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. #71
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    It should be Da Vinci Day.
    Da Vinci was something special. What a remarkable man he was.
    I watched, and enjoyed the TV series Da Vinci's Demons seasons 1 and 2. Even though it is a series with a "fantasy" edge, it is interesting how Da Vinci was portrayed, his mind going in many different directions and having him see problems/solutions as art. Good series.

  2. #72
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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.


    Murder and genocide in any generation is still murder and genocide! The atrocities that they committed were barbaric!

  3. #73
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gathomas88 View Post
    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.


    BS, he found the Americas completely by accident!

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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 truthfully: his words and deeds and their implications, both good and the bad.

  5. #75
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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.
    Not sure why any of columbus' faults must be taught. Nobody ever taught me however instill learned of it. Teach kids the basics of what his significance is and let self discovery occur from there.

    This attempt to demonize historical figures by the left is another example of an insurgency in this country that truly wants to see its downfall

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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    A pitty.you could have written a bestseller.
    LOL, You got it.
    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.

  7. #77
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juanita View Post
    BS, he found the Americas completely by accident!
    Is that a fair point, or a biased criticism? In other words, was it common knowledge that the Americas existed where they are? If not, then pretty much anybody would have discovered them "by accident". That's kind of what 'discovering' is... finding something you didn't know was there. If Columbus finding the Americas was an accident, then the discovery/finding of penicillin was no less an accident. Hardly a valid criticism.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  8. #78
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
    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.



    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.
    I did probably introduce an unnecessary sociopolitical element to the debate by accusing the left of using selective history to demonize historical heroic figures, but I have not seen those on the right doing that. You will see on this thread those who declare Columbus a terrible person and unworthy of any commendation because he did some bad things. The right is more likely to err in the opposite direction by omitting the less commendable in order to create historical heroes.

    In my opinion, honest history accepts that all people will be a mix of noble and less noble, some good, some bad, and everything in between and allows them to be who and what they are within their own times and culture. Jefferson was definitely a product of his times and culture as were all the early presidents. Of the first 18 President of the USA, twelve of them owned slaves at some time in their lives and eight owned slaves while they served as President. The last U.S. President to have been a former slave owner was Ulysses S. Grant. That does not take away from Jefferson's accomplishments as statesman, author of founding documents, diplomat, POTUS any more than it takes away from any of the other Presidents. Jefferson himself, as POTUS, worked tirelessly to end or at least limit slavery as is well documented in the research of the Monticello Society here: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery Thomas Jefferson

    Honest history allows a Thomas Jefferson or a Christopher Columbus or anybody else acknowledgments of their accomplishments and contributions to society and does not diminish or negate those because they were not perfect people.
    "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

  9. #79
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuatara View Post
    But are you judging him from the viewpoint of european settlers or by the native americans of the time.
    European settlers. He was European and his actions as they relate to how we judge Columbus the man must be judged by the morality he lived under. That would
    be European.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

  10. #80
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    Re: How should Christopher Columbus be judged?

    Let's not act like everyone from that time believed raping, murdering, enslaving, and pillaging people who were different from oneself wasn't wrong. There WERE people back then who opposed such actions just as there were abolitionists throughout the entire history of slavery in America. Was there something supernatural about those people? Of course not. So no, people like Columbus don't get a pass because of the year in which they lived. People back then were capable of knowing better, and many did.

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