Is Christopher Columbus,hero or vilain and should he be studied in schools ?

@ronnyb (6125)
Jamaica
February 28, 2009 2:11pm CST
Many credit Christopher Columbus as one of the greatest explorers of all time .He is responsible for "discovering many of the territories in the Caribbean including Jamaica ,Hispaniola and Cayman”. Now ,I use the term "discover " loosely because when he came there he saw many native tribes already there . Now I am wondering if he should be given these wonderful credits when he basically came and saw people already occupying the territory. Another thing that I take issue with is that Columbus activities in many of these territories resulted in the decimation of these natives .The ones he didn’t overwork he conquered and Christianize to the extent of almost total annihilation . Now in light of these new facts (and I haven’t even scratched the surface )I ask the question again "is Columbus the great explorer he has been trumped up to be" and should be celebrated or villainised
5 people like this
12 responses
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
28 Feb 09
First to determine if Christopher Columbus was a villian or a hero We have to look at him from both perspectives. From the native people that were already here and those that have benefited from his so called discovery. We also have to look at the way things were in Europe at the time he discovered America. From the beginning of time people have moved from their original home and expanded out to other countries taking the land and killing those that were already there . We also have to look at where the natives came from too. Christopher Columbus was not the only one to introduce Christianity to the new world. Cortes Did his share of annihilation of the new world natives. I believe he was a great explorer because he set out not just to find a short cut to India but to prove that the world was round and not flat as some people of his time believed. He had to Sail an uncharted ocean. There is always much more to history than what is in the school text books or any book for that matter.
@ronnyb (6125)
• Jamaica
1 Mar 09
I will admit that he did a lot to change the popular knowledge and we are grateful for his contributtion.He was a great explorer but does that mean we should celebrate him and to what extent.He massacred many persons and in my view that makes him a murderer in my view.Thank you for your answer
@arvaster (521)
• United States
28 Feb 09
You can't ban history from school, that's ridiculous. Yes, he was a pretty villain like guy, but he did do things that are important to history. And since we can't change the past this is what we have to teach even if what he did was wrong. You still learn about Vikings, the Romans and the Turks. They were just as good and bad in the same way. Very important to history.
1 person likes this
@ronnyb (6125)
• Jamaica
1 Mar 09
You are right ,you cant change history but you have to teach it even if it was bad.What I should have asked wasshould we celebrate him as we have .Shouldnt we point out to our kids that he was a cruel man who did many awful things to the natives.Often he is pedastalized without that being balanced by his cruelty.He has contirbutted to history and geography but he was a villain too.The Romans and Turks like you mentioned were very cruel people too and that aspect must be mentioned too
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
1 Mar 09
Hi ronnyb! That is really interesting! I do wonder why someone who have conquered and killed innocent people who didn't want to accept the new way of life will be called a hero. I don't much about the history of America. But this I can share with you. Our country was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan and he tried introducing his country's faith and way of life. He was bringing with him good things and a new faith for the natives in my land. It is true that it will be good for the natives to know another world and be educated and be civilized but is that the true reason why Ferdinand Magellan came? Oh no, he came because he was expanding his King's territories and searched for more wealth. Educating and Christianizing the natives are just their strategy to somehow attract the natives in submitting to their will. There have been so many written records of the abuse they have committed and have killed many natives of my homeland. We, well mostly of my countyrmen don't think him as a hero. A native warrior named Lapu-Lapu who stood his ground and fought this invaders is the one we call hero in my country. Lapu-Lapu is the one we are celebrating for here and I think it is just right that we do. If maybe, Magellan and his cohorts didn't have hidden selfish motives maybe he could have been a hero. Personally, I don't consider anyone a hero who killed other people for selfish gain and justify their actions with "for the better good". Just my thoughts. Take care and have a wonderful day! lovelots..faith
@ronnyb (6125)
• Jamaica
1 Mar 09
Thank you for your insightful answer .The name Ferdinand Magellan rings a bell but i dont know that much about him .However what strikes me as interesting is the parralel that can be made with Christopher Columbus as both came in the name of king and Christianity and for both the end result was the same.The natives were exploited .I dont know hwo these people at the time slept knowing they were destroying so many lives but I suppose its easier when you view the natives as savages.I would think too that you Lapu would make a more worthy hero than the Ferdinand character. Thank you for your answer ,insightful as usual
1 person likes this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
3 Mar 09
That is very true dear friend! Our LapuLapu is worthy to be called my country's hero. Take care ronnyb! lovelots..faith
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
1 Mar 09
i had always thought he was a great exploer till i read your discussion. doesn't sound like a very nice guy from that.
@ronnyb (6125)
• Jamaica
1 Mar 09
Well he is still a great explorer but just not a nice man as you say .We always speak about his accolades but often we forget to mention how he savagely murdered many natives in the name of King and sad to say Christianity (which does not support this by the way).Thanks for your answer Antique
• United States
22 Mar 09
If it weren't for Christopher Columbus , I wouldn't have a home here in the U.S. I always think of him as the man who discovered the Americans for Europe. Villian or hero, I like that we celebrate him for one day.The only person that is close to neing a saint that has his own day is Martin luther King. And I assume if you wanted, you could dig up some dirt on him too.
@snowcat46 (2323)
• United States
2 Mar 09
Yes, he is a great explorer. He made the trip, and that counts for something. He also should have been lost at sea, so then maybe the rightful owners of the land could have gotten strong enough to destroy these invaders when they finally landed. Exploring just to take over what you find isn't an end to be proud of.
@suzzy3 (8397)
1 Mar 09
To turn up and take over a perfectly good civilisation minding their own business ,is a point worth pondering.All I can say is not much changes in the world with the west thinking their way is the best and only way to live,so we invade destroy, take over and move out.The funny thing is we convince ourselves we are in the right.Like I say not much changes.x
@ulalume (714)
• United States
1 Mar 09
He is a part of history, though one whom is overpopularized and looked at in too much of a good light. I do not understand why the USA and other Western countries act as if they discovered the North American Continent and own the place. You are absolutely correct, they landed here and found millions of people. He was a cruel man, not the fairy-tale Columbus who "discovered America." It is unfortunate the government does not really allow his dark side (...his only REAL side) to be taught in the classroom. It is disturbing. I have just entered college and have just begun to learn these things. It just goes to show how biased the government is on what information goes into the minds of their children, and equally shows how ignorant people will grow up to become just because they were not taught the whole truth. Even worse is that if the government will not allow simple things like Christopher Columbus' dark side to be discussed, what else is the government attempting to cover up and hide?
@laglen (19783)
• United States
1 Mar 09
I think so. he set out to do what he was commissioned to do. You have to take into account the time and era that this happened. It was a time of discovering and conquering. With out the accomplishments of Columbus, we would not be what we are today.
@violeta_va (4842)
• Australia
28 Feb 09
Well if it wasnt him it would have been someone else so what its the point. Do you think if he didnt "discover" all those places we would have not known about them.
@dogsnme (1269)
• United States
28 Feb 09
He should be studied in schools as all history should. The purpose of studying history is so that we may know where we've come from and so we won't repeat the same mistakes that those before us have made. But, it is all too obvious everywhere we look that history is not taken seriously enough. Perhaps Columbus shouldn't be celebrated or villianized, but that is up to the individual who studies his exploits. I believe sometimes we place too much emphasis on how evil or how heroic those that have made history are. We place them on a pedestal of glory or infamy that seems to give them an otherworldly if not godly persona that their humanity...the same flawed humanity that we all share...would deem them unworthy of. I think it better to simply take their history-making actions at face value and learn the lessons they teach us. But, as I said before, that is the choice of the one studying history.
• Canada
28 Feb 09
He is definitely a vilain, but he should be studied in school because he is a part of out history.