Four Girls and a Guy

Welcome to our blog for our University College World Politics class!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

When addressing question number 10, all I could think of was the question posed early this semester of "What would happen if aliens landed on the White House lawn?". Although we never reached a decisive conclusion, I think we all agreed that how we would respond is a reflection of our culture. I am certainly not defending the horrid actions of possible genocide that occurred on the part of Columbus and his later counterparts, I am merely stating that we in the modern area must hold our tongues when we are tempted to critize the early explorers reactions to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. In Columbus' day their was no UN or International Court. There was no concept of war crimes or genocide. Columbus lived in a Machiavellian state in which there was no pity for the defeated. His world was the ultimate triumph of the realist IR theory. He was also a product of the reign of the so called "Catholic Monarchs", Isabella and Fernando of Spain (his funders), who ruled over an era of religious fervor in which those who were not Christians were looked at as less than worth of the world God had given them. Just imagine the reaction of Columbus when he met people who were not only non-Christians, but not even monotheistic. Combine these two aspects of Columbus' culture, realist IR theory and religious pride, with the fact that Columbus did not understand the people he met, and you get the Bush forgien policy, just kidding! Moving on, you get the cultural reasoning for why Columbus and other explorers of the Americas were so cruel to those they came into contact with. I am certainly not excusing their behavior, but I think it is important for us in our modern, liberal world to understand that Columbus, like all of us if aliens landed on the White House lawn, is simply a product of his culture.


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