Let’s talk about Christopher Columbus
I was taught, just like most of you, that Christopher Columbus discovered America on a quest to prove the earth was round. Imagine my surprise when I got my hands on my friends college history book. Let's talk about all the lies were were taught as children about the man who did NOT discover America.
1. His actual name is was Cristoforo Colombo
2. The ships names, Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria were not the actual names of the ships. The real names are: La Santa Clara became Nina, (little girl), La Pinta became La Pintada (the painted one or prostitute), and la Santa Gallega became Maria Galante (the name of another prostitute)
3. He didn't discover America. That is said to be the Viking, Leif Erikson, around 500 years before Columbus was a gleam in his daddy's eye. In fact, most say the closest Columbus came to America is in the Caribbean.
4. He was a slave owner and slave trader. The first time he landed in the Caribbean in 1492, he immediately enslaved 6 natives, noting in his diary that they would make good servants. He used forced labor and violence to get the natives to do what he wanted. Many times he would remove body parts from slaves, sometimes making them carry them around, or he would murder them, dismember them, and leave them where others could see as a warning not to revolt.
5. He forced natives to adopt Christianity or there was a penalty of death.
6. He was involved with the sex trade, sometimes with girls as young as 10 years old. He often gave women to his men to beat and rape at their leisure.
7. He brought numerous diseases to the New World like Smallpox, Measles and Influenza. By 1517, out of the 250,000 natives to Hispaniola living there when Columbus and his men arrived, there were only about 14,000 residents left. And that's just the tip of the ice burg.
8. About 50,000 Indians committed suicide rather than go along with Columbus. They felt it was the only way to avoid submitting to Christianity and giving away the future of their people.
9. His voyage was NOT to prove the world was round. In 5 BC the Greeks started to believe that the world was round. Columbus wanted to prove how easy it was to sail around the world. Turned out to be harder than anyone thought.
10. In the Dominican Republic his violent rule is legendary. To deter the rebellion, he murdered natives and would sometimes have them dismembered and have their bodies paraded through the streets.
11. In 1499 Columbus was arrested by the Spanish government for the actions sited above. He admitted most of what they heard was true and he was stripped of his title of governor.
12. The Columbian Exchange, as it would come to be known, did unite the world in a way it had never been with the exchange of ideas, foods, and animals. (You just have to plug your nose on the rape, murder, mutilation and slavery.)
That is the one good thing I could find. It was just a very heavy price for natives to pay.