Obama promised “hope and change” but it turned out to be more an 8-year reign of error. Columbus brought the New World into being giving the Old World the sign and symbol of a new age of hope, glory and accomplishment. Of course, some would rather tout the myth of genocide. I say let them wallow in their misery.
Samuel Eliot Morrison’s Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A life of Christopher Columbus:,below is the first paragraph of the Prologue, page 3, and the middle paragraph on page 5:
At the end of 1492 most men in Western Europe felt exceedingly gloomy about the future. Christian civilization appeared to be shrinking in area and dividing into hostile units as its sphere contracted. For over a century there had been no important advance in natural science and registration in the universities dwindled as the instruction they offered became increasingly jejune and lifeless. Institutions were decaying, well-meaning people were growing cynical or desperate, and many intelligent men, for want of something better to do, were endeavoring to escape the present through studying the pagan past. . . .
Yet, even as the chroniclers of Nuremberg were correcting their proofs from Koberger’s press, a Spanish caravel named Nina scudded before a winter gale into Lisbon with news of a discovery that was to give old Europe another chance. In a few years we find the mental picture completely changed. Strong monarchs are stamping out privy conspiracy and rebellion; the Church, purged and chastened by the Protestant Reformation, puts her house in order; new ideas flare up throughout Italy, France, Germany and the northern nations; faith in God revives and the human spirit is renewed. The change is complete and startling: “A new envisagement of the world has begun, and men are no longer sighing after the imaginary golden age that lay in the distant past, but speculating as to the golden age that might possibly lie in the oncoming future.”
Christopher Columbus belonged to an age that was past, yet he became the sign and symbol of this new age of hope, glory and accomplishment. His medieval faith impelled him to a modern solution: Expansion.
I don’t know where today’s simplistic prejudice regarding the legacy of Columbus comes from, but it must be from the fetid swamp of political correctness, an era which cannot end soon enough. Morison’s book was written in 1942, before all the craziness about Columbus and the supposed suffering of the indigenous population upon contact with Europe.
I’m thankful that I was in elementary school long before the story of the discovery of the New World became a target of hatred, lies and perfidy. I learned the wonderful story of the discovery of America as a child. Today’s school children are being cheated out of a great saga that would make them wiser and happier than they are likely to be unless they discover the truth for themselves. The school system won’t tell them the truth, will instead give them a distorted version of a glorious period in world history. That’s a travesty. Someday these killjoys will reap what they have sown.