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Example essay writing, topic: Critique Of Robert Royal's Columbus - 675 words


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A nation founded on the slaughter of innocent people will never admit what they did was wrong. Most of them will not even acknowledge that such events ever took place. They will even go as far as to tell their children that the murderous tyrants of old were heroes and how they brought peace and prosperity. They will preach of how a nation of uneducated savages was given the gift of Christianity and how the divine light lead them to become people of culture. This nation is America. These people were the Arawak, Iroquois, Cherokee, Powhatan, Pequot, and Wampanoag just to name a few.

The tyrants were Spanish explorers, English settlers, and the American people. And very few individuals personify the "American idealist" as much as Robert Royal. "In recent years, of course, Columbus's tanning as a hero has come under severe assault. He and the culture he represented have been castigated for initiating the modern cultural dominance of Europe and every subsequent world evil: colonialism, slavery, cultural imperialism, environmental damage, and religious bigotry. There is a kernel of truth in these charges, but obviously to equate a single individual for a complex entity like a culture with what are currently being judged to be the negative dimensions of the emergence of an interconnected human world is to great a historical injustice to both individuals and ideas." These words, written by Robert Royal, are both lies and propaganda.

Columbus is to blame for bigotry, genocide, and a good deal of imperialism; claiming that he caused slavery, environmental damage, and colonialism is just a way of making the truth sound implausible. The implication that these charges were ever made holds no ground and was simply made up by Royal to turn his readers against the Indians and historians who like to tell it like it was. The fact that Columbus was ever recognized as a hero is an injustice to those wiped from the planet or reduced in number due to his voyages. His arrival was not the peaceful gift exchange and sharing of knowledge we are taught it was. Upon his first landing he ordered some of the Arawak to be taken from their homes as guides and a great many more to be taken back to Spain as slaves. He left some of his men to order other Arawaks into mining parties to search for gold that did not exist.

Anyone who survived the harsh Spanish treatment either spent their lives living in fear of labor and persecution or took their own life. Many Arawak parents killed their own children in order to save them from a painful life and a drawn out death. On his many return trips to The New World, he and his men threatened the Arawak with death by blood loss if they did not each bring a certain amount of gold to them every eight months. "In Italy for thirty years, under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love. They had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock." This quote from The Third Man by Orson Welles to attempt to justify helpless murder in the name of advancement.

It does not do so; in fact, it shows ignorance to the difference between murder and genocide. The Borgias crime family killed few people to secure their power in Italy. Columbus and his Spanish fleet killed 750, 000 Arawak, the entire population. An entire people disappeared from the earth so Spain could search for gold that did not exist in a land they were never searching for, not to mention advance the Americas to become the most destructive nation that ever was. The Swiss are better off with the cuckoo clock and 500 years of peace than colonization of a new world at the price of countless millions of lives and many entire cultures lost. No action or reparation could ever condone the events of 1492..

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