United States History (junior survey course) response to homework prompt “Answer the following questions with a well-supported and persuasive argument: Should the United States celebrate Columbus Day? What do we celebrate and why? Make sure to explain Columbus’s motivations and actions and the “excuse of progress.” This assignment, with its focus on argumentation supported by evidence, produced the following responses:
- What is often left out of those textbooks and retellings of Columbus’ heroic adventures is the immense bloodshed and malicious motivations behind the journey. Columbus Day is a holiday that is never really understood by most. While most think that is a day to celebrate Christopher Columbus and his heroism, little do people know that they are celebrating a man that they should be condemning. Christopher Columbus’ actions of violence against the Native Americans are inexcusable, as well are his religious and economic motivations, therefore the often misunderstood holiday should not be celebrated in the United States.”
- Christopher Columbus is one of the most controversial people in United States History, a man who can be described in various ways. Some people say he is a national hero who discovered North America. Some people say he is a failed administrator. Some say he is a greedy and cruel imperialist. I say he is just a normal person who discovered a land and got controlled by desires. Then do we need to celebrate a normal person? Not necessarily. What we do need to celebrate is the change and result it caused after the day. Although many changes he made directly harmed Native Americans, those sad changes caused another good change. It is like a food web in small circumstances; none of the changes will survive if any of the change disappears. Columbus Day should be celebrated.