ForumsWEPRWas Europeans' treatment of Native Americans justified?

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mbbs112
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mbbs112
198 posts
Peasant

I have been taking a course on US history and we were reading about Native Americans and the takeover of the Americas by Europeans. We were given verified sources from people involved in first contact with them such as Christopher Columbus, missionaries, and other sailors. One of the first things that Christopher Columbus noted about them was their generosity and how he could take advantage of that by gaining materials from them. The Europeans at this time justified it by calling them "savages" and referenced the sacrifices done by them. Thoughts?

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HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

You forget that the Europeans brought medicine that prevented many from dieing from childhood illnesses, as they had previously done before.

The natives had their own medicine before, and the European medicine was still pretty bad at the time, too. The death toll among natives that followed the arrival of the Europeans speaks for itself.

Also, I hardly believe that medicine was so readily administered to natives on a large scale, but if you have any material that indicates that much, feel free to share it.

On the essay you refer to me, most of those outrageous claims comes un-sourced. Horrible, childish, and un-academic.

The exact phrasing is that of the author, of course, but the facts remain. The sources are explicitly mentioned at the end, and I have mentioned it to you more than once. Those are primary sources like journals and eye-witness reports. It doesn't get any more academic and objectively historically accurate than that. If you fail to make abstraction of your biases and continue to reject historical source material that do not support your personal opinions, then I really can't help you.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

You forget that the Europeans brought medicine that prevented many from dieing from childhood illnesses, as they had previously done before.
You neglect the fact that the only medicine effective against the illnesses brought by Europeans was invented 300 years too late.

Read an unbiased book about him instead of watching animated short clips. Then come back and we'll talk.
1 You wanted sources. There they are.
2 I'm not interested in sifting through everything ever written on the subject just to find something you agree with. Do your own research and find whatever it is you perceive as an "unbiased book" about him, and name it.

[...] most of those outrageous claims comes un-sourced. Horrible, childish, and un-academic.
Coming from you, this is a remarkable irony.
Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@Hahiha


The natives had their own medicine before, and the European medicine was still pretty bad at the time, too. The death toll among natives that followed the arrival of the Europeans speaks for itself.

The Europeans did not intend to kill the natives by spreading disease, it just happened.


but the facts remain. The sources are explicitly mentioned at the end, and I have mentioned it to you more than once.

Then let me say once again, only some of the stuff actually "quoted" in that "essay" comes from the sources. The other stuff is paraphrased and is the opinion of the author. In addition, the author did not explicitly denote what was quoted and what was not, instead using the legibility of the sources to cover the whole work.

@Fishpreferred


You neglect the fact that the only medicine effective against the illnesses brought by Europeans was invented 300 years too late.

I did not say the Europeans treated the diseases they brought, but that the Europeans treated some of the diseases that affected children.


1 You wanted sources. There they are.
2 I'm not interested in sifting through everything ever written on the subject just to find something you agree with. Do your own research and find whatever it is you perceive as an "unbiased book" about him, and name it.

1. As I mentioned before, the whole work is not sourced: it merely used one quote and used the source to cover the whole work.
2. For a online biography, try Britannica; for a book, read rds=paur:ClkAsKraX9QoPCzF4ZFblI6AzRxZwcuOH6PsxKc4zH98PXCocwuFsboPeUEKCnyWSRec__IExqILfuTWGzzwEsiMeVOv74jhU-1rqfWt99hkHmdn8FMUCQBY0BIZAFPVH71uXhfR6jfxFgicjLCuot4DTwpMVg&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOvaCnqczbAhULuFMKHfJGDD8Q8wIIoQM">Washington Irving's classic, or rds=paur:ClkAsKraXxSNPWAPxm4ytYbwh3vTcDGD3ieDo6iE8I2ARUuqln-A_g0NByQC3N8uioVXPiE2Nd0WFKBrWvRglJw1LiLlQHtUhujt6HD6FOJezBFXPvsxofpPKBIZAFPVH70ADhfFSeQo7C51kkvGlVDgU8VYRQ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjOxezvqczbAhXnzVkKHV4wBTcQ8wII0gM">this.


Coming from you, this is a remarkable irony.

I believe that you are misinformed and are making a mockery of a man who deserves to be remembered better.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

Different website, same conclusions: Columbus enslaved and exploited the natives he came into contact with.

I want to make one thing clear about my argumentation: it is not my aim to make all Europeans look like monsters. I'm European and I can sleep at night. But I am also aware that many bad things were done by ruthless people, including but not limited to Columbus, who may have contributed in positive ways but also has done a lot of wrong even in the eyes of many of his contemporaries. History is never all good or all bad, so it is important to dig deeper and be aware of both sides. I say this without any hate or any kind of agenda: a lot of harm was done to American native populations by the hand of Europeans, intentionally and unintentionally. Recognition of this simple historical fact is important. No one is going to enact some obscure vengeance on us for that; all it takes is recognition, so that we may build on a peaceful future together, instead of throwing around accusations and denial.

Yeah, I know this last bit sounds cheesy. But it's true.

Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@Hahiha


Different website, same conclusions: Columbus enslaved and exploited the natives he came into contact with.

History.com is hardly a reliable source, triply so because they make money off producing sensationalist headlines and videos that people will pay to view.


including but not limited to Columbus, who may have contributed in positive ways but also has done a lot of wrong even in the eyes of many of his contemporaries.

While I readily admit the faults of his contemporaries, Columbus is not the tyrant exploiter you make him to be. Please read what I have reccomended.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

This is certainly childish but I have no reason to consider your links any less biased than mine since you keep finding excuses.

The sources I am indicating at are not the websites themselves, but the primary sources they are based on. Historians have done research on those. I trust their informed research enough to believe, without having read the contemporary journals or eyewitness testimonies firsthand (have you?), that Columbus was a gold-hungry slaver and an exploiter. I have no guarantee that an online encyclopedia is complete, or that random books are unbiased.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

I did not say the Europeans treated the diseases they brought, but that the Europeans treated some of the diseases that affected children.
You're missing the point. Europeans bringing treatments for some ailments was not "a great thing for the natives" when those natives were dying by the thousands from horrible incurable plagues brought (accidentally or otherwise) by those same Europeans.

1. As I mentioned before, the whole work is not sourced: it merely used one quote and used the source to cover the whole work.
So, what you're telling me is that you didn't even watch it.

2. For a online biography, try Britannica;
Well ...
"Moreover, Columbus was determined to take back both material and human cargo to his sovereigns and for himself, and this could be accomplished only if his sailors carried on looting, kidnapping, and other violent acts, especially on Hispaniola."
"The following year he began a determined conquest of Hispaniola, spreading devastation among the Taino. There is evidence, especially in the objections of a friar, Bernardo Buil, that Columbus’s methods remained harsh."
"It may be that these problems had intensified, but the Columbus family must be held at least partly responsible, intent as it was on enslaving the Taino and shipping them to Europe or forcing them to mine gold on Hispaniola."

[...] for a book, read [...]this.
You've cited a work of fiction by Washington Irving (author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow).

I believe that you are misinformed and are making a mockery of a man who deserves to be remembered better.
What you believe is of no relevance to me.
Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@Hahiha


This is certainly childish but I have no reason to consider your links any less biased than mine since you keep finding excuses.

Find a reputable author, doctor, or someone with a degree to back up your claims.


I trust their informed research enough to believe, without having read the contemporary journals or eyewitness testimonies firsthand (have you?), that Columbus was a gold-hungry slaver and an exploiter.

Yes, in the completion of my minor in liberal arts, I did study some of his works. He is not what you set him up to be.


So, what you're telling me is that you didn't even watch it.

I did watch it. Instead of formatting quotes like:
"quote"{source}
they just showed 'quotes' without sources right beside them.


You've cited a work of fiction by Washington Irving (author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow).

lol, it's much better than anything you're ought to dig up. Anyway, I assumed it was your age level.


What you believe is of no relevance to me.

Uhm... then stop posting?

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

lol, it's much better than anything you're ought to dig up. Anyway, I assumed it was your age level.

1. Ad hominem, and not your first one. Please refrain from such unnecessary comments.
2. A work of fiction is entirely unsuitable as a historical source.
3. Your other source, the Britannica encyclopedia, seems as demonstrated by FishPreferred to support us rather than your opinions.

Basically, you have no sources and started resorting to personal attacks. Anything to add before we drop this fruitless debate?
Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd
HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

The search gave no results. Besides, I had already found a transcript of one of his journals before, remember? Can you point me to the section that would support your claims?

On your end, I want you to read this. This is talking about a 48-page historical report written by Francisco de Bobadilla while investigating in the name of the Spanish Crown on reports about Columbus' misdoings. Columbus lost governorship of Hispaniola and was imprisoned in Spain. He was later set free to continue exploring because he could convince the Queen that he was close to making a huge discovery, but mostly for strategic reasons because Spain wanted to win the race against the other European countries. All that and more can be found there. Have fun reading.

Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

No. Columbus was wrongly imprisoned because Bobadilla was misinformed. A revolt had taken place in Hispaniola, and when Bobadilla was sent to quell it, he was misinformed by the rebels. When he reached Spain, he was immediately freed from his chains and shortly afterwards was kindly received by the monarchs. He did no misdoings, and none are recorded.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

No. Columbus was wrongly imprisoned because Bobadilla was misinformed.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Where is your evidence that this was all a conspiracy?

A revolt had taken place in Hispaniola,

Yes, because the natives were ill-treated.

and when Bobadilla was sent to quell it, he was misinformed by the rebels.

What you fail to mention is that Bobadilla investigated both Columbus' detractors and his supporters, and even his supporters corroborated several of the acts of which Columbus was accused.
Also, Bobadilla was sent to investigate on accusations against Columbus, not to quell the revolt.

When he reached Spain, he was immediately freed from his chains and shortly afterwards was kindly received by the monarchs.

Because the monarchs cared more for victory against Portugal than for some distant natives.

He did no misdoings, and none are recorded.

Historical records say otherwise.
Ntech
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Ntech
257 posts
Shepherd

@Hahiha


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Where is your evidence that this was all a conspiracy?

The Life and Times of Columbus, Curtis International Portraits of Greatness. Page 56.


Also, Bobadilla was sent to investigate on accusations against Columbus, not to quell the revolt.

Source that.


Because the monarchs cared more for victory against Portugal than for some distant natives.

In that case, why had they even investigated Columbus?


Historical records say otherwise.

Since there are so many records that say otherwise, name one.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,213 posts
Regent

The Life and Times of Columbus, Curtis International Portraits of Greatness. Page 56.

I haven't found a digitized version so far so I can't know what is on page 56, nor what actual sources the book is based on, sorry. I also want to note that the book dates from the 1970s, while the Bobadilla report was only re-found and analyzed in 2005.

Source that.

The Bobadilla report as well as an account from Columbus' son Ferdinand called Historia del Almirante.

In that case, why had they even investigated Columbus?

At the time when the first news from the colony came to Spain, Hispaniola was anything but lucrative; also the Crown couldn't ignore rumours about one of their governors brutalizing people. When Columbus was arrested, he could convince the Crown personally that he could still capitalize on America, thus he was sent back to explore, but his governorship remained revoked.

Since there are so many records that say otherwise, name one.

The Bobadilla report as well as other documents not specifically cited.
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