, truth has a way of coming out....   [tags: Truth, Reality, Existence]

Research Papers
2392 words (6.8 pages)

Truth Is Not Deeply Normative Or Good Essay

- In chapter 7 of his book, Lynch addresses various opposing viewpoints that are centered on the idea that truth is a type of fiction and does not really exist. He immediately goes on to defend the existence of truth with claims that philosophers seldom deny the existence of truth and that the question “What is truth?” is simply pointless because truth “has no nature that needs explaining.” The Nietzchean view of truth is based on the belief that truth is not deeply normative or good. Lynch points out the flaw of this theory in that it hints at the unsatisfying logic “truth is worth caring about therefore the pursuit of truth must be blind relative to other things.” As a counterclaim, Lynch be...   [tags: Truth, Theory, Belief, Reality]

Research Papers
734 words (2.1 pages)

The Categorical Imperative And The Problem Of Truth Essay

- The Categorical Imperative and the Problem of Truth Kant’s argues that his Categorical Imperative (CI) or, more properly, his multiple versions of the CI are universal in the sense that they apply to everyone at all times. If the CI actually is universal in this sense, it fulfills one of the major traits necessary for a moral principle (Pojman 7). The vagueness of the CI, however, makes its universalizability hard to assess. To simplify the issue, this paper will examine Kant’s response to Benjamin Constant’s objections to telling a murderer the truth....   [tags: Morality, Truth, Immanuel Kant]

Research Papers
942 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Nietzsche 's Philosophy On The Truth

- Everyone thinks they know the truth, actually is. The real question is, do we really know what the truth is. There are many ideas on what the truth is. Descartes and Nietzsche have an idea on what in the world truth is. Nietzsche argues that the whole idea of truth is just an illusion. He says it is fake and we really tight. On the other hand, Descartes proposes that the truth is there in some cases, but not in other ways. The way, the truth is there, is Math and Science. Nevertheless, by taking a closer look at their arguments about what truth actually is, I will argue that Nietzsche position is a better account for what truth actually is because it shows the reader how fixed on the trut...   [tags: Logic, Truth, Thought, Mind]

Research Papers
1355 words (3.9 pages)

Christopher Colombus Essay

- During my formative years in kindergarten and elementary school I remember the nursery book rhyme taught to all of us children. "In fourteen-hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue." We had school plays that tried to recreate his intrepid ocean journey. I wasn't the best at remembering lines, so I played the part of the Pinta, one of Columbus' ships. As most school children are taught, we learned about how he was the first to discover the Americas, that he was a merchant looking for a trade route to India, that he was the first to prove the world was round, and that if it wasn't for him America as we know it would not be here....   [tags: World History]

Research Papers
700 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Truth

- The “Truth”      Every thought that ever entered our mind is a consequence of our struggle to reach out for the truth. Since our early age we have been thought to believe that there has to be right and wrong and we continuously searched for the “correct” answer. Unlike school’s multiple choice tests, life thought us that there is more than one correct answer. At one point we learned that some questions don’t have answers at all, or they are way too complex for our mind to understand them. Yet we never stopped struggling to reach out for the ultimate truth....   [tags: Definition True Truth Philosophy Essays]

Research Papers
1282 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Access to the Truth

- Access to the Truth In “Zen and the Art of the Writing Tutorial,” Paul Gamache asks, “do you think of yourself as an Expert. Do you have access to the truth?” I like this question because it seems to contradict some of his other assertions. For example, he claims that he sometimes does not provide his students with the help they want; rather, he gives them the help he deems they need, and he only gives them the assistance they desire when he decides that it is also what they require. How does he know exactly what they need....   [tags: Truth Writing Expertise Essays]

Free Essays
498 words (1.4 pages)

Zinn wants to show his reader that the view of a writer can be skewed depending on the their perspective and that stories like that of Columbus are not always as nice as they seem.

Zinn shows the story or history of Columbus through the eyes of Columbus, Las Casas, and the Indians. In Zinn's view Columbus invaded the Indians land and did what he pleased with them, killing them and treating them like inferior beings that only exist to be subjugated. He stole their treasures, abused their trust and generosity, raped their women, murdered their children, and starved their families. Columbus was the ultimate enemy and his only inspiration was the shimmering splendor of gold. His view on Columbus is biased, surely, probably exaggerating the vulnerability and innocence of the Indians. Zinn's view is most likely embellishing on the tyrannical behavior of the Spaniards; he is not understanding Columbus's frustration at not finding what he swore to the Spanish Queen he would find. An American student's first encounter with Christopher Columbus is one filled with awe and respect. It seems so amazing that Columbus was so brave in going to a land that was possibly unreachable, and so heartwarming that he dined in joy and comradeship with the Indians. When a student is taught about the death of the Indians it seems to be accidental because of disease; the truth of mass murder is left out of the picture. The historians that write books for children in middle school and earlier make the Indians seem like savages that had to be dealt with and the Spaniards like saints professing their faith in God. Zinn chooses to look at Columbus and the past in general through the eyes of the forgotten people, the untouchables and not solely through those of the Europeans. He believes that by looking through the eyes of the victimized and down-trotted one sees the reality of situations and that the truth can not be seen through the prejudiced view of oppressors who endlessly justify their actions. In his book Zinn states his view on historians' perspectives and their choice of what to stress:

My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, or emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual...to emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to deemphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves-unwittingly- to justify what was done.

This statement by Zinn is definitely true and truly shows how historians actually have the power to affect people's views on Columbus and history in general and how this is a mass deception that has ensnared most who hear it.

My knowledge of the European conquest of America has been very (I know now) limited. I knew that Columbus was not a saint but I didn't think he was a homicidal maniac either, Zinn's analysis of this event has truly opened my eyes to how skewed most of the information is on Columbus, actually. I completely agree with Zinn and believe that Columbus was not a hero but a killer who happened to make one of the greatest discoveries the world has ever seen, and happened to be a great navigator and captain. Being a killer is not a personality trait but a personality in itself and it should not be treated as minuscule or be excused because of one's accomplishments. Ted Bundy had many accomplishments in the political and social world but his murderous persona overwhelms everything his life could have possibly represented; just because Columbus discovered what would become a great nation his genocide should not be excused. If I were to teach a class on Columbus and his pioneering role in the conquest of America I would definitely use Zinn's article as it provides a fresh and real position on Columbus and the discovery of America. I wouldn't want my students to have just the limited view on these occurrences, as shown in most history books.

Notes

1. Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: The New Press, 1997.

Return to 123HelpMe.com