Knowing what we know about Christopher Columbus, why do you think that our country has placed so much importance on a man whom history has discredited?
Respond to at least one classmate who does not agree with you.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm
Although we know Columbus didn’t “discover” America, our country still emphasizes his travels and even has a national holiday named after him. I believe the reason for this has a lot to do with how we as Americans like to envision ourselves and our beginnings. As a nation, we like to think that we were destined to colonize in America; Columbus was just pushing the first domino by enslaving and taking over land from the Native Americans. History is written by the victors, and despite their questionable methods, Columbus and the Europeans came out on top. Though they absolutely decimated the Native Americans who were already in America, Columbus and his crew managed to contribute a new continent to Europe and write history as they desired it to sound.
To the upper-class Europeans, Columbus was a hero. He brought them gold, slaves, lands, etc. Because these were the people who later recorded Columbus’ expedition, they presented them as a man who had positively influenced their country by discovering a new continent. In schools, children are taught all kinds of misinformation such as Columbus discovering and help seizing America despite other people already being there. This keeps with our nation’s view that we are and have always been good people who would never do anything wrong. Our glorification of Columbus is just a way of keeping our nation’s nationalism and self-image high, even though we know it to be untrue.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm
I agree, Christopher Columbus is idolized because of that,but I also think that they wanted to cover up killing Native Americans. It would not look good in a country’s history to say:”we gained this land from slaughtering thousands of people.” I also believe it happened because of eurocentrism in the past and now.Also, the people making the history books probably do not want to remake the books, so it stays the same. There is also the factor that they most likely think it would not be nationalistic to eliminate a national holiday.
Katarina Natalia Kishbaugh
// Sep 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm
Although I agree Columbus receives many accolades he may not entirely deserve because of the Europeans who captured our history in words, he has contributed the formation of our country. He brought on colonization which is why North American and specifically the USA is the way we are today. Therefore, I agree in the aspect that yes he is regarded too highly as a hero but I disagree in the aspect that he does deserve some credit for the forth bringing of greater and contributory explorations.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 11:47 pm
Hey Abbey you are completely right. I have tried to find somebody who does not agree with me and sadly have found no one, so I thought I would say why I agree with you and so many others! As you said in your blog post at the end America still glorifies Columbus to keep our nations nationalism and self image high. This is so true and so sad that we as America turn to this coward of a man to lead our self image. You would think that it would not matter what somebody 530 years ago did, but sadly that is not the case. America’s pride rest in the past of something we know as a country not to be true. I wish we could move on from this lie, but if it is to happen textbooks have to change and education at an early age has to change.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:37 am
I think they are so many reasons why Columbus is over glorified and I agree with all of yours. Everyone learns from an early age that Columbus is good and he “found” America. Until recently we found out how much a brutal man he was. I don’t think that he should be the man credited for the founding of America. It makes me wonder what would be different if Columbus was never credited for his “accomplishments”.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:16 am
Abbey i agree with everything you say. I also have to disagree or at least add on. Columbus gave a better image to the Europeans. The Europeans can now say they have “discovered” a new continent. I believe historians empathize his discovering so that we can cover up what he has done to the natives already living there. Columbus probably didn’t want to be know as the guy who found new land that was already occupied so he claimed it for Europe.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:18 am
America is a country of emigrants, mainly of European descendants. Christopher Columbus accidentally opened up the mad rush for new world land, and that kick started settlements for the misunderstood, poor, and adventurous settlers from Europe. Columbus day was created as a nation holiday back in the fifties, when America was still very prodigious against African- Americans and non European decedents. Since European American descendants were governing The United States of America at that time, then I bet most of the Politicians voted for the Euro-centic holiday.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:19 am
I agree with you Abbey. But showing Columbus as the founder of America just makes us untruthful. I mean history is what makes the present.We just have to accept what occurred back then and putting Columbus as the founder of America is just for Europe to say they found a new continent.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm
Christopher Columbus, who we learned of in class, was not entirely the hero we make him out to be. We saw this when we learned of the horrible things he did once he arrived in the “New” World. I think that the main cause for our building up of Columbus is our Eurocentric mindset, as pointed out in the excerpt from the book.
I think our minds want to find someone to credit with the discovery of the Americas, and who better of a person than someone from Europe where many of our ancestors derive! I also think our brains want to justify things we do as being right, or heroic. This sense makes us want to idolize Columbus to further rationalize the Europeans wiping out the Native American population. It seems the US and all of America want to have nothing to do with being responsible for destroying a population, that’s why I think we put Columbus in a position where he is some hero.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm
There is supposed to be a paragraph break after ‘book’
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm
I agree with Justin on this case. The Europeans, most of our ancestors, would have idolized this man into a hero. Why would they not? He is a man of European birth, sailing for a European country, to find trade routes for Europe. If he found something on the way that was important beyond all standards then why not call him the first. It will make him look good for future generations.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm
Hello Justin, I agree that Christopher Columbus does not deserve the credit that he is receiving. On the other hand, I believe that historians put such an importance on Columbus because he is a European male. European males represent most of the historical figures we find in our history text books. Also his voyage may have sparked interest in overseas travel. Christopher Columbus does not deserve the credit he was given, but he did increase the interest of exploration.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm
You said the reason that we overglorify Columbus is to cover up our own shame of wiping out Native Americans. That is actually very true, but I think the reason was more the pride of Europeans wanting to be looked on as being the first, and therefore supposedly superior. I think that textbooks, which are written by Europeans, want to encourage the nationalism and pride of being European. I also think they want to make nothing matter unless and white, European, and male did it.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm
Grammar correction: “and” should be “an” before the word white
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm
Justin, the reason why we “idolize” Christopher Columbus is because the Eurocentric Text books. The books we were given never taught us the real way Columbus was because of European authors wrote them. It is not that we want to have nothing to do with the destroying of the Native American population, because us United States Citizens were not around for that. It is that we never learned the truth in our schools text books. That is why we “idolize” Columbus as a hero.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:39 am
Justin, I agree with you. We don’t want to think that a European such as Columbus did so many atrocities against the Native Americans. We try to cover this up by talking about the greatness and importance of Columbus. And instead of researching it for themselves, people hear that Columbus was great and just go with it. Nobody wants to be linked to the extinction of a group of people so instead of focusing on that we focus in on the importance of Columbus.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:57 am
Justin, I agree with you on the fact that we Americans want to believe we have never done anything horrible, as a nation. However, I don’t think that idolizing Columbus makes Americans feel that it was right to wipe put the Native Americans. When we put Columbus as a hero, it should make us feel even more guilty- we are celebrating the begin of a slaughter of Native Americans by a cruel, greedy man. I think that Americans rationalize the slaughter by saying that it was long ago and brought many great things for Europeans.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm
The reason our the United States has put so much importance on this man, is because our country was founded by Europeans. Britain, France, and Spain were the major countries to settle North America. Most of are history text books today tell only if a white European did something first. Having said this, Columbus was the first European, not counting the Norse raiders, to find the new world. If any other ethnic group found the New World first, we may never know about it.
Another reason could be that many people already think that Columbus found America, so why change it. If something is widely believed already, not many people will change what they believe. Plus the evidence of Columbus not being the first one hear may not be enough to convince people otherwise. I feel that Columbus being a big part of our country is just easier for people to accept, rather than a non-European.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Paul, I strongly agree that he did not have nothing to do with discovering the us but at the same time we need to discredit him. Instead of people saying he deservers credit we need to tell those people that he doesn’t and explain why instead of accepting something that is false.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:47 am
I could not agree more with this statement Paul. I also think that if many people believe that he was the first man to discover America, then they will not change their beliefs. On the other hand, people should realize that this man did not find America and also realize that the Natives had been on America for many years prior.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:06 am
Paul, I agree with much of what you are saying. America was established as a nation by Europeans, and there for we know what they told us. But I feel that America as a whole would have no problem giving credit to Native Americans on the discovery of America. We are a nation devout in our nationalism, which is why I feel that we as a whole would much rather give credit to our original Americans rather than the Europeans we broke off from hundreds of years ago. The problem is the textbooks many of the students today have are very Eurocentric, which leads to the idolization of men like Christopher Columbus.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:29 am
Don’t take this the wrong way Paul, but not changing an untruth is morally wrong. The new history books being made should be correct in telling whom discovered America first, that would be a good reason to replace the $80, textbook. You were correct in saying that the history books were written by white males. History books shouldn’t be written by one individual; no one knows the whole story of humanity. Instead, professors of different backgrounds and ethnic teaching should congregate, and write a closely accurate historical textbook.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm
I think that Christopher Columbus receives the credit that he does not deserve because of the Eurocentric ideas the authors in all of the text books use. Most people who would write textbooks about history are European. The Europeans like that they are European and they always want to be the first, or show off what they accomplished in history. This way of thinking does not work, and there is proof from other expeditions that Christopher Columbus was not the first man who found North America. I think Columbus is discredited for being the first man in North America, because there is evidence of people before him.
Christopher Columbus was discredited by history from the one of the first groups’ people to live in North America the Native Americans. There is proof that they were here before Columbus because when Columbus was in North American territory he saw them. There is high evidence that Siberians were here way before him. I think that America places so much importance on Christopher Columbus because generations were taught the wrong things about him from the Eurocentric ideas that are in our text books. Also, from the truths that the Europeans hid from the public so they could get credit for their founding’s/ideas.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm
Jim, I’m not so sure that it’s a want to be on top, just more of a sub-conscience sense of superiority that sways our opinions natural toward what we think is right or moral. In this case, I think the nation as a whole wants to disregard wrongdoings, and make it seem right by tweaking accounts.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Jim, I completely agree with you on the fact that Columbus does not deserve the credit he has received by many textbooks. However, I have to agree with Justin about the natural sense of superiority over others. Many countries, not just ours, all have their own ways of “tweaking accounts” that, in turn, make their view of history the correct view of history.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm
We now know that Christopher Columbus was not the true discoverer of America. We know this because of the various American Indian tribes who have spread across the Americas prior to his arrival. Therefore, America was already discovered by these said tribes. In the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, notifies and explains the half-truths and false statements that were recorded in history. Fortunately, Christopher Columbus was mentioned in this book because he was discredited by a large amount of historians.
Historians may have placed such an importance on Columbus because of his country of origin. Many important historical figures that we learn today are European males. Also, because Columbus’ voyage was such a big deal at the time, it made Europeans more aware of the “New World”. His voyage may also have sparked more interest in the exploration of North and South America. Christopher Columbus was not the true discover of America, but the one who created interest in overseas travel.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm
Alex, Yes, Christopher Columbus did not discover America, but the reason he labeled important in our country is not just the fact of his origin. Again, because of his European background the vision of Eurocentricism is very focused on to him. I feel that because of his background it is easier to glorify him and justify his role in discovery. His role overall should have been marked as a discoverer that had interested the idea and travels to the ‘new world’ not as the discoverer of the Americas, which you have somewhat said. Columbus is viewed with importance mostly because people then in Europe wanted positive credit for discoveries.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm
Alex, I do believe you are right in saying that many textbooks and informants focus on European males. I think that one of the main reasons that Christopher Columbus is so glorified is because the story is mostly told by his own people. If a certain culture gains something of importance they will usually boast about it any way they can. I think that many of the sources we use to learn about Christopher Columbus are written by people of European descent, who know no better than what they have been told by their parents, grandparents, and so on. Many Europeans tell the stories of their adventures from their own point of view, but we rarely get to hear the story from the losing opponent.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:15 am
Hey, Alex. I agree with you that Columbus’ voyages made Europeans more aware of America, but I think there was already interest in overseas travel even before his journey (thanks to events like Marco Polo’s explorations). Many Europeans were seeking a shorter passage to Asia; Columbus is just credited as one of the first to act. His country of origin may play a part (His journey’s were documented by European males, like him), but I believe we put Columbus up on a pedestal because we want to keep our country’s pride high and tell the story from our own point of view.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm
I believe that the reason for Columbus’s false crediting in the “discovery” of America is simple: the promotion of nationalism. Textbooks and other sources have placed so much false importance on Columbus that it is difficult to see who he really was. These textbooks that give credit to Columbus that it seems to say to the reader that ‘If Europeans didn’t do something, than it was of no importance.’
With certain texts almost ‘glorifying’ Columbus’s discovery of America, the true traits of this man cannot be seen. In reality, he was a cruel human being, slaughtering thousands of American Natives in the name of religion and greed. Such atrocities committed by Columbus are hidden from view, and replaced by untrue claims made by various authors and texts.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:20 am
Jake, I completely agree with the fact that nationalism is a reason for his false accreditation. Partially because Europeans wanted a reason to feel superior. Also I think we as Americans don’t want to admit that our country, as it is today, was founded off of violence and the overthrowing of a native culture.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm
Our country has placed so much importance on Christopher Columbus mainly because of pride. Many people thought, and today even think, that the Native Americans were inferior in intellect and were uncivilized savages. Actually, they were more civilized and intelligent than most European societies. Because of the wrong viewpoint held by Europeans, Columbus is heroified and justified.
Why other Europeans (Scandinavians or Romans) who may have reached America first are not as elevated in history, may be because Western and central European countries even thought themselves superior to Europeans from ancient times or the outskirts of Europe. Columbas was from Italy and worked for Spain, in the main area of Western Europe, so the Spanish thought it their right to be credited as launching the explorer to first reach the so called “new world.” I found it funny but terrible that (from the Columbus reading) they actually date some American history as pre-Columbian and after Columbus just like we use Jesus for B.C. and A.D. To think that Columbus could even be brought to such siginifance like Jesus demonstrates the horrendous ethnocentrism of Europeans.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Our country has placed an importance to Christopher Columbus. Christopher Columbus was revealed to us in class, not as the good ol’ explorer that sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and supposedly arrived in the Americas first, but as an overall horrible person. Columbus was not the first person to discover America ,even out of just Europe and Asia he may not have. The reason our country still credits Columbus is most likely due to Eurocentricism. Also due to Eurocentricism, justification in his discovery is capable of being pulled far out of proportion.
The history of our country is very focused on an Eurocentric mind set. Europeans in our history would not want to marked as “bad people”, but in the same sense would want credit for the discovery of ‘New land’. To gain this credit, it seems that a curtain of glory would hide the fact of how horrible these explorers were. The explorers in the Age of Exploration are the reason most people have condoned their acts in place of label of a honorable hero figure. The mind set justifies what all of the explorers would do and provided them the chances to become great in the eyes of Europeans and our current nation. It would be believed that due to this mind set and this justification that the idea of improvement and industrialization would then come easier to Europeans. If you look back at any Age of Exploration historic event, it would show that due to the Eurocentric mind set how Europeans are great and heroic. It would look better in perspective to have someone who is worthy of praise than have some awful, immoral person stand in a high place of importance to a nation. Our country has placed Columbus in a rank of importance because of the false heroism and justification in a Eurocentric mind set.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm
In American history, Christopher Columbus is almost always glorified as the man who discovered America. If he had not, then American would be uncolonized. In reality, he is only an example of Eurocentrism; he was not the one to discover America, only the first european to see it. Native Americans were already living in America. There is also evidence being found,such as stated in Lies My Teacher Told Me, that others were also there before him.
History books and classes teach this mainly because there is a thought that the european race was superior to that of the Native Americans, when in fact in some ways they were superior. Columbus is shown as a hero when in fact he slaughtered thousands and caused destruction the Native Americans. The europeans at the time may have also wanted to cover the fact that so many were killed with his arrival. Another reason may have been the instinct to be on top, to have control, and society does not want us to see it that way. It was also likely a sense of nationalistic pride and, again, eurocentrism; they wanted he man who discovered this “New Land” to be european and Spain wanted credit for discovering America.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm
I agree with you, I think that Columbus is one of the best examples in history of over Eurocentrism. Like you said, Europe just wanted to have been first and Spain hoped to keep the glory of finding America. They didn’t want to admit they were wrong and that Columbus hadn’t found America.
Also, like you said, they didn’t want to admit that what he did was not as glorious as it seemed. He spread diseases and killed innocent people! Spain however didn’t ever mention this when they would talk about the greatness of Columbus.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:12 am
I agree with you that he is a great example of Eurocentrism, and that he was only the first European to see the Americas. Although, he was the only man to have brought people back to the new land and colonize, and that it why he actually deserves the credit he has received. Other than the Native Americans, no one else had settled on the land for a long period of time. Most Native Americans lived in isolation, while the Europeans built a thriving colony. Without Colombus’ voyages, this nation would most likely be different than how we see it today.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm
Christopher Columbus should be discredited. I do not believe he was the first person to come to the U.S. History shows that the Indians were here first. For Example the Hopewell Indians that lived in the Ohio River Valley which, as we know that was is in the US. In the book Lies My Teacher Told Me it says in the fourteen hundred and ninety-three, Columbus stole all he could see. That text right there shows that he took what the Indians did in America.
The text books we are using now are basically making stuff up about Christopher Columbus. I think we should change our textbooks because they are lying about what he did. In the book Lies my Teacher Told me says some of this stuff is myths that people are saying. They also says in the book that Europe was trying to take advantages of our text books. Europeans were making it seem like they where everything saying Christopher was first to set foot on the US. This is why Christopher Columbus needs to be discredit.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:41 am
Zailyn, I completely agree with you with the fact that Christopher Columbus should not be credited as much as he should have. However, I do not feel as if our textbooks are “lying” to us. As my blog response stated, the textbooks most definitely tends to focus on the positives, such as his “discovery” of the Americas. The textbook also tends to leave out any negatives, because, as I recall, our textbook did not mention anything of any atrocities he committed. However, to say that the book is lying may not be completely accurate.
Furthermore, I do not completely think that Columbus should be completely discredited. Yes, he was not the first person to visit the Americans (there were people living there!), and he also was not the golden man of exploration, either. However, he was the man who discovered the Americas for Europe. Although textbooks almost ALWAYS focus on Europe’s achievements only, it doesn’t mean that Europe was any less than any other region, either. We cannot completely knock off Leonardo da Vinci and all of the other great achievers and achievements of Europe. Surely, textbooks can cool down with the euro-centrism. But, Europe should not be spoken down upon. I would love to see more than two paragraphs about Asian history, compared to the two full chapters of Europe. So, I do believe Columbus should receive credit. Furthermore, Columbus was the sole man that brought Europe to the Americas (or, alternatively, he was the one that made it “mainstream”, for a lack of better words). Therefore, although Christopher Columbus definitely should not be credited as much as he is today, he does deserve credit as the man that brought Europe to the Americas.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm
Our nation has placed so much importance on him because of Euro-centrism. Columbus was the first European to discover America in the some what modern age so I think that is why he is so idolized. We know that he was a horrible man and had almost no respect for humanity and the lives of others. Also I believe that academics and text book writers don’t like to change history, or what we now know to be true or false. They want to stick with what they know and have been teaching for a long time.
As well as that Columbus’s voyage was the first well documented voyage to America. We have proof that Columbus did indeed come in 1492 because of the logbooks and papers other people have written. If we could find hard fact of Leif Erickson landing here, like maybe his logbook, the “conspiracy” of Columbus being the first here could publicaly be discredited. Columbus met Native Americans while he was here, so obviously they were here first, but the United States hasn’t really accepted that.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm
You make a good point that if we found a logbook from other explorers we would be able to truly discredit Columbus. But aren’t the similarities in some Native American cultures close enough to cultures in Asia around the same time that we can prove they had a common ancestor. And therefore give enough proof to discredit Columbus.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:29 am
I completely agree with you Zach, I only put in the part about the logbook because Americans today don’t really want to recognize these similarities, and a book would be the hard proof needed. Many of these Native Americans have these cultural similarities of Asians and ancient Europeans. Some of the rituals performed, like dances to the gods and sacrifice are the exact same as some of these cultures thousands of miles away. For me that is to much of a coincedence.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm
Christopher Columbus is credited with finding America, even though we know today that he did not find North America but instead found many islands. I think that because people spent so many years believing Columbus found America, that it is easier to teach it as Columbus being the person to have found America. Another thing is that Columbus is a European. Many of our history book glorify Europeans as a superior race. Since Columbus was indeed part of this ‘race’, it would only seem logical to glorify him.
When Columbus was originally credited with finding current day America, he was honored a worshiped for his find. However, once it was realized that Columbus was NOT the person to find present day America, no one wanted to admit to having been wrong. Europeans are extremely nationalistic. They wanted the credit to stay with their country. So rather than correct the wrong of saying that Columbus found America, they continue to glorify him still today.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm
Hi Ella! I agree with you to an extent. However, I think by now one person would end up writing the truth in a text book if it was just due to national pride. So, instead I think that things have not been rewritten due to the fact that American civilizations would not have been created as heavily if it wasn’t for Columbus igniting the spark to explore that region of the world. However all your points are very valid.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:41 am
I definitely agree with you. I also believe though that another reason that the textbooks aren’t changing is because of the people who write them. what’s their race again?
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm
America has obviously given Columbus a lot of credit for this country. We have a whole holiday set aside for him. We started to learn about him in elementary school when the teacher gave you pictures to color of his ships. However, as historians have proven, Columbus was not the first to discover America. The question remains, then why does he get the credit?
Think back to Columbus’s time period when all of these new nations were being discovered. Anyone would be greedy and want to claim as much land as they could. It was all a race back then, just like it would be today if new land was discovered. At the time, Europe was exploring new land so they were the superior race. Columbus, being a European man was especially superior. So of course he would take the prize and claim land for Europe and who was anyone to argue with a man of a high status. Therefore, history just took the idea and stuck with it.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm
Christopher Columbus is the man that many textbooks give credit to for discovering America. Many textbooks are written from the viewpoint of Europeans and therefore are biased towards European accomplishments. Through extensive research the book Lies My Teacher Told Me expresses that Christopher Columbus did in fact not discover the Americas because multiple civilizations had occupied America before Columbus. This, of course leaves the question as to why the United States holds Columbus in such a positive perspective. It’s possible that the American people wanted to glorify the killing of Native Americans when in reality it was a horrible unjust act.
Nationalism is also a contributing factor as to why the present day Americans put so much importance on Columbus and his voyages. After all, there is a national holiday named after the man. Also, it was something most American children learn when they are a child therefore the information stays with them and gets passed on through generations as being a credible event. In addition, if Columbus had not gone to the Americas, it is possible that the Europeans would not have colonized as heavily in the regions that they did, and so we might have been under the control of other world powers. Due to that reason and the want for a positive image of America, people to this day still look at Columbus as a positive figure of America.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm
I think they are so many reasons why Columbus is over glorified and I agree with all of yours. There are probably so many reasons because there is not one specific reason. If we have a national holiday and get off from school then he must be important. Everyone just learns from an early age that Columbus is good and he “found” America. Until you grow up and there is a plot twist that he actually was not the first to do so.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:24 am
I think nationalism is less of a factor as ignorance is one. To have pride in our country would be being decent enough people to be able to recognize other country’s can make contributions to the world, and we don’t have to take credit for them or attempt to overshadow them. Ignorance, is glorifying a man who did awful things, simply because he’s European. I think Columbus’s status in our world can mainly be chalked up to the Western-is-superior mindset. You have some good points though.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:33 am
I agree with Rhylee, I think that ignorance is a huge factor into why America praises Columbus. Like you said, nationalism is a factor but I feel that it was a mixture of nationalism with some ignorance. Our leaders wanted to be proud of our history and be able to look high and noble to our enemies. This lead to our leaders at the time skipping over anything in history until a WHITE European male “discovered” America. In summary, while Columbus did make a contribution to the colonization of America, he should not be looked to as an idol and hero just because he appears “superior” to the other inhabitants.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm
Knowing that at the time there was no way for Columbus to be discredited in the past. People would just take his word and look at the dates of his ship logs and believe him. Therefore it was only being able to trust him and everyone did at the time. No one wanted to go against this idea and they all believed him. Most people later in history wanted Columbus to be this hero and world changer but not in a bad way.
If you look at this from a eurocentric standpoint then Columbus should get all the credit. If you look at this from a worldly standpoint then he should be discredited. Since people started looking at things from the worldly standpoint he should be discredited since there is evidence of so many other civilazations that predate Columbus by thousands of years. There is no reason he should get credit.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm
As we have read, Christopher Columbus did not discover America. Historians have proved this over and over again. However, our country still puts a high importance on this man that “discovered” America. Many people question why we still celebrate Columbus Day, or why students are still taught about the myths of Christopher Columbus. I believe it is because of the Eurocentric textbooks that we are all taught from.
History textbooks are bias to the white European population. This leads to textbooks teaching things such as Christopher Columbus, a Spanish man was the first to discover America. Although history can prove that Vikings, Native Americans, and Phoenicians were there long before. This, however, does not allow Europeans to seem as dominate as any other culture.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm
Christopher Columbus is credited for finding America. All Columbus did was open the eyes of the Europeans that there is more than just their continents and I think that is why he is credited for finding the New World. But there were people before Columbus, that found America. They should also be recognized. But they are not because the historic textbooks are based upon Europeans. Europeans thought they were in charge of everyone. But they are not.
America should not have said that Columbus found America. What we should have done is find evidence even before Columbus and then give the credit to the right person and there is such evidence. Like in the book “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” the author gives great evidence that there is people who found the New World before Columbus. But all because the textbooks are European based, American students are taught that Columbus found America when clearly he didn’t.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm
As I replied to Alex Kutz’s post earlier, I believe that the main reason we hear so many good things about Christopher Columbus is because the story is told by his own people. I have always wondered what the Native Americans would have to say about the newcomers in America invading their land and killing their people. I was utterly horrified at what I recently learned about a man whom I believed to be a wonderful explorer. From my own ancestry, I already knew that Europeans were not the first ones to “discover” America. How can you discover a land that was always there to begin with, let alone already populated?
Christopher Columbus’s deeds shocked me and I am disgusted that we get off a day of school for a man like that. I know that he introduced Europeans to America, at the same time finding settlers a new home, but it was at such a cost. Up until this point I had only known a man who came to find new land for his people to have a home in. Now I realize he mostly did it for greed. The Disney movie Pocahontas really explains European’s hunger for gold. The Europeans covered up most of Columbus’s story and not many people went against what was said. How could the Native Americans fight the rumors? Europeans slowly dominated America and the descendants of the first Europeans probably heard only the good things about the brave man who found their ancestors a home.
Katarina Natalia Kishbaugh
// Sep 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm
“History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription molders from the tablet: the statue falls from the pedestal.” ~WASHINGTON IRVING, The Sketch Book
This quote by Washington Irving truly inspires me and helps me more thoroughly understand how history can become so distorted by a particular country’s point of view. As Americans today we hail Christopher Columbus for discovery our country. Every child and adult knows, “In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Now, nationalism is greatly at fault here. Nevertheless, not only is Nationalism to blame but also because the Eurocentric viewpoint has shaped our view and records of history. History is written from the viewpoint of the dominant class, race, or group of people. Because of this fact, history is nearly always going to be slightly distorted because there is never just one side to the story. Because of the Eurocentric viewpoint and Nationalism Christopher Columbus has been highly credited for the prestige of discovering America.
However, Christopher Columbus was a great explorer and navigator and distortedly did discover America. This is can be true when the reader examines this statement from a different perspective. Obviously, the first “discoverers of America” came from Asia many thousands of years before Columbus even existed, yet, Christopher Columbus was the first explorer of the old world to “re-discover” America. Since Columbus’ “re-discovery” of America, Europe began to set forth with more explorations and began colonizing. In summary Columbus was the first explorer whose exploration made a lasting connection with Europe. Therefore, in conclusion, Christopher Columbus was not the first to discover America but he has every right to be celebrated for the contributions he made to the founding of our country.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 11:38 pm
Christopher Columbus has been discredited for finding America because obviously he did not. Native Americans were there first and history points out that others like Vikings may have been there as well. I firmly believe that the American society has turned to Columbus for being a hero just so that people will identify with him and celebrate him. As Mr. McCord has said many times it does not matter who did it first it only matters when the Europeans do it. This seems to be case and seems to be why for so long we have been taught that Christopher Columbus is one of America’s first heroes and not the bad guy he actually was. Our country needed that pride to be able to say we were founded by a great hero, and that is why I think we celebrate him to this day. When he arrived in America he did not even know where he was! He referred to the people as “Indians” because he thought he was India. I am ashamed to admit that I never knew why he called the people Indians when I was little. I think one of the reasons I never found out was because every time I asked my teacher she never answered. Eventually I just gave up. Always question because if we as a society do not question a historic hero could really be an awful human being who was just in the right place at the right time.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:44 am
Sam I agree with what you say about Americas hero needing a name and a face. How could we have a holiday about the discovery of America without a person and a exact date involved??I also agree with what you brought up about what Europeans do being important because our textbook practically skips over what other nations contributed to the discovering of America. Our nation has found Columbus to be a suitable icon and hero, and even though he is now largely discredited, our nation is to lazy and proud to swallow its pride, and right its wrong,
// Sep 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm
Christopher Columbus and his voyage are thought to be the starting point in American history. I think that a lot of Americans are proud as to how far we have come since colonizing. Even though Columbus was not the first person to set foot in the Americas, only after his voyage did successful colonizing begin. We as Americans want to celebrate this, and that is why he is so important to our country. If it was not for Colombus, would our nation be the same as it is today? Another nation would have most likely came to colonize North America, but would would the outcome be the United States like it did after Colombus’ voyage.
Christopher Columbus is regarded almost as a founding father to our nation. This is why he has a holiday named after him. Again, he may not have been the first to come here, but his impact lasted unlike previous voyages from the Norse or the Afro-Phoenicians. Children are told these stories about Colombus because he brought Europeans to the land where our country lies. The people that came over would later become a part of the 13 colonies and then the United States of America. Most of us would not be here in this nation if it were not for Christopher Colombus.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:05 am
I agree that America would not be the same today if it weren’t for him, but I also disagree on some. I would not call Columbus the founding father to our nation. All Columbus did was tell Europeans about America he did not make progress like the Native Americans. The Native Americans established a way of life in America and they were there even before Columbus as we all know. The Native Americans actually produced some crops that we still use today like corn or maize as they called it.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:21 am
I agree with you that Columbus made a lasting impact and is regarded as a founding father, but I believe that he is still credited for things he didn’t do, and is more important to our country than he should be.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:10 am
While I agree that Columbus did kickstart something big, him starting something is not the reason people celebrate him. He is celebrated simply because he is a European. This fact is shown by all the evidence before him. If Leif Ericson was recorded as the first one, we wouldn;t have Comlubus Day, would we?
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:43 am
I agree with you Josh. He had a huge impact on our nation in trying to find America. He is remembed to all of our nation this day for his bravery, even recieving a holiday like you said. I do think however that he recives alot of credit for not even necessarily being the first to step in America. He is given alot of credits to his name for things that he did not acutually do himself.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 3:29 am
Josh, I agree with you about why we idolize Christopher Columbus. In the eyes of the Europeans his voyages were thought as the start of American history and America might not be the way it is without his voyages. Columbus also caused damage to America. Columbus traveling to America caused a great amount of deaths to the natives and the native animals and plants. Columbus is not the type of person I would like to be celebrating but he did cause a lot of change. He caused some good and some bad change, but America and maybe the world may not be the same without Columbus. Columbus is certainly a great historical figure.
// Sep 17, 2013 at 11:58 pm
I believe that our country gives Columbus so much credit for a few reasons. One is that at the time history was so Eurocentric that when the facts were written down they may have stretched the truth a little to make Columbus sound so much more of a hero than he actually was. Also there may be some evidence but not much written record from the Native Americans, but Columbus had the most recorded proof of finding the New World first. Also we do not have much knowledge as to how the Native Americans got there, but we know as a fact that Colombus sailed from Spain to the Americas, so he may be the first to have actually found America while the native Americans may not have known where they were. So in way Columbus did find America, but he did not discover first.
Columbus in the Eurocentric perspective is a hero for unintentionally finding this new world, but in actual fact he is no where near a hero. He had trouble getting Isabelle and Ferdinand to find his venture which I understand because Columbus did not have a great plan. Eventually when he got the funding he did not even reach his targeted destination. In way he was better off not reaching his destination. So the reason that so much importance was put on him was because America would not be like it is today without him not matter how much facts prove most history text books wrong.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:04 am
Even though Christopher Columbus did not actually discover America, he was credited for it by the Europeans. Since this is what they were told, people didn’t question whether or not he did, and future generations were taught that he discovered America. Even today in elementary school we are taught about Columbus discovering America, and obviously as elementary schoolers we are just going to believe what we are told.
I think that our country has placed so much importance on Columbus because they were taught that he discovered this country, and they do not know about truth about what type of person he was, or that he may have not have even discovered America at all. Since many people in our country has a lot of nationalism, we would obviously place a lot of importance on somebody we believed had found America.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:11 am
Despite many people going to America before Columbus did, not to mention the fact it was already inhabited by Native Americans, Columbus is still commonly credited with ‘’Discovering’’ America. History’s attempt to ignore and pass over those who came before Columbus is mainly due to eurocentrism. The average textbook is written in a way that is centered on a European viewpoint. So while evidence makes it clear Columbus was not the first person to find the New World, to those who were in charge of writing history, he was all that mattered. Despite the fact that Columbus did not do anything that remarkable, since he’s a European male, our society is one that has decided to wrongly glorify him in crediting him with the discovery of America and giving him a holiday.
Columbus was not a good guy. Yet after enslaving people, bringing diseases and killing people Columbus is still viewed at large as a national hero. The way our country, books and education turn a blind eye to the fallacies about Columbus show how deeply the chauvinistic belief that Europeans, and their descendants, are a more superior race really goes. The amount of recognition Columbus receives is far more then he deserves. Columbus’s only spot in history should not be the crediting of such a feat as finding America, but as one of the finest examples of history’s tendency to be written in the voice of the powerful.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:23 am
I feel as though Christopher Columbus gradually became more and more idolized in America because, through the changing/leaving out of facts of his voyage and exploration, he could envision the American Dream the most. Removing the fact of massacre and cruelty towards the Native Americans, personal economic gain, and other self-profiting goals, Christopher Columbus could seem like a role model for any explorer. ‘Christopher Columbus, the brave explorer, journeying the sea in search of land for the people’ does have a nice ring to it: a ring that the people want to hear. My theory is, back in Columbus’ time, the things he did had no effect on people because, quite frankly, everybody would have done the same thing – that behavior was acceptable. The Europeans thought that they were superior beings, and gave no mind to the atrocities that were done to the natives. Further supporting this is the fact that Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand even named Columbus “Admiral of the Ocean Sea.” The people praised him for his actions.
Furthering my theory, after the Revolutionary War, America, as a new nation, probably searched for heroes—patriots—to represent America. As a young and newly formed country, we were searching for our history. On 1868, the first Columbus Day was celebrated. However, instead of being remembered as the horrible person we have learned to know today, he was remembered as he always had been; the heroic man who found the Americas for the people. Knowing that, America adopted him as the one of the original heroes that fostered the American Dream. And, of course, if someone holds the American Dream, we can overlook any atrocities that they did. Therefore, credited as how he was remembered for, the hero, Columbus was, and is, celebrated all over the country.
And, now, as creatures of habit, we still celebrate Columbus Day. America does not teach children about the Natives’ massacre, or the cruel deeds he performed, of course not, think of the children! And as everybody is assumed to have already learnt about Columbus, we do not elaborate on his entire voyage, only the parts we want to hear. Of course, in our class, Mr. McCord teaches the true facts, the real events that was written down in history, but shoved in the back of the shelf. Maybe even indefinitely, Christopher Columbus will be celebrated for many years to come; not for everything that he did, but the things we like to think he did.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:26 am
As we all know now, Christopher Columbus was not the first person to have “discovered” or laid eyes on America. The Native Americans had been living on the land for hundreds of years, and there has even been some evidence to support that Vikings set foot on American soil. During the time of The Age of Exploration, many pieces of land that had already been inhabited were claimed as “discovered”. As Mr. McCord has said before, historians often are very focused on white European males. This means that many European males were granted the reward of discovering and reaching new land when the fact of the matter is that that land had already been discovered long before.
Columbus day is one of the only holidays in America where one man has a day all to himself, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln don’t even have their own day! I feel like our country has just played along with the idea that Columbus discovered this country because it is simply easier. Think about it, it’s a lot easier to just claim that a “superior” white European male discovered our country than to say that a person of color discovered our country. At the time, there was a sort of racism that went around and the people in charge of America wanted to feel high and noble, thus they didn’t want people to know that beings of color discovered our country. Although Christopher Columbus might have been a great explorer, he should not have been given credit for something that he did not even accomplish. Our country should begin to teach about the real history of America, and not about some story that is anything but true.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:19 am
Jen I completely agree that we have a biased European history taught to us for most of our lives. However I don’t believe we say Columbus discovered our country because it was easier. Yes now they might continue teaching it because they believe it is to hard to change our minds, but at the time slavery was only just beginning because people were beginning to travel. In Africa slavery had been going on for some time because it was the center of trade, but feudalism was also common and in that case even those “Nobel white European men” were living the lives of slaves. if Columbus was African he might still be a hero, but the history would be told to an African bias.People just want to believe that their country is the best so having a European discover America was what the Europeans wanted. They just then continued to run America so the story was then embellished. So in a sense yes the white Europeans didn’t want someone of color to find our country, but because they wanted to find it. If a black African found our country the story would have been biased the other way. Very good points in you passage though, it really made me think!
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:37 am
Obviously, our country has and still does place so much importance on Columbus, even though history has discredited him. As we learned, he was a horrible person, yet still very glorified. A reason he is still celebrated is because of Eurocentrism. The European race, espcially for cis males, has been and still is very privileged and people usually try to defend them a lot, and make them better than they actually were.
I also think people don’t want to learn/believe that a European could have done something so horrible, so textbooks try to celebrate them a lot. Also, people don’t want to learn that the beginning of their country involved a virtual genocide of a race. I think the case of Christopher Columbus is the epitome of white male privilege.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:37 am
Many people believe that Columbus was the first person to find America. He is credited for being the first man to discover America, but he obviously was not. The Native Americans had been on American soil much before Columbus and that is one of the main reasons various textbooks include him as one of the most important explorers ever. One could say that he was the first European to come to America but that is just a myth.
Columbus is also very important to Americans because they view him as a leader, mainly because he has his own holiday to an extent. I do not find him as a “special person” mainly because it is a known fact that the Native Americans were in America before Columbus. Most of the textbooks include Columbus so victorious because they want to point out only the European explorers and their point of view. Our country has also placed importance on this man because they were probably taught that Columbus was the first person to discover the New World. Columbus does not deserve this much credit simply because he did not discover America.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:38 am
The Christopher Columbus we all learned of in class was not entirely the hero the textbook makes him out to be. We saw this when we learned of the horrible things he did once he arrived in the “New” World. In the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, it tells the half-truths and false statements that were recorded in history. Fortunately, Christopher Columbus was mentioned in this book because he was discredited by a large amount of historians. I think that the main cause for our building up of Columbus is our Eurocentric mindset, as pointed out in the excerpt from the book.
The writers of our textbook placed an importance on Columbus because of his country of origin. Most of the important historical figures, if not all of them, that we learn about today are European males, like Columbus, that are very Eurocentric. Columbus’ voyage was such a big deal at the time, it made Europeans more aware of the “New World”. His voyage may also have sparked more interest in the exploration of North and South America. Christopher Columbus was not the true discoverer of America, but the one who created interest in overseas travel.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:40 am
I believe that the reason in which we, as Americans, tend to dwell on Columbus’s importance, is because we are biased in a way. As the article in “Lies My Teacher Told Me” says, many people were here before Columbus, and many were on their way. I believe that we like to think that we are superior to other nations and would love to take credit for the discovery of our country. Also, being the primary people to live here, it would sound pretty bad for us to have a day honoring for example, a Siberian, Indonesian, Japanese, or Chinese explorer.
Along with being biased, I also believe that at some point someone could have easily began to over dramatize Colombus’s discoveries. With new generations, and essentially the wiping out of the Native Americans, this dramatized story spread through word of mouth. With the new civilizations in America came new jobs and ideas. These new jobs and ideas led to the printing of articles and stories, where the story of “The Great Columbus” were published. Here, of course, the idea of us being biased Americans comes back. Journalists surely along the way each added their own parts, and included that Europeans were indeed the first to reach the Americas.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:50 am
Josh, you said in your first paragraph “If it was not for Colombus, would our nation be the same as it is today?” You argued that without Columbus, our country would not be the same as it is today. I agree and disagree with that. I agree because in the literal sense, no, our country most definitely would not be the same. However, any little change in the course of history would most likely effect our country today. Now, I disagree with the way it sounded like you were trying to say that Columbus had the largest impact in our country’s history. I find it to seem as if any of the explorers played just as important role as Columbus did in finding America, it is almost like Columbus got lucky with fame. I like the opinions you shared though, because they did make sense and were very thought provoking!
// Sep 18, 2013 at 12:53 am
It is unfortunate to know that my elementary school education on the subject of Christopher Columbus was basically completely untrue. The school I went to treated Columbus like a hero, after all he “discovered” a new world. While today we know that is untrue my mind does start to wonder where those ideas came from. There is scientific proof that many other cultures here before Columbus sailed he ocean blue in 1492, but that doesn’t always translate to the classroom. I think that because the vast majority of Americans have European dissent we believe what the Europeans of that time wanted to believe, Columbus discovered a land completely new and took it for Europe.
This idea of Europeans doing things first and best is nothing new. Many instances in history show how Europeans depict history as events that happened thanks to them. Ultimately Europeans documented history, shared their history, and because of this the idea of a European heroically finding something revolutionary is what many Americans still believe. It is important to see both sides of history, and unfortunately much of America sees Christopher Columbus as one of their own doing something never before done. History is always told by the winner and in the battle of colonization the Europeans were the victors.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:06 am
The United States of America views Christopher Columbus as a hero, however we have recently learned he is not the man we believed him to be. Most of us already knew he never realized he had landed on America, and most of us knew he was an Italia sailing for Spain. Recently we also learned that what he did to the natives and how he carried himself was not to a hero’s, or even a common leaders standards.
He and his men took Native Americans as slaves, pillaged their villages, and raped their woman all without blinking an eye, yet they were the “good catholic sailors for Spain.”Columbus’s own men wanted to throw him overboard for continuing on the journey they believed would never end. Even if they were going much further then suspected if he lead them well they would have trusteed him. We also say he discovered America but what about the natives here before him, or the records that say other people settled here before him? Why do they receive no credit, when they were in America before him.
So why do we as Americans celebrate Columbus as the first American Hero? I believe it is because as Americans we enjoy relishing in our history and our hero’s accomplishments. If we have no name to go with our hero we have to make one up or come up with what we believe to be the next best thing, and because Columbus has written records he was here, he filled that place. He also started a sort of frenzy to come to the U.S. Most of us have European heritage and our ancestors came here after Columbus opened up the idea that America was here. If he didn’t find it again in 1492 it would have taken the Europeans much longer to settle the U.S. Finally for the longest time Columbus didn’t receive credit for sailing to America before other explorers of his time. When historians realized he was actually the first out of the famous explorers of the time to reach America, they probably overlooked the terrible things he did and just thought he needed credit after being denied it due to other lying explorers, so it stuck that he was the first, even though it was only at that time and from Europe.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:10 am
Christopher Columbus is portrayed in many text books as America’s first great hero. Historians who write text books focus on how he was the first person to discover America even though native people were all ready there. Historians like to believe if it wasn’t done by a white European man then it doesn’t matter. This leads me to believe why they say he was the to first to discover America. We all know though that many other people, such as people from Siberia and Japan, were there first. We also have moderate to high evidence to support that.
Columbus was considered a major explorer in the Age of Exploration. I believe he made his story more interesting just so he could get the public’s attention and gain more money. He thought since he was a white European man he was superior over everyone else. He thought he could just take over all the land and get the credit for it. Historians tend to exaggerate this because they can talk a lot about it. He was praised so much that we gave him his on holiday.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:33 am
Even though history has discredited Christopher Columbus as the person who discovered America, the fact that we still idolize him can be traced back to our roots. Americans, at large, are the descendants of Europeans, and therefore fall into the same trappings of Euro-centrism. Who cares if Native Americans were here long before Columbus, if many of us share no ancestry with them? Americans largely agree with this because even though people were here before Columbus his discovery of our continent turned it into what it is today. Many people believe that our nation wouldn’t be what it is today unless Columbus discovered it.
Other large contributors to this falsehood of Columbus is ignorance and laziness. Many historians know that people were here before Columbus, but why go through the effort of changing what America, at large, believes? Historians also tend to gloss over the atrocities that many idolized people made, not attempting to discredit them, or cast them in a bad light. Also, since many people don’t know that people were here before Columbus, why bother questioning what really happened? Since people are to lazy to change the status quo, or ignorant to question things, people can rise up on a throne of falsehoods and lies without much opposition.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:34 am
Christopher Columbus really is not the great person that everyone thinks he is. Columbus is idolized as being our nation’s discoverer and we even have a national holiday in his honor. Although evidence suggests that he really was not the first person to discover America. Technically, Native Americans were the first to discover America. When Columbus arrived in America he found people already living there and actually he treated them rather horribly.
Despite this, we Americans place a lot of importance on Columbus even though history discredits him. I believe we deem him as important because despite the evidence we still believe that he was the first person to discover our country. Also some people have the viewpoint that nothing really matters unless a European did it because we are the smartest and best. Although this viewpoint is totally ludicrous, I believe that some people think this and this is why we place so much importance on Columbus. People forget the fact that Native Americans had great ideas and inventions of their own but that means nothing because they are not one of us. People place importance on Columbus because we do not want to think that a European might not have been the first person to discover America.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:00 am
Courtney, I agree with what you’re saying. Columbus was obviously not the first person to discover America, the Native Americans most likely were. He treated those people like dirt, when they did absolutely nothing to him, when they could have helped Europe with their ideas and inventions. He was a European and I believe that has a huge impact on why we think he is so amazing. Many other people did what he did, but he gets the most credit which I believe is wrong.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:36 am
I think that our country placed so much importance on Columbus because many Europeans who immigrated here believed that they really had discovered a New World, because they saw themselves as superior to the Natives living here. Europeans had found a place previously unknown to them, and they automatically thought of it as theirs. They gave no thought to who was already living there and how these people had gotten there. They did not even think about if others had explored this land before, they set up Columbus as a hero because they really did believe that he was the first to find it, because they thought that a European was automatically superior and that anybody who was not a European could not possibly have found this new land.
When these Europeans immigrated to America, they brought this thinking with them. A national holiday for Columbus was created before we had begun to question who really found America, because of European/American thinking that Columbus had to have discovered America-how could a non-white, non-European possibly have made their way to this land. Even now that we know the truth about Columbus, we do not want to remove the holiday-too “controversial”, or buy new,correct textbooks- too expensive. American are afraid to go against traditional thinking and step out into truth.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:47 am
People made a big deal about Christopher Columbus finding America first, even though we all know he did not. Columbus as the person he was, or was thought to be, was not as heroic as everybody says he is. Yes, he was not the first person to discover America, but think what would have happened if they said he did not find the New World. All the things that he did might have been awful, but think what if he didn’t do all of that, would we be here at this point in life?
To Europeans, Columbus was a hero. He brought back goods, foods, money. That is all that really mattered back then, not what he did to the poor Native Americans that did nothing to him. These rulers, or upper-class Europeans, were the ones to later record Columbus’ journey, they made him look like a man who had made their country look superior to all other countries. Kids are taught all kinds of things such as Columbus discovering America even though other people have already been there.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:02 am
First off, I would like to say that not everyone knows this. Many are ignorant to these truths and thats one way that these types of stories are spread. Even if Columbus had not sailed to America, someone would have eventually found it and the race to colonize would most likely occur again, so history is not solely reliant on Columbus. Society would most likely be different today, but life would go on.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:53 am
Christopher Columbus, one of the most famous explorers in American history, is not all that he seems to be. He was a horrible person, and wasn’t even the first person to reach America. If he did all this, why is he so famous? Personally, I think that its because all history books only care about Europeans.
Really, you only see things in textbooks if Europeans did them first. You’ll see the things that the Native Americans, Chinese, and Mongols did before Europeans, but its only mentioned when they do it. For example, Leif Ericson was one of the first on the continent, but Columbus is credited. History really only cares if Europe does it.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:01 am
Good blog Pat! I totally agree that Columbus was a horrible person who only cared about fame and wealth, but I differently as to why history books give him so much credit. He was given so much credit because he was the first European to reach the new world at his time. Although people have lived and traveled to the Americas before Columbus, Columbus was the first modern European to reach them, and when the Europeans learned this, they gave him all the credit.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:54 am
I believe that Columbus tends to be idolized in history for three main reasons.
The first is because history is written by the winners and the Europeans came out as the winners. To the Europeans, Columbus set the ball rolling when it comes to discovering and colonizing America.
Secondly, Columbus’s fellow Europeans, for the most part, saw nothing wrong with the atrocities he committed against the natives. In fact, many continued to carry out these horrid acts afterwards.
Finally, as we discussed in class, the Europeans considered themselves to be superior to everyone else and as Mr.McCord said, “It doesn’t matter unless a European did it.” With this logic, Columbus would end up being idolized by many in his time and as it passed through word of mouth, people would start to blindly idolize him, not knowing of the atrocious acts committed and ignorant to those that had been there previously.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:34 am
Hey Kelsey. I completely agree with what you said about Columbus. He had a terrible mentality entering the exploration, which resulted in the atrocious acts that today are considered illegal and unmoral. People should know about what Columbus actually did. He shouldn’t be recognized as an American Hero.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:55 am
I agree with you completely about the Europeans thought they were superior to everyone else. You never really hear about in history books about anybody else except a European. This is because of Euro-centrism. They people were blind to see the all the killing involved, they just wanted the money.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:58 am
Although Christopher Columbus was not the first person to find America, I think that no one knew that at this time. Columbus thought he had landed upon Europe, and he was clueless as to what he really found; A New World. No one questioned Columbus, and everyone went along with it. It was not until later on that Europeans started to realize what exactly Columbus found.
There was nothing to question Columbus about in the first place. He brought back many items and money, which made the Europeans happy. Everyone focused on the wealth that Columbus brought back, and not the area that he got the wealth from. So, I think that the Europeans were clueless that Columbus set foot in the new world.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:22 am
It is interesting to read everyone’s comments and points of view about Christopher Columbus. From another perspective, it is amazing that someone would get into a wooden ship and sail across the sea to a place that he was not certain existed. Think about it, he had no GPS, no cell phone, no weather forecast, and no coast guard to help him he he got shipwrecked.
Whether he was there first person to see America or not is not that important. What is important is he opened a relationship with one side of the world to another. He encouraged others to board ships in search of new lands. Every October 14th we remember Columbus for his accomplishment. His exploration took a lot of courage.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm
I disagree. With the Age of Exploration spreading in Europe, lots of people were setting out on voyages. With the help of joint-stock companies, hopping in a ship and trying to find wealth was widely popular. Even if Columbus hadn’t found the New World for Europe, the chances are that somebody soon would have. The fact is that Columbus gets all the credit while people like Native Americans and the Chinese are swept under the rug.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:30 am
Many U.S. citizens believe Christopher Columbus discovered America and should be recognized as an American hero. I would completely disagree. From what we learned in class, we know that Christopher Columbus actually didn’t discover America. There’s evidence that other people from Europe and Asia traveled to the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus. Yes, Columbus did open European eyes and show the world that there were many things still to be discovered. But lets be honest, with or without Columbus, somebody from Europe would’ve ended up discovering the Americas at some point.
Columbus should not be recognized as an American hero. First off, he wasn’t even American; he was Italian. Second, when he arrived in the Americas, he and his crew had the mentality that they were superior to every non-European they came into contact with. Because of this mentality, they ended up killing native men, r*ping (the website wouldn’t let me use the actual word) native women, and stealing their possessions. In my mind, heroes aren’t the kind of people that r*pe women and kill innocent men.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:39 am
Even though Columbus is discredited for finding the Americas, our country still thinks of him as a hero. This is mainly because of Euro centrism. He was the first European, so we thought for a long time, that discovered the ‘New Word’. Though this is false, a lot of people still believe that. Text books and readings may also be trying to avoid how many Native were killed in the process of colonization.
Also because so many people believe that Columbus was the first person to discover the Americas, we named a holiday after him. If we went to through that to name a holiday after him. Why change that? Also if you look at all the bad things that the following explorers did, he is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 2:47 am
As I struggle to write this I begin to think of the things we used to learn about in elementary school of this great man known as Christopher Columbus. We were told of how he bravely sailed the sea and found a new world for all to explore. We learned of peaceful trade with natives and stories of a brave kind man. We learn now everything we were told as children is false.
Columbus is known as a national hero and for what? For killing people native to the land we call America? For taking credit to finding a land already inhabited? It seems ridiculous to consider Columbus a good guy but he made a discovery for Europe, that would change life as Europe knew it.
Columbus found America as the first European, which led to more and more explorers venturing to America. He was falsely credited although he forged America as what it is today. Without his harsh ways and lies things would be very different from what they are like today.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 3:07 am
Our country has placed a lot of importance on Christopher Columbus for discovering America. Even though most people at this point know that Columbus was not the first one to discover America, we still credit him for his “discoveries”. Our country has placed this much importance on him because he was the first European to discover what the new land had to offer. Columbus was the first to bring back evidence that it would be profitable to travel across the ocean and start to trade and make more money. He was most likely the first one to spark the idea of using the new land for resources and become wealthier. He should not be considered as important as we make him to be or consider him a hero of any kind.
Columbus should not be as important as we make him to be because sooner or later another European would have most likely traveled and “discovered” America. Other people had already reached the New World much earlier before Columbus. There are multiple accounts of evidence that shows that many types of people had been to America much earlier than Columbus not including the natives that had already been living in the Americas. Columbus should definitely not be considered a hero because of his actions against the natives. Columbus told the natives that if they did not convert their faith to Christianity he would kill them and take the women and children as slaves. That is not the type of person to have a day celebrated for and he should not be considered a hero.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 10:44 am
Christopher Columbus is only remembered for the good things he did in American history. He gets most of the credit for discovering America. He showed the Europeans that there was money to be made from the Americas. This sparked people to talk about him and want to travel there.
Columbus was no where near the first person to discover America as there had already been people there. Vikings and natives arrived thousands of years ago. Because of eurocentrism we do not remember Columbus for the thousands of people he slaughtered to gain wColumbus was no where near the first person to discover America as there had already been people there. Vikings and natives arrived thousands of years ago. Because of eurocentrism we do not remember Columbus for the thousands of people he slaughtered to gain wealth. In the history books Columbus is seen as a hero but in reality he did nothing special.ealth. In the history books Columbus is seen as a hero but in reality he did nothing special.
// Sep 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm
Christopher Columbus is given all the credit for finding the Americas, but hisory has shown that this isn’t the truth. I believe that this is because of widely Eurocentric ideas. Textbooks only teach about the positive things that Columbus did, while in reality he was very brutal. Also, I believe that Americans find it easier to give credit to a white European male, rather than Native Americans or the Chinese. Even though history has proved that Columbus did not find the Americas, American people widely accept that he did based on Eurocentric ideas and wrong teachings that continue to be passed down.
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail
© 2014 Mr. McCord's Honors Blog — Sitemap — Cutline by Chris Pearson
Hosted by Edublogs
Powered by WordPress | Hosted by Edublogs | Protected by CloudFlare