View Poll Results: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

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  • He should be judged strictly by today's standards and mores.

    6 9.84%
  • Somewhere in the middle. (Please elaborate)

    9 14.75%
  • He should be judged by the standards and more of the time in which he lived.

    37 60.66%
  • Other

    9 14.75%
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Thread: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

  1. #41
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    No, he should not. He should be judged by the standards, the norms and in the context of his times. In that context he was a brave man who led 3 ships west to discover America for the Europeans. Until his voyage, sailing off the end of the world was a fear. He went into the unknown. For that he should be given credit. Whether he was a good or bad man by today's standard is irrelevant.
    What about the fact that he wanted to enslave the population against the direct wishes of his King and Queen, who freed the slaves he returned and sent them back? He wanted to do this, of course, because he wanted to enrich himself because the gold angle wasnt panning out like he supposed.

    Edit: Oh.. and 'sailing off the edge of the world' was not a fear. At all. As any half educated mariner/navigator knew, the world was round. He just couldnt calculate longitude very well, so he overestimated how far he had gone, and miscalculated where India would be.
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Exactly. At least where serious history is concerned. The world loves their heroes and we have had generations of kids grow up idolizing an honest George Washington or an honest Abe Lincoln or thrilling at the heroic myths that grew up around such figures as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. There seemed to be no profit in also exposing the quite human but less than noble qualities in those historic figures. And for generations of school kids, Columbus has been much the same kind of mythical hero; i.e. the brave adventurer sailing into the unknown and discovering America so that others could follow. It was all true and why spoil it with the more human and less noble aspects of it? There would be plenty of time for historians to sort out the details later.

    And those historians did ultimately expose Columbus as quite human with some less than noble qualities. But his mother no doubt loved him as did many who would write about his adventures and exploits. It is a good thing to appreciate and understand the dark side of history but not to the exclusion of the good that came out of it. To demonize the whole man and what he accomplished because there is also a dark side is to be as short sighted and using selective history as do those who see only the hero.
    I would agree with that.

    While Columbus may have made for a rather terrible governor, he certainly was a great explorer. Ultimately, we have him to thank for any of us even being here to talk about it in the first place.

    That accomplishment is worth honoring, even if the man himself is not.
    Last edited by Gathomas88; 10-13-14 at 06:30 PM.

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?











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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    What about the fact that he wanted to enslave the population against the direct wishes of his King and Queen, who freed the slaves he returned and sent them back? He wanted to do this, of course, because he wanted to enrich himself because the gold angle wasnt panning out like he supposed.

    Edit: Oh.. and 'sailing off the edge of the world' was not a fear. At all. As any half educated mariner/navigator knew, the world was round. He just couldnt calculate longitude very well, so he overestimated how far he had gone, and miscalculated where India would be.
    Self inflation of message board personalities has now gone as far as simplifying the accomplishments of famous explorers now.

    If you had been around, you would have enlightened everyone

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    What about the fact that he wanted to enslave the population against the direct wishes of his King and Queen, who freed the slaves he returned and sent them back? He wanted to do this, of course, because he wanted to enrich himself because the gold angle wasnt panning out like he supposed.

    Edit: Oh.. and 'sailing off the edge of the world' was not a fear. At all. As any half educated mariner/navigator knew, the world was round. He just couldnt calculate longitude very well, so he overestimated how far he had gone, and miscalculated where India would be.
    Slavery back in the 1400's was a very legal commodity. Iceland 1117, Norway 1274, Sweden which included Finland at the time 1335 and the Republic of Ragusa were the only countries where slavery was illegal or abolished prior to Columbus setting sail. That does not make slavery a good thing, it just clarifies where the world at the time of Columbus was at regarding slavery.

    At the same time in Central and South America human sacrifices were considered the norm. Norms, what is moral and is not change over time. The OP asked is it fair or should Columbus be judged by the norms and standards of his day or by today's standards? Why should anyone expect Columbus to do something different than everyone, almost every other country, nation, tribe, state, whatever was doing? All this means is Columbus was not enlighten by today's standards, but he didn't live today.
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Threegoofs View Post
    What about the fact that he wanted to enslave the population against the direct wishes of his King and Queen, who freed the slaves he returned and sent them back? He wanted to do this, of course, because he wanted to enrich himself because the gold angle wasnt panning out like he supposed.

    Edit: Oh.. and 'sailing off the edge of the world' was not a fear. At all. As any half educated mariner/navigator knew, the world was round. He just couldnt calculate longitude very well, so he overestimated how far he had gone, and miscalculated where India would be.
    Actually he was going off the incorrect calculations that some mathematician came up with who was favoured by a Roman Emperor, or something. They thought the world was much smaller than it was. Around the same time of that miscalculation another guy calculated it almost exactly but his findings were dismissed until Columbus made the voyage then everybody went, holy crap, the earth is much bigger like that other guy said. That is twenty years of memory clouded there but it is pretty close.

    EDIT: Ancient Greek mathematicians had already proven that the Earth was round, not flat. Pythagoras in the sixth century B.C.E. was one of the originators of the idea. Aristotle in the fourth century B.C.E. provided the physical evidence, such as the shadow of the Earth on the moon and the curvature of the Earth known by all sailors approaching land. And by the third century B.C.E., Eratosthenes determined the Earth's shape and circumference using basic geometry. In the second century C.E., Claudius Ptolemy wrote the "Almagest," the mathematical and astronomical treatise on planetary shapes and motions, describing the spherical Earth. This text was well known throughout educated Europe in Columbus' time.

    Top 5 Misconceptions About Columbus | Christopher Columbus & Intrepid Explorers | Columbus Day | Flat-Earth Myth & Who Discovered the Americas
    Last edited by Bodhisattva; 10-13-14 at 06:49 PM.
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Why should we be judging him at all?
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabanist View Post
    Self inflation of message board personalities has now gone as far as simplifying the accomplishments of famous explorers now.

    If you had been around, you would have enlightened everyone
    Sorry if it makes you uncomfortable to have to let go of your historical fantasy stories, but mariners in the Middle Ages had no illusions about 'falling off the edge'. That doesn't diminish their accomplishments.
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  9. #49
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    Slavery back in the 1400's was a very legal commodity. Iceland 1117, Norway 1274, Sweden which included Finland at the time 1335 and the Republic of Ragusa were the only countries where slavery was illegal or abolished prior to Columbus setting sail. That does not make slavery a good thing, it just clarifies where the world at the time of Columbus was at regarding slavery.

    At the same time in Central and South America human sacrifices were considered the norm. Norms, what is moral and is not change over time. The OP asked is it fair or should Columbus be judged by the norms and standards of his day or by today's standards? Why should anyone expect Columbus to do something different than everyone, almost every other country, nation, tribe, state, whatever was doing? All this means is Columbus was not enlighten by today's standards, but he didn't live today.
    Well, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were expecting something different. They did not want indigenous populations enslaved. Doesn't fit with your narrative, eh?
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    Actually he was going off the incorrect calculations that some mathematician came up with who was favoured by a Roman Emperor, or something. They thought the world was much smaller than it was. Around the same time of that miscalculation another guy calculated it almost exactly but his findings were dismissed until Columbus made the voyage then everybody went, holy crap, the earth is much bigger like that other guy said. That is twenty years of memory clouded there but it is pretty close.

    EDIT: Ancient Greek mathematicians had already proven that the Earth was round, not flat. Pythagoras in the sixth century B.C.E. was one of the originators of the idea. Aristotle in the fourth century B.C.E. provided the physical evidence, such as the shadow of the Earth on the moon and the curvature of the Earth known by all sailors approaching land. And by the third century B.C.E., Eratosthenes determined the Earth's shape and circumference using basic geometry. In the second century C.E., Claudius Ptolemy wrote the "Almagest," the mathematical and astronomical treatise on planetary shapes and motions, describing the spherical Earth. This text was well known throughout educated Europe in Columbus' time.

    Top 5 Misconceptions About Columbus | Christopher Columbus & Intrepid Explorers | Columbus Day | Flat-Earth Myth & Who Discovered the Americas
    Actually, I think that was one of the major reasons why Columbus struggled to find funding in the first place. Most educated people realized that his math was wildly off, and that he would probably starve to death in the middle of the ocean before he got anywhere near Asia.

    He simply happened to get lucky by bumping into America instead. lol

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