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(The Oatmeal)   "(Christopher Columbus) discovered the New World much like a meteorite discovered the dinosaurs"   (theoatmeal.com) divider line 117
    More: Misc, dinosaurs, Meteorite, Howard Zinn, primary sources, Christopher Columbus  
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4181 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Oct 2013 at 11:12 AM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-10 10:38:01 AM
Is any of this new to anyone?  I thought at least by the end of high school everyone basically knew that the whole Columbus legend was total bunk.
 
2013-10-10 10:58:45 AM
Columbus was the beginning of widespread knowledge of the New World, and the beginning of expansion into it.

The Vikings just fished nearby.  And the Native Americans just killed each other less efficiently than Europeans.  And the Chinese did not discover America.

I'm celebrating Columbus Day with pasta.  He brought tomatoes to Italy.  He is responsible for The Olive Garden.
 
2013-10-10 11:06:42 AM

I_C_Weener: He is responsible for The Olive Garden.


So we agree: history's greatest monster.
 
2013-10-10 11:24:37 AM
I understand why we teach young children a simplistic version of historic events and then later build on that knowledge with a deeper exploration of the events' complexity. What I don't get is why we teach them things that are outright lies and then if they do on to higher education, start correcting it. Wouldn't it be better to tell them the truth, even if a simplistic version, rather than needing to undo everything that was taught before? And for those who stop their education early, they wouldn't be saddled with so much BS.
 
2013-10-10 11:25:44 AM

I_C_Weener: Columbus was the beginning of widespread knowledge of the New World, and the beginning of expansion into it.


Was Columbus a gigantic asshole? Sure.

But people who work that old saw "Nobody thought the world was flat, Columbus didn't truly discover the Americas" forget that Columbus was the one who opened it up to European cultures... basically joining the world's landmasses into one set of history instead of several smaller parallel histories.

He doesn't take that trip, it's quite a while until the Americas are found and world history looks one whole hell of a lot different.

Besides, we can easily argue that Columbus Day isn't really a "real" holiday. If you don't work for the government or a bank, well, your ass is likely working that day. For most people it's just a day where bank deposits aren't recorded and your trip to the mailbox was in vain.
 
2013-10-10 11:30:45 AM

EngineerAU: I understand why we teach young children a simplistic version of historic events and then later build on that knowledge with a deeper exploration of the events' complexity. What I don't get is why we teach them things that are outright lies and then if they do on to higher education, start correcting it. Wouldn't it be better to tell them the truth, even if a simplistic version, rather than needing to undo everything that was taught before? And for those who stop their education early, they wouldn't be saddled with so much BS.


How do you put "Essentially, it was a genocide" into something that children are capable of taking in?  I don't recall learning about the horrors of the holocaust in grade school either.
 
2013-10-10 11:31:31 AM
For anyone interested in how much a genius Bartolome las Casas was read his debates with Sepulveda over the crown policies in the Spanish colonies.

Despite being a priest this guy really comes off as a secret human secularist and was a brilliant defender of basic human rights.

/a true soldier of the Enlightenment
//Deserves to be placed next to the likes Norman Borlaug as a individual who saved millions of people and to whom 100's of millions owe their lives today
 
2013-10-10 11:34:15 AM
I've always hated the Columbus myth, specifically because everybody (except school teachers, apparently) know it's complete bunk. Making Columbus into a monster is not entirely fair, either, he was just as ignorant as any other entitled noble of the time, but I'm now interested in the Bartolome guy, who I've never heard of before.
 
2013-10-10 11:36:33 AM

nekom: How do you put "Essentially, it was a genocide" into something that children are capable of taking in? I don't recall learning about the horrors of the holocaust in grade school either.


There were other consequences/outcomes of Columbus' voyage (that don't necessarily feed your righteous self-loathing) that grade-school kids can understand.
 
2013-10-10 11:38:07 AM

EngineerAU: I understand why we teach young children a simplistic version of historic events and then later build on that knowledge with a deeper exploration of the events' complexity. What I don't get is why we teach them things that are outright lies and then if they do on to higher education, start correcting it. Wouldn't it be better to tell them the truth, even if a simplistic version, rather than needing to undo everything that was taught before? And for those who stop their education early, they wouldn't be saddled with so much BS.


ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-10-10 11:40:08 AM
Bumretch, Nebrahoma sounds charming.
 
2013-10-10 11:41:25 AM
In before "The Oatmeal is no good anymore, in fact The Oatmeal has NEVER been any good".
 
2013-10-10 11:42:36 AM

I_C_Weener: He is responsible for The Olive Garden.


And here I thought his legacy couldn't be more tarnished.
 
2013-10-10 11:51:56 AM
Call it Explorers Day and plaster Louis & Clark, Glenn, Armstrong and Buzz's face everywhere
 
2013-10-10 11:52:05 AM

nmrsnr: I've always hated the Columbus myth, specifically because everybody (except school teachers, apparently) know it's complete bunk. Making Columbus into a monster is not entirely fair, either, he was just as ignorant as any other entitled noble of the time, but I'm now interested in the Bartolome guy, who I've never heard of before.


What? He is a key founding father, when you get him all of your Indian converts switch to normal colonists, which is a major boost if you do it at the right time i.e. once you have lots of schools/colleges/universities to turn them into specialists relatively quickly to offset the lost bonus production you get for converts working land squares.
 
2013-10-10 11:54:15 AM

EngineerAU: I understand why we teach young children a simplistic version of historic events and then later build on that knowledge with a deeper exploration of the events' complexity. What I don't get is why we teach them things that are outright lies and then if they do on to higher education, start correcting it. Wouldn't it be better to tell them the truth, even if a simplistic version, rather than needing to undo everything that was taught before? And for those who stop their education early, they wouldn't be saddled with so much BS.


Richard Shenkman called it "the confusing method." Step one: tell them about how everyone thought the earth was flat, priests argued about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, everyone was executed for witchcraft. Step two, tell them none of that stuff is true."
 
2013-10-10 11:58:51 AM
Wow, this comic is so much wrong LOL.

He says the Santa Maria wrecked in the Lucayas and then Columbus returned to Spain.

Weeeeeeeeeeell...NOPE.

After he went to the Lucayas, he reached Cuba and then an island he named the Hispaniola. That's where the Santa Maria wrecked and with the wood from the ship they made a fort called Fort Christmas in Spanish, because it was in December. He left a portion of the crew to hold the fort and went back to Spain in the other two ships.

And Columbus himself was a rather decent guy (I'm not going to speak on behalf of his personal morals or how he may have treated some natives. I wasn't there and it was a different world.) But Columbus isn't responsible for the genocide.

1.- Columbus wasn't given a real crew the first time around. He was given a bunch of guys who were in jail for murder, theft and other crimes. The King of Spain thought this journey was bogus so he refused to send his good men overthere. Gee. I wonder what happens when you send the antisocial garbage of your society to another. After Columbus returned and the King spit his cereal, he sent a real fleet of 17 ships and army lol.

2.- When he returned in the Second Journey, he found that the remaining crew on the island had gotten into skirmishes with the natives and the fort had been burned and some of the men killed.

3.- During the third journey, one of the things he did was get beat up, jailed and sent to Spain. There was some charges about Columbus engaging in slavery (as if...), but the real reason is that Columbus and the Kingdom of Spain had an agreement before the first journey. Columbus would be Viceroy of all the found lands and his family will keep that governing title forever as well as receive a percentage of the riches found. It's very clear that once the colonization was taking form, Spain didn't want to have to share their stuff with Columbus and threw him under the bus.

4.- After some years, he got pardoned and managed to make a fourth journey.  Discovering even more land. After that he went to Spain and died a couple of years later. By this time, the Spanish Crown had relented a bit and gave his family the control of Hispaniola, at least. Eventually they also were phased out.

So yeah, this Oatmeal guy just made a fool out of himself. Especially with that crap in the beginning about HE being the one to educate the public.

I love how that idiot says in big bold letters that "HE's going to dispel those ideas", then at the end of the article, puts a statement in some bullshiat microfont nobody can read saying "This article is based on the information found on these two books".

So you were repeating other's people work and giving yourself tons of credit? Good jorb, Oatmeal!
 
2013-10-10 12:01:32 PM

ShadowKamui: Call it Explorers Day and plaster Louis & Clark, Glenn, Armstrong and Buzz's face everywhere


Throw in some Cabot, De Soto, Ponce de Leon, Cook... yeah, I kinda like this idea. L&C don't get enough love, I agree.
 
2013-10-10 12:04:49 PM
Blaming Columbus for the deaths of people in North and South America is unfair on the level of Europeans holding their nose and pretending the Holocaust was solely perpetrated by Hitler.

Why yes, France handed over Jews faster than the Nazis could process them.
 
2013-10-10 12:10:44 PM

rocky_howard: I love how that idiot says in big bold letters that "HE's going to dispel those ideas", then at the end of the article, puts a statement in some bullshiat microfont nobody can read saying "This article is based on the information found on these two books".


That's called citing sources. Where did you get your information? Did you go to research libraries and study the primary sources yourself?

The shipwrecking in the Lucayas vs. Hispaniola is a discrepancy, but not one that is important to his "Columbus was the cause of much suffering" thesis, as for your other points, how do they contradict anything that Inman said? Columbus did set sail for gold (no Earth is round BS), did start the slave trade, and did cause the slaughter of millions of indigenous peoples, what does his power struggle with the King of Spain have to do with that?
 
2013-10-10 12:12:31 PM
Almost no drawings, very little text. Most of which is in Comic Sans.

Best. Internet. Cartoonist. EVAR
 
2013-10-10 12:13:42 PM
Rename it "Genocide Day" and honor him along with Hitler, Pol Pot, and George W. Bush.
 
2013-10-10 12:16:29 PM
Sure, Columbus was an ass.
But so is Inman. Not much has changed.
 
2013-10-10 12:17:07 PM

Mr_Fabulous: ShadowKamui: Call it Explorers Day and plaster Louis & Clark, Glenn, Armstrong and Buzz's face everywhere

Throw in some Cabot, De Soto, Ponce de Leon, Cook... yeah, I kinda like this idea. L&C don't get enough love, I agree.


I thought L&C got a TV show together... Something about the New Adventurers of Superman. And they got married near the end of the series and adopted a child.

Actually, when I was younger (no older then 10), I did not know about Louis and Clark.  I thought they meant Lois and Clark when I was at NASA taking the bus tour. That was the first time I can actually recall hearing their names.
 
2013-10-10 12:21:13 PM

Mr_Fabulous: ShadowKamui: Call it Explorers Day and plaster Louis & Clark, Glenn, Armstrong and Buzz's face everywhere

Throw in some Cabot, De Soto, Ponce de Leon, Cook... yeah, I kinda like this idea. L&C don't get enough love, I agree.


I'm willing to include Henry Hudson and Peter Puget in this Explorers' Day nomination.

As for the article itself, I have trouble trusting anyone who cites books of that nature, regardless of the author.  I understood the implication of Columbus laying the foundation for New World exploration in the 4th grade, but I don't know about the whole 'father of the transatlantic slave trade' line.
 
2013-10-10 12:26:50 PM

nmrsnr: That's called citing sources. Where did you get your information? Did you go to research libraries and study the primary sources yourself?


One of two of Oatmeals sources is "A Peoples History of the United States".  One of the major issues with the book is .... not citing sources.

/Oatmeal did the same with when he bashed Edison - getting many things wrong and not being ... lets see here ... objective
 
2013-10-10 12:35:18 PM

akula: He doesn't take that trip, it's quite a while

another couple of years until the Americas are found invaded by Europeans and world history looks one whole hell of a lot different pretty much the same.

FTFY

Columbus didn't do anything that others weren't thinking of doing. He just did it a little sooner.

gingerjet: Oatmeal did the same with when he bashed Edison - getting many things wrong and not being ... lets see here ... objective


What is there to be objective about? Edison was a complete douche-bag.
 
2013-10-10 12:35:29 PM
nmrsnr: That's called citing sources. Where did you get your information? Did you go to research libraries and study the primary sources yourself?


Missing the point, brah. He was being all bombastic about being the bringer of the light. Should have mentioned the books in the beginning instead of in a microfont-sized footer at the bottom of the whole thing.

The shipwrecking in the Lucayas vs. Hispaniola is a discrepancy, but not one that is important to his "Columbus was the cause of much suffering" thesis

It IS important. It's not just the shipwrecking. He also told the rest of the story as if it happened in Lucayas. If he was wrong/lying about that, what else couldn't he be wrong/lying about? It's even more jarring when he mentions Bartolomé and doesn't even mention that Bartolomé was in Hispaniola, not Lucayas. also that Bartolomé de Las Casas came to the Americas like 7 years after Columbus had died. So yeah, Oatmeal doesn't know what he's talking about. He read part of those books and rushed to make a shiatty article.

as for your other points, how do they contradict anything that Inman said? Columbus did set sail for gold (no Earth is round BS), did start the slave trade, and did cause the slaughter of millions of indigenous peoples, what does his power struggle with the King of Spain have to do with that?

I never said the flat thing was wrong. It's rather dumb to even say that. How would Columbus plan to get to the other side if it was flat? And he couldn't just do it on "faith". Everybody knew it was round, his thesis was that it was shorter if they went his route rather than rounding Africa. What they were wrong about was the size of the planet and the Americas not being there.

And Columbus DID NOT set sail for gold. He only got interested in gold once he saw the natives being pimped the hell out with all manner of bracelets and necklaces.

The slave trade wasn't started by him either. The Portuguese were the ones who started the slave trade. Y'know "slave trade" refers to commerce with slaves, right?

If you're talking about the natives being made slaves... Well, Columbus didn't invent slavery, so that's another fail on your part...

Regarding his accusations, gee, it was made by people who hated him and wanted him out of power. I'm sure they never told a lie...

And how did he CAUSE the slaughter of millions of indigenous people? Save for a minor portion of his fourth journey, the guy never placed a foot in the continental Americas, LOL. Blame Pizarro, Cortés, Alvarado, De Cuellar, De Almagro, De Solís, the British and then the USA for that.
 
2013-10-10 12:39:17 PM
If it hadn't been Columbus it would have been some other European. The days of blissful isolation for the Native Americans were numbered in any case once the Portuguese invented deep ocean navigation. The Native American genocide was not deliberate; European diseases spread far in advance of actual European arrival and there are many European accounts of arriving at empty Indian settlements already bereft of life. Heck, Squanto attached himself to the Pilgrims because his native village had been wiped out by smallpox prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. As for enslavement, expulsion and forced conversion, those have been par for the course in every civilization that ever came into contact with its technological inferiors. The only difference is that we feel guilty about it.
 
2013-10-10 12:42:11 PM

gingerjet: One of two of Oatmeals sources is "A Peoples History of the United States".  One of the major issues with the book is .... not citing sources./Oatmeal did the same with when he bashed Edison - getting many things wrong and not being ... lets see here ... objective


He's a web comic, he has no duty to be objective. As for the sources he cites not citing sources, that's a fair objection, but again, while he may have been biased in his portrayal of Columbus (one could argue that he was only pointing out the dirt because school only points out the highlights, so there's no need to reiterate that), what in the portrayal was false to the point of undermining his thesis? Did Columbus not force the indigenous peoples to pay gold tribute? Did he not start using them as sex slaves? Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?

His point is Columbus was not a historical figure really worth celebrating. It'd be like having a Genghis Khan day. A momentous person in history, but not someone you want to be particularly happy about.
 
2013-10-10 12:44:13 PM
As a wise man once said, he only discovered that he was lost.
 
2013-10-10 12:51:23 PM

rocky_howard: Wow, this comic is so much wrong LOL.

He says the Santa Maria wrecked in the Lucayas and then Columbus returned to Spain.

Weeeeeeeeeeell...NOPE.

After he went to the Lucayas, he reached Cuba and then an island he named the Hispaniola. That's where the Santa Maria wrecked and with the wood from the ship they made a fort called Fort Christmas in Spanish, because it was in December. He left a portion of the crew to hold the fort and went back to Spain in the other two ships.

And Columbus himself was a rather decent guy (I'm not going to speak on behalf of his personal morals or how he may have treated some natives. I wasn't there and it was a different world.) But Columbus isn't responsible for the genocide.

1.- Columbus wasn't given a real crew the first time around. He was given a bunch of guys who were in jail for murder, theft and other crimes. The King of Spain thought this journey was bogus so he refused to send his good men overthere. Gee. I wonder what happens when you send the antisocial garbage of your society to another. After Columbus returned and the King spit his cereal, he sent a real fleet of 17 ships and army lol.

2.- When he returned in the Second Journey, he found that the remaining crew on the island had gotten into skirmishes with the natives and the fort had been burned and some of the men killed.

3.- During the third journey, one of the things he did was get beat up, jailed and sent to Spain. There was some charges about Columbus engaging in slavery (as if...), but the real reason is that Columbus and the Kingdom of Spain had an agreement before the first journey. Columbus would be Viceroy of all the found lands and his family will keep that governing title forever as well as receive a percentage of the riches found. It's very clear that once the colonization was taking form, Spain didn't want to have to share their stuff with Columbus and threw him under the bus.

4.- After some years, he got pardoned and managed to make a fourth journey. ...


I do so enjoy your use of Ignoratio elenchi and red herrings to attempt to make this man seem any less terrible.  Just because the royal court of Spain was a jerk to Columbus does not justify his actions.

You are essentially defending a pedophile, slave trafficker, thief, murderer, and rapist.  And you do so out of some misplaced jingoist notion that if it were not for him then we wouldn't have big foam fingers with USA written on them.  Seriously, show some insight for once.
 
2013-10-10 12:52:40 PM

nmrsnr: He's a web comic, he has no duty to be objective.


Bullshiat. Especially when you're boasting of clearing people's ignorance...

As for the sources he cites not citing sources, that's a fair objection, but again, while he may have been biased in his portrayal of Columbus (one could argue that he was only pointing out the dirt because school only points out the highlights, so there's no need to reiterate that), what in the portrayal was false to the point of undermining his thesis?

That's a rather pedestrian way of talking about history. Reducing history to Internet memeification is just as harmful... Sure, you can make jokes about history and don't need to be correct. But when you make it a point to "educate" people and you just post a bunch of crap, it's not really educating...

Did Columbus not force the indigenous peoples to pay gold tribute?

Yes. And?

Did he not start using them as sex slaves?

Unlikely and debatable. Sounds like assassination of character.

Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

LOL, no. Portuguese did.

Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?

Eh...obviously not. Do you blame Einstein and Planck for Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl? Heck, you probably don't even blame Truman and he was the guy who ordered the bombs be dropped.

His point is Columbus was not a historical figure really worth celebrating. It'd be like having a Genghis Khan day. A momentous person in history, but not someone you want to be particularly happy about.

And I agree. Columbus shouldn't be celebrated and October 12th should be a memorial day for the biggest genocide in history. But blaming Columbus for it is rather idiotic and reductive. That just tells people that "if only Columbus hadn't existed, everything would be peachy" instead of telling them the ugly truth that it was going to happen anyway because we had little regard for human life back then. Especially when it was the lives of foreign people.
 
2013-10-10 12:53:34 PM

nmrsnr: gingerjet: One of two of Oatmeals sources is "A Peoples History of the United States".  One of the major issues with the book is .... not citing sources./Oatmeal did the same with when he bashed Edison - getting many things wrong and not being ... lets see here ... objective

He's a web comic, he has no duty to be objective. As for the sources he cites not citing sources, that's a fair objection, but again, while he may have been biased in his portrayal of Columbus (one could argue that he was only pointing out the dirt because school only points out the highlights, so there's no need to reiterate that), what in the portrayal was false to the point of undermining his thesis? Did Columbus not force the indigenous peoples to pay gold tribute? Did he not start using them as sex slaves? Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?

His point is Columbus was not a historical figure really worth celebrating. It'd be like having a Genghis Khan day. A momentous person in history, but not someone you want to be particularly happy about.


Actually, Genghis Khan Day probably is worth celebrating. First of all, if you're from territory that was once held by the Mongols, chances are excellent he's one of your ancestors. Approximately 8% of the male populace in those areas carries his DNA. Secondly, Genghis Khan did not like Muslims and his incursion into the Middle East brought an abrupt end to Arab expansion. Europe would probably be Muslim today were it not for ol' Genghis. Maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing, but if you're a Christian of one persuasion or another, Genghis Khan probably saved your ass.
 
2013-10-10 12:54:25 PM

rocky_howard: And how did he CAUSE the slaughter of millions of indigenous people? Save for a minor portion of his fourth journey, the guy never placed a foot in the continental Americas, LOL. Blame Pizarro, Cortés, Alvarado, De Cuellar, De Almagro, De Solís, the British and then the USA for that.


From James Loewen's Book 'Lies my Teacher Told Me' which specifically cites primary sources in its research:

"Estimates of Haiti's pre-Columbian population range as high as 8,000,000 people... a census of Indian adults in 1496.. came up with 1,100,000... "By 1516," according to Benjamin Keen, "thanks to the sinister Indian slave trade and labor policies initiated by Columbus, only some 12,000 remained." Las Casas tells us that fewer than 200 Indians were alive in 1542. By 1555, they were all gone"

/That's just Haiti.
 
2013-10-10 12:56:31 PM

nmrsnr: Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?



I'd ask someone of Ciboney or Lucayan heritage what they thought about Columbus, but...
 
2013-10-10 12:57:15 PM

standardeviation: I do so enjoy your use of Ignoratio elenchi and red herrings to attempt to make this man seem any less terrible.  Just because the royal court of Spain was a jerk to Columbus does not justify his actions.


That's not what I'm doing at all. Learn2Read.

You are essentially defending a pedophile, slave trafficker, thief, murderer, and rapist.

Uncertain and ultimately irrelevant. Tesla, the same guy who Oatmeal defended was a eugenic racist and possibly pedophile too. So....

History is full of HUMAN BEINGS, not Saints. Human beings can do all that stuff you mentioned. YOU can do those things too, so don't look down from your ivory tower.

If we're going to demonize every historic figure, then we would only be left with villains. The American Founding Fathers had slaves! OMG! Not that Columbus was a hero, of course not.

And you do so out of some misplaced jingoist notion that if it were not for him then we wouldn't have big foam fingers with USA written on them.  Seriously, show some insight for once.

LOL, I'm not even from the USA, but nice swing and miss.
 
2013-10-10 12:58:26 PM
Columbus Day is still a holiday? Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo more than we celebrate Columbus Day. Can we just replace it? BS holidays are really wack.
 
2013-10-10 01:01:49 PM

clambam: Europe would probably be Muslim today were it not for ol' Genghis

Chales Martel.


The Mongols never got past Poland.
 
2013-10-10 01:06:51 PM

BafflerMeal: "Estimates of Haiti's pre-Columbian population range as high as 8,000,000 people... a census of Indian adults in 1496.. came up with 1,100,000... "By 1516," according to Benjamin Keen, "thanks to the sinister Indian slave trade and labor policies initiated by Columbus, only some 12,000 remained." Las Casas tells us that fewer than 200 Indians were alive in 1542. By 1555, they were all gone"

/That's just Haiti.


First, it's literally impossible for the pre-Columbian population to be 8,000,000 people... That was more than 500 years ago and the world went from 1,000,000,000 to 7,000,000,000 in little more than 100 years, right? Okay, today Haiti and Dominican Republic have a combined population of 22 million people. Back in 1900, the population of DR was little more than 1,000,000 people. There's NO WAY there were EIGHT MILLION people in Pre-Columbian era...

Especially since Tainos were mostly hunters/gatherers (they did cultivate cassava). There was no infrastructure to feed and keep eight million people alive.

Second, Columbus died in 1506 and he barely spent time on Hispaniola as governor. I'd blame more Nicolás de Ovando for the systematical extinction of Hispaniola "natives" (I use quotes, because they were immigrants too. They were of Arawak descent and came to Hispaniola from South America through the Lesser Antilles). Taíno just means "the good/noble guys" (noble as in good-hearted, not nobility). They inhabitated 4/5 of the islant. The rest was inhabitanted by the Caribs, which means "the feisty/unruly ones", which also why the Caribbean Sea is called that way, since it's an unruly sea.
 
2013-10-10 01:09:04 PM

rocky_howard: Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade?LOL, no. Portuguese did.Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?Eh...obviously not. Do you blame Einstein and Planck for Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl? Heck, you probably don't even blame Truman and he was the guy who ordered the bombs be dropped.


The Portuguese made it popular, Columbus convinced the Spanish (and by competition, the Portuguese) that going over, enslaving the people there to give you gold, then shipping back gold and slaves was a winning business proposition.

As for the genocide, it's a bit different creating the tools of destruction (Einstein, Oppenheimer) to advocating their use. Columbus went back to Spain, with gold and slaves, and said "hey, that totally worked, we should go back with guns and take get more" instead of "they have things to trade, let's bring guns to trade them, and other things they might want." Treating them as people instead of chattel might have made a very large difference in whether or not later conquerers came as conquerers at all. I don't blame Columbus for his decision, they were heathen savages, not worthy of being called people in the eyes of Enlightened Men of Europe, but it doesn't absolve him, either.
 
2013-10-10 01:11:25 PM

nmrsnr: I don't blame Columbus for his decision, they were heathen savages, not worthy of being called people in the eyes of Enlightened Men of Europe, but it doesn't absolve him, either.


Well, that's all I'm saying. Columbus isn't some kind of holy man. Just a man living in his circumstances. Saying "it was Columbus fault!" is very reductive and not helpful to understand history.
 
2013-10-10 01:12:59 PM

I_C_Weener: Columbus was the beginning of widespread knowledge of the New World, and the beginning of expansion into it.

The Vikings just fished nearby.  And the Native Americans just killed each other less efficiently than Europeans.  And the Chinese did not discover America.

I'm celebrating Columbus Day with pasta.  He brought tomatoes to Italy.  He is responsible for The Olive Garden.


The Chinese did discover America, they just walked there thousands of years ago when the Straight was a land mass. It has been proven that Native American DNA descended from Asian and S. American sources. 

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1207/12072012-native-america n- migration 
http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-anthropologists-clarify-link -b etween-asians-and-early-native-americans 
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9101">http:/ /www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9101 

The Vikings landed in Newfoundland and lived there - even if temporarily for foraging expeditions.
http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/canadaweb/factfile/Unique-facts-Cana da 2.htm 

Sure, the Native Americans fought each other, but we are talking skirmishes, not genocide.
 
2013-10-10 01:14:11 PM

nmrsnr: I don't blame Columbus for his decision, they were heathen savages, not worthy of being called people in the eyes of Enlightened Men of Europe, but it doesn't absolve him, either.


And forgot this:

Therein lies the entire problem with Columbus, either good guy or wretched evil, both sides are putting him in a VERY tall pedestal. If one looks at the big picture, he wasn't THAT important either way. Heck, the continents even aren't named after him but the guy who came and said "er, guys, this is not the Indies, this is a different thing altogether", Americo Vespucio.
 
2013-10-10 01:14:21 PM

give me doughnuts: clambam: Europe would probably be Muslim today were it not for ol' GenghisChales Martel.


The Mongols never got past Poland.


The Mongols destroyed the Arab Caliphate and permanently ended the triumphant expansion of Islam as the preeminent literary and scientific civilization west of China. The Arabs never really recovered. The ravages of the Golden Horde created a power vacuum for 150 years that enabled the Europeans to recover from worst of the Middle Ages and defend themselves--barely--against the Turkish expansion when it came. Even so it was touch and go and a powerful, wealthy and undefeated Arab Empire would eventually have conquered the West. Certainly all of southern Europe would be Muslim today.
 
2013-10-10 01:17:13 PM

clambam: If it hadn't been Columbus it would have been some other European. The days of blissful isolation for the Native Americans were numbered in any case once the Portuguese invented deep ocean navigation. The Native American genocide was not deliberate; European diseases spread far in advance of actual European arrival and there are many European accounts of arriving at empty Indian settlements already bereft of life.



Exactly. The spread of disease wasn't a malicious genocide, just like catching the flu from a coworker doesn't mean he is intentionally assaulting you.
 
2013-10-10 01:20:38 PM

Foxxinnia: Columbus Day is still a holiday? Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo more than we celebrate Columbus Day. Can we just replace it? BS holidays are really wack.


Right?  How about we give back "Columbus Day" and replace it with "The Day After Thanksgiving", you know, a day people actually give a shiat about having off.
 
2013-10-10 01:21:59 PM

clambam: If it hadn't been Columbus it would have been some other European. The days of blissful isolation for the Native Americans were numbered in any case once the Portuguese invented deep ocean navigation. The Native American genocide was not deliberate; European diseases spread far in advance of actual European arrival and there are many European accounts of arriving at empty Indian settlements already bereft of life. Heck, Squanto attached himself to the Pilgrims because his native village had been wiped out by smallpox prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. As for enslavement, expulsion and forced conversion, those have been par for the course in every civilization that ever came into contact with its technological inferiors. The only difference is that we feel guilty about it.


So much this.
 
2013-10-10 01:23:05 PM

give me doughnuts: What is there to be objective about? Edison was a complete douche-bag.


So what? He was also brilliant and achieved a hell of a lot more in his lifetime than Oatmeals personal lord and saviour Tesla (who, btw, was also a douche-bag).

/wish he just keep to writing comics about his dogs poop habits
 
2013-10-10 01:28:18 PM

rocky_howard: standardeviation: I do so enjoy your use of Ignoratio elenchi and red herrings to attempt to make this man seem any less terrible.  Just because the royal court of Spain was a jerk to Columbus does not justify his actions.

That's not what I'm doing at all. Learn2Read.

You are essentially defending a pedophile, slave trafficker, thief, murderer, and rapist.

Uncertain and ultimately irrelevant. Tesla, the same guy who Oatmeal defended was a eugenic racist and possibly pedophile too. So....

History is full of HUMAN BEINGS, not Saints. Human beings can do all that stuff you mentioned. YOU can do those things too, so don't look down from your ivory tower.

If we're going to demonize every historic figure, then we would only be left with villains. The American Founding Fathers had slaves! OMG! Not that Columbus was a hero, of course not.

And you do so out of some misplaced jingoist notion that if it were not for him then we wouldn't have big foam fingers with USA written on them.  Seriously, show some insight for once.

LOL, I'm not even from the USA, but nice swing and miss.


Ah, Dominican Republic.  I apologize for the ad hominim attack.  However, your arguments are based on excusing his behavior rather than examining it for what it was; inexcusable.  While all people are humans, if you lead a decent life and act according to some moral compass rather than expressly trying to get rich no matter what the cost.  Then history tends to be kinder to you and what you did.  History is not kind to Columbus precisely because of what he did.  Others have tried to argue away his sins, but in the end he is responsible for creating a culture of colonialism and conquest that has marred the western hemisphere since his arrival.

I mean, come on.  The guy sold children as sex slaves.
 
2013-10-10 01:28:18 PM

IkilledLauraPalmer: Exactly. The spread of disease wasn't a malicious genocide, just like catching the flu from a coworker doesn't mean he is intentionally assaulting you.


Bullshiat, Sandy knew what she was doing when she sneezed on my muffin, and you won't convince me otherwise.
 
2013-10-10 01:33:08 PM

nmrsnr: He's a web comic, he has no duty to be objective. As for the sources he cites not citing sources, that's a fair objection, but again, while he may have been biased in his portrayal of Columbus (one could argue that he was only pointing out the dirt because school only points out the highlights, so there's no need to reiterate that), what in the portrayal was false to the point of undermining his thesis? Did Columbus not force the indigenous peoples to pay gold tribute? Did he not start using them as sex slaves? Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?


If he was just writing a cute little comic and making a joke about his opinion on Columbus I would give him a pass.  But he isn't.  His stated goal is to clear up misconceptions about the dude and he is basing it on controversial source material.  And considering how wrong he was about Edison - I have every right to criticize and doubt any word he puts into his little rant.

/I'm not defending Columbus - he was an incompetent tool and we shouldn't have a holiday to celebrate him
 
2013-10-10 01:34:04 PM

gingerjet: nmrsnr: He's a web comic, he has no duty to be objective. As for the sources he cites not citing sources, that's a fair objection, but again, while he may have been biased in his portrayal of Columbus (one could argue that he was only pointing out the dirt because school only points out the highlights, so there's no need to reiterate that), what in the portrayal was false to the point of undermining his thesis? Did Columbus not force the indigenous peoples to pay gold tribute? Did he not start using them as sex slaves? Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?

If he was just writing a cute little comic and making a joke about his opinion on Columbus I would give him a pass.  But he isn't.  His stated goal is to clear up misconceptions about the dude and he is basing it on controversial source material.  And considering how wrong he was about Edison - I have every right to criticize and doubt any word he puts into his little rant.

/I'm not defending Columbus - he was an incompetent tool and we shouldn't have a holiday to celebrate him


Fark you.  Do not try to take away my paid days off.
 
2013-10-10 01:35:47 PM

LL316: gingerjet: nmrsnr: He's a web comic, he has no duty to be objective. As for the sources he cites not citing sources, that's a fair objection, but again, while he may have been biased in his portrayal of Columbus (one could argue that he was only pointing out the dirt because school only points out the highlights, so there's no need to reiterate that), what in the portrayal was false to the point of undermining his thesis? Did Columbus not force the indigenous peoples to pay gold tribute? Did he not start using them as sex slaves? Did he not inadvertently start the trans-Atlantic slave trade? Did he not, kind of advertently, cause a genocide?

If he was just writing a cute little comic and making a joke about his opinion on Columbus I would give him a pass.  But he isn't.  His stated goal is to clear up misconceptions about the dude and he is basing it on controversial source material.  And considering how wrong he was about Edison - I have every right to criticize and doubt any word he puts into his little rant.

/I'm not defending Columbus - he was an incompetent tool and we shouldn't have a holiday to celebrate him

Fark you.  Do not try to take away my paid days off.



Take away his holiday and let's use that for a US national holiday for federal elections.  Win-win.
 
2013-10-10 01:37:30 PM
It's so much easier to take a document seriously using a Comic Sans font.
Really?  You couldn't CHOOSE A DIFFERENT FONT?

/rant
 
2013-10-10 01:38:13 PM

EngineerAU: I understand why we teach young children a simplistic version of historic events and then later build on that knowledge with a deeper exploration of the events' complexity. What I don't get is why we teach them things that are outright lies and then if they do on to higher education, start correcting it. Wouldn't it be better to tell them the truth, even if a simplistic version, rather than needing to undo everything that was taught before? And for those who stop their education early, they wouldn't be saddled with so much BS.


May recognize some things that are harder to cover up as BS later on, but there's lots of other BS people continue to believe. If they were to just tell the truth about everything people wouldn't believe any of the BS, and oh boy, there's a lot of BS.
 
2013-10-10 01:46:39 PM
www.sfsite.com
 
2013-10-10 01:51:51 PM
The Oatmeal paraphrased the first part of A Peoples' History of the United States, HOW EXCITING
 
2013-10-10 01:52:09 PM

clambam: give me doughnuts: clambam: Europe would probably be Muslim today were it not for ol' GenghisChales Martel.


The Mongols never got past Poland.

The Mongols destroyed the Arab Caliphate and permanently ended the triumphant expansion of Islam as the preeminent literary and scientific civilization west of China. The Arabs never really recovered. The ravages of the Golden Horde created a power vacuum for 150 years that enabled the Europeans to recover from worst of the Middle Ages and defend themselves--barely--against the Turkish expansion when it came. Even so it was touch and go and a powerful, wealthy and undefeated Arab Empire would eventually have conquered the West. Certainly all of southern Europe would be Muslim today.



None of which has anything to do with the Caliphate of Cordoba.
 
2013-10-10 01:55:39 PM

BafflerMeal: LL316: gingerjet: nmrsnr:


Take away his holiday and let's use that for a US national holiday for federal elections.  Win-win.


So celebrate the lie of Democracy instead the lie of Columbus?
 
2013-10-10 01:59:00 PM

give me doughnuts: Columbus didn't do anything that others weren't thinking of doing. He just did it a little sooner.


Point being?

The US and USSR were both wanting to go to space. The USSR got there first, specifically it was Gagarin... do we discount that because others were working on it too? How about the moon? The USSR was working on it, it was Armstrong and Aldrin who first put boot to lunar dust; a huge feat accomplished by the Apollo program and all those who worked on it. But fark it, others thought about it, so maybe not that big a deal.

Doing it first still matters. Yes, others would have made it eventually. Maybe some other nation, maybe a few decades later, we don't know. Had it been, who knows how history would have panned out? What if it had been the Dutch or English? The face of today's world could be completely different if it hadn't been the Spanish who did most of the early colonization.

The fact is, in 1492 it was Columbus who pulled it off. However a big an asshole he may have been, this is one thing in his corner.
 
2013-10-10 02:00:00 PM

gingerjet: give me doughnuts: What is there to be objective about? Edison was a complete douche-bag.

So what? He was also brilliant and achieved a hell of a lot more in his lifetime than Oatmeals personal lord and saviour Tesla (who, btw, was also a douche-bag).

/wish he just keep to writing comics about his dogs poop habits



Edison was a patent thief whose main talent was self-promotion. His contributions to human advancement are paltry when compared to Tesla.
As far as douche-baginess goes, how do you rate electrocuting a bunch of animals including a old circus elephant?
 
2013-10-10 02:01:31 PM

clambam: give me doughnuts: clambam: Europe would probably be Muslim today were it not for ol' GenghisChales Martel.


The Mongols never got past Poland.

The Mongols destroyed the Arab Caliphate and permanently ended the triumphant expansion of Islam as the preeminent literary and scientific civilization west of China. The Arabs never really recovered. The ravages of the Golden Horde created a power vacuum for 150 years that enabled the Europeans to recover from worst of the Middle Ages and defend themselves--barely--against the Turkish expansion when it came. Even so it was touch and go and a powerful, wealthy and undefeated Arab Empire would eventually have conquered the West. Certainly all of southern Europe would be Muslim today.


Uh no

Arab expansion stop because they could never take Constantinople, lost in France cause they were bunch of greedy f*cks who chased after gold rather than winning a war and then started killing each other off.
 
2013-10-10 02:01:31 PM

akula: give me doughnuts: Columbus didn't do anything that others weren't thinking of doing. He just did it a little sooner.

Point being?

The US and USSR were both wanting to go to space. The USSR got there first, specifically it was Gagarin... do we discount that because others were working on it too? How about the moon? The USSR was working on it, it was Armstrong and Aldrin who first put boot to lunar dust; a huge feat accomplished by the Apollo program and all those who worked on it. But fark it, others thought about it, so maybe not that big a deal.

Doing it first still matters. Yes, others would have made it eventually. Maybe some other nation, maybe a few decades later, we don't know. Had it been, who knows how history would have panned out? What if it had been the Dutch or English? The face of today's world could be completely different if it hadn't been the Spanish who did most of the early colonization.

The fact is, in 1492 it was Columbus who pulled it off. However a big an asshole he may have been, this is one thing in his corner.



Point being exactly what I said: If it hadn't been Columbus, it would have been someone just like him and history would be virtually identical.
 
2013-10-10 02:02:29 PM

Tax Boy: Almost no drawings, very little text. Most of which is in Comic Sans.

Best. Internet. Cartoonist. EVAR


Well, if it's in Comic Sans it has to be true.
 
2013-10-10 02:04:25 PM

ShadowKamui: clambam: give me doughnuts: clambam: Europe would probably be Muslim today were it not for ol' GenghisChales Martel.


The Mongols never got past Poland.

The Mongols destroyed the Arab Caliphate and permanently ended the triumphant expansion of Islam as the preeminent literary and scientific civilization west of China. The Arabs never really recovered. The ravages of the Golden Horde created a power vacuum for 150 years that enabled the Europeans to recover from worst of the Middle Ages and defend themselves--barely--against the Turkish expansion when it came. Even so it was touch and go and a powerful, wealthy and undefeated Arab Empire would eventually have conquered the West. Certainly all of southern Europe would be Muslim today.

Uh no

Arab expansion stop because they could never take Constantinople, lost in France cause they were bunch of greedy f*cks who chased after gold rather than winning a war and then started killing each other off.


Uh, yeah. Battle of Poitiers in 732. Muslim expansion into Western Europe was halted.
 
2013-10-10 02:08:01 PM

MadMattressMack: Tax Boy: Almost no drawings, very little text. Most of which is in Comic Sans.

Best. Internet. Cartoonist. EVAR

Well, if it's in Comic Sans it has to be true.


No dude, white Impact with a black outline. Anything in that is God's honest truth.
 
2013-10-10 02:09:10 PM

nekom: Is any of this new to anyone?  I thought at least by the end of high school everyone basically knew that the whole Columbus legend was total bunk.


Italians insist all of it is true.  Without Columbus they have no excuse to have their ethnic celebration that they claim is not an ethnic celebration aka Columbus Day.
 
2013-10-10 02:13:07 PM

nekom: Is any of this new to anyone?  I thought at least by the end of high school everyone basically knew that the whole Columbus legend was total bunk.


I knew Columbus was a fool and an asshole, and treated the indigenous peoples like dirt, but I honestly didn't know that he was involved in the Transatlantic slave trade or underage sex slavery. And I had no idea who Bartolomé was until I read that.  So yeah, some of it was new to me.

Tax Boy: Almost no drawings, very little text. Most of which is in Comic Sans.

Best. Internet. Cartoonist. EVAR


Nice shooting the messenger.

BTW, it's not Comic Sans.
 
2013-10-10 02:18:25 PM

akula: Doing it first still matters.


He wasn't the first, though. He was just the only one twisted enough to exploit and wage war on the indigenous population.

He should be celebrated in the same way we'd celebrate someone who breaks into and robs a house many people have visited before.
 
2013-10-10 02:19:05 PM

standardeviation: Ah, Dominican Republic.  I apologize for the ad hominim attack.  However, your arguments are based on excusing his behavior rather than examining it for what it was; inexcusable.  While all people are humans, if you lead a decent life and act according to some moral compass rather than expressly trying to get rich no matter what the cost.  Then history tends to be kinder to you and what you did.  History is not kind to Columbus precisely because of what he did.  Others have tried to argue away his sins, but in the end he is responsible for creating a culture of colonialism and conquest that has marred the western hemisphere since his arrival.

I mean, come on.  The guy sold children as sex slaves.


It's okay. The bias toward thinking any random comment comes from an American isn't surprising. I rarely take offense at Internet banter anyway (only if it overlaps with my real life heh).

Yes, Dominican Republic. As you can tell by now, I was at ground zero for Columbus actions, so I'm not talking from an armchair Internet historian point of view. I've studied the guy and not just during school, where Spanish colonialism was a big part of the curriculum, for obvious reasons.

I may have phrased it wrong, but I'm not saying Columbus is an innocent. I'm saying that he's being used as a scapegoat to whitewash what Spanish rule did here and in the rest of Latin America. By focusing on Columbus, they've tried to take away some of the spotlight from them. Columbus was just a stepping stone in the whole thing. He was only a brick of the pyramid.

What happened in the Americas is a tragedy and a blessing at the same time. It was genocide (both intentionally violent as well as inadvertently biological) on a continental level that wiped off the map like 80% of the native population or more. At the same time, it allowed the creation of the modern State-Nation as an entity not tied to a specific ethnicity, which proves to be very beneficial in an interconnected peaceful world.
 
2013-10-10 02:26:35 PM

rocky_howard: What happened in the Americas is a tragedy and a blessing at the same time. It was genocide (both intentionally violent as well as inadvertently biological) on a continental level that wiped off the map like 80% of the native population or more. At the same time, it allowed the creation of the modern State-Nation as an entity not tied to a specific ethnicity, which proves to be very beneficial in an interconnected peaceful world.


Can i visit this interconnected peaceful world sometime?

Every bad thing has some good come from it, but that doesn't mean we should stop caring about bad things. Nor does any good justify the bad.
 
2013-10-10 02:27:48 PM

HeartBurnKid: I knew Columbus was a fool and an asshole, and treated the indigenous peoples like dirt, but I honestly didn't know that he was involved in the Transatlantic slave trade or underage sex slavery. And I had no idea who Bartolomé was until I read that.  So yeah, some of it was new to me.


He wasn't... That's probably why it was new to you. It's a lie, or at best, a misguided inference. And the underage sex slavery is just assassination of character. Looking back at history with modern time goggles is a bad idea.  Back in the day people had sex at a younger age. Sure, it's wrong by our standards, but you better focus on actual current 9 and 10 year old girls getting married to older men in Muslim countries than raging at Columbus partaking in the pleasures of his day.
 
2013-10-10 02:29:21 PM
Why hasn't the US government gotten rid of this awful day yet? Congress shall allegedly make no law respecting an establishment of religion, but it sure seems like the Catholic Church is the established religion, as their Masons knock-off, the Knights of Columbus established Columbus Day and "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance.
 
2013-10-10 02:29:41 PM
J. Frank Parnell: Can i visit this interconnected peaceful world sometime?

If we ever want to have one, it's a very good step to take.

Every bad thing has some good come from it, but that doesn't mean we should stop caring about bad things. Nor does any good justify the bad.

Who said otherwise? Spain should pay for what they did and to this they they haven't and instead keep exploiting South America... Thanks, Capitalism.
 
2013-10-10 02:30:13 PM

J. Frank Parnell: He wasn't the first, though.


He was the first to connect it to culture in Europe. Unfortunately, that culture was indeed into theft, murder, and rape (of the people and the land).

give me doughnuts: If it hadn't been Columbus, it would have been someone just like him and history would be virtually identical.


I disagree that history would be virtually identical. Had the Americas been first colonized by the English there's be no such thing as "Latin America." There's just no way of knowing if things would have panned out the same way. Love him, respect him, or detest him, Columbus basically blundered into helping form the world into the way it is. Maybe it would have been pretty similar had it been somebody else, maybe it would have been slightly different, maybe it would be extremely different.
 
2013-10-10 02:32:30 PM

rocky_howard: He wasn't... That's probably why it was new to you. It's a lie, or at best, a misguided inference.


So he didn't force hundreds of natives to travel across the Atlantic on his ship to be used and sold as slaves?
 
2013-10-10 02:33:55 PM
The conquistadors were a real case of screwing up. They focused on gold and treasures and broke the spanish economy. Everyone else went seeking trade goods, which they brought back to trade in an economy that didn't reflect as much inflation as spain.
 
2013-10-10 02:36:11 PM

akula: J. Frank Parnell: He wasn't the first, though.

He was the first to connect it to culture in Europe. Unfortunately, that culture was indeed into theft, murder, and rape (of the people and the land).

give me doughnuts: If it hadn't been Columbus, it would have been someone just like him and history would be virtually identical.

I disagree that history would be virtually identical. Had the Americas been first colonized by the English there's be no such thing as "Latin America." There's just no way of knowing if things would have panned out the same way. Love him, respect him, or detest him, Columbus basically blundered into helping form the world into the way it is. Maybe it would have been pretty similar had it been somebody else, maybe it would have been slightly different, maybe it would be extremely different.


Okay. It would be different. The capital of Ohio would be called Vespucci or Balboa.

Happy now?
 
2013-10-10 02:38:49 PM
I don't think some of you read the entire thing, particularly where they go into detail about the things he personally did to the natives.
 
2013-10-10 02:50:17 PM

wyltoknow: rocky_howard: He wasn't... That's probably why it was new to you. It's a lie, or at best, a misguided inference.

So he didn't force hundreds of natives to travel across the Atlantic on his ship to be used and sold as slaves?


Doutbful. The Catholic Monarchs were in a mission to evangelize. (obviously once they found gold they said, screw it, bring me gold and silver.) and slavery wasn't a thing in Spain (as in, they didn't use slaves there).

The "500 Lucayan natives" is bunk for reasons explained before. That's factually wrong and shows Oatmeal doesn't know what he's talking about but wanted to play his favorite part: Internet "Hero". Columbus did take some prisoners back to Spain, but they were already been captured by the Caribs as slaves.

Slavery was already widely practiced by Europeans in Africa, especially the Portuguese, who were the ones who taught Columbus how to sail in the ocean among other things.

After Columbus got the slaves back to Spain, he was told by the Ferdinand and Isabella that they won't partake in slavery and dumped his ass. Most of the surviving slaves were freed and sent back to America by the Monarchs, although some remained to serve them as royal staff.

When Columbus returned to Hispaniola what he decided to do was force the Taino to pay a tribute...with violent consequences if they didn't. BTW, the gold tribute wasn't unlike what the Aztecs were already practicing with other native ethnicities, so it's not like it's something exclusive to Columbus. People have been forcing tribute on others since thousands of years ago.
 
2013-10-10 02:54:26 PM

I_C_Weener: Columbus was the beginning of widespread knowledge of the New World, and the beginning of expansion into it.

The Vikings just fished nearby.  And the Native Americans just killed each other less efficiently than Europeans.  And the Chinese did not discover America.

I'm celebrating Columbus Day with pasta.  He brought tomatoes to Italy.  He is responsible for The Olive Garden.


and  he is responsible for every NY vs Chicago pizza thread on FARK and should be burned in effigy.
 
2013-10-10 03:04:25 PM

onzmadi: I_C_Weener: Columbus was the beginning of widespread knowledge of the New World, and the beginning of expansion into it.

The Vikings just fished nearby.  And the Native Americans just killed each other less efficiently than Europeans.  And the Chinese did not discover America.

I'm celebrating Columbus Day with pasta.  He brought tomatoes to Italy.  He is responsible for The Olive Garden.

and  he is responsible for every NY vs Chicago pizza thread on FARK and should be burned in effigy.


Yeah, 'cause neither city knows how to make a decent pizza: Catsup on a cracker, or a tomato and cheese casserole on a loaf of bread.
 
2013-10-10 03:04:34 PM

wildcardjack: The conquistadors were a real case of screwing up. They focused on gold and treasures and broke the spanish economy. Everyone else went seeking trade goods, which they brought back to trade in an economy that didn't reflect as much inflation as spain.


And they never reverse engineered that kickass golden falcon Esteban flew around the New World in.
 
2013-10-10 03:07:59 PM

Foxxinnia: Columbus Day is still a holiday? Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo more than we celebrate Columbus Day. Can we just replace it? BS holidays are really wack.


Rather than making an "Explorers Day" I think we should leave Columbus day as is...gank its Federal Holiday status and instead move it to the first Tuesday in November and make the damn Federal Election day a Federal holiday so more people would get out and frickin vote.
 
2013-10-10 03:14:15 PM

xria: nmrsnr: I've always hated the Columbus myth, specifically because everybody (except school teachers, apparently) know it's complete bunk. Making Columbus into a monster is not entirely fair, either, he was just as ignorant as any other entitled noble of the time, but I'm now interested in the Bartolome guy, who I've never heard of before.

What? He is a key founding father, when you get him all of your Indian converts switch to normal colonists, which is a major boost if you do it at the right time i.e. once you have lots of schools/colleges/universities to turn them into specialists relatively quickly to offset the lost bonus production you get for converts working land squares.


Him, Peter Stuyve.. Sturyvy... The Customs House guy, De Soto, and Thomas Jefferson are the BEST founding fathers, by far.  Minuit is pretty good too.  I like getting land for free.
/great game
 
2013-10-10 03:29:43 PM

nekom: Is any of this new to anyone?  I thought at least by the end of high school everyone basically knew that the whole Columbus legend was total bunk.


Yeah, well, this should be true of creationism as well, but Ken Ham still makes a fortune off peddling lies...
 
2013-10-10 03:33:31 PM

Fano: Blaming Columbus for the deaths of people in North and South America is unfair on the level of Europeans holding their nose and pretending the Holocaust was solely perpetrated by Hitler.


Well, if Columbus gets the sole praise for discovering the New World, then he gets the sole condemnation for the consequences of his discovering the New World.
 
2013-10-10 03:33:35 PM

give me doughnuts: akula: J. Frank Parnell: He wasn't the first, though.

He was the first to connect it to culture in Europe. Unfortunately, that culture was indeed into theft, murder, and rape (of the people and the land).

give me doughnuts: If it hadn't been Columbus, it would have been someone just like him and history would be virtually identical.

I disagree that history would be virtually identical. Had the Americas been first colonized by the English there's be no such thing as "Latin America." There's just no way of knowing if things would have panned out the same way. Love him, respect him, or detest him, Columbus basically blundered into helping form the world into the way it is. Maybe it would have been pretty similar had it been somebody else, maybe it would have been slightly different, maybe it would be extremely different.

Okay. It would be different. The capital of Ohio would be called Vespucci or Balboa.

Happy now?


Vespucci doesn't need a city named after himself.  He's got two continents due to being the cartographer who thought Columbus was on to something.
 
2013-10-10 03:37:34 PM
I'm still waiting for The Oatmeal to discover the principles of depth and structure when drawing the human form.

media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com
 
2013-10-10 03:38:37 PM
Poor Chris has sure taken a beating since I learned about him in school.
 
2013-10-10 03:45:03 PM

bentley57: Poor Chris has sure taken a beating since I learned about him in school.


And Custer died for your sins.
 
2013-10-10 04:08:42 PM

Fano: bentley57: Poor Chris has sure taken a beating since I learned about him in school.

And Custer died for your sins.


He almost got his ass handed to him in his tank campaign through Kentucky and into Tennessee.
By the time he got blown up in Canada he was just a figurehead.
 
2013-10-10 04:21:17 PM

give me doughnuts: Fano: bentley57: Poor Chris has sure taken a beating since I learned about him in school.

And Custer died for your sins.

He almost got his ass handed to him in his tank campaign through Kentucky and into Tennessee.
By the time he nearly got blown up in Canada he was just a figurehead.


He managed to live to retirement.
 
2013-10-10 04:28:57 PM
The Western Hemisphere should have been declared off-limits to settlement by people not of East Siberian descent.  Cultures should have the right to exclude people they don't want from their land.
 
2013-10-10 06:09:00 PM

akula: J. Frank Parnell: He wasn't the first, though.

He was the first to connect it to culture in Europe. Unfortunately, that culture was indeed into theft, murder, and rape (of the people and the land).

give me doughnuts: If it hadn't been Columbus, it would have been someone just like him and history would be virtually identical.

I disagree that history would be virtually identical. Had the Americas been first colonized by the English there's be no such thing as "Latin America." There's just no way of knowing if things would have panned out the same way. Love him, respect him, or detest him, Columbus basically blundered into helping form the world into the way it is. Maybe it would have been pretty similar had it been somebody else, maybe it would have been slightly different, maybe it would be extremely different.


Speaking of "what if" scenarios, there's some (admittedly circumstantial) evidence that Zheng He's fleet made it to the west coast of North America.  If China hadn't given up on the treasure fleet and had instead established some sort of permanent relations with the natives of the Pacific Northwest (as well as the various states along the shores of the Indian ocean), modern history would be extremely different.
 
2013-10-10 06:24:19 PM

nekom: EngineerAU: I understand why we teach young children a simplistic version of historic events and then later build on that knowledge with a deeper exploration of the events' complexity. What I don't get is why we teach them things that are outright lies and then if they do on to higher education, start correcting it. Wouldn't it be better to tell them the truth, even if a simplistic version, rather than needing to undo everything that was taught before? And for those who stop their education early, they wouldn't be saddled with so much BS.

How do you put "Essentially, it was a genocide" into something that children are capable of taking in?  I don't recall learning about the horrors of the holocaust in grade school either.


We also didn't give Hitler a holiday either, even though he brought about the unification of a peaceful Europe and the UN.
 
2013-10-10 06:27:49 PM

HeartBurnKid: nekom: Is any of this new to anyone? I thought at least by the end of high school everyone basically knew that the whole Columbus legend was total bunk.

I knew Columbus was a fool and an asshole, and treated the indigenous peoples like dirt, but I honestly didn't know that he was involved in the Transatlantic slave trade or underage sex slavery. And I had no idea who Bartolomé was until I read that. So yeah, some of it was new to me.

Tax Boy: Almost no drawings, very little text. Most of which is in Comic Sans.

Best. Internet. Cartoonist. EVAR

Nice shooting the messenger.

BTW, it's not Comic Sans.


Here's a link that actually works.
(Pro-tip: don't paste links that come directly from a search, as those often need cookies in your own specific browser to tell it what you were actually searching for.)


akula: J. Frank Parnell: He wasn't the first, though.

He was the first to connect it to culture in Europe. Unfortunately, that culture was indeed into theft, murder, and rape (of the people and the land).

give me doughnuts: If it hadn't been Columbus, it would have been someone just like him and history would be virtually identical.

I disagree that history would be virtually identical. Had the Americas been first colonized by the English there's be no such thing as "Latin America." There's just no way of knowing if things would have panned out the same way. Love him, respect him, or detest him, Columbus basically blundered into helping form the world into the way it is. Maybe it would have been pretty similar had it been somebody else, maybe it would have been slightly different, maybe it would be extremely different.


Was there anyone like Columbus at that time or within the near future? He wasn't just some random guy. He had enormous charisma and willpower capable of swaying monarchs to his thinking even though it was diametrically opposed to their scholars (on a matter that he was wrong about and they were right ― namely, the size [not shape!] of the Earth), and also despite not being even nobility (he was born the son of a Genovese weaver). He was absolutely convinced that he was right despite all evidence to the contrary (the first Teabagger?).

Remember, nobody at the time knew that there were additional continents in the Great World Ocean, splitting it into what we today call the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They thought that the Eurasian and African landmasses were all the continental land there was, other than a few islands here and there a short ways out into the ocean. The scholars of that day weren't much in the way of innovators, but rather knew that they were inferior to the great scholars of antiquity, and rightly trusted Eratosthenes. Ptolemy, etc. when it came to such matters as the size of the Earth. Given that and the journeys of Marco Polo, they calculated the Eurasian landmass at about 180° around the Earth, with the remaining 180° being open ocean. No land masses that they knew of.

Columbus (or, rather, Cristoforo Colombo to call him by his actual name) initially sailed to find a Western route to Cipangu (Japan) and Cathay (China). That was what he sold to Queen Isabella. But their ships could not make such a journey if the ancient scholars and thus the contemporary ones who trusted their word were right (and they were), if there were nothing but ocean (as they had absolutely no reason to even consider might not be the case). They couldn't carry enough potable water and food for such a long journey. It'd run out and/or spoil (no refrigeration, remember?).

So, who would even attempt such a journey other than a man who either knew that there was land where nobody thought there was, or who honestly believed despite all evidence to the contrary that the Earth was much smaller than it is, such that Eurasia covered at least 240° (preferably more like 270° or even 300°) of the Earth's circumference? And of those, who could persuade a monarch to sponsor it against the wisdom and advice of her own scholars?

Yes, sooner or later, Europeans would still come. But not in the way Columbus did. Not with his drive and determination. And, there is some evidence that things were happening in Meso-America that, had the Europeans' coming been delayed by even a few decades, may have made all the difference. The Mexica (often miscalled "Aztec") empire was already in decadance and decay, but a relatively young and vigorous, forward-thinking empire, the Tlaxcalans (whom the Mexica were never able to conquer despite the entire Tlaxcalan territory being completely surrounded by Mexica territory and only a few dozen miles from their capital city). The Tlaxcalans in real history allied with Cortéz against the Mexica. They were planning to conquer Tenochtitlán anyway, and would almost certainly have succeeded, taking over the entire Mexica empire and revitalizing it. There were other surrounding tribes experimenting with primitive metalworking and canoe building, and a Tlaxcalan empire would be forward-thinking enough to bring them aboard, and there would likely be a synergistic effect of spread of knowledge.

Of course, they would still be nowhere near a technological match for the Europeans when they finally came, but perhaps they would've been advanced enough to think, "Hey, these guys have great weapons and awesome huge canoes, and even a whole new kind of metal kinda like our bronze but way better! Let's sacrifice everyone except those who know how to make such things, and have them teach our guys how!" instead of, "Oh, woe, these are gods with mighty powers that we cannot fathom and have no defense against! The end has come!"
 
2013-10-10 06:49:24 PM

clambam: If it hadn't been Columbus it would have been some other European. The days of blissful isolation for the Native Americans were numbered in any case once the Portuguese invented deep ocean navigation. The Native American genocide was not deliberate; European diseases spread far in advance of actual European arrival and there are many European accounts of arriving at empty Indian settlements already bereft of life. Heck, Squanto attached himself to the Pilgrims because his native village had been wiped out by smallpox prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. As for enslavement, expulsion and forced conversion, those have been par for the course in every civilization that ever came into contact with its technological inferiors. The only difference is that we feel guilty about it.


And the irony is, if not for the decimation of the native population, whether by disease, war, or environmental catastrophe, the colonization of the New World probably would not have gotten off the ground.  And there wouldn't be an America to celebrate Columbus Day.
 
2013-10-10 07:02:51 PM
Disease and war caused death for sure.  It was the mindset that, "Look how God kills these savages for us, he wants us to continue" that ensured genocide.
 
2013-10-10 07:04:08 PM
"(Christopher Columbus) discovered the New World much like a meteorite discovered the dinosaurs"

Because both landed in the Caribbean without a clue of where they actually were?
 
2013-10-10 08:00:03 PM
Firstly, re-establishing contact between Europe and the Americas that hadn't happened in 500 years, using new and at the time somewhat uncertain deep-ocean navigational techniques when humanity had previously more or less needed to stay in sight of shore or be completely bloody insane or lucky to use ocean travel, is a reasonably impressive accomplishment that is more worthy of celebration than 99% of the stupid shiat we have holidays for.

This isn't to say that Columbus wasn't  hilariously inept, but c'mon, the accomplishment was still pretty significant.  If anything, the fact that he was inept and more a con man trying to fleece some governments than a legit explorer makes the story better.

Secondly, "Hurr, durr, there were already people there" isn't a counter-argument for him discovering the place, it's just you saying that you don't quite understand basic context.  Columbus didn't claim to discover the Americas for humanity, he discovered it for  Europe. The last contact that Europe had had with the continent was 500 years old, which is 'faded into myth' territory, and the last contact with mainland europe (remember the Vikings were xenophobic bastards that didn't share navigational charts or culture with basically anyone until they were basically forcibly Christianized, and at that point most of their history was lost for a while) was more like 1500 years old.

Thirdly, are we really holding the Europeans morally responsible for the plague years?  You realize that they went through the same thing a century earlier, right?  If they had the slightest farking clue how diseases worked, the first thing they'd have done with it was fix their own horrible waves of death, not tossed it at random newbies.  From the European perspective in the 1400s, plagues just happened sometimes, like the weather but even more crazy and random.  They'd even more or less given up trying to make sense of it with  religion by that point, is how much they'd thrown in the towel on figuring that one out.
 
2013-10-10 08:07:40 PM
Does no other state celebrate Native American day, besides mine (SD)?
 
2013-10-10 08:23:54 PM
Anyone who takes Howard Zinn seriously is not to be taken seriously.
 
2013-10-10 09:24:35 PM

rocky_howard: was a rather decent guy


The same guy who linked to sell nine and ten year old girls into sexual slavery?  That guy?
 
2013-10-10 09:25:20 PM
liked, not linked.

FTFM
 
2013-10-10 09:31:35 PM
"A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand."  -C. Columbus
 
2013-10-10 10:38:01 PM

Thurston Howell: I'm still waiting for The Oatmeal to discover the principles of depth and structure when drawing the human form.


Wow... you sure told that CARTOONIST.
 
2013-10-10 11:11:59 PM
www.biography.com

No mention of Cabeza de Vaca in the thread? For shame - one of the better stories of the exploration of the Americas in the 1500s. He was one of four survivors (one being a Moor slave) of a 600-man Florida expedition that shipwrecked around Galveston, who hiked their way across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and down the Gulf of California, all while going from explorer to captive slave and then a traveling shaman. And despite seeing cruelty in his years amongst the tribes, when his band made its way back to Mexico City and returned to Spain, he wrote in his memoirs that Native Americans deserved better treatment from the Europeans. Not a popular view then, of course.

/Isabella of Spain also told Columbus he was farked up for enslaving the Indians. Fancy that, from the woman encouraging Torquemada's Spanish Inquisition.
 
2013-10-10 11:42:46 PM
Practical_Draconian:
/Isabella of Spain also told Columbus he was farked up for enslaving the Indians. Fancy that, from the woman encouraging Torquemada's Spanish Inquisition.

Exactly! That's what I'm saying, you can't just simply cherry pick something from history and judge it by modern standards...

Especially since in the future, they'll look back at us and say "Jeez, those guys sure were farked up".

Moral values change over time and it's already problematic enough that each person has their own morals, but also including historical figures from hundreds of years ago? -_-'

Hitler's mistake, besides wanting to eliminate all the juice and other groceries, was doing it in an era were such thing was frowned upon, but in history there have been worse genocides than that. At least in terms of victims, cause the main ugliness from Holocaust was how systematic and intentional it was. It gives me the heebie jeebies just to think about it.
 
2013-10-11 12:05:51 AM

give me doughnuts: Edison was a patent thief whose main talent was self-promotion. His contributions to human advancement are paltry when compared to Tesla.
As far as douche-baginess goes, how do you rate electrocuting a bunch of animals including a old circus elephant?


Frak that... he promoted the electric chair as a publicity stunt (invented by one of his employees, of course).  Edison was battling Tesla's AC as being more lethal, so they used AC as the source.  Because they didn't know what the hell they were doing (like that critical water-soaked sponge on the head), the result was horrific.

From Wikipedia:  Blood vessels under the skin ruptured and bled, and the areas around the electrodes singed. The entire execution took about eight minutes. George Westinghouse later commented that "they would have done better using an axe," and a witnessing reporter claimed that it was "an awful spectacle, far worse than hanging."

/Dark Matters is awesome, btw
 
2013-10-11 02:26:22 AM

Thurston Howell: I'm still waiting for The Oatmeal to discover the principles of depth and structure when drawing the human form.

[media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com image 236x317]


Yeah, that'll happen, just as soon as Randall Munroe starts drawing people as more than just stick figures.
 
2013-10-11 03:19:52 AM

rocky_howard: Gee. I wonder what happens when you send the antisocial garbage of your society to another.


Australia.

Just saying.
 
2013-10-11 03:49:35 AM

rocky_howard: Hitler's mistake, besides wanting to eliminate all the juice and other groceries, was doing it in an era were such thing was frowned upon, but in history there have been worse genocides than that.


Really?  Like what?  Even Wikipedia lists the Shoah at the top of its genocide list.  Virtually nothing comes close.  The list might be incomplete, but I would think that if you managed to pull of a genocide of that many millions of people, it would be pretty famous.
 
2013-10-11 07:48:03 AM
I intend to celebrate Columbus Day the same way I celebrate every bloated American holiday that flies in the face of historical accuracy: with a hangover.
 
2013-10-11 01:13:19 PM

rocky_howard: HeartBurnKid: I knew Columbus was a fool and an asshole, and treated the indigenous peoples like dirt, but I honestly didn't know that he was involved in the Transatlantic slave trade or underage sex slavery. And I had no idea who Bartolomé was until I read that.  So yeah, some of it was new to me.

He wasn't... That's probably why it was new to you. It's a lie, or at best, a misguided inference. And the underage sex slavery is just assassination of character. Looking back at history with modern time goggles is a bad idea.  Back in the day people had sex at a younger age. Sure, it's wrong by our standards, but you better focus on actual current 9 and 10 year old girls getting married to older men in Muslim countries than raging at Columbus partaking in the pleasures of his day.


Just curious.  Do you know Rush Limbaugh personally ?
 
2013-10-11 06:01:41 PM

austerity101: rocky_howard: Hitler's mistake, besides wanting to eliminate all the juice and other groceries, was doing it in an era were such thing was frowned upon, but in history there have been worse genocides than that.

Really?  Like what?  Even Wikipedia lists the Shoah at the top of its genocide list.  Virtually nothing comes close.  The list might be incomplete, but I would think that if you managed to pull of a genocide of that many millions of people, it would be pretty famous.


Rocky_Howard might be referring to relative to total population available to be killed. Six million Jews out of the many millions in Europe at the time was horrible, but while, say, Pol Pot "only" killed about a third that many Cambodians, there were far fewer available to be killed, so per capita>, he tops Hitler: he killed about ¼ of the entire population of his nation.
 
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