Columbus was a mass murdering tyrant
Not the man of character portrayed in this film.
That is all.
Not the man of character portrayed in this film.
That is all.
I'm Australian. I know nothing about this.
Care to present some evidence and facts to back up such a bold, definitive statement?
"It's just a movie" is no excuse for treating us like idiots!
"Care to present some evidence and facts to back up such a bold, definitive statement?"
His atrocities are well documented. Unfortunately, there is a desire to keep him as a saint. That is how he is taught to school kids in the US. Most modern scholarship paints a very different picture. Try the book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by Loewen. "The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy" by Sale is also good. Many modern biographies are tearing apart the myth of Columbus, and the actual historical scholarship is even more iconoclastic.
So much of the Columbus story has been mythologized to the the point that fact and fiction are difficult to tell apart. Most of what people "know" about the story is more hagiography than history - he has been absorbed into the American creation myth. So many things about Columbus are presented as facts even though we have no reason to believe them.
I suppose we should be happy that the film at least tries to portray that things quickly turned ugly. Unfortunately, they try to act like Columbus had little to do with it, he was tricked by the people around him. The little historical evidence that we have says that he was at the center of it. For example, the film (and many history books) ignores that those natives that he brought back to Spain - they were taken against their will. It was also his gold-lust that drove many of the tyrannical policies towards the native - that were only hinted at in the film. He enslaved them, murdered and mutilated them as punishment, and let his men have his way with the women when they wanted. On later voyages, he even sent thousands of natives back to the old world to work as slaves.
Another common lie is that the Turks had "cut off the trade routes to the East to the Christians." (Forgive me if I got the quote from the movie wrong.) This ludicrous idea was disproved by the historian A. H. Lybyer in 1915, but for some reason is still presented as fact. Lybyer points out that the Turks promoted trade because it made them money. Duh. And it was often the competing European powers that blockaded trade, like the Portuguese blockade of 1507.
Unfortunately, most of us get our understanding of Columbus from our high school history books, which are just a candy-coated repetition of the myth of Columbus of how he fits in the white-washed American creation myth. Those of us who want to portray a more honest image of Columbus are often ignored as crack-pots. To know the real Columbus it takes a lot of digging, and a strong stomach. Too bad Scott passed up a chance to set the record straight.
You are correct. The Ottomans did not cut off trade, ever. they cut off the MONOPOLY the Italians, especially the Venetians and Genoese had established after the Venitians engineered the fourth crusade. The Venetians, had Frankish "Crusaders" attack the Greatest city in the Christian world, Constantinople, now Istanbul, and nearly totally destroy it, killing hundreds of thousands (Millions of Orthodox Christians may have been killed by Catholics in the Crusades). The Venetians and the Genoese then established a trade monopoly, not allowing nay ships to use any ports in the Black sea and Easter Mediterranean but Italian flagged Vessels.
In 1453, after the capture of Constantinople by Ottoman forces, the trading and shipping routes were returned to Greek merchantmen, under ottoman flag. The population and wealth and trade from AND through the Ottoman Empire then expanded greatly.
Read A People's History Of The United States by Howard Zinn
Chapter 1: Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress
Columbus certainly wasn't. He died too soon to be that man, even if he intended to . Others came after him, they were mass murderers.share
Tyrant, yes. Mass murderer, no, but he gave it a shot. If you read Conquest of Paradise the history book, it's a very different Columbus to the one in the film. His treatment of the natives was horribly brutal. Fond of cutting off hands and killing them over petty things like contradicting him or talking without permission. His cruelty was one of the reasons he was dragged back to Spain in chains. Not because they cared about the natives but because he was both cruel and inefficient at running the place.
Good luck trying to make a movie about that Columbus.
Don't be offended by a late reply or none at all, I've got a long posting quota.
"NOt the man of character"
Well he knwo from his wrings he was intelligent, interesting, we know from his actions he forceful in his convictions and courageous. That is character.
If you mean moral character by today's standards, than Moses is a huge practitioner of several genocides, Andrew Jackson is as well, so to Alexander the Great, Julius Ceaer, and more. I hope you know Marcus Aurelius, despite "gladiator", was a power mad murder of entire nations who did not beleive that people should vote and when he said "senate" he did not mean democracy but that all power and advantage should be givens to e handful of super rich.
Let's not forget what may arguably be the biggest crime committed in connection with Columbus, by that I mean the fact that the majority of Americans to this day still believe that Columbus discovered America and have no idea that it was named for the guy who actually found the mainland. Americas Verspucci (I think that was his name)share
A bump for October 11th. Columbus still stands as a brutal murderer.
And even then other Europeans had been to what is now known as the United States of America - possibly the Romans had been there, definitely Vikings/Norsemen had.
Highly likely others before them like Phoenicians
There is zero evidence that either the Romans or the Phoenicians visited the Americas.share
His name was Amerigo Vespucci (Italian). Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerigo_Vespuccishare
In the interests of balance it is worth pointing out that it wasn't all peace and love in the new world prior to the arrival of Europeans.
Taino caciques in Hispanoila routinely practiced euthanasia for example. Then there is the cannibalism that was just as popular in the lesser antilles as burning at the stake was in Seville.
Accounts of cannibalism were greatly exaggerated, if not fabricated whole cloth, to provide justification for the "civilizing" of native populations.
Even if cannibalism was an every day occurrence, it still wouldn't justify the invasion, subjugation, genocide, colonization, torture & other niceties perpetrated by European "explorers".
Christopher Columbus was also Italian. Don't you people know that?share
Being italian, I tell you his name was "AMERIGO VESPUCCI"
'What has been affirmed without proof can also be denied without proof.' (Euclid)
Actually he sailed after Columbus and was simply responsible for realizing that the Americas was a separate continent.share
Columbus was a man of the times. By today's standards he is everything you say. By the standards of the time he was just another explorer/conquistador.
His brutality has been greatly exaggerated by academics who must have as many evil white men to rage about as possible to assuage their liberal guilt. The very same people BTW who downplay the atrocities committed by such heroic (to liberals) figures like Stalin and Mao.
No one speaks about Alexander The Great like that. Imagine the number of people he killed. But alas, he was a man of the times as well.
Give it a break.
Great point judsonkr. He was a man of his times. An explorer who discovered america for the western civilization
I feel sorry for people who dont drink
wake up in the morning and thats the best they feel all day
Well you could say the same about the Nazis/Hitler were men of their time as well. Misunderstood ambitious individuals whose victims never fully comprehended and appreciated their grand plans for world domination.
Not to mention the brave Vietnamese Communists warriors who repelled unwanted yank invaders from their lands.
Or Muslim terrorists/freedom fighters for that matter who courageously wage a holy jihad crusade against the immoral Western infidel scum by crashing planes into the symbols of Western capitalism and blowing up other places Westerners frequent etc, etc, etc..
It's all a matter of perspective and which side you're on (european, arab, asian, indigenous American, etc...) will determine who you sympathize with.
Indeed it is the victors who write the history books. After all, what if our revolution had failed? What if Washington and friends had their revolution squashed by His Majesty? Those whom we see as the great, the mythical "founding fathers", we would only know them as disgraceful treasonous terrorists.
And notice how some folks in the south refer to the civil war as "the war of northern aggression". Certainly had the south won that war, that would have been what everybody knows it as today.
Sure - except for the fact that Columbus was one of few that could read and write so incredibly for his time. So is that you response to racism , too? Whichever side of whichever you are on determines who it is acceptable to attack?
Let's face it, the original OP is totally uninformed.
It's a matter of standard and accepted behaviors during a certain period of history that will determine if certain person is better or worse than his contemporaries. Nazis were not "men of their times" because it wasn't a normal behavior of those times to exterminate millions of peoples in death camps.share
Weren't Stalin and Mao "men of their times" also?share
He was definitely no saint, but he was a great adventurer and explorer, ie he had balls. You can't judge people like that in black and white, people are good, people are bad, all of us. Was Thomas Jefferson a great man, or was he an evil slave-owner? He was both, and he was also the product of his time. Was Mark Twain a great author, or was he racist for making his characters use racial epithets so liberally? Are *you* 100% good? Or do you have a flaw that could make one call you evil?
Imagine that we discover tomorrow that cows and chickens are actually fully intelligent (relative to us) and they understand everything that's going on, will your grandchildren see you as evil for eating cows and chickens today? Will that override your being a good father and living the most ethical life you know how?
It's not simple, people aren't simple. We're not just caricature heroes and villains, we're all both.
I don't think you can use the time period he lived in as an excuse for genocide. Colombus and his policies is directly responsible for the deaths of the entire native population of Hispanola. Yes, it was a more brutal time period, and people had a different moral code than they do today, but honestly his actions go beyond even that. There were certainly contemporaries of his who did not employ such methods, and there were even people like Bartolomé de las Casas who condemned what happened to the natives.
Besides that, we can overlook the bad in people like Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves, because the ideals he fought for are so great that they outshine his personal flaws. Columbus was never so noble. He only cared about profit, even at the cost of many lives. Making him into a hero is like making a hero out of Stalin.
Yes what happened was just brutal, BUT Europe was also not a peaceful place, the Muslims had just been expelled from Spain of which they took brutally in the first place, after countless raids and killings. And while Muslim Spain did flourish and many fine arts and the like were achieved, hell the standard of living there may have been higher then most other country's, the fact is the Muslims killed countless people in doing it. Not a surprise the Spanish and others had little pity on another people they came across who they could exploit and use, having seen others do it to them.
Then factor in the wars in Europe and well it was pretty obvious the less well armed and inferior in terms of technology that the Indians were, would have little chance once the European powers got there. Yes it was wrong and any sane person wishes it never occurred, but other country's in Europe were also treated brutally. Im half Irish and look at the 700 years of history that involved there nearest neighbour the English, who did some awful stuff there, goggle Cromwell to find a guy as bad as any Spanish invader in the Americas
No. They did not take Iberia after "countless raids and killings". They quickly defeated the Visigotic rulers and then over the next years towns successively surrendered with little resistance (often after a promise of fair treatment (which was upheld). And this happened 800 years before the conquest of the New World, so using it as an excuse is laughable.share
Columbus wasn't a "mass murderer" or a "tyrant". He was an explorer who happened to land in America, no more, no less. He held no real power and did not dictate policy in the new world. Most of the atrocities committed in the new world happened after his death. The US was carrying out military raids to kill off entire populations of native americans as recent as 130 years ago. Is Columbus personally responsible for that as well?
''A product of his time'' is an absolute *beep* excuse.
These guys, like Columbus and the nobility that financed his journey to the Americas. Columbus enslaved Arawakan Indians, even when he and his fellow sailors were gracefully welcomed. His policies, yes induced a genocide of a race of Indians. Read up on the Indian culture and you'll realize that they were the opposites of the capitalistic/religious spirits that Europe was embedded with.
Columbus became even more aggressive in enslaving the Indians because he had a huge debt to the pay to nobility who financed him (sadly there wasn't as much Gold as he wished there was). Indians were taken to Spain, many died along the way and many died as slaves. There was a huge suicide rate of Indians because their living conditions were piss-poor and there are even cases where even their newly born babies died because the women were so famished and burned out from working in plantation. And many cases of them drowning their own children just so those damn
Spaniards couldn't get to them.
And there were people, like Mr. Las Casas who protested such attrocities, and he was a man of his times as well so i'm sorry but I'm calling BS to that ''product of times'' sheit.
Not to mention that the culture of Indians was absolutely remarkable, hopelessly romantic in its peaceful ways...
<<<Read up on the Indian culture and you'll realize that they were the opposites of the capitalistic/religious spirits that Europe was embedded with.>>>
Native Americans were carrying out gruesome live sacrifices of inocent young women just to "appease the gods".
In the caribbean, the Carib tribes were constantly raiding and pillaging the islands and kidnapping Taino women and children to become their slaves.
In South America several tribes would fight rival tribes for territory, kill their enemy, and EAT THEM.
In Mexico a couple of mayor native civilizations were wiped out for abusing and over-exploiting the forests around them.
Not justifying what happened to Native Americans, but America was not the peaceful, heaven-like paradise many make it out to be before Columbus, and Native Americans were in reality just as cruel and fanatics as the Spanish.
Jesus Christ people might want to take a closer look at what your taxes are funding right now. How many Iraqis died in recent Bush/Obama/Blair profit grab for Oil companies? Millions? What was the population of America 500 years ago?
And that's just one small example. Look at Africa, Russia and the 100 million killed in the 20thC. And there's millions of morons cheering Obama right now as if he's a Saint.
Don't you see... these films have to be so sanitized because 'enlightened' people today are in some dreamworld. At least Columbus had a 100 times the courage, will, inspiration etc that your current fake heroes have.