Perspectives: Columbus Day 2020

Headline Roundup October 12th, 2020

Columbus Day, also recognized as Indigenous Peoples' Day in some parts of the United States, annually draws differing opinions on Christopher Columbus' legacy and his impact on Native American peoples and the overall development of the North American continent.

Some left-rated voices explored possible connections between Columbus' journey in 1492 and religious bigotry. Some right-rated voices focused specifically on celebrating Columbus' legacy, framing critiques of him as attempts to unjustly rewrite history.

Perspectives: Columbus Day 2020

From the Right
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ANALYSIS

Christopher Columbus, the most famous explorer in history, was once a celebrated hero. Now, many consider him a villain, a despoiler of paradise. So which version of Columbus is true? Michael Knowles answers this question and offers some much-needed historical perspective.

He ventured where no other man of his age dared to go. He saw things no other man of his age had ever seen. He discovered a New World.

For centuries, he was universally admired as a hero. Now he’s widely considered to be a despoiler of paradise, an...

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From the Center
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OPINION

Oct. 12 marks the federal holiday of Columbus Day — or, if you live in jurisdictions like the District of Columbia, Indigenous Peoples Day. The debate over honoring Christopher Columbus as a consequential historical figure, vs. decrying Columbus as a driving force behind the genocide of Native Americans and transatlantic slavery, returned to Philadelphia this year. The city’s Art Commission voted in August to remove the Columbus statue from Marconi Plaza following protests and conflict at the site, including weapon-carrying vigilantes who claimed to be protecting the statue in June....

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From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Tucked inside historian Alan Mikhail’s new biography of Sultan Selim, the ambitious early-16th-century ruler of the Ottoman Empire, is a riveting series of chapters about Christopher Columbus. Mikhail’s ambition in writing God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World was to restore the place of the Ottoman Empire in the global history of the early modern period. To that end, the Columbus chapters make the argument that at its inception, European exploration of the New World can be understood as an ideological extension of...

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