In Defense of Columbus: An Exaggerated Evil

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Knowing Better : The President 42 years ago was not LBJ. Thanks to /u/scottsmith46 for pointing that out.

Real Engineering : Seriously impressed with the amount of research that went into this. Your point on intent was interesting, would like to hear your take on the Irish famine. Lots of people in Ireland, including myself, have called it a genocide. This is the first time I have really questioned that because of your points.

Timi Olotu : This just ruined "Adam Ruins Everything" for me. It's a shame to learn that even Adam uses such cheap tactics to skew facts, for his selfish gains (i.e. views derived from sensationalism). I am grateful for this video though—it helped me realise that I've been giving Adam way too much leeway and sparing him the high level of scepticism I usually employ, when considering other sources of information.

Rob Hild : I study Hispanic literature and am familiar with archaic Spanish and latin. Your idea about slaves versus religious servents was dead on. The word in the journal is seguidores which literally means followers and is used to describe followers of a religion just like in English. Instead, the words escalvo or serviente which are not in the journal would be used to describe a slave.

Luke McAdam : You're being disingenuous about Lief Erikson. You make it sound like the vikings were in North America for one year. Erikson's camp at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland lasted for ten years, not one, and if the Markland referred to in the Sagas is North America (which most historians think it is), the Norsemen continued visiting there into the 1300's (over 300 years). They also didn't leave because they thought it was "stupid and worthless". Erikson decided not to push further after exploring because it was impractical to occupy due to its large size and significant native population.

Trent Kozelek : I know this video is old... but I happen to be Italian, so I can translate that journal page at 15:50 - "...well done. I Noticed that some of them had signs in their bodies that looked like wounds, and with sign language I asked them how that came to be. They made me understand that some populations from islands nearby tried capture them, so they defended themselves. I understood that some populations come to capture and imprison them. They must be good and of high intelligence as I saw that they would repeat what I told them in a short amount of time. Also, I firmly believe that they could easily become christian as it appears that they have no religion. If my lord agrees with me, when I come back there, I'll bring with me 6 of these men with me so that they learn our language. I haven't seen beasts of any sort, except for some parrots, in this island.>> all the admiral's words."

Mr. Beat : Check out those sources, folks. This dude does not mess around.

Salokin : Video: Columbus was a "bad" person, however was just a normal explorer/conqueror for the times Comments: HE WAS A SAINT AND THE NATIVES DESERVED IT!

neeneko : One of the big reasons he is held up as such a singular villain is that so much has been put into making him a singular hero. The detractors did not create the focus, they just flipped it, which is as much a response to the people who hold him up as an ideal as against the person himself.

erwin669 : Columbus Day was originally conceived as an Italian-American Pride Day; sort of like how St Patrick's Day is for the Irish in the US. The Italian-Americans pushed for it to become a national holiday and when the Feds got a hold of it they decided that it needed to more inclusive so the holiday shifted from being proud to be Italian to being about Columbus. So we could have had Get Drunk, Eat Pasta, and Pretend to be Italian Day, but someone messed that up. And good job for debunking the boatload of crap that Adam Ruins Everything and Cracked dump out.

Blondie Shackleforde' : 3.2k didn't watch the video and only read the title.

Jobin : I thought this video would just be a bunch of weak points with filler, but you actually changed my opinion.

Frank Delgrosso : Complete agreement with you. On pretty much everything except the blamy bit. No one alive today bears any responsibility for it regardless of when they came to America. I don't care if your ancestor was one of the people mentioned that still doesn't make you culpable in any way. Having said that I think there should be a day of rememberance and celebration of Native American culture and people. It honesly sickens me that we still don't have that.

Rabbit Ramirez : I have to disagree with many of your points. As an Apache, we see things from an anti-eurocentric view point, so when somebody says either the vikings or columbus “discovered” anything, it dehumanizes us. You can’t discover something that was already inhabited by members of the same species. It doesn’t matter if they thought back then that they were a different species, we know today we are all the same. Native Americans discovered the land europeans would rename north and south america. The sum of many of the arguments you mention is part of a greater question which is “Was columbus a bad person?” to which the answer is still yes, just like most relevant people then and now and by the standards of 1492 and today. Why? Because to impose ones way as the best way, especially by force, is wrong. He definitely isn’t somebody worthy of having his own holiday. So, like most of us surviving Native Americans, I still say, Fuck columbus. Replace his day with Indigenous Peoples Day if you are serious of making things right.

robbo28 : "They were forced to work against their will, but nobody owned them" ... uh huh.

Ioannis Morakis : Well in Latin America its call the "Día de la Raza" (day of the race), "Pan-America day" or the "Discovery day" witch celebrate the mixture of culture and races, I think the USA should have something like that. In Latin America we celebrate what the discovery of america created, a new culture, we don't celebrate the achivement of one person, witch is what I think the main issue of the colombus day is, it was created so Italins would be accepted as americans and so it try to romanticized the Italian that discovered America and to me romanticizing history is as bad as exaggerating it

KristenLucasSoprano : Colombus bravely set sail upon the great pear boobie.

TnT FoX : Don't worry, after Columbus I'm sure they'll start talking about how Louis and Clark Gang raped Pocahontas after getting drunk with their frat buddies in a party back in 1485. Wait I might be mixing up crazy rants again.

Angrynoodle Twenty Five : some of the things you reference in Adams Video were jokes... Also Columbus Wasn't overly influential in terms of America Because he thought he was somewhere else, it Doesn't matter where he thought he was he was still wrong, and he never set foot on the Continent/mainland, so he didn't discover it. The guy who REALLY should be credited with the discovery of America was Cortes. He actually landed on the continent (In modern day Mexico and set up a permanent settlement) And while he Also had no Idea where he was he knew it wasn't Asia, mostly because A portuguese guy had sailed around africa and to asia at that point but still. Just because something was a natural assumption anybody in his position would have made doesn't make the person anymore influential. Cortes Wasn't a good guy Either though, he was TERRIBLE to the Natives far worse than Columbus, but he did much more in terms of discovering America than Columbus EVER had.

RobertRTB9 : Hey nice video, clearly you put a lot of time and thought into this. I still think you are misleading with saying an exaggerated evil though. Most of your points were that he was not stupid (think the earth is flat, or a pear shape etc.) which I 100% agree. The second is that he wasn’t going for genocide, I absolutely agree with that as well. But you brush over things such as the 19:50 mark about cutting off hands saying “he was doing that to the Spanish, I’m sure he Also did that to the natives but the king and queen didn’t care about them”... Sooo yea, he chopped of men, women and children’s hands dude... you don’t just get to say “well he did it to his people too”. That doesn’t make it better. Lol. You also kind of make an excuse saying well we are comparing to today’s standards, it was more normal back then. That still doesn’t make it better... I do really like that you cleared up some obvious wrong information being spread. But he was a pretty terrible dude. Influential, yes. Good, no.

flerper derper : Your point about the vikings is pretty problematic, the extent of their investment or quandry does not disqualify their discovery. It certainly isn't akin to your bitcoin analogy. I don't know if this is intentionally dishonest or not. Also, while Adam's video is problematic, you're effectively putting words in his mouth that Columbus claimed he was the only who knew the earth was round. He even straight up explains this in his video. Your quote clarifications are equally problematic, as they are not ambiguous as you make them out to be, especially given the context of the following spanish rule. You do then say that the natives "were forced to work against their will, but nobody owned them" Can you honestly say this without wincing at the naivety of your intent? Raping a population of their culture as subjects of the crown and forcing them into labor which turned out to be deadly for many may as well be called slavery.

Matthew Lee : How to conquer an entire continent. Step 1: sneeze on one of the locals Step 2: wait a year

Hello There : Post this link in every anti columbus video

Just a Berkshire Berk : Claiming that conquer and subjugate aren't synonymous is exactly as disingenuous as you frequently accuse others of being.

Adam Lawson : General breakdown of this video: create straw man, knock it down. 2:08 - Bro, no one ever says Columbus himself said this, BUT it's extremely common for OTHER PEOPLE to attribute this to Columbus 2:11 - Dude... you're way over-analyzing a cartoon 2:15 - But, that's probably NOT the first globe that ever existed. Considering how well made it is, there were very likely predecessors to this globe and in fact that's the general opinion of experts. 8:15 - Annnd. This doesn't preclude the fact that the Vikings got to the New World first. The fact that they didn't go back isn't unusual. Later on, many, many European settlements failed within 1-5 years. The fact that the Vikings got there and managed to hang on for a while is in fact significant because they did so far earlier. Of course you don't mention why the settlements failed: climate changes and it being difficult to raise cattle, or grain, the primary ways they survived. In fact people DID GO BACK, to find the settlement dead... with no one there and the previous settlement having died out, why go back? Sure they could have gone South, and they would have known that doing so would provide better climate, but their ships were smaller and they needed to cling to the coast. They would have been too far away for any meaningful trade given the limits of technology then. 16:38 - Really? Subjugated pretty much implies conquering of some sort. Not to mention he says before the semi-colon "to be kept as captives on the same island". 18:15 "Nobody owned them" Yeah that's bullshit. Being a peasant at the time pretty much limited your ability to do anything, including travel freely. Further, you're forgetting the entire slavery system that occurred later on, where thousands of Indians died mining and working for the Spanish crown in terrible conditions. You mention how de Las Casas gave up his encomienda and slaves, was called "Protectoría de indios". Or, in the words of others: "Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. Unlike other priests who sought to destroy the indigenous peoples' native books and writings, he strictly opposed this action." But it would be pretty hard to have the position of de Las Casas if slavery and mistreatment wasn't occurring in the first place, no? You've literally contradicted yourself.

Ric Sims : but..but white people need to feel guilty about themselves!

Marcos Reves : People nowadays loves Tesla and kinda hates Edison. Is it true the first one was a genius and the latter a salesman who just profited on other people's ideas?

BBerry : What do you mean the vikings didnt "Discover" america? They did, Just because they didnt do anything with it doesnt mean that they didnt discover it. Discover means "to find information, a place, or an object, especially for the first time." They found America first (If you dont count the natives).

Thecrashthrash : Hey just a heads-up: if you'll need to translate something within the big European languages, DeepL is way better than Google translate. It also offers handy insights into possible alternative translations of words and phrases.

RTYB : I'm Latin American living in Latin America. Could you stupid US & European liberals stop feeling SOOOOOOO offended "for me"? I'm not the slightest bit offended. Considering what happens when a superior civilization encounters another civilization, this went down pretty well. We remember Cristóbal Colón as the brave discoverer of our continent. Something none of you will ever achieve. He made decisions he thought were right in his context (15th century), and with a deep conviction and loyalty none of you will ever enjoy. Que viva la hispanidad! Atte.: A mestizo (literally half and half).

Elsenoromniano : Some corrections, "You can't really have large cities without domesticated animals". Well, you can, and we know that, because Aztecs certainly did have large cities, the estimated population of Tenochtitlan was a city of 200.000 (Smith, 2005), which is on par with the size of Paris during the same timeframe, and only third the population of the largest city in the timeframe (Beijing, with over 600.000, Morris, 2010). Second, I am Spanish and I know historical SPanish, he really does say "they are ingenious and good servants", that is exactly the literal translation of those words in 1500'ish Spanish. And also yes he says " With 50 men I could have them subjugetaed and I could make them do what I would want", using google translate is very, very lazy. You could have asked someone with knowledge of Spanish. "Subjugate" (O "Sojuzgar in Spanish) is actually the same as conquer, it means to be under someone yoke or metaphorically, be under someone's power, usually by force. Another mistake, the Encomienda system was a later invention, at first they were slaves and they were sold and bought, that is not weird, because Spanish people already practiced slavery (it was ok to enslave enemies of the faith, Muslim enslaved Catholics and Catholics enslaved Muslims. The Encomienda system was introduced around 1505,a s a way to treat the natives better and also gain the support in a lot internal conflicts. It must be said that the encomienda system was already abolish time ago in Castille. Also to note is that in 1509, the Crown gave the order to make encomiendas non permanent, although people with encomiendas or "encomenderos" found a lot of ways around that. The slavery of the natives under any ground was not forbidden until 1530 under the reign of Carlos the V. Also the reason was not "he was extracting to much Gold", the reason he was thrown in jail was that it was believed that he stole gold from the Crown. Also Colombus threw Bobadilla, which was the designated governor by the Crown and thus disobeyed orders from the Crown. So his punishment was for mutiny and stolen funds, not because he was extracting less gold than expected. Part of the investigations done by Bobadilla and subsequent judges had one of the points of contention if Columbus deny some baptizes because of religious zeal (he wanted the natives to be fully prepared for the baptism) or for economic gain (you couldn't turn Christians into slaves, as soon as a native was baptized, he couldn't be a slave, it was the same rule that applied to moorish slaves). Also of importance, because you omitted it and it kind of gives the wrong impression of Las Casas,. las Casas later recanted his views about black slavery, lamented his role in the initiation of the Slave trade and tried very unsuccessfully to fight against the importation of black slaves. Saying that De las Casas advocated the slavery of blacks without giving the information that later in his life fought against it seems like you tried to paint him in a bad light just because he was anti-Columbus. But in fact, if you know the whole story that makes him more admirable, because he was able to change his views in an era where the view that all humans were equal was certainly not the norm. Also, while it's true that he didn't travel with Columbus, he was an historian among other things and he certainly interviewed people that traveled with COlumbus, it's not like he fabricated everything from whole cloth. So I know this is a long text, but I tried to be the fairest possible and only point mistakes to better the understanding of the topic. Columbus was not a monster, but certainly, even for the people in his time he was a dodgy character.

Ayla Stewart Wife With A Purpose : Thank you so much for amazing research! I homeschool my children and this was super useful for my teens! I'm so grateful!

Valandar2 : NEITHER Lief Erikson nor Columbus discovered the Americas. A bunch of travellers from Siberia did, crossing the land bridge. So the entire argument is invalid. By the way... "Subjugated" DOES mean conquered. It is what you do to a peoples after you have destroyed their own government. You complain about words being twisted, but it seems to me you are twisting them just as bad. I am NOT saying Columbus was a fifteenth century Hitler. I'm saying you are making the same mistake you are attributing to the people you are criticizing - you are shifting bias towards your own view of him as a nice, regular schmoe. You ALSO conveniently forget to mention Bartolemy soon turned AGAINST the African slave trade, and slavery entirely, by the way.

Matt Harrell : Funny how so many folks think that only white Europeans went to new lands for conquests and attempted to conquer new land. People should read history about Genghis Khan or even better... the current state of African nations

Aiden Parker : You say they took "the most biased translation", but you have nothing to contest it with except google translate. You seem to be asking that we believe the translation of a non-expert against a professional translator. Yes the translator could potentially have have a bias, but he could have just as credibly have downplayed his more inflaminatory rhetoric. You're displaying your conjecture as authoritative...

Chris Meyer : Wait, wtf you only have 2k subs? How is that even possible. I have no doubt you are breaking 100-200k within 6 months if you keep putting out this level of quality video. Great stuff man. Keep it up.

oscar glezel : "knowing 'BETTER". In the SAME manner that you can only INVENT what NOBODY else has invented before, is in the SAME manner that YOU can ONLY discover what no other HUMAN BEING has discovered. If a group of men arrives in an island or CONTINENT that is not CARTOGRAPHIED yet in their map nor INHABITED by PEOPLE -except for Flora & Fauna, it can be said that indeed it's a DISCOVERY! But if in such place there are HUMAN BEINGS already inhabiting it, then a POTENTIAL arrival of another group of people to such Island or CONTINENT can only be referred to as a group of FOREIGNERS, and never as DISCOVERERS! Got it?

Steven Gordon : Wow. Just wow. You’re obviously just a privileged, entitled white male. You shouldn’t be allowed to talk about *anything* Haha lol jk, i liek u, ur cool. You’re no ME, but hey, who is these days. Just me. What can ya do, ya know? Nothing. Great vid on Chrisofo-Colombo by the way, I loved it & learned all of the facts of it Anyway I want to know what you think so lemme know in the comments below and don’t forget to like me on patreon a’bye

ni ko : Thumbs up for colonialism.

HooDatDonDar : HooDatDonDar Columbus left a continent in which, as elsewhere in the world, religious persecution, slavery, and civil wars were commonplace — and found mostly the same in the New World; the difference in destruction was largely one of scale that hinged on demography and smaller New World populations. Otherwise, the organization and efficacy of religiously driven human sacrifices of Aztec prisoners and subjects sometimes had a proto-Auschwitzean nature about them — but without dissident voices and opposition. So, what did Columbus accomplish? If demography was destiny, he found a New World in which, to take one later example, North America was by European standards largely underpopulated and his successors opened it to exploration and settlement from a continent whose cities were sometimes 100 times more densely populated. Whereas Europeans had the ability to navigate around the world, indigenous people tragically did not. The logical result was that the more technologically advanced, poor, and overpopulated were going to seek out the naturally rich and sparsely settled, not out of evil per se, but out of collective individual desires to survive and prosper. Both tragedy and civilization followed. It is fashionable to trash the civilization that created Columbus as destructive and pathological, but those who do so often have never experienced the alternative first-hand or at length, and assume that their own prosperity, security, and protected freedoms are birthrights rather than fragilities that exist largely only in the West and Westernized Asia or emanate only from the Western anomalies of self-criticism, secular rationalism, unfettered inquiry, free expression, constitutional government, free-market economics, private property and religious tolerance. None of which existed among the Indians. And research any given tribes treatment of women sometime, for extra shock.

koth : Tbh, 550 years ago, the goal for tribes and empires was to expand. The Native American tribes that succeeded, succeeded for a reason. They were savage in their colonizations. When Columbus came to the Americas, he was just expanding an empire using techniques just as savage as the Native tribes, but with better technology and more people.

Scooter Campbell : Here's the thing. Christopher Columbus (not his name) is credited with discovering America (which he didn't do) and proving the world was round (which he didn't do). None of the details of his story are true, so that makes his story fake. Other cultures discovered North America. It doesn't matter if the Vikings found Greenland by accident, nor does it matter that they left later. Other cultures discovered the West hundreds or thousands of years before Cristoffa Combo. Further, when people talk about "Columbus", they are talking about "America." Not the West. Not the South America. Not the Caribbean. They mean America and the united states of it, but that's not what happened. The myth of Cristoffa Combo has been trumped up to rewrite history. We know better now. Also, welcome to the concept of comedy. The video you keep saying is wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong was made for entertainment.

funstuff81girl : I'm black I'm not feeling guilty about this mess.

Peter Boyer : You mention nothing of Michele da Cuneo, a friend of Columbus. He has a very damning account of some events of the voyage he and Columbus both went on involved rape and enslavement. Here's two damning quotes from his journal. "When our caravels were ready to depart for Spain, aboard which I intended to return home, we gathered at our settlement 1,600 Indians, male and female; we loaded 650 of the best--both men and women--aboard those caravels on 17 February 1495. Regarding the rest, it was declared that whoever wanted some of them could take them as he wished, and so it was. When everyone was supplied, approximately 400 still remained who were permitted to go wherever they liked. Among those were many females with nursing infants, who, so as to better escape from us, fearing that we would return to take them, abandoned their children to their fate, leaving them on the ground and fleeing like desperate persons." and... "While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But to cut a long story short I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears. Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, and that you would have thought she had been brought up in a school for whores.""

PrimoMagazine : We should celebrate "Columbus Day." He rightly discovered North and South America. Without him, we would not be here. He symbolizes the settlement of America. He is the spirit of America; a breaking away from the Old World to the New. Not just Italians, but Spanish, Portugese and all those who make up the first-comers to the New World love Columbus.

zeleni sok : 16:20 Really, Some News is biased for choosing a translation which says "conquer and govern" bc alternative translations exist, and the alternative translation you show says "subjugate" hahaha, as if "subjugate" is much different or better? xD What was that? You got so into the big-brain-rational-centrist role (/caricature) you do nonsense like this? Also saying they weren't slaves, but "only" forced to work, in tone as if that's much better? Couldn't have said that in a different way? Really, man, cmon. You could have gives these interesting info (like that about the letter) without blunders like this.

oscar rios : Good job. You really debunked that cartoon. Now how bout trying actual historians? You may need something better than google translate though. Remember the documents you mention written in the Italian language are probably translations of the original Castilian, as there's no document written by Columbus in Italian, not his diaries, navigation charts or letters, not even the letters to his bank in Genoa. He in fact presented himself as Cristofo Colon. Not that it means anything, I just thought I mentioned it.

Josh Adamson : youre wrong about the vikings. they met the natives and left choosing to avoid large scale conflict. they spent several years in "vinland" however and if you know your history about campaigns in south/central/north america spending even one year would be difficult even for vikings. much of what you say is interesting but you kind of did the same thing youre upset other people do to columbus to lief erikson

SexyFeminineGoddess : Sorry the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the United States, Greenland and Canada are all regions of North America !!!

Joey : I love when Adam ruins everything is debunked