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Christopher Columbus: Hero or Villain?

Opening Argument

PoguePogue 498 Pts
Was Christopher Columbus a hero or a villain?
aarong
  1. Was Christopher Columbus a hero or a villain?

    13 votes
    1. Hero
      15.38%
    2. Villian
      46.15%
    3. Mostly hero
      15.38%
    4. Mostly villain
      23.08%
I could either have the future pass me or l could create it. 

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” - Benjamin Franklin  So flat Earthers, man-made climate change deniers, and just science deniers.

I friended myself! 



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Arguments

  • Villain in every shape and form.
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • Both in the corrupt way he silenced who really found America and took credit from them and the aftermath of what he found and brutal invasion of the Natives that he endorsed.
    StrangeQuarkMatterMajoMILSdlGMGV
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • NopeNope 321 Pts
    He found the Americas way after the natives. He also was not the first European to find America as he was beaten by the vikings. He did not even find north America. He thought the world was smaller than it was which is why he thought he could sail west to easily get to India. He killed many natives who did not harm him and showed kindness. He opened up the silver trade which clasped Chinese economy and lead to China no longer being a world power. Just some information to help people decided. : )
    Pogue
  • PoguePogue 498 Pts
    I will also add some information and my opinion.
    He was a villain and a terrible person. 
    He was not the first person to know the Earth was not flat. Educated people knew it was not flat since the time of Aristotle. He just thought it was a small little pair shape. 
    He did not discover anything at all, people were living here for millennia. He also was not even the first European. The Norse landing here almost 500 years before him. 
    Because of him, hundreds of thousands of natives are not here today (the ones he killed, not by disease). He took the very first natives he met, prisoner. He forced so many into slavery. He wrote in his journals, how easily he could conquer and enslave them. 
    This man caused so much suffering that the natives' descendants still suffer from poverty and discrimination. 

    Some would say that you can not judge him by modern standards. However, he was still pretty bad by 16th century standards. 
    He tortured and mutilated natives who did not bring him enough gold while governing Hispaniola. He sold girls as young as 9 into sexual slavery. He was even brutal to the other colonists (white people) that were there.
    This was so bad, that he was removed from power and thrown in jail.
    When Bartolome de las Casas visited the island, he wrote, "From 1494 to 1508, over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slaver;y, and the mines".  

    I have one question for all the people that think he was a hero. 
    How do you make a hero out of a man who caused so much suffering?
    I could either have the future pass me or l could create it. 

    “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” - Benjamin Franklin  So flat Earthers, man-made climate change deniers, and just science deniers.

    I friended myself! 
  • edited March 13
    Well, isn't he the guy who killed, raped, sold, mutilated, etc millions of people for his own glory and gold, who somehow gets a bunch of statues and a city in Ohio named after him, who ruled so horribly even the white colonists rebelled against him? Things you know when you research besides schools saying "He went the wrong way and chilled with the natives".
    Pogue
    Retired DebateIslander, Former Earth Science Community Moderator, and ex-Flat Earther. 
  • Disgusting man. He doesn't even deserve for me to waste my precious time insulting him.
  • From a modern perspective certainly villainous, although viewed through the racist and self serving lense of the time he would have been heroic to people then.
  • PoguePogue 498 Pts
    Ampersand said:
    From a modern perspective certainly villainous, although viewed through the racist and self serving lense of the time he would have been heroic to people then.
    No. To quote me, "Some would say that you can not judge him by modern standards. However, he was still pretty bad by 16th century standards. 
    He tortured and mutilated natives who did not bring him enough gold while governing Hispaniola. He sold girls as young as 9 into sexual slavery. He was even brutal to the other colonists (white people) that were there. 
    This was so bad, that he was removed from power and thrown in jail. 
    When Bartolome de las Casas visited the island, he wrote, "From 1494 to 1508, over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slaver;y, and the mines"."
    I could either have the future pass me or l could create it. 

    “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” - Benjamin Franklin  So flat Earthers, man-made climate change deniers, and just science deniers.

    I friended myself! 
  • AmpersandAmpersand 336 Pts
    edited March 22
    Pogue said:
    Ampersand said:
    From a modern perspective certainly villainous, although viewed through the racist and self serving lense of the time he would have been heroic to people then.
    No. To quote me, "Some would say that you can not judge him by modern standards. However, he was still pretty bad by 16th century standards. 
    He tortured and mutilated natives who did not bring him enough gold while governing Hispaniola. He sold girls as young as 9 into sexual slavery. He was even brutal to the other colonists (white people) that were there. 
    This was so bad, that he was removed from power and thrown in jail. 
    When Bartolome de las Casas visited the island, he wrote, "From 1494 to 1508, over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slaver;y, and the mines"."
    To the former accusation of him being bad by 16th century standards based on his removal from power, is only half true and the half that is true doesn't relate to him being a villain.

    "Now one can understand why he was sacked and we can see that there were good reasons for doing so.

    "The monarchs wanted someone who did not give them problems. Columbus did not solve problems, he created them."

    The issue was not that he was violent and barbarous, it was that his violence and barbarism was ineffective and was too problematic for the crown. If he'd managed to keep the colonists in line with this violence there would have been little issue - with little cared about violence towards natives either way. The same monarch that ordered a royal official to arrest him in turn ordered him freed, his titles and fortune returned and gave him funds for a new voyage, they simple did not allow him to have a position of governance again.

    In regards to the contemporary criticism, if your logic is that because some minority of people did view him as a villain then by that regard you also can't call him villainous now as there are people who still view him as a hero. You can't have it both ways.

    lastly Bartolome de las Casas wrote that decades after Colmobus's death..
  • @Ampersand you are right. Those that arrested him were even more corrupt.
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 122 Pts
    Columbus was an explorer at the time when being an explorer implied claiming discovered lands for the empire at any cost, and when primitive native tribes weren't considered entirely human by the European societies. From the dominant modern perspective, what he did was atrocious; for his time, it was as common as washing dishes.

    Hundreds years from now, some of our customs will look barbaric and disgusting in the eyes of the futuristic society. Evaluation of historical elements is curious in this regard: it is highly dependent on the present state of the society and changes significantly (usually for the more critical one) over time.

    So, to summarize and to answer your question, I would say that Columbus was both a hero and a villain, depending a) on what side of his personality (exploratory nature and courage vs prejudice and brutality) you focus your attention, and b) on which society is judging him.
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