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C. Columbus and the Underground Railroad Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2022

From the historical information it is very much clear that Christopher Columbus was not the person that discovered the American continent, and people. This is the case because great civilizations had been built long before he came across the land; he did not open the American land to European trade like it is often claimed; and fishermen had fished the Canadian shores long before he had come along. It is also evident that he did not discover America, because historical documentation about America had been done by 1947. The other discovery that Columbus claims credit for is the discovery that the earth is spherical; which long before the making of his arguments, the earth’s diameter and circumference had been documented by the Egyptian Greek scientists. The claim that Columbus was the first person to discover America can be disapproved by the fact that; the Muslim had encountered contact with the people of the American land long before Columbus came into the discovery picture. The claim that has not yet been verified that Homo-sapiens evolved in America; could also be used as a basis to claim that Columbus was not the first person to discover the American land (Rodriguez 143-152).

Further disapproval of Columbus’ discovery of America can be attributed to events like the migration of the people, who became the ancestors of the native Bahamas people from Asia to America; through the Bering land bridge during the Ice age. After he found the land and the people there; they used to exchange their merchandise for glass beads and hawks’ bells which they did voluntarily. This gives an indication that the native people were already used to trade; and that he was not the person that either discovered the land, or brought civilization to these people (Magnuson 114-119).

From the account it is very evident that Columbus took the native people by force due to their ignorance, so that they could show him the places where there were resources like gold in the region after teaching them how to speak and learn. Columbus however had the idea that there was gold in this region; this gives the idea that the voyages he made were not merely a coincidence leading to the discovery of America, but a search for the gold resources he believed were in this region. Columbus further used the ignorance and uncivilized nature of these people; to get them doing what he wanted, which was getting to the gold endowed regions. This therefore can be used as an account to that, Columbus was not even conscious of the search and discovery of America as it had long been discovered; but was in an adventure geared to looking for gold and slaves. This is evident from the writings that; he could use these people to do whatever he wanted of them (Rodriguez 143-152).

The Underground Railroad can greatly be viewed as an icon in the development of humane treatment of the then slaves; symbol of the self identity of the then considered less human slaves; and an indication that not one race was fully inhuman to enslave other people. The underground rail road was a foundation for the derailing of the social evil of slavery in America; that has even shown indication in the present day society. It also served as a landmark; for the use of cheap slave labor as an economic base for the then land owners. However it was not until the Fugitive slavery act was passed; that was meant to free the slaves to the north, through this railroad that was not just a railway but an organized mode for escape by the combined effort of both black and white people. The strength of this operation lied in the thorough knowledge of the given region, by the organizers who planned the right times for escape and even gave food among other things to keep the slaves going (Beigel, Hochschild & May 95-112).

The Underground Railroad phenomena; therefore serves as an important indication of the American people’s history; fighting for their rights and what they believe in; and an inspiration to the present day people, the future generations and the then slaves (Lassieur 54-59).

Work cited

Beigel, Mark., Hochschild, Lenny. & May, Ilana. “History of the Underground Railroad”. The Underground Railroad in Rochester. Beaufort Books. (1982): 95- 112

Bial, Raymond. “The Underground Railroad”. Singapore: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1995: 123-127

Lassieur, Allison. “The Underground Railroad: An Interactive History Adventure”. Capstone Press. (2008): 54-59

Magnuson, Magnus. “The Norse discovery of America”. Penguin Classics. (1965): 114-119

Rodriguez, Richard. “The Last Discovery of America”. Viking Adult press. (2002): 143-152

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