A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, October 10, 2005

Thoughts on Columbus

I got a kick out of this piece about the evil Christopher Columbus. (Thanks, Jay!)

The reality is that Columbus was neither a good guy nor a bad guy-he just wasn`t a very bright guy! He believed that the Earth was about half the size that scholars of the day estimated it to be, and he was dead wrong (the scholars of the day were pretty close to correct.) Columbus always believed he had reached Asia, and he died without knowing he had discovered two Continents. (The left tries to mislead people into believing that everyone thought the world was flat before Columbus! Absolutely not true!)

Columbus had sought backing from all of the crown heads of Europe, who wisely rejected his daft idea on scientific principles. Only Spain agreed to finance Columbus (I suspect Queen Isabella may have been charmed by old Chris.) To their great fortune this gamble paid off incredibly, and Columbus would ultimately give the Spanish an empire which put Rome`s to shame. They would settle two continents, conquer three great civilizations, and establish the first world-girdling civilization!

There was good and bad brought by Columbus, and if you doubt the good then answer the question of why the Spaniards found the indiginous peoples so easy to conquer. Virtually every local joined Cortez in his march on Mexico; the Aztecs were tyrants who engaged in child blood sacrifice. The Incans were no better, and Pizzaro wiped them away easily. It is true, Columbus brought the institution of slavery with him, and many of the native peoples suffered terribly as a result. It must be kept in mind, however, that EVERYONE on Earth kept slaves at this time, and the Spaniards were no different than the Arabs (who STILL keep slaves in some places) or even the Indians he would later rule. It`s just a matter of whose Ox is getting gored.

He brought medicine, science, trade, decent government, and Christianity with him. These were all things which would ultimately improve the lives of those the Spaniards would rule. He opened the door to others, particularly the English, who would create the greatest, freest, most prosperous nation the world has ever seen.

The great irony is that he did all this without ever knowing!

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by