Argumentative Essay

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Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essay

Essay Question

What are the similarities and differences between the two argumentative essays, Columbus and the War on Indigenous People and Genocide in the Americans?

Columbus and the War on Indigenous People

In reflecting on Christopher Columbus and his various voyages to the Western Hemisphere, questions arise regarding the ultimate responsibility for the initial expeditions and the eventual domination of the native peoples of the Caribbean region.  Unfortunately, simplistic or incomplete answers to such questions tend to generate more confusion or misinformation regarding this point in time when cultures collided.   Obviously, Columbus plays a central role in the clash between the cultures.  However, the simplistic mentality to characterize all of the indigenous people of the time as docile and defenseless also allows for the viewpoint that all Europeans of the time were the same: primarily driven by greed and overly prone to corruption.  This stereotypical viewpoint diminishes the importance of the historical background of Europe emerging from the middle Ages (Hunker, 2000). 

Often neglected or diminished in importance is fact that the same Spanish monarchs who sent Columbus off on his quest also initiated the Spanish Inquisition.  Another factor to consider is that Spain had only became a nation after King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella married and united different local kingdoms in the effort to drive the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula.   Columbus emerged from this environment as an historic figure.  However, considering the broader context, it seems implausible that in the turbulent Spain of that time, the Spanish crown would completely entrust a commoner from Genoa with the foreign affairs of their new nation.  If it were not for the kingdom's treasurer who recognized an opportunity in Columbus's plan, history may have been much different.  He advised the monarchs that despite little wealth to finance such an endeavor, the plan required minimal risk from Spain with the chance of great rewards, if for some reason the sailor from Genoa succeeded.  For most Americans, who have never lived under a despot, it is hard to fully comprehend the position of Columbus when he submitted himself to the Spanish crown.

 His desire to find a new route to Cathay and obtain status and wealth drove him to contract his services with any government, which would provide the means to pursue his dreams, but his demands were perceived as unreasonable.  Negotiations had collapsed because Columbus demanded a contract guaranteeing him a 10% cut of any wealth he could claim.  Only the royal treasurer managed to reverse the monarchs' rejection of Columbus's proposal.  This level of trust between the crown and Columbus was fashioned indirectly and the fundamental basis of agreement was founded upon the potential returns on a minimal investment.  Predictably, Columbus's initial voyage involved little risk and minimal investment from the Spanish government.  However, when he surprisingly returned with bold and glittering promises to the monarchs regarding his discovery of gold in the foreign lands, it changed the paradigm (Gómez, 2008). 

To a recently established nation with depleted treasuries due ...
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