How Is Christopher Columbus A Hero

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The year 1492 marks one of the most momentous events that irrevocably changed the course of world history. It was then that Christopher Columbus first made contact with the New World at a site he named San Salvador, an island of present-day Bahamas. Though initially an accidental encounter, this was the beginning of the systemic European contact with and colonization of the Caribbean and the Americas, an encounter that continues to have boundless impact on all world nations. During his lifetime as well as in the five centuries since that time, Columbus has both been revered as a hero and indicted as a villain for his actions. Was he an intellectual visionary with an enterprising spirit or an economic exploiter and brutal oppressor responsible for slavery and the genocide of Indigenous people? Through exploration of these opinions, it is argued that Christopher Columbus was simply a man with admirable qualities and concurrent character flaws. Equally important, however, he was a product of the political and religious circumstances that conditioned him; he was essentially a man of his time. For…show more content…
Ultimately, it was these qualities that convinced Queen Isabella to support his expeditions. It was also these qualities that led him to be a legendary mariner with exceptional navigational skills (Lunenfeld, White 4). Although Columbus led many voyages and overcame countless challenges along the way, none was more dramatic and skillfully handled than his first return voyage from San Salvador in March, 1493 when one ship ran aground and the two remaining ships were separated in a furious storm off the coast of Portugal (Phillips and Phillips, Sokolov). Flawless navigation led to their safe return, and with it, the news of a great geographical
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