The Catholic Culture Podcast: 88 – On Columbus

Oct 10, 2020Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8zPXC9KscGs
The debate over Christopher Columbus’s legacy tends to go back
and forth from cartoonish demonization to glossing over the man’s
real faults. Robert Royal, in his book Columbus and the Crisis
of the West, does neither of those things, instead giving a
nuanced picture of Columbus’s motives, worldview, faults and
achievements.
The book goes beyond Columbus himself, however, examining the
overall significance of the encounters between cultures that
occurred in the Age of Exploration, how we do history, and how the
West idealizes and instrumentalizes native peoples for its own
purposes of self-hatred.
Columbus was neither a genocidal maniac nor a saint; while he
did not “discover” America, he did discover the world—as much for
Native Americans as for Europeans.
Contents
[2:42] Reason for a new edition
[7:11] The evolution of Columbus’s legacy before recent
decades
[13:16] Columbus’s motives: God, glory and gold, and their
misrepresentation
[16:25] A breakdown of Columbus’ unprecedented achievements
[20:56] Did Columbus discover America?
[25:38] Relations with the natives on Columbus’s first visit to
America
[33:26] Did Columbus intend to be a conqueror? His failures as a
governor
[41:25] Columbus did not establish the Atlantic slave trade;
slavery in every culture
[45:40] No institutional structure by which Columbus could fight
abuse of natives
[49:17] Spain’s role in the development of international law and
universal human rights
[53:38] How we celebrate complicated historical figures
Links
Columbus and the Crisis of the West
https://www.sophiainstitute.com/products/item/columbus-and-the-crisis-of-the-west
Free Columbus Day seminar with Robert Royal, Christopher Check
and Wilfred McClay
https://engage.thomasmorecollege.edu/rediscovering-columbus43042020
The Catholic Thing https://www.thecatholicthing.org/
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