Christopher Columbus Pros and Cons List

Even though his “discovery” of the Americas is now more than a little bit controversial, the truth of the matter is Christopher Columbus was – and continues to be – a major part of history.

An Italian explorer that was dead set on finding a new and better way to access the farthest reaches of the world (India at that particular point in time), Columbus did everything and anything to try and win support from different nations to finance his adventures and exploration.

It wasn’t until the Queen of Spain decided to finance his operation West that he cemented his place in history, though there are some definite pros and cons to this “discovery”. Let’s break those down right now!

List of Pros of Christopher Columbus

1. Up until Columbus’s voyage West to the Americas, the overwhelming majority of the seafaring community was more than a little bit nervous about sailing West to get East – so much so that the ships would make terribly dangerous voyages through some of the rough and rocky as to seize in the world just to avoid “falling off the edge of the world”. Columbus showed that not only could you sail West without falling off the edge of the planet, but that there was an entire new section of the world open and available for exploration.

2. Though we now believe that the Vikings beat Columbus to the Americas (by a pretty significant amount of time, for that matter), without the Columbus voyage Europeans would not have flooded into the Americas when they did. This “Great Migration” completely transformed the face of history, opened up new frontiers and new exploration, and allowed the world to grow into what it is today.

List of Cons of Christopher Columbus

1. At the same time, it is impossible to downplay the brutality that Christopher Columbus and following Europeans inflicted upon the indigenous people of the Americas when they came over. This wasn’t an idyllic relationship between the indigenous people and the Europeans, and Columbus landing on this new continent really led to genocide.

2. Not only did war frequently break out between indigenous people and the new Europeans led by Columbus, but new diseases were also exposed to these tribes – wiping them out without any shots fired at all. Colonization completely transformed their traditions and their culture in a way that may never be fully appreciated due to everything that has been lost to time.