History vs. Christopher Columbus – Alex Gendler

Many people in the United States
and Latin America have grown up celebrating the anniversary
of Christopher Columbus’s voyage, but was he an intrepid explorer
who brought two worlds together or a ruthless exploiter who brought
colonialism and slavery? And did he even discover America at all? It’s time to put Columbus on the stand
in History vs. Christopher Columbus. “Order, order in the court. Wait, am I even supposed to
be at work today?”Cough“Yes, your Honor. From 1792, Columbus Day was celebrated
in many parts of the United States on October 12th,
the actual anniversary date. But although it was declared
an official holiday in 1934, individual states aren’t required
to observe it. Only 23 states close public services, and more states are moving away
from it completely.”Cough“What a pity. In the 70s, we even moved it to the
second Monday in October so people could get a nice
three-day weekend, but I guess you folks
just hate celebrations.” “Uh, what are we celebrating again?” “Come on, Your Honor,
we all learned it in school. Christopher Columbus convinced the King
of Spain to send him on a mission to find a better trade route to India, not by going East over land
but sailing West around the globe. Everyone said it was crazy because they
still thought the world was flat, but he knew better. And when in 1492 he
sailed the ocean blue, he found something better
than India: a whole new continent.” “What rubbish. First of all, educated people knew
the world was round since Aristotle. Secondly, Columbus didn’t
discover anything. There were already people living here
for millennia. And he wasn’t even
the first European to visit. The Norse had settled Newfoundland
almost 500 years before.” “You don’t say, so how come we’re not
all wearing those cow helmets?” “Actually, they didn’t really
wear those either.”Cough“Who cares what some Vikings did
way back when? Those settlements didn’t last,
but Columbus’s did. And the news he brought back to Europe
spread far and wide, inspiring all the explorers and settlers
who came after. Without him, none of us
would be here today.” “And because of him, millions of
Native Americans aren’t here today. Do you know what Columbus did
in the colonies he founded? He took the very first
natives he met prisoner and wrote in his journal about how easily
he could conquer and enslave all of them.” “Oh, come on. Everyone was fighting each
other back then. Didn’t the natives even tell Columbus about other tribes raiding
and taking captives?” “Yes, but tribal warfare
was sporadic and limited. It certainly didn’t wipe out 90%
of the population.” “Hmm. Why is celebrating this Columbus
so important to you, anyway?” “Your Honor, Columbus’s voyage
was an inspiration to struggling people all across Europe,
symbolizing freedom and new beginnings. And his discovery gave our grandparents
and great-grandparents the chance to come here and build better
lives for their children. Don’t we deserve a hero to remind
everyone that our country was build on the struggles of immigrants?” “And what about the struggles
of Native Americans who were nearly wiped out
and forced into reservations and whose descendants still suffer from
poverty and discrimination? How can you make a hero out of a man
who caused so much suffering?” “That’s history. You can’t judge a guy
in the 15th century by modern standards. People back then even thought spreading Christianity and civilization
across the world was a moral duty.” “Actually, he was pretty bad,
even by old standards. While governing Hispaniola, he tortured
and mutilated natives who didn’t bring him enough gold and sold girls as young as nine into
sexual slavery, and he was brutal even to the other
colonists he ruled, to the point that he was removed
from power and thrown in jail. When the missionary,
Bartolomé de las Casas, visited the island, he wrote, ‘From 1494 to 1508,
over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slavery and the mines. Who in
future generations will believe this?'” “Well, I’m not sure I believe
those numbers.” “Say, aren’t there other ways the holiday
is celebrated?” “In some Latin American countries, they celebrate the same date under
different names, such as Día de la Raza. In these places, it’s more a celebration
of the native and mixed cultures that survived through the colonial period. Some places in the U.S. have also
renamed the holiday, as Native American Day
or Indigenous People’s Day and changed the celebrations accordingly.” “So, why not just change the name
if it’s such a problem?” “Because it’s tradition. Ordinary people need their heroes
and their founding myths. Can’t we just keep celebrating
the way we’ve been doing for a century, without having to delve into all this
serious research? It’s not like anyone is actually
celebrating genocide.” “Traditions change, and the way
we choose to keep them alive says a lot about our values.” “Well, it looks like giving tired judges a
day off isn’t one of those values, anyway.” Traditions and holidays
are important to all cultures, but a hero in one era
may become a villain in the next as our historical knowledge expands
and our values evolve. And deciding what these
traditions should mean today is a major part
of putting history on trial.

Comments 100

  • So a lot of this is wrong. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEw8c6TmzGg&ab_channel=KnowingBetter

  • Columbus was an awesome person!

  • And then those colonizers came in flocks in south Asia looting the enormous amount of wealth killing millions of people in the name of western imperialism !!

  • You mean the Arabs and Muslims who found it 500 years ago .. go and check the book and scripts and maps in the year 1100 and before it … the Arabs had the prove … also he took Arab translators ( why) He stole the maps and scripts from Andalucia after killing Muslims and Arabs .. it’s written in many old book

  • The vikings discovered the New Continent before Columbus. 📚

  • If I were to judge this discussion, I can’t be able to judge off of any of these arguments as both are filled with inaccuracies.

  • 3:20 r/mildlyinfuriating flag

  • All sinners saint as heads is tail

  • can you make a video about the holy grail?

  • hmn, Christopher Columbus is so wicked

  • do u know an book to read about him

  • I don't understand why so much thinking about Columbus and not about Custer or Andrew Jackson..by the way, what this veideo state in not entirely correct: Columbus wated to sell the american natives, but the kings of Spain didnt allow it, because the were subjects of that new kingdom

  • This is biased af

  • Turkish subtitle pls

  • Most of the natives died accidentally of Smallpox.

  • Do you know what the Aztecs did when they found another tribe

  • Buuuut, Columbus never ever made it to the America’s…..

  • It's so weird to hear Christopher Columbus when in Spain and Latin America he's known as Cristóbal Colón

  • The American states rejecting Christopher Columbus Day wouldn't be there if not for him, like him or not, he's the reason you live in the richest and greatest country in the world

  • Christopher columbus you are guilty

  • Well said – '"America is the country of immigrants"

  • most of you are absolutely crazy first off there was no problems between Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans in fact most of the Native Americans lived along side the colonists all the way up until the trail of tears which was started by Andrew Jackson our 7th president and the first President to be a Despot however it doesn't really matter because he didn't even land on the actual continent of America but on the small Caribbean islands that he named the West Indies the actual continent that we know of as North America wasn't truly discovered by Europeans until Amerigo Vespucci but you are correct the very first Europeans who discovered America or at least Canada was Leif Erickson. but that is neither here nor there.

  • This video is full of disinformation go see "in defens of columbus" of knowing better if you want to really understand the man who Columbus was

  • King of Spain. Well, flub one. Queen of Castile. Yah, also. He didnt just enslave the natives at first. He actually did stop a slaughter of a whole indigenous population. You think Columbus was bad. You should have seen some of the results of the missions. Which wasn't Columbus fault. Neither was slavery throughout Europe, Asia, middle east, Africa, easy Asia and the entire Americas. Aztecs were worse. So were the Asian pirates.

  • This is the fixed up version of European settlement history

    11th Century-Leif Erickson discovers Canada
    1492-Columbus Discovers Latin America/The Caribbean
    17th Century-Great Britain Establishes Colony In America Eventually becoming Modern-day USA
    1780s-America is a thing

  • Es el vídeo más mierda que he visto en mi vida.

  • 1:23 wow no he thought the world was smaller not goblet everybody knew that in spain

  • Also he was attack and moved to diffent spot

  • Yes indeed it defines our value

  • This series isn't a non biased look at history, it's a politically charged bias of the highest order. You condemn Columbus but at the same time make a hero of Che Guevara and Lenin! Che Guevara who put homosexuals and Afro Cuban priests in concentration camps with a motto taken from Auschwitz.

  • You can't discover land if someone is already living there! Columbus took a wrong turn looking for something else & it wasn't land

  • https://youtu.be/ZEw8c6TmzGg

  • In the eye of the European, Columbus might be a hero. But in the eyes of native American, he's a villain

  • 3:57 CNI OPEN UP
    (The CNI is the Spanish FBI)

  • I agree with that thin lawyer

  • Wow! What an Anti American channel! Won't be here again!

  • They only wanted gold…

  • Bartolomeo de la Casa defended Columbus. Spoke highly of him.

    This is just propaganda.

  • when you live in britain and it was actually published on october 13th

  • I care for the natives, but colonizing the western hemisphere was necessary for the present day, or else we'd all be in huts with no electricity etc

  • He was a pirate

  • 0:30 Columbus establishes a socialist commune in the new world

  • Why is the narrator whispering??

  • Ok Yea they were still dancing around fires, ripping peoples hearts out, living in stick huts, and killing each other in mass to a god in the sky before we got here i mean they hadn't even invented the wheel yet. what a loss to society and the evolution of man they should thank us for the civilization we brought..

  • Y'all need to do History vs Obama next.


  • "The Norse had settled New Finland." For a few years, and then left, and then forgot it. He never said he could "Conquer and Enslave them." He did say "They would be good Servants under the Lord." Meaning he thought he could convert them to Catholicism. The smallpox spread was accidental, and BOUND to happen. He never hurt any natives who didn't bring him enough Gold, and he has MULTIPLE notable enforcers who were committing the Great Violence. He was removed from Power because He didn't get ENOUGH gold, and his Enforcers were ranked up. He was also fired in 1499 so he was not around by 1542 to exterminate the Taino. This video is just plain lies.

  • Tbh who ever can conquer a hole nation seems gangster to me nomatter what the consquences/nomatter who it is pps blackfoot proud

  • History is just fan fiction thats been recorded

  • Christopher Columbus is a vile monster.

  • “Traditions change, and the way we choose to keep them alive says a lot about our values” Truth 💯

  • Here we go white people lying again

  • ''because it's tradition'' Slavery and racism towards blacks was also tradition. Not saying that you shouldn't celebrate Columbus day, but giving an answer like, it's tradition. It's like you know it's wrong, but we've been doing it for centuries so we'll keep doing it anyhow.

  • This sounds like it was written by a 13 year old.

  • You used the English translation of his journal which says he could lead them but the Italian one is better and doesn’t say ruling over the people so we can’t take this as facts.He didn’t kill all the natives there were many more leaders.

  • Please do Churchill.
    OK it might be a bit late but please.

  • Goodbye, Columbus Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxYVbC283uM

  • "You can't judge a guy in ancient times by modern standards" This is so accurate.

  • Columbus wasn't perfect… none of us are. So get off your moral high horse, Ted!

  • Only Spanish……colon separated a continent until the end. The first is U.S.A..a as they are called America and the other is Hispanic or Latin America, that is, a complete continent separated it into 2 worlds ….

  • Anyone 2019😂♥️

  • Hey!!! Have anyone visited Mexico or Peru or Bolivia or Ecuador or Paraguay? Because I know I'm not blind and I see most of population in those countries are pure Native American people… They even keep their native languages… Have anyone seen a Native American as USA President? NEVER… What a difference isn't it?

  • "King of Spain?" "Because they still thought the world was flat?" Wow. If this is the level of historical accuracy one can expect from the loony Left Ted-Ed channel, I'm done –

  • This is one of the most pretentious and condescending pieces of leftist propaganda/virtue signaling I've ever seen

  • More Left Ed propaganda. I am done watching these.

  • Villain for sure. The only people that would of said he was a hero were the people that benefited from is piracy and theft.

  • Columbus himself didn’t kill millions of people, the vast majority of the natives that died in the centuries after contact died of smallpox and other diseases. It wouldn’t have mattered who made contact with the Native Americans, whether they were Europeans, the Chinese, or Africans, etc., the natives still would’ve still been decimated by diseases that people from Eurasia and Africa had already been exposed to and had some immunity to because they had no previous exposure or immunity to.

  • What kind of heroic action did he made anyway? That's the question.

  • Do a history v Mahatma Gandhi

  • Thank you, Columbus! Thanks to your discovery a lot of countries were invaded!! 🙂

  • Better than india at that TIME f***off man if you told this to an American citizen they also not believe

  • 0:06 when you are trying to teach things about colombus but your mom is sleeping next door

  • I know…
    what should have happened is an asian country liiiiiike saaaaaay…mongolia at the time, go over instead of Columbus and then the indians would be no more…
    ..thats it… GET IT… NO..???
    GTF OVER IT….!!!!

  • I hate videos like this that are misleading about history. Europeans didn't wipe out 90% of the Indians. Diseased did wiped out the vast majority.

  • What's in a name? We shouldn't make a big deal about wether it's called Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day. As long as people get to take the day off, that's all that should matter.
    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
    – William Shakespeare

  • In that case, you should do away with Thanksgiving Day, not with Columbus Day.

  • Cristóbal Colón: Cristoforo Colombo italian Americo Vespucci italian

  • Agree with young lawyer !!!!!!!!!!!

  • History is written by the winners. If Putin conquers US and slaughters 99.99% of the Americans, there will be a Putin day one day. This will be just as ridiculous as the Columbus day.

  • He did not find America the vikings did

  • The Vikings and other explorers beat him to the chase.

  • La Raza is about killing white people


  • Colombus asked and begged the King of Spain for Grant, permission and financial backing to explore, LET THAT SINK IN ?!! Because since BC thru 1200-1800s Spain was the richest and most feared in Europe. While all the white Europeans and asians were at war fighting, killing and invading each other no one ever dated touch the Spanish. Ponce De Leon and other Spanish before him already discovered USA, Latin America and the Carribean. Remember whites like to erase all history before them so they can take and have all the credit but that's ONLY in USA AMERICA…The Spanish showed the whites the way to the new land and then all the diseases, infestations and pests were brought along with them..If I could only change history with actual truth..

  • Columbus did nothing wrong

  • I'm with the prosecutor on this one.

  • He was a monstrous man to us Africans and the Caribs and Arawaks he met in my country. He was only a hero to the Caucasisn Europeans!

  • So the European nations screwed up the whole world.. Oh Yes, I forgot they united everyone together by slavery. I think history books glorifies the destruction and genocide.

  • 1:36 how can u say that ?!

  • i still have the question, is Christopher or Cristobal, he was from Genova, and i think names shouldn't be translated, so what is the correct pronoun¿?

  • Am a native American, still don't care

  • I normally like TED's content this one… fails to address key ignorance and myth by the US American folks. It is perplexing their ignorance on this topic. let's start by explaining to them that America is a continent, named that 269 years before there even existed a USA. Next the US folks beleive Columbus has anything to do with them. They fail to address that they expeditions that founded the New World british colonies were not Castile or Spain sponsored. But England… they also were the ones who wiped the native population while the Spaniards were more for mixing and converting locals… Colón was judged and in modern day Spain started the trials that later became Human right… while the British were plain monsters down north. …

  • Imagine being a native in America on the day immigrant descendants actually celebrate this vile Columbus. It's an insensitive holiday that should have been abolished long ago, along with "Thanksgiving" {what a complete joke}, out of respect.

  • Christopher Columbus is absolutely one of the Greatest men in history ever 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 🇺🇸

  • "People back then even thought that spreading Christianity and civilization was a moral duty." IT STILL IS! What kind of video acts like this is a backwards or primitive concept?

  • This is false history…..poor research

  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEw8c6TmzGg&vl=en sorry pal wrong

  • Let's celebrate the immigration of africans, middle eastern people… who came to Europe. And we called the day "the conquest of Europe". 😊

  • Nice liberal smear by TED-Ed

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