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Christopher Columbus bad?
im concerned about what my history teacher is telling me.
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sirxslayer
09-25-11 12:23 AM
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Christopher Columbus bad?

 

09-25-11 12:23 AM
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Okay so I've heard of Christopher Columbus before but never in this way. I'm being told he was a murderer rapist and a thief. I'm really confused and would like some answers.
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09-25-11 12:24 AM
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As far as I'm concerned, he was just a guy who sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

I don't know a whole ton about him, and this is the first I've heard something like that. o.O
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09-26-11 10:54 AM
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The thing about Christopher Columbus is that we have him a cultural icon. Everyone knows when he sailed across the Atlantic ocean. We know he thought he found India when in reality he landed at San Salvador. The idea that Columbus was a rapist is more of personal judgment, but from what I have learned in U.S. History I his crew did commit murder, theft, and rape because what teachers choose not to tell us is that their original voyages were for profit. In later voyages, after Columbus, monks, notably Bartoleme de las Casas, had recorded and spoken out against the actions that other Spaniards had done against the natives. But this was never concentrated with the Spaniards, it did happen (to their own extents) with the French and British.
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09-26-11 07:33 PM
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I won't go into it, but Columbus was absolutely a "bad" man by today's standards. He helped spread smallpox to the New World and enslaved many of the natives. However he had pretty normal views for his time.
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(edited by winsordawson on 09-26-11 07:36 PM)    

09-28-11 08:39 PM
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winsordawson : Everyone who migrated from Europe to the Americas passed smallpox to the Native Americans. The way you have worded it says that it is Columbus's own fault. Do you mean it that way?
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09-28-11 08:44 PM
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I never heard that. I do not think that it is true and whoever told you that is either lying or just kidding around with you. I would go with the first one. I never heard that he was a rapist.
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09-28-11 10:10 PM
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Yeah, the whole story of the Europeans having a Thanksgiving dinner is hogwash. Some pretty brutal stuff happened, and it was not pretty.
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09-28-11 10:52 PM
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Ok this will apply to all of history - just because it's written doesn't make it fact, unless you believe it to be. The pilgrams may or may not have, spread disease to the natives; the pilgrams may or may not have been famished to the point of almost death, the natives may or may not have helped the pilgrams with food supply and in teaching them how to plant crops; the origin of Thanksgiving may or may not be true.

So the ideas of slandering or promoting Colombus may or may not be true. You can get info from multiple sources pointing either way
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09-30-11 08:33 PM
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billythekidmonster : Actually it is 100% true.

tRIUNE : The primary source documents do not lie, on either account.

I really don't see why this is in Christian Conservatives since it has nothing to do with either subject.

But yeah... Columbus is a national icon because we wanted to identify with someone that wasn't English, and he "discovered" the continent, so the history is whitewashed to make it acceptable for school kids. I applaud you teacher for having the guts to teach what really happened.

And on that note, I again recommend reading Lies My Teacher Told Me which goes into many of the topics in American history that have been whitewashed, mostly because "it makes Americans look bad"... no one, especially no nation, is perfect. People do bad things. Hiding that only makes people more cynical when they finally find out the truth.
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09-30-11 08:42 PM
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Elara : like lincoln being a great liberater instead of a dictorial racist?
Or on britains side,the fact churchill thought indians were unfit to be free.
But yeh,iv looked at a lot of history,and america is particularly bad for this.i dont know why people decide to keep people ignorant,it might inspire pride,or nationalism,but its false,and thus not real.
The Spanish were some of the worst for abusing those they conquered,closely followed by the french.
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09-30-11 08:49 PM
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thenumberone : Actually the French and Spanish generally treated the Native Americans better than the English did, at least during the time that all three were there. And I wouldn't really call Lincoln a dictator or a racist... just a product of his age (he favored abolition and repatriation instead of integration because he felt the two groups could never integrate) who did not want to be responsible for the country falling apart. The man actually had a really crappy life and massive problems with depression.

But yeah, the whitewashing is entirely to instill nationalism, and the people that are doing it freely admit it. They seem to think that if kids learn anything bad about their country at all that they will have no pride in it, which is a lie. They even try to whitewash slavery, to varying degrees depending on where you are... but they cannot flat-out deny it happened. But other countries have to own up to their countries past and people are still proud of their country. I think that learning the truth is far more important.
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10-01-11 02:29 AM
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Elara :
Still, that doesn't change what I've said - whitewashed is only an opinion... history is history and fact is fact, but what's the difference?
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(edited by tRIUNE on 10-01-11 02:32 AM)    

10-01-11 06:18 AM
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Elara : really? From what iv read the spanish were worst,plundering and raping wherever they went and ruthlessly draining all resources to send back to spain,and forcing the natives to convert.
And the french were pretty bad too,malta joined britain just to get away from the french,a quote from them:
Better the protestant british than the godless french.
And unlike spain and france,britain actualy issue guarantess to natives which they kept.
Not that crimes werent carrie out. There was a particularly bad one in australia,where a rogue oboriginee killed the 3rd white man in a month(because they were encroaching) so a civilian milita formed,rode out,found a completely innocent and peacefull tribe of natives gathered at a water hole,and fired away.
A quote there is "many fled only to be brought down in a volley of bullets.some attempted to swim accross the water hole to safety on the other bank or hide in the water. they took great sport in picking them off as they came to the surface for air."
Anyone that says there country is innocent is either ignorant or a liar.
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10-01-11 06:47 AM
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thenumberone : Malta and Australia are not Native American. But I get your point... also, the French are Catholic (with some Protestant), not godless.

Yeah, the Spanish were horrible when they first showed up, but at the time that all three countries had colonies there, the British were the ones killing, stealing, and refusing to grant rights to the British.

tRIUNE : The term "whitewashed" might be an opinion... but when there are facts, and a history book ignores them because it makes a group look bad, that is not history. I vowed when I start teaching the subject I'm not going to lie like that.
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10-01-11 07:15 AM
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Elara : the reason they were called godles is because they were famous for being merciles and cruel to there conquests,hence they surrendered therself to britain when a fleet was passing by,so britain would protect them.
Well it was native australians,but yeh.my point was of treatment of natives.
Grant rights to the british?
I dunno,britain was pretty much the only empire whos colonies flourished.
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10-01-11 03:54 PM
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thenumberone :

I can only assume that was a typo. I believe she meant "the British did not give rights to the Native Americans," because that is what happened. The British were appalled of what they saw when the Native Americans were worshiping many gods. Not only that, the increase in the British population required more land at almost alarming rates. They did anything they could to justify taking land. Plundering villages to drive them out, making treaties which they ignored all to often, and some even believed the spread of smallpox (through Native Americans' villages) was a sign from God that they were to inhabit the land.

Also, the British were not the only superpower back then, it was a struggle between England, France, and Spain, for the Americas. But the British were the ones with the most successful colonies.

Elara :

I am in agreement with you that the watered-down stories given in high school and below are a travesty; however, I cannot help but wonder when is it best to let out the truth?
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10-01-11 05:20 PM
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AuraBlaze : and i assume that was a typo on your part,you mean britain not england.
Before the war of independence britain made a boundry and never over steped it,a major cause for many americans demanding independence.
The usa were the ones comited to riping up that treaty.
Spain was isolated to south america apart from a few areas that are now southern us,france was to the north which is now canada.
No nation gave rights to them,but britain was more leniant than most empires,often paying the natives to attack the french and spanish too.
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thenumberone : The British made that boundary, but it was not honored at all by the colonists, this is true. That was why the Native Americans sided with the British during the Revolution. However, at the time, the Colonists were British... so it is kinda fuzzy. And yeah, it was my typo, I meant "refuse to grant rights to the Native Americans".

But yeah, Britain's colonies flourished because they did the smart thing... brought women and children.

AuraBlaze : Well, given all the stuff that kids are exposed to on television, from the start. It confuses kids to hear one thing and then learn it's a lie later. It makes them hate history and school. At the very least, fifth grade. At the latest, high school.
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Elara : and other empires didnt?(bring women and children)
I think the reason britains empire flourished is the fact there policy was different to most empires.spain,and to an extent,france's policy,was to bring as much treasure home as possible(which destroyed its value in there countries),britain invested in infrastructure,like roads,schools and academys that promoted growth.seems obvious now but apparently it wasnt back then.
Also the emphasis was on trade.that was portugals policy too,and it benefited them.but catholic countrys were obsesed with converting everyone which really didnt do much good.
The sad thing is,after siding with briain during the war of independence and the later war fought across the border of canada and america,britain left the natives to the 'mercy' of the us army.now THAT is mistreatment,so much for allies...
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I think you are all missing the point, in terms of Christopher Columbus, the other European powers don't matter. Judge him based on his own actions.

He may be a cultural icon and seen positively in North America, but in the Caribbean (the area of the Americas he "discovered") he is known as brutal tyrant and genocidal maniac. In fact its like if we celebrated Pol Pot or Adolf Hitler, or Francisco Pizarro. It comes across as at best in extremely poor taste.

Columbus enslaved the native population of the Caribbean islands he claimed for Spain and worked them to death for his own profit and that of the Spanish Empire. It really doesn't matter what the other European powers did later, Columbus and many of his contemporaries started the slave trade as we know it today. When the natives were worked to death, thats when they started importing slaves into the Americas. In fact Columbus was so brutal that Isabella of Castille (of Spanish Inquisition, and expulsing the Jews from Spain fame) actually called him out on it!

So to conclude, Columbus was responsible for genocide and introducing slavery in its modern form to the New World. I don't think you can get much worse than that!
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