As we all sit down and enjoy the day off from our duties, we often think of Christopher Columbus and thank him for his accomplishments and contributions. Columbus had found the new world in an attempt to find Asia and had sent many expeditions to explore the area heroically. That is what the majority of people think about when they think of Christopher Columbus. Little do they know, Christopher Columbus had a dark side. He was deceitful and merciless, and would stop at nothing to obtain what he wanted , much like a villain. I would classify Columbus as a villain do to his horrible ethical treatment of others as well as his deceitful ways.
Christopher Columbus was not only a good explorer, he was a deceitful one at that, stopping at nothing to get his way or convince people that he is right. one example of this occurred when one of his crewmen spotted the land that is now known as the Bahamas. At the time, the Spanish government had promised a large sum of money to the first person who spotted land. The crewman should have received the prize. However, Columbus' deceitful antics persuaded the king and queen that he himself was the one that spotted land and he received the money. In addition to this, when Columbus reported back to Spain, he exaggerated the treasures that he had found there. he reported that the was gold all around when in reality, there was very little gold, only scarce amounts in rivers to be exact.
Perhaps more terrifying than his deceitfulness was the unethical treatment of the native Arawak Indians by the Spaniards under his command. His men had rounded up many of the Indians to transport as slaves to Spain, since Columbus had to send something in replacement of all the nonexistent gold. He also traded with the Indians unfairly, making they trade lopsided and bad for the Arawaks. This unethical treatment began to worsen more and more as the Spaniards under his command were at the island longer. The Europeans had taken many Arawaks as slaves and made them work on plantations called encomiendas. They also used the Arawaks for free labor forcing them to work in mines and separating families. However, the most unethical treatment of the Arawaks came when the Europeans became very interested in gold. Each Arawak was responsible for collecting a certain amount of gold in a couple months time. When they collected the gold, they would receive a medal from the Spanish. If an Arawak did not collect enough gold, they would be killed. These killings led to more and more. Eventually, the Spanish would kill the Arawaks just for fun, or to try out weapons. This led to a rapid decrease in the Arawak population due to death, disease, and suicide. Eventually, there were no Arawak Indians left in the area.
Next time you think of Columbus and his accomplishments, keep in mind what he had to do in order to fulfill those accomplishments. He lied, he tortured, he abused, and he killed many native people of the time.