1493: Columbus Stole
All He Could See
Uh oh…
• Disclaimer: This lesson will turn
your understanding of Columbus
upside down.
• However, Mr. McLaughlin does not
encourage hatred or rebellion
against anyone or anything. (except
for bad history)
• Seeking new perspective, not to
throw dirt on anyone (post modern
history- Jess Noll knows about this
Columbus and the
Natives (p. 36)
• Could conquer the island with 50
• Sent slaves back to Spain- “thank
you for the investment”
• Columbus killed or enslaved Natives
that would not accept Roman
• Beginning of slave trade
• “The Requirement”- promises war and
death if Natives don’t convert
Paying Tribute (p 56)
• If the Natives provide gold or 25
pounds of cotton they receive a
copper token necklace
• If they could not pay tribute had
their hands chopped off
• Decimated Native economy, society,
and politics
• Impossible to sustain, Natives died
too quickly
Encomienda System
• Spanish first trade useless items for
gold, even though Columbus said
• Native Village granted to Colonist
• Essentially slavery
• Spanish made Natives mine for gold,
plant cash crops, literally carry them
Native Reaction
• Can’t farm or live when you need to
mine or grow cash crops
• Suicide
• Jumping from cliffs
Women kill their children
Ran into the woods to escape
Fight against the Europeans
Carab population drops from 250,000
to 500 in 1550
Making War
• Canons, horses, disease, attack
dogs to subdue Natives
• Hunted humans for sport
• Raped women
• Disfigured Natives for slight or
no infraction- sent back to
village as a warning
How did this happen…
• Cognitive dissonance theory
• Belief that Europeans are superior,
Roman Catholicism is superior,
whites are superior
• Not enough opposition to outweigh
the $
• Bartolome de las Casas- Spanish priest
who tried to reform Spanish practices

1493: Columbus Stole All He Could See