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Columbus Invaded or Discovered the West Indies? Essay

After 1655, Animism was destroyed in the West Indies. The cause of this was not natural, or preferred, but rather coerced by other humans. What are the differences between “discovering” and “invading”? Discovering is defined as determining the existence or presence of something, whereas, invading means marching aggressively into another’s territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation. In this essay, I will be extending very acutely into this issue, identifying the reasoning behind this case, so that I can easily be able to express my judgement on, Columbus discovering or invading the West Indies, with indomitable evidence. People believing that Columbus discovered America due to several different inferences: firstly, Columbus verified that the world is circular, by sailing west to the East Indies, instead of east. He travelled west due to the fact that he was considering for a rapid trade route to Asia and to arrange transportation more profitable. Also, to take spices and gold for Spain, in order to influence King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

“Earth is sphere, not a flat circle like most people believed at that time.” Columbus glanced this in the Bible, believed it and then set out to gain fame. Odd that no one ever seems to elaborate on the Bible’s accuracy, in this account. Secondly, holding a connection with the rest of the world also symbolises that it’s a discovery. People permanently migrated from Europe to America, due to the communication among the Monarchs and Columbus. Even though Vikings, scrutinized the North America coast, 500 years before Columbus, their achievement was not publicly knowledgeable, which is why Columbus receives all the credit. Not only Columbus maintained a connection, he held an active connection with the Monarchs in Spain, by travelling four times to the new world and a solid financial connection ($7,000) between Columbus and the Monarch by borrowing several numbers of ships (Pinta, Nina and Santa Maria) and money.

This could also promote this issue, as a discovery of America. Thirdly, Columbus identifies pleasure when exploring the world, just like he voyaged around the Europe, Asia and Africa. Not only he discovered the West Indies, he also explored spices in the new world which boosted his country’s wealth – Spain. It also benefited him to repay the debt, to the Monarchs of Spain. Columbus’s had an attraction with exploration from an early age, which was probably the main reason behind the exploration of the ‘new world’. Perhaps, he desired to explore the new world in order to achieve fame and glory. In order to articulate his interests (exploring), he determined to explore the world even further, which could also highlights the fact that it was a discovery. Unaware of the two continents in the way – North and South America, people presume that Columbus discovered the West Indies. You can convey to this by his approach in the Bahamas, which is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus did not actually land in North America, he landed on the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, South America, Jamaica and Guanaja Island; he sailed to Bahamas which he considered it was East Indies.

Not having intentions of gaining gold and glory, Columbus adjudicated to sail west from Europe, in order to reach East Indies, to establish that the world is circular. As a sailor, his intentions were pretty conspicuous, scrutinizing unknown places in order to experience unfamiliar things. People considering that Columbus invaded America due to, firstly, people nowadays have criticized Columbus as a creature who invaded the field of the Native Americans. Spaniards enslaved the Arawaks by forcing them to find gold, food and pearls for them. Eventually, they began brutalising the Arawaks and killing them as if they were ants, which is why it led to no existence of the Arawaks, after 1655.

This procedure was instructed by the Monarch – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who strictly authorised the following: To declare any lands that Columbus steps on has belonged to Spain and Columbus to aggressively seek for gold and spices, in order to receive 3 ships, Santa, Maria and Pinta and $7,000. Secondly, Animism was the religion that no longer exists due to the fact that it was demolished by Columbus and the Spaniards. Christianity was the new religion that was advised to the Arawaks, believing that they have no faiths or beliefs. In order to increase the number of Christianity believers and the importance given to this religion, Columbus forcefully converts the religion of the people living in the West Indies, from Animism to Christianity. E.g. In 21st century, people living in West Indies mainly follows Christianity not Animism. This issue was strictly asked to follow by the monarch, in order to increase the number of supporters and sharing more importance towards Christianity – Catholic.

His discoveries led to the major European sea powers sending expeditions to the New World to build trade networks and colonies and to convert the native people to Christianity. Thirdly, Arawaks were forcefully taken to Spain, to be enslaved which can also highlight as West Indies being invaded. They were taken to Spain, in order to fulfil the criteria set by the Monarch, which was to slave trade. If the Arawaks, refused to follow Columbus, they would get their nose cut off immediately. Some Arawaks even committed infanticide, meaning they killed their infants just to relieve them from not becoming slaves. During this exchange, diseases were also exchanged i.e. small pox which was very harmful, but now we’re capable of fighting due to the injections. Research show that his intentions to take the Arawaks forcefully, was to educate them and guide Columbus.

Another word that could summarize the answer to this essay – INVADE, which defines as entering a country / region by force. Columbus was not invited in Bahamas; he went there, in order to search for the gold and spices, which can improve his country on their financial basis. You can easily tell that Columbus was not invited due to the fact that Bahamas did not EXIST, before Columbus DISCOVERD it, which also proves that he entered that country forcefully and treated the Arawaks appallingly. Spaniards had invaded the country and then committed genocide (the killing of a whole group) by torturing the Arawaks i.e. thousands killed themselves by taking poison made from cassava.

Due to the fact that past can be represented and interpreted in many ways; some historians think that the West Indies was discovered/invaded by Columbus. The following four paragraphs will historically prove that Columbus either discovered or invaded the West Indies? Most of the history books say that Columbus invaded the West Indies, with a very valid point – “America was still there, before it was publicly known, so Columbus never discovered the country – he just travelled there, as an explorer” – stated in Horrible Histories (USA). This book might have different interpretations than others due to the fact of the author’s location of living – ‘Terry Deary’ in England. Although people in England mainly believe that Columbus discovered the West Indies, Terry Deary is an exception with a unique thought which has changed my decision of Columbus discovering the West Indies to invading. His thought is different compared to others and this could be because the type of history studied by him, in the first place.

Jon Stewart, who is a writer, strongly quotes the following, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America. Now, some have argued Columbus actually discovered the West Indies, or that Norsemen has discovered America centuries earlier, or that you really can’t get credit for discovering a land already populated by indigenous people with a developed civilization. Columbus discovered America.” This quote from Jon Stewart has described this term differently than the previous one, due to the location of his living. Due to Stewart being an American, his thoughts are different to the people living in different countries. This could be due to the fact that American schools are being taught that, Columbus discovered the West Indies.

His thinking in this way clearly proves that historians living in different locations might have different thoughts. (Source – http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/634382-in-fourteen-hundred-ninety-two-columbus-sailed-the-ocean-blue-and) Carmen Irizarry, who is an author of a book, called Spain the land and its people. On page 32, the historian strongly proves that Columbus discovered the West Indies. “Columbus discovered America and took possession of it for Spain.” This quote from Irizarry has certainly proved that he understood that, Columbus discovered the West Indies. The reason behind this interpretation could be because he’s from Europe. European historians in the past often considered that Columbus ‘discovered’ the West Indies because from their point of view, Columbus made his country – SPAIN extremely wealthy, by vigorously taking the Arawaks to Spain, in order to enhance their lifestyle.

Some American historians also believe that Columbus invaded the West Indies, which is proved by the following quote, “America did not exist before it got ‘discovered,’ as though saying that I discovered my lost shoe under the bed implied that it had not previously existed.” American historians explain their arguments by giving an example, which also highlights why historians have different interpretations. However, I think that this term is described in this way due to the fact that methods and techniques of teaching history are always different.

Eric William, who is a historian, states the following, “Discovery defines as finding something, and Columbus found the ‘New World.” This particular describes his interpretations in this term, could be due to the way of his thinking. Everyone has different opinions. There are different interpretations because historians usually gather their information from two different sources: Primary and Secondary. Primary sources are original and are first handed sources, whereas secondary sources are written after and are second handed.


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