Columbus and Indians

1149 words 5 pages
Regarding the article, “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress, Dr. Howard Zinn argues that there is another perspective to consider as to Christopher Columbus’ adventures. Dr. Howard Zinn’s position is that history books have omissions of slavery, death and innocent bloodshed that accompanied the adventures of Christopher Columbus. In the following statements Dr. Howard Zinn describes his perspective; “The writer began the history, five hundred years ago, of the European invasion of the Indian Settlement in the Americas. That beginning, when you read Las Casas- even if his figures are exaggerations (were there 3 million Indians to begin with, as he says or 250,000, as modern historians calculate) is conquest, slavery, and death. When …show more content…

Quoting Dr. Zinn, “In return for bringing back gold and spices, they promised Columbus 10 percent of the profits, governorship over new-found lands, and the fame that would go with a new title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea”.

Upon his return to Spain, Dr. Zinn notes that Columbus had no significant amounts of gold, only a few enslaved Indians who survived the voyage to Spain. It is at this point that Dr. Zinn makes his strongest argument in the article as to why he thinks he’s clear in his position. Dr. Zinn states; “after his return to Spain from his first voyage and reported to the court at Madrid as to what he had seen, beautiful land, wide rivers where the majority gold was, he also reported there were many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals” Dr. Zinn felt that this report at Madrid represent Columbus’ motivation very clearly, to enslave Indians and bring back as much gold to Spain as possible; "He concluded his report by asking for a little help from their Majesties, and in return he would bring them from his next voyage "as much gold as they need ... and as many slaves as they ask."

Dr. Zinn writes that after Columbus’s report at Madrid, Columbus returned to the Americas with 17 ships and 1200 men to bring back slaves and as much gold as the king wanted. According to Dr. Zinn, this is what happened following Columbus’ return to the


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