Sociological Concepts Stone, Edward T. "Columbus Article Review

Pages: 4 (1170 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans

Sociological Concepts

Stone, Edward T. "Columbus and Genocide." American Heritage (October 1975).

The author describes in painful detail the extent to which Christopher Columbus and his men were guilty of the forced enslavement, murder, and by even the most forgiving contemporary moral standards, genocide for their treatment of the native Indian populations of the Americas. According to the article, the fact that we celebrate Columbus and some of the other European explorers such as Cortez as "heroes" is a continual denial of the moral atrocities committed by the European explorers against the native peoples of the so-called "New World." The author regards those crimes as on par with those committed by the most notorious modern madmen such as Adolph Hitler because the total number of victims of European explorers during the Age of Exploration dwarfs even the millions of innocent civilians exterminated by the Nazis during Word War II.

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Stone describes that the very first reaction of Columbus upon being greeted by the Arawak Indians was to note that they were timid and completely at the mercy of the superior firepower of the Europeans because they had no weapons of any consequence. He wrote that they were cowardly and that a single one of the Europeans could frighten hundreds or even thousands of the natives to flee. One of his first actions upon landing in 1492 was to invite five native men onto his ship under false pretenses of a greeting ceremony. They were immediately taken prisoner and shipped back to Spain for the purpose of using them to learn what riches might be available for plunder on their home islands.

TOPIC: Article Review on Sociological Concepts Stone, Edward T. "Columbus and Assignment

Thereafter, Columbus's men systematically exploited the native Indians by forcing them to work searching for the gold that Columbus believed (erroneously) to be hidden in great quantities in the Americas. The Spaniards set out quotas of gold that all native males had to produce daily and they brutally murdered or mutilated those who failed to produce, typically by chopping off their hands. Columbus's men engaged in wanton brutality including rape and murder without any purpose, such as by testing the sharpness of their swords on people or using them for target practice for their weapons.

Eventually, Columbus realized that his expectations of finding material wealth on the American Islands were unrealistic.

To produce the wealth that he desperately needed to repay his investors and provide the queen with riches, Columbus turned to shipping back the natives in large numbers to be used as slaves in Spain. Initially, as many as half of them died during the voyage because the conditions of their confinement in the olds of his ships were so harsh.

Stone explains that the period that Europeans regard as the "Age of Exploration" was actually a time of homicidal genocide from the perspective of the victims of European imperialism in the Americas. Throughout the entire period, as many as 20 million or more individuals from the native populations originally encountered by the European explorers were killed and their entire societies wiped out.

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sociological-concepts-stone-edward/6669036.