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Top 10 Reasons Why Christopher Columbus Shouldn’t Be Called a ‘Cultural Hero’





Ah, Christopher Columbus. The man every person would want to meet (but unfortunately he’s dead). Everyone in this world knows how significant Columbus was and how he helped shape the world as we know it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have his own holiday.

But no matter what people say about him – be it good or bad – he wasn’t the typical careless colonialist. In fact, he had to do the most twisted of things just to achieve success. And believe it or not, people during his time thought he was a monster.

To give you an idea about who Columbus really was, below are 10 straightforward facts about him. You’ll be surprised with how brutal this guy actually was.

#10. Cutting the Hands Off of Natives Who Refused to Bring Gold

Upon reaching the so-called New World, Columbus promised motherland Spain that he would bring as much gold and slaves they need. And yes, he stayed true to his words even if it meant conducting a massacre. He began to round up natives and confine them in pens (though most were sent to Spain to work as slaves). Most of them, however, were forced to work gathering gold. Columbus thought that the Arawak people had huge gold fields and that they were hiding them. Anyone who came back with a satisfactory gold quantity was given a copper token to hang around the neck. This symbolized life, meaning that they managed to live another day. As for the unfortunate ones, their hands were chopped off – on the spot.

#9. Columbus Had His Men Test Their Blades By Slashing People

He himself knew the weight of actions of his men. Besides, he condoned it. A priest by the name of Bartolome de las Casas joined Columbus’ men in New World. He also witnessed the gruesome acts and was quoted saying,

My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write.”

Casas further mentioned about the Spaniards slicing off parts of the slaves just to test the sharpness of their blades. They would even make bets on whoever could “slit a man in two.” And just to kill the time, these men would occasionally cut off heads and body parts – all for the sake of entertainment. Columbus, on the other hand, didn’t care at all. He was more concerned about making Spain proud.

#8. Mutilating His Own Squads

Columbus torturing tactics didn’t stop with the natives. He was also fond of torturing his own men. He would tend to starve his men out, veering them away from any food resources. And although his ships were packed with all the good stuff, he wouldn’t share them. Some soldiers would even beg, but Columbus played deaf. When his boys started to steal food, it was when he became so furious. He established a rule that anyone who got caught stealing would be hanged. There was a time when a cabin boy stole a fish and got caught, Columbus himself nailed the boy to the exact spot where the fish was stolen. He would often resort to mutilation, cutting off ears, fingers, and even testicles.

#7. He Had Women Paraded In the Streets Naked

If a woman upsets Columbus, she better asks help from her gods. His treatment towards offensive women was far more brutal, though it didn’t involve mutilation of sorts. He would have them parade naked through the streets. He would also have them whipped or hanged. Columbus didn’t even care about evidence. If he thought that a woman was worth punishing, he would do it right away. There was a woman who was rumored to be impregnated by Columbus. The news reached the latter and decided to take actions. And although it wasn’t the woman’s fault, Columbus didn’t have any second thoughts – she humiliated and killed her.

#6. Starting a Child Sex Slave Ring

Source: Pinterest

Columbus was among the first individuals who realized that prostitution meant money. This was when he started the so-called ring of sex slaves. For him, this was a good and abundant business.

A hundred Castellanos are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm.”

Apparently, most of these sex slaves were children. He even wrote a letter describing their ages to be from “nine to ten.” Columbus also gifted himself a young girl, whom he used as a sex slave. And if this quote doesn’t disturb you, I don’t know what else will.

Since I wanted to have my way with her and she was not willing, she worked me over so badly with her nails that I wished I had never begun.”

#5. His Greatest Lie Ever

Source: Wikimedia

Don’t you know that Columbus actually lied about being the first person to spot a land? This goes to show how petty he was. Way before he set his food in the New World, he was already infamous for ruining other people’s lives. Before sailing west, the royalties of Spain promised a lifetime pension to the first person to spot a land. And there Columbus went, changing the course of history. The first individual who actually spotted a land was Rodrigo de Triaga. When he tried to report his discovery to Spain, Columbus intervened. He clamored about seeing a light that appeared almost like a candle. He argued that it was him who spotted the land, not Rodrigo. In order to win, he persuaded both the king and queen and used his influence. Interestingly, Columbus did it not for the sake of money – but simply for the recognition.

#4. Parading Dismembered Bodies Through Town

Apart from parading naked women, Columbus was also known for displaying dismembered bodies. When the Arawak people decided to revolt against Spain, Columbus and his men immediately seized them. Unfortunately for the tribe, they got overwhelmed. Just to make a point, Columbus decided to dismember the revolts and had their bodies marched through the native town. For him, it was a warning sign to anyone who would decide to rebel against the throne.

#3. Pretending to be God

Columbus knew that the natives had their own way of life. However, he also knew that they were naïve. So what did he do to gain control over them? He acted as a divine being – a god, that is. But how exactly did Columbus do this? He simply tricked the natives that he had magical powers, though it was more about astronomy (as I said, the natives were naïve). He claimed about knowing when the next lunar eclipse would hit and that when it happened, his “god” would devour those who went up against him. When the lunar eclipse really happened, the natives “came running from every direction to the ships.” They really thought that Columbus’ god was about to unleash his wrath.

#2. The Arawaks Committed Suicide Because of Columbus

The Arawaks tried everything they can to fight the Spaniards. But no matter how strong they got, Columbus and his men were just extremely powerful. After all, they had the armor and weaponry. Knowing that there was no way they could escape Columbus’ brutality, they decided to commit suicide en masse. The entire communities gathered together and killed themselves. They would usually do this in groups of 100. Mothers would feed their children with cassava poison just to let them die peacefully.

One of the Spaniards witnessed the mass suicide and said,

Since I wanted to have my way with her and she was not willing, she worked me over so badly with her nails that I wished I had never begun.”

#1. He Was Responsible for Bringing Syphilis to Europe

Sure, Columbus killed millions of natives in his journey; however, these killings were an understatement compared to numbers he did back home. When he and his men came back from the New World, they didn’t just bring slaves and gold – they also brought syphilis or commonly referred to as STD. The first outbreak happened in Europe sometime in 1945. Before Columbus’ return, there were barely cases of syphilis. Some researchers of today claimed to have found one, but none of them could really prove it. Apparently, though, all signs lead to Columbus – and this originated from their ring of child sex slaves.

When some of Columbus’ men waged war against Italy, they whore their way across Europe. Unbeknownst to their knowledge, they’ve already started spreading syphilis. The first outbreak didn’t just kill a million – it was over five million Europeans. The death toll might even include Columbus himself, who died in 1506 shortly after years of waging war. The illness was said to have been contracted on his last voyage to the New World.

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