Celebrating Columbus Day? - HistorySmith
 
Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas on October 12, 1492.  Many countries in the Americas, including the United States, celebrate this momentous event with a national holiday, parades, speeches and other commemorations.  However, there is a growing and rather vocal group of people (particularly the ancestors of the indigenous populations) who believe that to celebrate such a man is wrong.  Look up some of the opposition groups' positions and then, based on what you have learned about Columbus, make a reasoned argument as to whether or not any country should celebrate Columbus Day.
Zachary Temraz
10/9/2011 08:21:31

He didn't discover America, he encountered it. He thought he was in Asia, hence the name Indians. He isn't an American hero, he killed the Tiano tribe if they did not bring him gold. When Isabella found out she arrested him and sent him back to Spain. He isn't better than Pizarro or Cortez. Are Pizarro and Cortez known as heroes? I don't believe we should celebrate Colombus day.

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Zachary Temraz
10/10/2011 01:04:33

Discover means, to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of. So, Columbus didn't write down anything he found in America or charted the land. It came for the gold and tortured the tribe. Its more like he visited the land, or encountered it. Can you really say you discovered a place where millions of people already live.

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Sarah
10/16/2011 06:30:55

Columbus was trying to get to India and landed in America by accident. When he got to America, he found natives living there already, meaning that the natives discovered America. Columbus was also not the first to travel this area either. The Vikings led by Leif Ericson took voyages around this area first, but showed no interest in the land and left. Amerigo Vespucci, another traveler, also drew up maps of his travels. A teacher found these and named the area after Vespucci, America. In conclusion, Columbus did not really discover America. Columbus Day should not be celebrated because Columbus did not really discover America and because as soon as he landed in this land, he took advantage of the people's generosity. The people were willing to trade gold and silver for virtually nothing. Columbus thrived on this and if this was not enough, he also enslaved the people and brought them back to his country for the king. Some might argue, saying that he gave them a better educated life even though they were slaves, but forcing someone to do something, such as work for you for free until you die, deserves no sympathy.

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Nehal
10/16/2011 07:22:07

Christopher Columbus unintentionally discovered America, whilst searching for India. This is why he called the natives, living in this land for centuries, "Indians." Columbus did not discover America. The Vikings had settled in these lands for a number of centuries before Columbus. Columbus killed many natives, by his crew bringing diseases into the country, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and measles. He also enslaved the Taino Indians, as well as murdered them. Within two years, two hundred and fifty-thousand natives were dead as a result of Columbus and his crew. Columbus classified the natives as an inferior race and with the drive of getting 10% of the wealth found on this land, he did not stop until all the natives were dead with all the gold and silver harvested or stolen for his country and king, as well as himself. To wrap up, Columbus had stood by and watched as natives were murdered, raped, and mutilated. He was a slave trader and murderer extraordinaire. A total of four million natives were killed in four years, in which he spent in America. Just as we do not have holidays celebrating Hitler and Genghis, we should not have one celebrating Columbus.

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Assem Heiba
10/16/2011 07:41:23

Columbus Day should not be celebrated for many reasons. The first reason is that when Columbus discovered the “New World”, people had already been living there for thousands of years. These people lived just fine and had their own magnificent cultures and civilizations. When the Europeans reached the Americas, they decimated the native population through grueling work, violence and germs. If we celebrate the Europeans’ discovery of the Americas, we are also celebrating the first step in destroying the magnificent native cultures of the Americas and the decimation of its people. The second reason we shouldn’t celebrate Columbus Day is that Columbus himself thought he had discovered islands off of the coast of Japan. His personal goal on the expedition was to meet a great Chinese king, but he failed in that goal. Instead, he robbed the natives and came to the conclusion that these natives would make great slaves. If Columbus didn’t know what he discovered, why should we praise him for such a fluke achievement? Thirdly, Columbus wasn’t the first explorer to reach the Americas; Vikings had reached the “New World” centuries before. Since the Vikings were the first explorers there, why isn’t it called “Vikings Day”? To celebrate Columbus Day is, in my opinion, great disrespect to the natives of today. Celebrating this day basically says that the European settlers don’t care about the natives, and that they don’t consider them to be part of American history. Can we allow that to happen?

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Faridaenglish
10/16/2011 19:22:19

Christopher Columbus was looking for a new route to India when he accidentally encountered America. At first, he thought he landed somewhere in Japan; he didn't know what he had discovered. After a while in tge new land, he started realizing that the place he landed in wasn't what he thought it was. The main reason he should not be accredited for discovering the New World is because he just stumbled upon it and he wasn't even the first there. The Vikings were there first, they just didn't settle there; they raided what they found and just left. Another reason is because Columbus wasn't really a good person. When he met the Natives, he used them to his own good, traded them to slavery, and killed them. So in conclusion, Columbus Day shouldn't be celebrated because he wasn't the first to discover America and on top of that he killed many people.

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Arpita
10/18/2011 05:24:40

Even though this may be redundant, the main reason why Columbus Day shouldn't be celebrated is that he didn't find America intentionally, he found it coincidentally. In addition, he wasn't the first person to land there; the Vikings had had always moved to and fro to the new world, oblivious of its value. They were, in fact the first to find America.
Columbus had set out on a journey, originally, to find a simpler route to India rather than going through the Cape of Good Hope. He travelled west for numerous months until he reached land that he thought was Japan. He was treated with respect by the supposed Japanese. (Americans) Columbus knew they were very vulnerable; he slyly took advantage of their naivety. Some scholars classify him as a murderer. Not a serial killer but a low profile murderer; though that shouldn’t make a difference, as he still eradicated the American population.
To summarize, he did not discover America, he used the Americans to his advantage and executed many. If 'Columbus Day' had to be celebrated, people should realize they are celebrating the enslavement and killing of the Native Americans.

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