September 12, 2017

The hand of the Christopher Columbus statue in Central Park has been painted red.

And, on its plinth, there is, spray-painted, "Hate will not be tolerated/#somethingscoming."

157 comments:

mockturtle said...

Do they not have surveillance videos there? Let's nip this kind of atrocity in the bud.

Dude1394 said...

Get rid ALL memorials. Like Jimmy Buffett says, it is trigger time somewhere.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Hate will not be tolerated"

Hate for Columbus? Hate for USA? Hate for western civilization? I think there are some "hates" that will be tolerated, encouraged, promoted, enforced.

cubanbob said...

Install hi res cameras. Identify vandal. If not predominantly Native America, strip citizenship and deport immediate to whatever paradise their ancestors came from.

tcrosse said...

So what happens to Columbus, Ohio ? Or Columbo reruns ?

rcocean said...

The Left hates Western civilization and the USA 1.O. "Hey, hey, ho, ho, western civilization's got to go".

Of course, there's no one on the other side pushing back, so who knows where this will end. We've got Mr. Whitebread Mitt Romney endorsing Antifa. We got worthless McConnell wasting everyone's time passing resolutions against "white racism". You got Germany and Sweden seemingly wanting to become Islamic states.



Bay Area Guy said...

These idiots are using the term "Hate" in the same ways that the Nazis used the term, "Jew" -- an all-purpose scapegoat for all the bad things in society.

Time to double-down on Trump.

Laslo Spatula said...

Piss off the Italians in NYC.

Good thinking.

There's a Sopranos episode in this somewhere.

I am Laslo.

Nonapod said...

Is every historical figure that's been commemorated, mythologized, idolized, and statued now have to be reevaluated and judged by our 2017 value system, or is it only those that have been traditionally idolized in the USA? I mean, I'm not going to try to defend Columbus here, but there's plenty of statues all around the world of various historical figures who would almost certainly fail the 2017 moral purity evaluation. In fact I doubt there are many (if any) historical figures who could pass such a test. Most great people of history had a fair amount of red on there hands.

Curious George said...

"#somethingscoming."

Bring it motherbitches.

Fernandinande said...

To misquote by one word - "If any man says he hates hates more than I do, he better have a knife, that’s all I have to say."

Matthew Sablan said...

Is this really bad advertising for a new West Side Story production, set instead of in New York, but in revolutionary Russia, and instead of gangs, we have Communists and Anti-Communists?

ds5929 said...

They may be right. Something is coming,and the Vandals are'nt gonna like it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Is every historical figure that's been commemorated, mythologized, idolized, and statued now have to be reevaluated and judged by our 2017 value system, or is it only those that have been traditionally idolized in the USA?"

-- As far as I know, no FDR statues have been vandalized yet. So, I think, this is just crazy talk, I think that maybe, just maybe, it doesn't have to do with history.

Sebastian said...

"Hate will not be tolerated." That's how progs spread their love.

David said...

"So what happens to Columbus, Ohio ? Or Columbo reruns ?"

District of Columbia?

MadisonMan said...

From the article:

Monuments dedicated to Columbus have become a hot-button issue in the Big Apple amid a national debate on statues honoring controversial figures.

How is Columbus a "controversial figure". I like how the article just throws that out there like it's factual.

Now, if this were a statue honoring Measles, or Smallpox, or any of the myriad viruses that found easy prey in previously unexposed Native Americans, I could understand.

Larry J said...

hawkeyedjb said...
"Hate will not be tolerated"

Hate for Columbus? Hate for USA? Hate for western civilization? I think there are some "hates" that will be tolerated, encouraged, promoted, enforced.


There's no hate as intense as leftist hate.

campy said...

All those schools and other things that were named for Obama after 2008? I bet they have some fancy signs on them. Be a shame if someone vandalized them.

Tank said...

MadisonMan said...

From the article:

Monuments dedicated to Columbus have become a hot-button issue in the Big Apple amid a national debate on statues honoring controversial figures.

How is Columbus a "controversial figure". I like how the article just throws that out there like it's factual.

Now, if this were a statue honoring Measles, or Smallpox, or any of the myriad viruses that found easy prey in previously unexposed Native Americans, I could understand.


MadMan, those are some pretty hateful facts you got there.

Matthew Sablan said...

"All those schools and other things that were named for Obama after 2008? I bet they have some fancy signs on them. Be a shame if someone vandalized them."

-- Tit for tat escalation is exactly what we don't need, but exactly what we'll get as long as doing tat remains appealing because those who do tit get away with it and achieve their objectives.

Bob Loblaw said...

Obvious "False Flag" operation.

Highly unlikely. They really are this stupid.

madAsHell said...

"#somethingscoming
....in 5.56

Michael K said...

Way back when I was still an engineer, my boss had a new Porsche and was tired of people fiddling with it. They were pretty unusual then, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth,

He wired a Model T ignition coil to the body with a switch he could reach under the driver door.

If someone touched his car, they got 10,000 volts, with only a 0.001 of an amp, so they would get knocked back but not electrocuted.

He finally gave up the idea after being warned he could get sued, especially if some kid touched it.

That might be a nice idea for those statues. Maybe with 20 amps.

California Snow said...

Sebastian sadi: "Hate will not be tolerated." That's how progs spread their love.


When they really love you it's a baseball bat to the ribs.

Angel-Dyne said...

Nonapod: I'm not going to try to defend Columbus here...

Well, you proceeded to do just that, but in a way that pretty much concedes every premise of the "die whitey die" Red Guards.

Yes, I agree, "presentism" is a massive metastatic tumor on the modern intellect. But it's secondary in the Great Statue Battle. Columbus was a great man by the standard of high human achievement. He isn't being attacked because he's "problematic and complex" and did bad things by modern standards. He's being attacked because he is a great man in the mythic heroic pantheon of an enemy tribe - in this case, Europeans. (Without which, of course, the United States and "our values" don't exist at all, but hey, history is easy to re-write.) They don't hate Columbus, they hate you. And they smell your fear.

I would think this would have been glaringly obvious even with the "test case" (Lee). That was just a little blood in the water to start the feeding frenzy. I don't think this "I'm not going to try to defend Washington here, but we can't apply 2017 standards..." is going to constitute much of a defense. "2017 standards" will be applied, with a vengeance, if a robust "Basta!" (and I don't mean just the word) is not forthcoming.

buwaya said...

We are all of us the children of Columbus.
He more than anyone got all the European empires going.
He was more significant to world history, and the state of the world today, than Julius Caesar or Genghis Khan.

To complain about him in terms of, even, genocide in the Caribbean seems ridiculously petty.

Greg Hlatky said...

Waiting for The Worthless Revolutionary to tell us knuckledraggers what we're allowed to think.

Bay Area Guy said...

District of Columbia -- Columbia? Derives from Columbus. 95% Democrat. Why are the Dems so hateful? They should tear down all DC signs.

Michael K said...

Angel-Dyne, well said.

One of the great books on navigation is SE Morrison's "Admiral of the Ocean Sea", a life of Columbus. Morrison sailed his own yacht to follow Columbus when he was writing it in the late 30s, back when we were allowed to love America.

Sydney said...

Re: The Sopranos. They covered it.

Carter Wood said...

The only outdoor statue of a Confederate general in the District of Columbia is of Albert Pike, dedicated to his post-war Freemasonery activities. I missed the protests last month.

FWIW, the statue stands at Judiciary Square, the most depressing Metro stop in the district.

CJinPA said...

I, for one, welcome the backlash against Columbus.

Because it let's us address The Question lurking beneath the surface: Should America exist?

To over-simplify: Most Americans acknowledge that people lived here before Europeans arrived, and they were conquered. It was their land. That is history.

The Left believes the U.S. is an illegitimate nation. It will begin to gain legitimacy only when European-Americans are a minority.

They do not protest anything Columbus et al did specifically, but that they arrived at all.

I'd like to have an open debate about it.

Balfegor said...

In time, I suppose, they will knock the head off and replace it with the Great Eye:

The brief glow fell upon a huge sitting figure, still and solemn as the great stone kings of Argonath. The years had gnawed it, and violent hands had maimed it. Its head was gone, and in its place was set in mockery a round rough-hewn stone, rudely painted by savage hands in the likeness of a grinning face with one large red eye in the midst of its forehead. Upon its knees and mighty chair, and all about the pedestal, were idle scrawls mixed with the foul symbols that the maggot-folk of Mordor used.

The graffiti will come first, though, like as not.

The Godfather said...

The advocates of statehood for the District of Columbia proposed to call it the State of New Columbia. They'll probably have to rethink that now.

Bob Loblaw said...


"#somethingscoming
....in 5.56


You think this was done by varmints? Squirrels or other small game?

:)

Michael said...

Angel-Dyne . "They don't hate Columbus, they hate you. And they smell your fear."

Great!

Unknown said...

Why don't we judge the protestors against the standards of 2100?

John Nowak said...

Nuts. I'm not a big fan of the man; he was wrong about almost everything and the only reason he didn't die with his crew is that he blundered into an undiscovered continent.

But no, he deserves his statues and his day because he was important.

n.n said...

The solution, the final solution: abort Columbus statues; his Posterity, living and departed; and anyone with a drop of his diversity class (i.e. white). Better yet, cannibalize/recycle/Plan his, their, and everyone's remains in a rainbow burst that will bring forth a broad spectrum diversity parade, albeit one that excludes black and brown diversity.

Michael said...

CJinPA
I'll bite. Columbus set loose the raging expansionist Europeans on idle indigenous peoples (like that plural? You think I'm not woke?) and claimed land dotted with crappy "burial mounds",and a peoples possessed of illiteracy, primitive weaponry and an unwillingness to fight for what they had with what they had. Thus clearing the primeval of the red man and the wolf they set about creating a civilization the heirs of which we are even as some of us rethink that past without considering where and if we would be without Columbus. Ditto the Arawak if you want to make too fine a point on landfall matters. Oh, and it was "their land" is a matter of debate since they, the indigenous peoples, rooted about a good bit themselves taking this bit and that as they wandered having no architecture of note to keep them from the elements not to mention the Europeans. Plus no history of title claims or history period.

William said...

This isn't like toppling the statue of Lenin after the fall of Communism. This is more like Lenin destroying the churches and digging up the bodies of saints to prove that such bodies were not preserved from corruption by God........Pre-literate societies were just as nasty as any other society. In order to discourage illegal immigration to their lands, the Indians used to torture the children of settlers to death before the eyes of their parents. If Trump attempted to do that with just one DACA child, I can only imagine the protests.

Unknown said...

Manchester's A World Lit Only By Fire is a great book that addresses partly: What if no Columubus? No Mgellan? His thesis is that Europe was essentially clapped out and and a dead end otherwise.

Did those ships returning bode ill for the world's other cultures? To some extent, sure -- and the "Germs" part of "Guns, Germs & Steel" was particularly grim, but conquest was the state of nature on both sides of the Atlantic. One reason Cortez could succeed is that the Aztecs had made themselves so obnoxious to their neighboors.

mockturtle said...

What will happen to the Knights of Columbus? The Columbia River? Columbine. Oh, wait...

ALP said...

The combination of self-righteousness and the quest for purity is deeply disturbing and is a great foundation for ever more oppression.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu7sRdRrm_w

mockturtle said...

The combination of self-righteousness and the quest for purity is deeply disturbing and is a great foundation for ever more oppression.

ALP, that is why these Antifa groups are as much like Nazis as Hitler, himself.

EDH said...

Reminds me of the desecrated Virgin Mary in The Exorcist.

"I need an old priest and a young priest... Okay, sick as a dog, now ... gonna vom."

Mark O said...

Columbus killed Native Americans? Which hand did he use?

gnossos said...

Speaking of the "Great Eye"

buwaya said...

What I want to do -
Is have the modern version of this band sing this, in Berkeley.

Trio Los Panchos - Las Tres Carabelas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gewWwwFSbRE

Un navegante atrevido
Salió de Palos un día
Iba con tres carabelas
La Pinta, la Niña y la Santa María

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Why isn't it Queen Isabella Day????

After all, she paid for all those ships and stuff?????

I want a Queen Isabella statue!!!!!!!

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Truly ridiculous. Injuns, like Klansmen, are rarer than hen's teeth. Leave the statues alone.

LYNNDH said...

Well, their definition of Hate is certainly no my definition. But then I am sure we disagree on a good many things. Which means by definition (of theirs) I am a Racist. That stuff sure gets old.

CJinPA said...

Michael,

Thus clearing the primeval of the red man and the wolf they set about creating a civilization the heirs of which we are even as some of us rethink that past without considering where and if we would be without Columbus.

Trying to understand this. You're OK with Europeans settling here, I take it? I'm pretty thrilled about it myself.

Nonapod said...

I would think this would have been glaringly obvious even with the "test case" (Lee). That was just a little blood in the water to start the feeding frenzy. I don't think this "I'm not going to try to defend Washington here, but we can't apply 2017 standards..." is going to constitute much of a defense. "2017 standards" will be applied, with a vengeance, if a robust "Basta!" (and I don't mean just the word) is not forthcoming.

Which is why, assuming there are enough reasonable human beings around, it is important to undermine the entire pretext for these arguments. You say "I would think this would have been glaringly obvious", but if it was that obvious (that this whole thing has nothing to do with a single historical figure with some controversial things in their background, but is in actuality this just the latest salvo in an ongoing war against the entire value system of western civilization) it would not even be a story. It would have been just about some idiotic vandalism.

I guess I'm saying I agree with everything you've said, except that it's obvious. I don't believe it's completely obvious to a lot of centrists these days. I believe that they need to have these things spelled out for them a little more clearly.

AJ Lynch said...

We let a bunch of 3rd Worlders in and they hate the America they found here because they aren't millionaires overnight so they blame the majority white culture and now they want to turn America into the shitholes they came from.

n.n said...

They should hang burning tires around the necks of statues, whites, blacks, browns, Christians, babies, and other deplorables as was done to remedy the political separation that preceded the rise of left-wing anti-nativism, waging social justice, and opening of global elective abortion fields, which has been a progressive condition throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

buwaya said...

"Why isn't it Queen Isabella Day????
After all, she paid for all those ships and stuff?????
I want a Queen Isabella statue!!!!!!!"

So do I.

She was quite an important person in world history even besides this.
She is, however, quite inconvenient in the modern world.
She was "la Catolica" - the Catholic, for a reason, so was never in good odor in the traditionally anti-Catholic Anglosphere. She was implicated in "la leyenda negra" of centuries of anti-Spanish propaganda - after all, she created Spain, the country, as we know it. And in the prejudices of more modern times, there is the matter of the Jews.

There are a good number of statues of Queen Isabella, but almost all are in Spain.

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Isabel_la_Cat%C3%B3lica_01b.jpg
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabel_I_de_Castilla#/media/File:Isabella_of_Castile_by_Manuel_Oms_Canet_Madrid.jpg

And in Franco's time, there was a big deal made of Spanish heritage, so she showed up often stamps and on the currency -

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabel_I_de_Castilla#/media/File:1000_pesetas_of_Spain_1957.jpg

Roughcoat said...

I'm pro-Columbus, pro-European settlement of the Americas, etc.; but in the interests of historical accuracy I feel obliged to point out that Mexico and Mesoamerica as well as the western littoral of South America (namely, Peru) were home to high civilizations. You may not like those civilizations or their cultures and societies (I'm not fond of them) but that's really quite beside the point I'm making here. The empires spawned by these civilizations did create monumental and elaborate architecture and they did hold what was, by their lights and standards, legitimate title to their lands by dint of their historical connection to the same. The conquest of the Aztec realm by Hernán Cortés and his merry little band of gold-hungry Castilians and Extremadurans, aided by as many as half-a-million indigenous allies, was one of history's more egregious instances of naked unprovoked aggression. It was, admittedly, an astonishing achievement by an astounding man, but still. Tenochlitlan and its sister city of Taltelolco collectively constituted the world's most populous urban area, home to c. 1 million souls, and these were the world's cleanest, best organized, and arguably most beautiful cities as well. You may not have liked the Aztec/Mexica, and many of their immediate neighbors in the valley of Mexico hated them, but that does not change the fact that they liked themselves well enough as a society and civilization to fight valiantly and ferociously against the invaders who ultimately destroyed them. The conquest of Mexico in 1521 by Cortés was and remains as morally indefensible as the conquest of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire by the Turks -- two events, separated by a mere 68 years, that share many thematic similarities and parallelisms. The Turks tried again at Vienna in 1529, and it is a curious historical fact that many of that city's defenders were Spaniards who had fought at Tenochtitlan (who later asserted that the Azetcs were the more formdiable foes). I'd like to see Constantinople returned to Christendom and the Hagia Sophia reopened for Christian worship, but it's safe to say that will not happen anytime soon. Nor will the valley of Mexico be returned to indigenous peoples of pure blood.

Roughcoat said...

She was "la Catolica" - the Catholic, for a reason, so was never in good odor in the traditionally anti-Catholic Anglosphere.

Mainly she was in bad oder because she almost never bathed. She once bragged that she had not taken a single bath in the coure of an entire year. She dressed nice, to be sure, and no doubt looked stunning in her imperial regalia, but I'm betting she was a stinky lady with a stanky snatch. Pee-yoo.

Nonapod said...

To be fair, most people probably didn't smell so great back in olden times.

buwaya said...

There are an awful lot of cases of naked unprovoked aggression that created the world we know.

Caesar's conquest of Gaul was entirely egregious and incredibly bloody.
And that created Western Europe as we know it.
Well, that and the earlier Roman conquest of Spain, by Scipio et al.
One has to wonder what a Germano-Celtic west would be like, sans Romans.

Then there is Alexander. He had a legit, more or less, beef re coastal Asia Minor, but the rest of the Middle East and Central Asia was, well, a bit of a stretch.

And so on.

buwaya said...

"Mainly she was in bad odor because she almost never bathed."

She was however apparently very pretty when young.

And then there is this - Bonaparte to Josephine - ""Je reviens en trois jours, ne te laves pas" - I'll be back in three days, don't wash".

We shall have to leave the call to Laslo.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Bonaparte was probably coming home from a few months with the soldiers, horses, latrines, tips, and week-old dead bodies. He needed a pretty strong (woman) aroma just to register at all on his sense of smell.

Michael K said...

he was wrong about almost everything and the only reason he didn't die with his crew is that he blundered into an undiscovered continent.

By the time of Columbus, longitude was off by thousands of miles because time keeping was not available.

Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth but that was lost in the Middle Ages. In Columbus' time, there was no way to measure time except sunrise and sunset. Sailors used "Latitude Sailing" to navigate and it is still used at times. He was sailing the known Latitude of China. That is why his landfall was in the West Indies.

Since the knowledge of Longitude was so far in error, he at first thought he hand landed in China.

He was right about almost everything but Longitude and the British Navy set up the Longitude Board in 1714 to try to solve that problem.

Columbus was long dead before that problem was solved.

Michael K said...

"The conquest of Mexico in 1521 by Cortés was and remains as morally indefensible"

The conquest would never have happened without the Old World diseases brought by the Spanish. They did not do it on purpose because no one knew the cause of disease at the time.

The New World indigenous peoples had been isolated for 10,000 years while diseases mutated and arrived from Asia to Europe.

White men did not successfully colonize Africa until modern times because the diseases of Africa were as lethal to them as their European diseases were lethal to the Aztecs and Mayans.

Cortez had a few 100 men against millions. Even modern weapons would have failed without the diseases.

exiledonmainstreet said...

AJ Lynch said...
We let a bunch of 3rd Worlders in and they hate the America they found here because they aren't millionaires overnight so they blame the majority white culture and now they want to turn America into the shitholes they came from."

Most of this crap isn't coming from Third Worlders, but from college paleskins who have been brainwashed to hate their own history and civilization.

Western civilization does seem to have a fatal flaw - extremism. In 100 years, we have moved away from believing in white racial superiority (which formed the rationale for colonialism, slavery and Jim Crow) to anti-white racism and self-loathing. After WWII discredited the idea of a Master Race and Gandhi challenged the British Empire, the pendulum was due to swing back, but unfortunately it didn't stop at the notion of color-blindness, it swung over to a hatred of Western Civilization. Susan Sontag was pilloried when she wrote in the '60's that whites are the cancer of the human race Now it's the mainstream leftist view.

In the same way, the sexual revolution didn't move from repression to a healthy and open attitude toward sex, but to obsession, especially an obsession with ever smaller sexual minorities. And now it's moving back to repression again, but repression without Judeo-Christian underpinnings.

Sam L. said...

The painter has hate.

William said...

The plus side of living in a preliterate society is that you don't leave a paper trail. There are all those mounds of skulls, but who are we to criticize ancient burial practices.........,It was my understanding that various sauces were invented to hide the taste of rotten meat and perfumes were invented to mask body odors. There's a theory that chamber music was developed to hide the sound of flatulence among the post dinner guests in the salon.

Quaestor said...

And in the prejudices of more modern times, there is the matter of the Jews.

In post-modern times the fate of Spains Jews is immaterial. Antifa is fundamentally anti-Semitic. Isabella is intolerable because of the fate of the Moors.

wendybar said...

They are planning for big riots on November 4th. http://bannedinformation.com/christian-grammy-nominee-natalie-grant-walks-grammys-2/ This is going to get ugly.

John Nowak said...

Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth but that was lost in the Middle Ages.

My understanding is that this is incorrect. The people who opposed his attempt estimated the circumstances of the Earth correctly (at 40,000km), while Columbus used a value closer to 25,000km, an error stemming from both overestimating the number of degrees covered by Eurasia and by his own confusion between two different definitions of miles.

And obviously kilometers weren't in use at the time, but they're less ambiguous.

And yes, it's true that fixing longitude was impossible at the time. Still, his mistake was made before he left Spain.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Mainly she was in bad oder because she almost never bathed."

Well, she was hardly alone when it came to that. Caroline of Brunswick once said that she changed her underwear once a year, whether she needed to or not. It's a wonder that underwear didn't crawl away by itself once it hit the floor.

When people talk about which historical figures they would invite to a dinner party if they could, it is well to remember that you would have to ask the ones born prior to the mid-20th century to please bathe before showing up. Otherwise, the brilliance of Shakespeare and Donne and Jefferson and Michelangelo would be lost on you - because you would be gagging from the stench in the room.

Angel-Dyne said...

Roughcoat: The empires spawned by these civilizations did create monumental and elaborate architecture and they did hold what was, by their lights and standards, legitimate title to their lands by dint of their historical connection to the same. The conquest of the Aztec realm by Hernán Cortés and his merry little band of gold-hungry Castilians and Extremadurans, aided by as many as half-a-million indigenous allies, was one of history's more egregious instances of naked unprovoked aggression.

All true, but these empires were as much empires of conquest, and every bit the product of "naked aggression", as anything the conquistadors got up to in creating New Spain. It's turtles all the way down, Rough. What conquest is ever "morally defensible"? Much as I might approve of launching a crusade to take back Constantinople, I can't say I ever thought the Turk's conquest thereof was "morally indefensible". Not sure I even know what that's supposed to mean in that context.

"Legitimate title", like "indigenous rights", is also to some degree anachronistic phrasing. Sure, this king and that noblemen have always come up with all sorts of legalistic and genealogical backstory about the righteousness of their claims on somebody else's territory, but otherwise it's remarkable, well up to the 20th century, how unapologetic about plunder and conquest humans have been. Sure, even the Romans bullshitted about "self-defense" as they were bringing the world under their thumb, but for the most part they didn't stint on the in-your-face "we wanted it, we took it, we are therefore glorious and greater than the losers we took it from, woo hoo!" trash-talk, and neither did anybody else. We forget how much even modern peoples were proud to own up to what conquering bad-asses they were, even if they were talking the mission civilisatrice jive out of the other side of their mouths.

(Agree about the astoundingness of Cortés, though. I defy the most pacifistic of people to read the history of the conquest of Mexico and not whistle out, with at least some degree of astonished, if grudging, admiration, "Jaysus, the cojones on that guy!")

Angel-Dyne said...

Nonapod: I guess I'm saying I agree with everything you've said, except that it's obvious. I don't believe it's completely obvious to a lot of centrists these days. I believe that they need to have these things spelled out for them a little more clearly.

I meant "glaringly obvious" with heavy sarcasm, so I think we're pretty much in complete agreement about this.

JaimeRoberto said...

Maybe we should just take down these statues of men and place them in ladies' rooms around the country.

buwaya said...

"Cortez had a few 100 men against millions. Even modern weapons would have failed without the diseases."

The diseases did not matter until the very end.
When Cortez showed up he faced incredible odds in battle.
He and his men survived because Cortez turned out to be a mighty warrior and a genius-level negotiator.

The test-case, if ever there was one, was the battle of Otumba, July 7, 1520, when the might of the Aztec Empire fell on the expedition and its few remaining allies in the open field, outnumbered by, well, hundreds to one at least. And the Spanish had almost no modern advantages over their enemies but their steel swords, as they had no cannon, no ammunition for the very few arquebuses they still had, and they had long since abandoned their metal armor for Aztec style padded cotton. Swords in hand, they still, amazingly, managed to survive that day, be reinforced, acquire more allies, and come back.

Mexico was won by Spanish swords, hand to hand, and the wisdom of Cortez. And a long series of miracles, because it is still very hard to explain otherwise.

The Spanish army that finally took Tenochtitlan was 99% Mexican - less than a thousand Spaniards out of a force of 100,000.

n.n said...

We should treat all historical figures (and their statues), their Posterity, and their diversity class others, in accordance with their engagement in color diversity (i.e. skin-color based judgment), elective abortions, Planned Parenthood/cannibalism, involuntary exploitation, redistributive change, and social justice adventures (i.e. elective wars to claim natural and human resources a la Libya, Serbia, South Africa), or continue to indulge in political myths advanced by political congruence (PC) and its stakeholders.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Aggression and conquest has been a part of the story of humankind all over the globe since time immemorial. The difference between the Europeans and everyone else? Not some sort of moral flaw that made them uniquely predatory, but technology. Also, having more coastline and waterways packed into a much more compact area than South and North America and Africa certainly helped. It made for easier trade, which made for more cities. And more cities made for more inventions.

If you could time travel back to pre-Columbian Mexico with a bunch of AK-47s and ammo and teach the Aztecs how to shoot, they would have mowed down their neighbors with glee.

Michael said...

Roughcoat
Generally agree. I have been lucky enough to visit over a dozen architectural sites in Quintana Roo, many not yet excavated, and they are all, every one, awe inspiring. I do not agree with Neil Young that we could not build the same today. Came dancing across the water

exhelodrvr1 said...

Plenty of warfare and conquering and slavery between the various tribes/groups/empires of indigenous Americans, without the involvement of whites. That is the natural state of humans - we're just getting pilloried now because we were more successful at it than anyone else.

n.n said...

The Spanish army that finally took Tenochtitlan was 99% Mexican

The "Indians" were not a monolithic group, and minority factions sought allies, if not of like-mind, then of convenience, to resist, to survive, in the presence of progressive competitors.

buwaya said...

"Isabella is intolerable because of the fate of the Moors."

Interestingly, the Moors were permitted to stay on for over a century after the Jews were expelled. A lot of the peasantry in Andalusia, Granada and Valencia was Muslim. Peasants were valuable, thats who created the revenues for the people with the land grants.

Todd said...

MadisonMan said...

Now, if this were a statue honoring Measles, or Smallpox, or any of the myriad viruses that found easy prey in previously unexposed Native Americans, I could understand.

9/12/17, 11:21 AM


Or Stalin, or Mao, or Hitler, or Charles Manson, or Robert Byrd, or Al Sharpton, or Ted Kennedy, I could understand...

Quaestor said...

Cortez had a few 100 men against millions. Even modern weapons would have failed without the diseases.

Millions? I'd like to see the research behind that number. Besides, if there were millions of Indians involved many if not most of them were as hostile to the Aztec confederacy as the Spaniards.

rcocean said...

Cortez won because the Aztecs were oppressing (including using them for human sacrifices) the neighboring tribes. They allied with him and helped Cortez overthrow Montezuma.

Somewhat like a Chinese army showing up and enlisting the Gauls, Huns, etc. to overthrow Rome in 50 AD.

Daniel Jackson said...

As long as we are getting rid of that poser Columbus, how about the biggest poser of them all, Pythagoras. It's pretty clear he stole his ideas on right triangles from the Babylonians: http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/scientist-discover-the-purpose-of-a-mysterious-3700-year-old-babylonian-tablet

Hey! Stolen Goods! Stop teaching that Geometry stuff in schools NOW!

Tear down all monuments to Right Triangles!

Copyright violations galore!

Collect and Pulp all books with the stolen theories, theorems, postulates, and axioms that are built upon the Stolen Triangles of Babylonia.

Balfegor said...

Re: buwaya:

Mexico was won by Spanish swords, hand to hand, and the wisdom of Cortez. And a long series of miracles, because it is still very hard to explain otherwise.

Cortez's particular success may have been miraculous, but the fact that he was so easily able to win allies from the people who had been subjugated by the Aztecs suggests that the Spaniards won not just because they were clever (and had cavalry), but because the Aztecs were so unbelievably awful that people fairly leapt at the chance to overthrow them.

It's a similar story in India and, in fact, in pretty much every colonial situation where there wasn't total population replacement. It's hard to conquer territory if you don't have local allies.

rcocean said...

Its doubtful there were "Millions" of Aztecs in 1500. They had no pesticides, fertilizer, irrigation, or farm animals and were living off beans and corn.

BTW, in case you didn't know it, for the last 40 years left-wing professors have been playing political games with how many "Indians" were in North America prior to Columbus. Their game is to inflate the numbers as much as possible, so as to make the charge of "Genocide" stick.

They're real creeps.

buwaya said...

There are comparable cases to Cortez and Pizarro (who was outnumbered even worse in Peru). The Portuguese, such as Afonso de Albuquerque, faced similar odds regularly.

A later example was Robert Clive in India, and most of his successors, who faced similar odds in India against technologically comparable enemies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Plassey

The British conquest of India was, for the most part, a succession of the same sort of thing under a succession of brilliant leaders like Clive, Eyre Coote (a forgotten man) and many others, in a long series of absurdly unequal campaigns and battles, the details of which are no longer in popular memory. This is not a commonly told story these days, also being inconvenient.

Quaestor said...

A lot of the peasantry in Andalusia, Granada and Valencia was Muslim.

These were the Moriscos, were they not, nominally Christians of Moorish heritage? The Treaty of Valencia was declared void in 1499, which proceeded increasingly harsh measures aimed at clandestine Islamic belief and practice until the expulsions began in 1609.

rcocean said...

The Conquistadors did the same thing in Peru with the Incas. The French were able to "Conquer" much of Quebec and Eastern Canada with very few Soldiers.

Birkel said...

Personally, I'm going to wait around until Freeman Hunt tells me the slippery slope isn't so bad.

rcocean said...

People forget that a small American Army under Winfield Scott marched from Veracruz to Mexico city and won the Mexican war. Contrary to what you might think the US Army was outnumbered and didn't have any better weapons then the Mexican Army. The difference was in leadership and discipline.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

We must mine for victims with time travel. Apply today's standards to a history we cannot change. All while Kim Jung Un tortures his people and builds nukes.

buwaya said...

"because the Aztecs were so unbelievably awful that people fairly leapt at the chance to overthrow them."

Not according to all the accounts of the campaign. Cortez crossed to the plateau of Mexico with no significant allies. Many were reluctant. Cortez had first to beat the Tlascalans in the open field and use his scheming, negotiating skill set to change out the Tlascalan leadership to one that favored his ambitions. And this applied even more so to the various other tribes and nations.

Cortez had skills, and his men understood that very well, that he was an indispensable man. The bitched at his leadership often enough, but knew that without him they were dead.

buwaya said...

"These were the Moriscos, were they not, nominally Christians of Moorish heritage?"

No, they were permitted Muslim worship, under various restrictions. There were groups of Muslim peasants everywhere in southern Spain.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I'll assume the cop is white left variety because it's in Berkley.

check out the cop stealing money from an unlicensed hotdog vendor. yay big government - stealing from the little guy. bonus - the hotdog guy is probably Hispanic. yay white left!

Cop Cleans Out Wallet Of Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendor Just Because He Can

HoodlumDoodlum said...

exhelodrvr1 said...Plenty of warfare and conquering and slavery between the various tribes/groups/empires of indigenous Americans, without the involvement of whites. That is the natural state of humans - we're just getting pilloried now because we were more successful at it than anyone else.

I'll go one further: We're getting pilloried now because we (Western Civilization) "won" and ended those terrible practices and created enough wealth (and enough well-being) that people can now conceptualize a world without them.

Slavery in some form or another is just about universal--it existed in just about every historical society and culture of which we have knowledge. Slavery as a common institution/fact of life ended for most of the globe only with the rise of Western Civ. powers.
The same is true of any other number of evils--the casual use of what we today label war crimes and/or genocide (as a standard warfare tactic) is just one easy example.

The only reason those kinds of things (including near-constant violent war/fighting between clans, tribes, etc) seem odd or out of place now is because Western Civ's terrible-awful-no good-ugly cultural hegemony drove them out.

Fabi said...

How about a "This Is How You Get More Trump" tag?

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia figured out that the tablet contains the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table.

A brief table of valid dimensions for right triangles is not evidence that the Babylonians understood trigonometry or had a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. Anyone with a good ruler could assemble such a table and not know the first thing as to why a⌃2 + b⌃2 = c⌃2.

I'm left to conclude that BigThink.com is a subdomain of SmallBrains.org.

mockturtle said...

William opines: The plus side of living in a preliterate society is that you don't leave a paper trail.

And the minus side of living in a post-literate society is that no one knows history.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...
I'll assume the cop is white left variety because it's in Berkley."


Actually, he is referred to in the story as "Officer Aranas" and he looks Hispanic from what I can see of his face in the photo.

Think of it as wealth redistribution from one amigo to another.

buwaya said...

If you want an idea of the nitty-gritty of the conquest, Bernal Diaz was in the ranks and gave us an extremely detailed, if rather personal view of what went down and how.

In battle against the Tlascalans -

"It was the following morning, on the 5th of September, 1519, that we
equipped ourselves for battle. Our horse were first arranged in order,
then the foot soldiers, and even our wounded were forced to go along
with us, if only to swell out our numbers, and do what lay in their
power. The crossbow-men received orders that some were merely to load,
while others fired, and this always in platoons. The musketeers received
similar orders, and the remaining portion of our men, who were armed
with swords and shields, were principally to strike at the enemy in the
region of the belly, in order to stop them from venturing so near to us
as they had the time before. Every one was also particularly cautioned
not to leave the ranks. It was also the particular duty of our cavalry
not to leave each other in the lurch, always to attack in full gallop,
and only aim at the face and eyes. The ensign Corral received a guard of
four men, and in this way we sallied forth from our camp, with our
standard flying."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Roughcoat said...The conquest of Mexico in 1521 by Cortés was and remains as morally indefensible...

Name a morally defensible civilizational conquest! The conquest of Mexico is just as morally indefensible as every other conquest in the history of human civilization.

Did some people "have it coming?" Maybe you want to say that some tribes tried to attack their neighbors and those neighbors then fought back and conquered, so that's an ok conquest...but how did any of those people get to where they were in the first place?

Modern examples of "good wars" (US Civil War, WWII) don't really map to historic conquests: our modern wars are almost always fought between members of a given civilization.

Balfegor said...

Re: buwaya:

It's been some years since I read Bernal Diaz del Castillo, but I recall there being a lot of mixed signals on both sides initially. First they're friendly, then then they fight, then they're friendly again, then they go to Tenochtitlan, and they're there as guests of the Emperor, and then they . . . take him prisoner? I can't remember the full sequence. And then the Emperor is killed with rocks and the Spaniards have to fight their way out out of the city, and a faction of their local allies turns against them and there's a big battle where they crush the Aztec army with their cavalry . . .

I came away from the whole narrative with the strong impression that it would have been impossible for the Spaniards to conquer and administer the Aztec empire without the close and enthusiastic involvement of local allies. That was very different from the story I had been taught in school (which was heavier on the theme of innocent Indians oppressed by brutal Spaniards, except for the California Missions which were great). The allies weren't in it for the Spanish, of course -- the moment the Spaniards looked weak, they deserted -- but for themselves. They certainly didn't seem to have any loyalty to the Aztecs.

Jim at said...

It never ceases to amuse me the people who hate Trump the most are pulling stunts like this and thus doing everything in their power to get more Trump.

Keep it up, idiots.
Your lunacy is appreciated.

Quaestor said...

It's hard to conquer territory if you don't have local allies.

A principle understood by the Indians as well. The Wampanoags were friendly to the Pilgrim settlers of the Plymouth Colony because they were looking for allies against the Mi'kmaqs. Having met the French years before they knew Europeans packed guns.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Which hand did they paint?

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand

Bob Ellison said...

Foop. The plundering of Munderland puts all this to shame. The Swedes invaded Munderland in 1974 and took all the Munders had. Not a salmon remained.

Richard said...

“Now, if this were a statue honoring Measles, or Smallpox, or any of the myriad viruses that found easy prey in previously unexposed Native Americans, I could understand.”

We may have given then measles and smallpox, but they gave us Syphilis and tobacco. I think their body count is higher.

sodal ye said...

Blogger rcocean said...
The Left hates Western civilization and the USA 1.O. "Hey, hey, ho, ho, western civilization's got to go".
Of course, there's no one on the other side pushing back, so who knows where this will end.
...
Exactly. We are loosing. We'll look back in shame.

buwaya said...

"I came away from the whole narrative with the strong impression that it would have been impossible for the Spaniards to conquer and administer the Aztec empire without the close and enthusiastic involvement of local allies. "

Certainly! My objection was to the idea that these allies just fell in with the Spanish automatically or naturally. This was not true. They had to be persuaded (sometimes violently), they had to be kept in line and appeased, their internal politics had to be seen to, above all they had to be charmed by Cortez.

There were, for instance, no less than three battles against the Tlascalans before Cortez managed to make peace with them. The whole business was complex, incredibly full of incident and detail. Bernal Diaz' account especially is extremely rich in this.

The state of the expedition before the Tlascalans finally came around -

"It was only the following morning we were able to discover our true
condition. There was not one among us who had not, up to this moment,
received one, two, or three wounds, and all were more or less weakened
by fatigues and hardships. Xicotencatl continued to hover around us, and
we had already lost fifty-five of our men, some of whom were killed on
the field of battle, others had died of disease and from excessive cold."

The account of the negotiations with the Tlascalans is very long, full of incident and inter-Tlascalan politics.

Bob Ellison said...

It's "Hey, hey, ho, ho, [this] western civ has got to go."

The rhythm matters, and the chant, back when it was popular, was about curriculum, not civilization.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya, do you by any chance have perfect recall? Just curious. You seem to have en encyclopedic and detaied knowledge of just about every historical era.

Birkel said...

hey, hey, ho, ho
[Insert thing about which we are chanting here]
has got to go

If the chant were performed by 5 year-old children it would read:

hey, hey, ho, ho
broccoli and peas
have got to go

mockturtle said...

The rhythm matters, and the chant, back when it was popular, was about curriculum, not civilization.

Yes, Bob. I remember the chant. Western Civ was probably my favorite class other than Microbiology. And that's when I was a leftist/activist. Other cultures should be studied, too, but not to supplant the history that led up to the greatness of Western culture. Flawed, yes, but the Renaissance, for instance, displays perhaps the highest achievements of man. Shall we destroy the cathedrals of Brunelleschi and replace them with mud huts?

buwaya said...

"You seem to have en encyclopedic and detailed knowledge of just about every historical era."

I have been a history-freak for over fifty years, so I have a head full of half remembered facts and better-remembered judgments.

But beyond that I cheat. When I need to verify something we all have the Internet, that has everything, its just a matter of knowing what to look for, to turn a vague impression into specifics. That is 3/4ths of the thing about the Internet, knowing what SHOULD be there, and how to find it. Its much harder if one doesn't know something is there to be found.

Bernal Diaz' book is an ancient favorite, my dad made me read it as a kid, and I have re-read it often. These days, like so much else, it is online and easy to quote.

MountainJohn said...

We must mine for victims with time travel. Apply today's standards to a history we cannot change. All while Kim Jung Un tortures his people and builds nukes.

Leftist history is akin to climate change modeling... It's the future that's certain, while the past keeps changing.

Howard said...

This post is trolling for white supremacy dog whistles.

Now I Know! said...

I pointed out that this was probably a "False Flag operation" near the top of this thread. Ann, why did you delete my comment?

Angel-Dyne said...

Bob Ellison: The rhythm matters, and the chant, back when it was popular, was about curriculum, not civilization.

You get rid of the former as a prerequisite to getting rid of the latter.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

This post is trolling for white supremacy dog whistles.

Color supremacy, maybe.

Actually, the responses are notable for recognizing the progressive diversity (e.g. color, race) that accompanied European progress into distant lands. The assembly and consensus of progressively diverse (e.g. color, national, native, ethnic) factions was often the key stone to their successful campaigns.

Unknown said...

Hmm, the Diaz is https://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/d#a35868 on Project Gutenberg. Looks like an 1844 English translation.

Bob Ellison said...

There was a wannabe hippie guy I remember in Cambridge, MA, back in the 1980s, shouting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, this racist stuff has got to go!"

It was intended as a protest against Reagan's policies toward South Africa. Reagan's policies turned out to be successful. There was no racism involved. Pure slander.

At the time, I was studying the growth of the Soviet Union. "Peace, Land, and Bread!" What a great time. Absolute evil.

mockturtle said...

Leftist history is akin to climate change modeling... It's the future that's certain, while the past keeps changing.

Very well stated, Mountain John.

buwaya said...

"Hmm, the Diaz is https://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/d#a35868 on Project Gutenberg. Looks like an 1844 English translation."

Yes, its quite decent, if a thing of its time.

A Spanish version, I think an unedited one -

http://www.antorcha.net/biblioteca_virtual/historia/bernal/indice.html

"Y de que vimos cosas tan admirables no sabíamos qué decir, o si era verdad lo que por delante parecía, que por una parte en tierra había grandes ciudades, y en la laguna otras muchas, y veíamoslo todo lleno de canoas, y en la calzada muchas puentes de trecho a trecho, y por delante estaba la gran ciudad de México;"

"When we gazed upon all this splendour at once, we scarcely knew what to
think, and we doubted whether all that we beheld was real. A series of
large towns stretched themselves along the banks of the lake, out of
which still larger ones rose magnificently above the waters. Innumerable
crowds of canoes were plying everywhere around us; at regular distances
we continually passed over new bridges, and before us lay the great city
of Mexico in all its splendour."

The English version of 1844 is a bit - romanticised.
Bernal Diaz was somewhat more prosaic. An in his own way rather modern.

Alex said...

I have a problem with Christopher Columbus because he was even noted in his time for being a genocidal maniac re: what he did to the peoples in the Caribbean islands. That Italian Americans defend this monster is a huge stain on THEM.

Gahrie said...

I have a problem with Christopher Columbus because he was even noted in his time for being a genocidal maniac re: what he did to the peoples in the Caribbean islands.

Yeah because there were no wars, or slavery, or murder, or human sacrifice before Columbus showed up. No tribe every attacked another tribe and forced it off the land, killed and enslaved the men and raped the women. Uh Uh..not until Whitey showed up.

Alex said...

1. He cut off the hands of roughly 10,000 Natives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Columbus mandated every indigenous Taino over the age of 14 provide him with a “hawk’s bell” of gold every three months. Those who failed to meet orders were “punished by having their hands cut off” and were “left to bleed to death,” Columbus’s son Fernando reported.

2. Columbus punished minor offenses by cutting off Natives' noses and ears.

3. Columbus combatted resistance by releasing hunting dogs to rip Indians apart. People were “eaten (alive)” and “20 hunting dogs … were turned loose and immediately tore the Indians apart,” wrote Spanish historian and Catholic priest Bartolome de las Casas, who witnessed much of the carnage.

4. Columbus and his crew hunted Natives for sport and used their bodies for dog food. If their dogs grew hungry, “Arawak babies were killed for dog food,” Bartolome de las Casas reported.

5. Columbus spearheaded the transatlantic slave trade. When he essentially massacred a whole race in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, he began enlisting Natives from other islands. He would also ship these people to Europe as slaves. When so many of these people died on the journey, the Spanish turned to Africa for slaves. Columbus' son carried out the first Africa-to-Caribbean slave trade in 1505.

6. Columbus encouraged his men to rape Native women as young as 9 or 10.

In one particular documented example, Columbus shipmate Miguel Cuneo took a teenage “Caribbean girl as a gift from Columbus” when they embarked back to Spain. She “resisted with all her strength” his attempts to have sex with her, so he “thrashed her mercilessly and raped her.”

7. Columbus ordered his men “to cut off the legs of children who ran from them (in order) to test the sharpness of their blades,” according to Bartolome de las Casas. The invaders also reportedly “roasted" children "on spits,” and “hack(ed) the … children into pieces.”

Alex said...

Gahrie - your defense of Columbus is sickening.

Michael K said...

"I have a problem with Christopher Columbus because he was even noted in his time for being a genocidal maniac"

Alex, have you been reading Zinn's history again ?

Michael K said...

Poor Alex. This is what we have to deal with on the left. They have no concept of reality or history.

Everything is "racist dog whistles" and "people's history," which means communist history.

Michael said...

Alex
And you stood by and let him do it. LOL

Daniel Jackson said...

"A brief table of valid dimensions for right triangles is not evidence that the Babylonians understood trigonometry or had a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. Anyone with a good ruler could assemble such a table and not know the first thing as to why a⌃2 + b⌃2 = c⌃2.

"I'm left to conclude that BigThink.com is a subdomain of SmallBrains.org."

Well, bully for you, M. Quaestor. A Free Thinker no less.

This is an old argument on many dimensions and certainly not because two guys down under decided to come up with THEIR VERSION of an equivalent of trisecting an angle with a compass and ruler.

A few modifications to your assessment. Trigonometry is at best a third century CE innovation and having a ruler to mark off a Builder's Square with a 3, 4, 5 measurement and know nothing about the reasons or source of this wonderful relationship (remarked by Vitruvius as the most wonderful gift of the Chaldeans to modern civilization) might hold for some, but it is a rather pejorative assessment of those who toil with their hands.

Sorry. Your off base. Plimpton 322 has been the source of intense debate since 1922 when it was acquired changing how the Babylonians were regarded. The tablet dates from 1800 BCE. If this is the result of some knuckleheads fucking about with a straight edge and a square, well, they are doing it about 1200 years before those Greek guys from the Ionian Colonies. Time order, anyone.

The guys in this iteration are pushing for proto trig; but, for years Babylonian mathematical tablets translated reveal a vast number of problems with quadratic equation solutions of the ax^2 + bx = c variety yielding positive value solutions.

Look. The point is that like the Columbus problem (did he or did he not "discover" America), much if not all of the Greek math was derived from Ionian scholastic centers, which in turn were derived from Babylonian sources. The Greeks did their share of obliterating thinkers and their works who were against the Aristotelian (Alexander's teacher) paradigm.

That's not the issue. This Columbus meme has been around since I was very young learning history from my old man while he studied for his PhD in maritime history at Harvard
under S.M. Morrison. His navigation was off, he used the 18 Meridian Theory as opposed to the 24 Meridian Theory, he sold his project on a smaller world circumference rather than the longer one, his ships sailed sideways. not enough food, etc. etc.

However, he did it. He made the crossing, three times, and then was pushed aside and thrown in prison while the money men went in search of gold. The quest of El Dorado has many iterations but the same solution: death and destruction.

This whole argument is wrong. Columbus was appropriated as a hero for his vision and knowledge; things that are not prized in today's campus or social life. Yet, he remains the eternal immigrant looking for a new way across uncharted waters and finding a new land with a promise of a new life. One worth fighting for.

In the pre WWII days, giving the Italian immigrants a HERO was a gift from one of their own, La Guardia (the inventor of airports worldwide).

buwaya said...

Original sources re Bartolome De Las Casas -

http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/portales/bartolome_de_las_casas/su_obra_catalogo/?autor=&paginaNavegacion=0&paginaUsuario=2&numresult=10&vista=reducida&q=&orden=obra

As for the misbehavior and, generally, poor management by C. Columbus and his son, this is generally acknowledged. Best overview in English I know of is Hugh Thomas (of course), "Rivers of Gold". For what its worth, much of the complaints of Las Casas concern various colonists at various times and places, not always or usually C. Columbus himself, and las Casas was not usually present in person, he was collecting hearsay.

He was making a case for colonial reform, a benevolent Indian policy, and especially for closer Royal/Church control. He intended to shock the Court. No doubt a great deal is true though.

Gahrie said...

Gahrie - your defense of Columbus is sickening.

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

Columbus was no more evil than anyone else of his time, and certainly less evil than the Aztecs, Maya and Inca. If the tables had been turned, and given the opportunity, the Indians would have done the same thing to us that we did to them. Name an empire or civilization that came into being without war and bloodshed.

Just what exactly is supposed to be so evil about Columbus? Slavery? The Indians practiced slavery. War? They had war. Death in the name of religion? They fucking practiced human sacrifice!

mockturtle said...

Some of the most vile, inhumane practices imaginable have been perpetrated by indigenous peoples. Yes, by Western 'civilized' folk, too but let's quit romanticizing like Rousseau, about the 'noble savage'. All men are capable of evil but all cultures are not equally contributory.

buwaya said...

C. Columbus had a big problem with the New World.

It was not a paying proposition.
It was one thing to discover large islands and continents - and Hispaniola/Cuba alone were indeed very large places by European standards; Cuba is larger than Portugal, 3.5X the size of Belgium, and incredibly fertile besides; between them just these two islands were, on the face of it, a very large and valuable addition to the realm.

But it was difficult to extract value from these primitive places. Always a colonialist conundrum.

As just plain land, there was the problem of requiring a peasantry, and the local Caribbean Indians were very few and made very poor peasants anyway. And then there was a lack of an economy, in which to sell crops, as there were, again, no local markets, and it was a long expensive trip to Europe even if you could get a salable crop of something. So it took thirty years or so, until actual peasants, a local market and a ready supply of treasure were found in Mexico, to make the whole thing pay.

Roughcoat said...

Name a morally defensible civilizational conquest!

Should have been clearer about this, particularly re Cortés. Even in his own time the conquest was controversial. Accordingly, Cortés was at pains to explain and justify his actions to his sovereign, Charles V, and undertook to do so, famously, in five letters (known as the "cartas de relación") addressed to the Holy Roman emperor. Charles seems to have been ambivalent about the whole enterprise -- and about Cortés himself. Other highly placed personages had stronger feelings, vehemently condemning Cortés for having committed what we would now term "crimes against humanity." Broadly speaking, Cortés and the conquest were viewed with distaste in many influential circles, and as a result he was never an especially popular figure among the high and mighty of the Holy Roman Empire.

I admit the incoherence of my assertion that the Turkish conquest of the Byzantine Empire was morally indefensible. Conquests are part of history and on the whole I have no brief either for or against them -- although I do take sides and play favorites as is my wont. For example, I love the Byzantines and I harbor a strong antipathy toward the Turks. This antipathy has grown in recent years as a result of my work with the military advisory group for the Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria. I am moved to genuine sorrow over the fact that the Hagia Sophia is not a place of Christian worship. "Next year in Byzantium," say I; would that it be so.

As a final note: the Valley of Mexico and the wider region were enormously populous. One may deduce this from the existence of the many great cities and urban areas that thrived in the valley. The rural population was large and productive, to the extent that it could support the cities and their teeming non-food-producing urban populations. Every day the well-maintained roads and causeways leading from the hinterlands into the cities saw endless ant-like streams of porters carrying food and a host of other items necessary for sustaining the very large urban populations.

The people of the Valley of Mexico had a real genius for logistics and organization, and their capabilities as logisticians and organizers were, in my opinion, the principle reason for Cortés's military success against the Aztecs. His allies were fully able to support a large field army through the course of a long and difficult battle, as they demonstrated during the final battle for Tenochtitlan.

And he did assemble a very large army indeed for this effort. Just before he launched the opening assault, he had his army pass before him in review. It is estimated, reliably, that as many 400,000 warriors marched past the platform on which Cortés stood. A combined total of up to a million combatants - Cortés's army vs. the city's entire population -- subsequently battled each other from street to street and house to house. I would venture to say, based on a long career researching and writing about military history, that this was this was largest concentration of combatants to fight in a single (and relatively small and confined) battlespace. Maybe there were more Stalingrad, I don't know.

I confess having real admiration for Cortés. An amazing man. Quite the lady's too, evidently. A man in full, as they say.

EMyrt said...

I've often felt that the Aztec and Spanish Empires richly deserved each other. But, genetically speaking, the indigenes won Mexico in the long run.

And after conquest and rapine brought them the gold they sought, the Spanish were so incompetent in administration and finance that they ruinously devalued their own currency and were ultimately defeated by the Dutch, who invented capitalism and actually made money fighting them off for 80 years.

Roughcoat said...

But it was difficult to extract value from these primitive places. Always a colonialist conundrum.

Yes. Paul Johnson, writing in "Modern Times," argues persuasively that colonialism was a net drain on the economies of the colonial powers, a money loser in the medium and long terms. Colonies were premised on the notion that they would create markets for the colonial powers. Instead, as it turned out, they inevitably required the powers to pour resources into the colonies in order to prop them up and maintain some semblance of viability. Usually this effort failed. In other words, according to Johnson -- and much to the consternation of Marxist and anti-Western idealogues -- colonialism utterly failed in its purpose to exploit the lands that were colonized. Quite the opposite: in a very real sense, the colonies ended up exploiting their masters!

Michael K said...

The Spanish actually extracted a lot of wealth from their colonies but Philip II squandered it on useless religious wars, like the Armada,

mockturtle said...

Quite the opposite: in a very real sense, the colonies ended up exploiting their masters!

Colonies provided convenient positions for surplus military brass. And, without the British Raj, India would never have had cricket! India benefited from the British more in the long run than the British from India. There are in fact many examples of the benefit colonialism afforded to the colonies. While many see the relationship as exploitative, there much evidence to the contrary.

buwaya said...

There were colonies and there were colonies.

The Philippines for instance was always a dead loss.
The Spanish held on to it first because of the promise of Asian trade, then because it annoyed the Dutch, then because it kept the Church happy (the national ideology, after all, was Catholicism, since Isabella's day). Various Spanish governments in the 18th-19th century tried to palm the place off on someone, usually the British, but were deterred by domestic politics.

The Americans figured out it was a bad business pretty quick, within a decade, but then took way too long (25 years) to leave.

Cuba, on the other hand, was by the 18th century a very valuable asset indeed, the greatest sugar island that ever was. Besides which it was becoming attached to the booming, enormous US economy of the gilded age. It was the greatest net contributor to Spanish government revenues in the late 19th century. Losing Cuba was a critical hit, not least in removing the last valuable piece of the empire that had held the diverse nations of Iberia together as Spain. There are other uses for empires.

steve uhr said...

When is the City of Madison going to change its name? JM owned slaves his entire life and did not free them in his will. Maybe call it "Havana North"

Roughcoat said...
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Roughcoat said...

Re the Philippines:

The Philippine archipelago, along with numerous other islands and island chains scattered across the Pacific, were useful to the colonial powers chiefly as coaling stations for their fleets. This was before the advent of diesel engines for powering warships. Once the colonial fleets went diesel, the logic for coaling stations (and the colonial possessions they spawned) disappeared. In the event, the whole thing was kind of a tautological exercise from the get-go. The fleets needed the coaling stations so the coaling stations could fuel the fleets so the fleets could protect the coaling stations.

A similar conundrum linked with oil confronted the Japanese in the interwar period. They needed the oil of the Dutch East Indies to fuel their fleet so that they could fight a war to secure . . . the oil of the Dutch East Indies (and to conquer China).

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

After Cortes and Pizarro had finished looting gold and silver, the Spanish Empire later achieved Admiral Columbus's first goal which was to reach the wealth flow from the East by controlling China and Japan trade.

The original flow of metal required that they defend their gold & silver flow. That meant the metals were collected on the western Pacific coast of Panama and then shipped overland to Panama City to load onto Treasure ships for a run to Spain using Admiral Colombus's route north past Havanna and St Augustine where they could catch the east flowing trade winds to Spain.

The Philipines were taken to be Spain's collection point for Chinese goods that were then, twice a year, on a treasure Galleon across the Pacific to Acapulco for reshipment across Mexico to Vera Cruze, and thence following the same route to Spain.

These Chinese goods were in high demand as art in Europe. That trade was finally killed by the increasing quality of cheap Chinese Counterfeits. There is nothing new under the sun.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Lord, hasn't everyone on this site realized by now that Alex has no fixed beliefs and does not write anything seriously? One day he'll champion the Right, the next day the Left. He rarely writes anything more than one liners and sometimes he will mock PC and at other times, like in the thread, he'll sound like a SJW. Why get angry and respond to him? He was obviously baiting commenters in this thread. He doesn't really believe anything he writes.

buwaya said...

Cortez and Pizarro (or their successors) left behind the real, lasting source of Spanish wealth, the gold and silver mines in Mexico and Peru. The big one was at Potosi.

There was immensely more taken from those mines than the small down-payment that was Cortez and Pizarros loot. That mined silver and gold is what stuffed the Spanish treasure fleets for over 200 years.

Spain never had a large share of the Asian trade, Manila galleons notwithstanding. The Portuguese and Dutch, and later the British, carried far more.

Kirk Parker said...

Roughcoat @ 7:19 PM:

Indeed, the best thing that ever happened to the Indian subcontinent was the arrival of the British.

Skipper said...

Where was all this statue outrage during the Obama years?