It is possible to discuss Christopher Columbus as a villain than a hero because Columbus not only ‘discovered’ America, but he also changed the economic, social, and cultural life of the Native Americans. Columbus did not intend to discover America because he did not know about its existence. On the contrary, the navigator and traveler intentionally explored the lands which were discussed as Asia, and which could guarantee the economic benefits for discoverers and for Spain. The first voyage of Columbus was in 1492, and the famous Genoese traveler used all the opportunities to explore the wealth of the American territories in order to return to the lands several times during the early years of the 16th century.
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Christopher Columbus can be discussed as a villain because he brought the horrors of the Old World to America while focusing on promoting the conquest, welfare, slavery, and violation. The main positive features of the ‘discovery’ are the development of technology, agriculture, and social life in America. However, all those benefits were imposed on the Native Americans violently, and the Caribbean tribes and Indians had no opportunities to protect their lands from the attacks of the armed Europeans. Thus, the gained civilization was a result of capturing the Native Americans, a result of developing slavery, and a result of destroying the tribes’ cultural and social norms and rules.
While concentrating on the impact of the Columbian Exchange on the New World and the Old World, it is important to note that the Columbian Exchange influenced the development of two worlds significantly in relation to the economic and cultural spheres. The Europeans and Native Americans exchanged animals, plants, crops, elements of culture, different ideas, and even infectious diseases. The positive impact was in exchanging plants, animals, and agricultural experience. For instance, the New World learned how to build and prey, and the Old World could benefit from growing discovered vegetables and crops and from supporting their economies with the help of voyages and new trade routes.
However, there also was a negative impact on the New World because of the development of slavery and many new diseases. From this point, one of the most significant aspects of the Columbian Exchange is the spread of unknown diseases in America. Thousands of Native Americans died from smallpox, typhoid, and yellow fever because they could not resist these diseases naturally, and there was little treatment provided for the Indians used as slaves and servants by the Europeans. On the contrary, the percentage of Europeans suffering from new diseases was low, and they also discovered the advantages of using quinine.
Thus, Christopher Columbus can be discussed as a hero for the Old World who found the ways to support the economy of Spain and as a villain for the Native Americans because he contributed to transforming the ways of their life significantly. In spite of positive consequences such as the evolution in the agricultural production and trade in the Old World and the New World, the losses are too great, and mortality rates are too high to speak about the Columbian Exchange as beneficial for all the parties. Both the Europeans and Native Americans could see the positive and negative sides of the promoted exploration, changes in the economic, social, and cultural life of the nations.