Saturday, October 10, 2015

Happy Columbus Day?!

This year, October 12th is Columbus Day. This is a holiday I always thought was cool, mostly because it often landed on my birthday. When I was in 5th grade my understanding of this day was that, magically, Christopher Columbus sailed right up to America and discovered it right then and there. I was impressed with Columbus because I figured he was the one started the colonies and such. My understanding was, clearly, very off. The Native Americans had their established way of life that worked perfectly for them by the time Columbus got here - it wasn't like he was the first one to figure out that there was land here.

Something we were never taught when we were younger was that Columbus was a jerk and he didn't even mean to discover America - he thought he was in India. Columbus took Natives prisoner as soon as he realized that they had gold and that they could guide him to different places in the Americas. Also, Columbus was power crazy; he stated that he "could conquer the whole of them [the indegenous peoples] with 50 men, and govern them as [he] pleased." (Learn more about Columbus here!)

However, I can't deny that Columbus did have a major effect on the course of history - he brought a lot of Europeans over here, which lead to settlers moving to North America. What are your thoughts about Christopher Columbus?

7 comments:

  1. We shouldn't Celebrate Columbus day because we are glorifying a man that treated people like animals. He was horrible to the ingenious people and is constantly misrepresented in American History.

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  2. We shouldn't Celebrate Columbus day because we are glorifying a man that treated people like animals. He was horrible to the ingenious people and is constantly misrepresented in American History.

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  3. In my opinion, I don't think it would be right to celebrate Columbus Day. He did have a major role in making the New World known, however his acts were very cruel and it should not be ignored and celebrated.

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  4. I agree with both of your comments, if we thought about it, aren't there other people in history who are more deserving of a holiday that Columbus?

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  5. I agree with you, and I think that the idea of Columbus Day is controversial. He did do terrible things and was a pretty awful person, but if he hadn't discovered the America's and made it known to the rest of the world, would the U.S. exist? I think his discovery is definitely something to recognize, but I think the real question is whether we should celebrate it as a national holiday. In a lot of ways, it signifies the death of many innocent Native Americans.

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  6. Wow so many comments already...good job Liza! I think this topic is so relavent to the way we are educating the next generation about strong figures like Columbus. Columbus meant to go to India and he ended up in a random place, which he ended up "discovering." He called the Native Americans Indians because he though they were from India and spread many vigorous European diseases to the NA's, killing hundreds of thousands of them. He created a massacre amongst these innocent people in order to achieve his goal of gaining fame in fortune throughout Europe. I think it is also important to referencer that fact that Seattle just replaced Columbus day with Indigenous Day, which celebrates the Native American culture. Not saying that everyone should do so, but I appreciate the city's appreciation of Native Americans and their acknowledgement of the pain they suffered due to Columbus. I think that the whole nation should appreciate the Native Americans and give respect, because they don't nearly get enough. Columbus did discover our Nation so he should receive credit, but students learning about him should be taught the truth about some of his vile actions.

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  7. Liza, Good job blogging overall this term. You've covered a good range of topics. I like a lot about this post: the picturess, the link, and the way you complicate our understanding of Columbus. I also like your personal connection. Oh, yeah, happy birthday.

    I do wish, however, that you had taken a bolder position at the end of the post. You seem to say he's good and bad and throw up your hands. What would you have us do? Celebrate a better moral exemplar? Some have proposed Explorers' Day, for example. Or, Native People's Day. Or, would like to see more balanced coverage of Columbus in textbooks etc.

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