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Speech on Christopher Columbus


1st slide:

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa between August and October 1451. His father was a weaver and small-time merchant. As a teenager, Christopher went to sea, travelled extensively and eventually made Portugal his base.

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He then attempted to find a faster route to Asia in order to trade. His crew wanted to turn back as they did not sight land for a long time. Ten weeks later, land was sighted. On 12 October, Columbus and a group of his men set foot on an island in what later became known as the Bahamas. After returning to Spain he was dubbed a hero and ‘admiral of the Seven seas’. Columbus landed on a number of other islands in the Caribbean, including Cuba and Hispaniola, and returned to Spain in triumph.

Second slide:

[Why is Christopher Columbus thought of as one of the greatest explorers of all time when he was not the first to discover the Americas?] on screen

Not known by many is that Christopher Columbus was not the discovery of the Americas. IT is known that Scandinavian Vikings already had settlements here in the eleventh century, and British fisherman most probably fished the shores of Canada for decades before Columbus.

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It was his luck that the moment he discovered the Americas was an important period in the history of man. IN the 15th century the most significant navigational expanses and the first fast and reliable means of transport- which meant that his discovery could introduce trade and migration between the two countries. This meant that his discovery of the Americas had a much larger influence than his predecessors. Also if it had not been a Spanish man that had discovered the Americas at this moment and it had either been the French or English, the two other naval powers of the world, the course of history may have been different

Slide 3:

Was he an honourable man:

Many know Christopher Columbus’ arrival to America and his interactions with the people as a great “cultural encounter.” Under this interpretation, Columbus becomes a sensitive genius thinking beyond his time in the passionate pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

But when looking deeper into the history though he changed the world around him it is clear that Christopher Columbus was prejudiced and exploited the locals of the area. The enslavement, torture, murder, and extermination of the native people of the West Indies followed quickly on the heels of Columbus and his men. It was obvious from Columbus’s journal that the Tainos were not as used to battle and warfare as the Spaniards. The Spaniards took advantage of their vulnerability. He said that the natives were “such cowards and so fearful” that they were, therefore, easy to rule. This idea was carried back to Europe, setting the tone for the relationship between the natives and the European explorers.

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On one a later journey Columbus’s later voyages he ordered his men to complete certain tasks to ensure their survival as a colony. His men, however, disliked such hard labour and did not do their work. When Columbus returned a few months later to find things worse than when he left and unjustly he punished the natives for the failure of his own men. He blamed them for destroying the settlers’ property, stealing their food, and instilling fear.

In retaliation for these acts, few—if any—of which had actually occurred, he had his men round up over 1,500 Taino men, women, and children then forced the Tainos into slavery and started what was to become the global slave trade – a new revelation as though slave trade has been about since the dawn of mankind never before were large numbers of slaves able for trade.

Slide 4:

Columbus made two further voyages to the newfound territories but suffered defeat and humiliation along the way. A great navigator, Columbus was less successful as an administrator and was accused of mismanagement. He died on 20 May 1506 a wealthy but disappointed man.

Slide 5:

So now we face the question of whether Christopher Columbus truly deserves to be dubbed as a hero and celebrated throughout the USA annually.

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Speech on Christopher Columbus. (2021, Sep 27). Retrieved June 29, 2022, from