Compare and Constrast Howard Zinn and Christopher Columbus

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Updated: Jun 16, 2021
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Compare and Constrast Howard Zinn and Christopher Columbus essay

“Ever since 1992 and the 500th anniversary of 1492, the Columbus legacy has taken a hit so much that right now a generational movement to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, led by Native American activists is bearing results in some cities and states. He is important because The New World comes into play and prominence, and the whole World changes overnight. Around the time of discovery, I recall a writer or a philosopher said, “”If America Didn’t Exist We’d Have to Make It Up””. Meaning the new world would fulfill all fantasies, promises and hopes. The contact between the old world and the new world, we Natives refer to Contact and European-Americans call it Discovery, now we call it recovery. Natives have suffered historical trauma, just as other survivors thru history (jewish concentration camp survivors) that may be passed on to descendants. But the discovery aspect could save his legacy if people can come together and celebrate discovery, invention and innovation. So after contact and discovery, we have great philosophical debates, Montaigne, Voltaire, Shakespeare and John Locke.

The gold & silver of the Americas changed the Old World, as did the food of the New World, Natives will tell you that our lands, our cultures and our concepts contributed to American Democracy, it did not all come from England, Rome & Greece. Christopher Columbus was a man of many things, though the one of his accomplishments that is most known today was the discovery of “The New World”. Now, it is known as America. Christopher Columbus, it is taught, has shaped the culture and society to be what it is today. Now, the country takes a day off of school (Monday, October, to commemorate this great feat in history. Columbus’s discovery of The New World is what really started opening up trade routes. If Columbus had not had discovered The New World, it could have completely changed history. I believe it is right that we credit him for the discovery even though he wasn’t the “First” to discover America because it is what his discovery started, and what it led to in history and all the factors that played after it,” America celebrates Columbus Day because Christopher Columbus took a voyage to search for trade routes to Asia and India, but landed in the Americas. However, he thought he was in India because he sailed across seas onto unmapped land. He wasn’t aware of this land because the people who visited it before him didn’t document, spread word, or start an economic system because of it.

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Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in the Republic of Genoa, or what is now Italy. In his 20s he moved to Lisbon, Portugal, and later resettled in Spain, which remained his home base for the duration of his life. Christopher Columbus was an italian explorer and navigator. In 1492, he sailed across the Ocean blue from Spain in the Santa Maria, with the Pinta and the Niña ships alongside, hoping to discover a new route. He was trained in the Portuguese maritime service for many years, Columbus is thought to have been illiterate, and having no formal education. Columbus acquired knowledge of the Spanish language reading and writing from associates in Spain. As a result of his association with Portuguese mariners, Columbus was taught how to handle a caravel in various types of winds and seas, and the types of stores supplies to take on extended voyages. His education included how such supplies might best be stowed. Additionally, his education must have included relating to native peoples using exchange of gifts. “When he was still a teenager, he got a job on a merchant ship. He remained at sea until 1470, when French privateers attacked his ship as it sailed north along the Portuguese coast.The boat sank, but the young Columbus floated to shore on a scrap of wood and made his way to Lisbon, where he studied mathematics, astronomy, cartography and navigation. He also began to hatch the plan that would change the world forever.”(Wiley News)

In 1479 Columbus married Dona Felipe and established land in Porto Santo were his son Diego was born in 1480. When his wife died somewhere in between 1481 to 1485, Columbus returned to Lisbon. As early as 1484 Columbus got a plan to sail west from the Canary Islands to the Indies now East Indies) and the kingdom island of Cipangu now known as modern day Japan. Christopher Columbus had three ships on his first voyage, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Columbus sailed from Palos de la Frontera on 3 August, 1492. His flagship, the Santa Maria had 52 men aboard while his other two ships, the Nina and Pinta were each crewed by 18 men. After 36 days of sailing westward across the Atlantic, Columbus and several crewmen set foot on an island in the present day Bahamas, claiming it for Spain. There he encountered a timid but friendly group of natives who were open to trade with the sailors, exchanging glass beads, cotton balls, parrots and spears. The Europeans also noticed bits of gold the natives wore for adornment.

“”During the decade before 1492, as Columbus nursed a growing urge to sail west to the Indies—as the lands of China, Japan and India were then known in Europe—he was studying the old writers to find out what the world and its people were like. He read the Ymago Mundi of Pierre d’Ailly, a French cardinal who wrote in the early 15th century, the travels of Marco Polo and of Sir John Mandeville, Pliny’s Natural History and the Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini,”” (Eyewitness History). Columbus was not trying to take credit from discovering the new world but explore other places that other native americans haven’t seen. Christopher columbus seized his life to take upon a journey that opened up many doors for many other explorers. Although columbus was technically not the first to discover The New World, his work is credited for the culture that came from his voyage. In 15th-century Spain, ships were traditionally named after saints. Salty sailors, however, bestowed less-than-sacred nicknames upon their vessels. Mariners dubbed one of the three ships on Columbus’s 1492 voyage the Pinta, Spanish for “the painted one” or “prostitute.” The Santa Clara, meanwhile, was nicknamed the Nina in honor of its owner, Juan Nino. Although the Santa Maria is called by its official name, its nickname was La Gallega, after the province of Galicia in which it was built.”

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Compare and Constrast Howard Zinn and Christopher Columbus. (2021, Jun 16). Retrieved from