Philipp Korzenek (AE)
Society, History & Politics I
Columbus's Role in the Destruction of the Population of the Indigenous Peoples of the New World During His First Two Voyages (1492-1496)
In October, the Americans annually honor a man named Christopher Columbus and his discoveries. Although Columbus Day is celebrated widely throughout the whole nation of the United States of America the name Columbus is linked to one of the darkest chapters of this continent. Christopher Columbus played a major role in the destruction of the population of the indigenous peoples of the New World during his first two voyages by regarding them as being humans of less worth, by being disrespectful in concern to their culture and by starting the enslavement of the native inhabitants.
Firstly, Columbus regarded the indigenous peoples as being humans of less worth. Columbus thought that the natives were less sophisticated than the Spanish. One of the aspects that struck the Spanish was the nakedness of the native inhabitants. The Spaniards were not accustomed to people who were naked and to Columbus their nakedness even represented a lack of culture and religion. Due to the fact that the indigenous peoples lacked experience in trade they were easy to trick. Therefore, the Spanish led by Columbus tried to exploit the fact that the natives gave big amounts of gold for things like pieces of broken glass. Furthermore, the indigenous peoples were not able to match the technical standards of the European explorers. The natives did not have weapons or armor that were effective enough to repel the Spanish attacks. Since the stems of reeds were seldom a match for the Spanish firearms the native peoples were almost defenseless against the Spanish. Neither did the Spaniards see ships that could compete with their own vessels or caravels, nor did they see big cities or towns but only hamlets.