Was Columbus an Imperialist?

Topics: Colonialism, Christopher Columbus, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 3 (922 words) Published: March 1, 2011
Was Columbus an Imperialist?
On October 12, 1492,admiral colon spent a total of ninety six days exploring the lands he encountered on the far side of the ocean seafour rather small coralline islands in the bahamian chain and two substantail coastlines of what he finally acknowledged were larger islands every one of which he took possession of in the name of his sovereigns. Admiral Colon landed on a tropical Caribbean island. Finding this island was purely accidental. Colon had originally set out to find a shorter route to China and instead discovered the New World. If the purpose of Colon's voyage was not seeking out to dominate another country, but to find a shorter route to China, then how could he be considered an imperialist? While he didn't set out as an imperialist, some of his actions could be considered imperialistic. One of the main reasons that Kirkpatrick Sale believes that Colon was an imperialist is because "Colon went on to assign no fewer than sixty-two other names on the geography of the islands…. with a blithe assurance suggesting that in his perception the act of name-giving was in some sense a talisman of a conquest, a rite that changed raw neutral stretches of far-off earth into extensions of Europe.". Columbus trivialized the natives of the land by convincing himself that they were a simple people because they didn't wear clothes and most of them painted themselves different colors. As Sale wrote, "Colon immediately presumed the inferiority of the natives, not merely because they were naked, but because they seemed to be so technologically backwards." Columbus was proven right of his assumption when he introduced the natives to weapons as he said, "They bear no arms, nor are they acquainted with them, for I showed them sword and they grasped them by the blade and cut themselves through ignorance." They had no possessions of any kind and lacked a coherent language, thus as Columbus had previously assumed, they were...
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