American Literature

American Literature

Columbus was an explorer who was sent by Spain to explore other trade routes from Europe to Asia. He wrote a letter of his exploration to Luis de Santa Angel, the Treasurer of Aragon, stating his outcome on the exploration (Thomas, 2005). He wrote this letter towards the end of his voyage on February 15, 1493. In the letter, he indicated his experience of what he found on the way and what he thought about it. The letter was meant to be seen by Ferdinand and Isabella. It had a lot of influence to the decisions made after by the king of Spain.

It indicated that he found a couple of islands, which were very rich with gold and food. He described them to have good climate suitable for both trade and cultivation (Thomas, 2005). He believed that this was the land that God had prophesied, “Lord guided Columbus in much the same way as He did Adam and Abraham in the Old Testament.” (Smith, 1884) This had the implication that the land was the Promised Land. Due to this, it led to the belief that the land had to be conquered and colonized by Spain. In addition to this he indicated that they had good sea lines, which were very suitable for trade, and this meant that many profits could be generated from it hence it could be very profitable to Spain.

In the letter he also exposed the vulnerability of the Natives, inhabitants of the islands, indicating there backwardness and the fear they had towards them. He said that they were not developed, they even did not know of any weapons, and they did not have a religion but they believed there was a heaven (Franzosi, 2004). This motivated him and it showed that it was easy to colonize them. However the fear they had towards him was due to the belief that they were men from heaven hence indicating there superiority. This implied that Spain had a better advantage in colonizing the natives.



Franzosi, R. (2004). From Words to Numbers: Narrative, Data and Social Science. West Nyack, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Smith, J. (1854). The Book of Mormon: an account. Delray Beach, FL: S. W. Richards.

Thomas, H. (2005). Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire to Magellan. New York, NY : Random House Trade Paperbacks.


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