View Poll Results: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

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61. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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. #61
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Being that day is Columbus Day, I read something this morning that included something to the effect of, "If judged by today's standards...", then went off to detail all his atrocities, and so on.

    Is that fair? Should he be judged by today's standards and mores, or should he be judged according to the era in which he lived?

    Note: This question is NOT about whether or not he should have a holiday named after him.
    He should be judged as someone that is no longer alive today...and has been dead for centuries. IE: Not worth judging when there are more important things to consider.
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  2. #62
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    If the question were to take into consideration public school education, I have two modest suggestions: 1) Allow simplifications to foster for youngsters and increase complexity with age 2) Encourage multiple perspectives, including the population with whom Columbus and his men did not treat so well. One could incorporate either (or both) without conceptually ripping it all to shreds. I think most people agree with that. Conservative traditionalists and multiculturalist liberals mostly bicker about the fine details of such matters. Actually, if you looked closely at a meeting with...who was it..Chester Finn and I want to say Diane Ravitch (could be wrong) in the mid-1990s, you could quickly see that both agreed in principle, but nevertheless found each other in a verbal brawl over who was destroying American education with politically correct sentiment or wanting to ensure that contemporary racial and ethnic minorities didn't have a voice. Anyway, the younger the student, the more apt I am to accept the need for mythology in American public schools. I'm a nationalist and I am also of the mind that sometimes acting like the no-longer-enchanted child spoiling Santa Claus for his classmates isn't inherently beneficial. That being said, with age comes the necessity to challenge young minds, and as such, we can slowly delve into more uncomfortable questions.

    For the public at large, these pedagogical limitations have less relevance. The adult ought to be able to handle the notion that, say, Thomas Jefferson's incredibly likely sexual relationship with Sally Hemmings would at least in part, be reflective of the inherent: 1) relationship between owner and slave 2) societal perception of white male on black woman sexuality 3) likely cause a series of conflicting feelings when romance may become involved.



    Portrayals of past men and women as Satan-incarnates are often far off the mark, but that doesn't likewise prevent us from seeing men or women as participating in great evils (or being the master of great evils).

    With Christopher Columbus the temptation is to save, rather than condemn, because he has become a patriotic and nationalistic figure for our American mythology. With another country's figure, we often have far less restraint in concluding them as figures to essentially hold in contempt.
    I think the public handles honest history quite well. But many of us don't handle quite so well the politically correct version that rewrites history in a way the left wants it to be seen instead of the more honest version of the way it was. Why is Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings pertinent to his political views or his general philosophy or his tenure as POTUS for instance? One has nothing to do with the other. They are separate stories and we don't really know what relationship existed between Jefferson and Hemings though it was widely believed to be a consensual loving relationship and there is no evidence that Jefferson was a cruel or harsh slave master. There is plenty of evidence that he was philosophically opposed to slavery and very much opposed it spreading beyond the slave states in which it existed. The Monticello society that maintains the Jefferson family property and the Jeffersonian histories has done exhaustive research on Jefferson's relationship with Hemings but admits there is really little known.

    The point to this being, of course, that such history can be distorted and used to discredit historical figures so that the leftist doctrines are more easily established in modern times. Or they can be portrayed honestly and as a matter of interest and in their proper context and importance.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    How should Christopher Columbus be judged?
    He's dead. People who want to judge him should probably get a life.

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Being that day is Columbus Day....
    Here in South Dakota it isn't. In S.D., it's Native Americans' Day, not Columbus Day

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?


  5. #65
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    He is judged poorly in both times...
    Could be, I may be old but not as old as to have lived in his time.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

  6. #66
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    I think the public handles honest history quite well. But many of us don't handle quite so well the politically correct version that rewrites history in a way the left wants it to be seen instead of the more honest version of the way it was.
    That is a point of debate. For instance, your attempts to create a dichotomy between what you determine as the Left's history and "more honest" version, create a rather unnecessary and contentious border between accuracy and viewpoint.

    Why is Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings pertinent to his political views or his general philosophy or his tenure as POTUS for instance?
    While this question is written with some sort of rhetoric behind it, the notion that his relationship with Sally held no relationship with his overall philosophy and political philosophy is beyond ludicrous. Philosophically, you have a free man engaging in the trafficking and maintenance of an institution which strips what Jefferson viewed as the natural liberty of man. Politically, you have to remember that the man in question had been instructed to create a rhetorical basis for the colonies' separation from England. Within that document's initial draft (constructed by Jefferson) were references to slavery (before being removed for equally obvious reasons). The U.S. government had during his time had to figure out what to do about various aspects around slavery, including but not exhausting: whether or not slaves could count toward a state's representation, whether or not the U.S. government could institute a ban on participating in the international slave trade, whether the nation's capital could likewise exercise control over whether or not it could engage in slavery enterprises, and especially, whether slavery itself should even legally exist. As Jefferson was morally repulsed by slavery, yet seemingly bound to it as a slave owner with an insatiable appetite for luxury and debt, any resulting relationship between he and a female slave would draw an immense number of philosophical and political questions. At the heart of Jefferson was paradox and contradiction, and his relationship with Sally Hemings was a good illustration of that complexity.

    Judgments on Jefferson's relative treatment of slaves likewise needs to have an incredible number of qualifications. First, although he tried to not have management which resembled what slaves like Booker T. Washington or Frederick Douglass observed, he nevertheless engaged in that activity from time to time when he felt compelled to do so. Secondly, we have to keep in mind that while many overseers engaged in overwhelmingly deliberate sadistic behavior toward slaves, the institution of slavery still necessarily involves crushing human liberty, by refusing autonomy, threatening violence or death for non-compliance to being legal non-humans. Jefferson was no exception in this regard.

    Observing these structures, readily pointed out by his own contemporaries (especially blacks), does not mean we are engaging in a less honest version of history. Even if his contemporaries did not recognize all of the inner-workings of the institution of slavery, pointing them out likewise does not mean we are engaging in a less honest version of the past. It often means we are coming to a greater understanding of its workings, even if as a result, scholars need to have internal debates as to whether we need to alter perception. Historians debate these questions endlessly, and at times the pendulum swings one direction to the other in even the most minute aspects of a given subject.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 10-13-14 at 11:52 PM.
    Michael J Petrilli-"Is School Choice Enough?"-A response to the recent timidity of American conservatives toward education reform. https://nationalaffairs.com/publicat...-choice-enough

  7. #67
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    1) I think their answer did answer the OP question.

    and 2) even if it didn't - what's it to you? Why would you care if a poster answers an OP question or not? Especially so when it is not even your OP.
    Please! Please! Forgive me. Just wanted to keep the thread on the subject and not off on a tangent. Gee, kind of testy tonight aren't we?
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    How can you possibly judge someone by standards that weren't in effect during their life?
    But are you judging him from the viewpoint of european settlers or by the native americans of the time.

  9. #69
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Being that day is Columbus Day, I read something this morning that included something to the effect of, "If judged by today's standards...", then went off to detail all his atrocities, and so on.

    Is that fair? Should he be judged by today's standards and mores, or should he be judged according to the era in which he lived?

    Note: This question is NOT about whether or not he should have a holiday named after him.
    He should be judged a man that couldn't even find India albeit in a wooden boat.

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    Could be, I may be old but not as old as to have lived in his time.
    A pitty.you could have written a bestseller.

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