History

Myths Around Columbus Day

Oh boy I can already hear people shrieking that “IT’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY”. No. It’s Columbus Day.

But there are a lot of memes about early European Colonization of the New World that people still believe. For instance that Columbus wanted to sail across the world to prove that Earth is round. This is false because first off, there historical evidence shows that he was employed by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Ferdinand and Isabella) to try and find a route to Asia going west  instead around Africa and second off because everyone knew the earth was round back then.

Then there’s this meme about how Europeans genocided the natives in part with small pox blankets. Funny because germ theory wasn’t discovered until the late 1800’s. Even during the civil war in the 1860’s people died because of lack of knowledge on germ theory in military hospitals. So the idea that people a few hundred years beforehand would’ve been knowledgeable enough to know that 1) a virus can spread 2) small pox is a spreadable disease 3) what small pox was 4) that the Indians would be susceptible to a disease they were at this point all but mostly immune too. You just have to stretch it so far that it becomes ridiculous.

Happy Columbus Day.

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