The Instigator
ConservativePolitico
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Celebrate Columbus

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
InVinoVeritas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,440 times Debate No: 20200
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (6)

 

ConservativePolitico

Pro

Lately I have noticed that school districts across America have began to veer away from celebrating Columbus Day. I find this to be interesting and a little sad.

I will be arguing the position that Columbus Day should be still celebrated across America.

Con can either decide to lead with arguments or wait until Round Two. If Con starts now they will be exempt from Round Three's final argument.

I look forward to an interesting debate.

InVinoVeritas

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
ConservativePolitico

Pro

I thank my opponent for what is sure to be an interesting debate.

My points will not be based on the fact that "Columbus discovered America" for that is simply not true. Instead they will focus around traits that Columbus displayed and other significant discoveries he made.

Points

1) Discovery of Trade Winds

Columbus discovered and solidified the fact that the Atlantic Trade Winds blow in a circular fashion. [1] Using this knowledge he was able to sail both to and from the America's with relative ease and is one of the most important nautical discoveries to date.

The Atlantic Trade Winds curve around in a circle making it possible to sail to the Caribbean from the Canary Islands and also making it possible to sail from the Caribbean to a place where the westerly winds will blow you back to Europe making Transatlantic travel possible and easy for Europeans. [2] <--- picture of wind patterns.

2) Launched the Age of Discovery

Columbus's travels launched a period of history known as the Age of Discovery [1] which by chain reaction led to a series of events that changed the world. The Age of Discovery would ultimately lead to the rise of Spain, Portugal, Holland, France and Britain as global power's which led later to the foundation of the United States. No Columbus, no United States. That's something worth remembering.

i. Columbian Exchange

An introduction of food, disease, animals and culture that spread rapidly and would eventually affect everyone on Earth. It led to the introduction of tomatoes and corn to the world which boosted crop production and quality of life in many places. It also led to the introduction of horses to America as well as turkey to the Old World [3] The Columbian Exchange was not all good but the event was so massive and world changing that it deserves to be recognized.

ii. Spirit of Adventure

Columbus exhibited a spirit of adventure that Americans can closely relate to and admire. He was a daring man when he suggested a trip by sea to Asia via the Atlantic [4]. This spirit of adventure, discovery and trailblazing closely relates to similar American ideals seen in the Thirteen Colonies and the founding of the west.

Conclusion

Based on his discoveries of the Trade Winds, launching of the Age of Exploration and set of adventurous virtues Americans should still consider Columbus a revolutionary figure in the world of exploration. His actions directly led to the creation of the United States and is natural that we should celebrate his voyage and support the spirit of adventure he displayed to the whole world.

Thank you.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
InVinoVeritas

Con

I thank ConservativePolitico for starting such a fascinating debate.

It is worth noting that Pro conceded that Columbus did not discover America.


Now on to the arguments:

1) From the opponent's source: "[Trade winds were] a closely held fact discovered by or otherwise learned by Columbus." [1] Hence, based on his source, I put into question the claim that the opponent made about Columbus discovering trade winds. Until this is established, the opponent's claim has no validity. If further evidence is valid, then I will take time to refute.

2) Columbus' travels certainly did not launch the Age of Discovery. Earlier in the century, a number of explorers (such as Gomes, Eanes, and Cao) preceded Columbus. [2] [3] Nowhere in the opponent's source does it say that he launched the Age of Discovery.

i. The Columbian Exchange led to the introduction of myriad invasive species. Moreover, it led to the spread of deadly diseases that led to the deaths of many Native Americans, more than the number of deaths they faced in any war. [4] Despite some of the trade benefits that came out of it, the Columbian Exchange should not be celebrated, since it did led to a serious tragedy; moreover, such a celebration would be profoundly offensive to the U.S. Native American population, since it marks the deaths of their ancestors.

ii. Indeed, one can say that Columbus was adventurous. There are many people in history that had positive traits and whom the American public can relate to. Nonetheless, we do not celebrate Einstein Day (for his intelligence and innovative thinking) or Cosby Day (for his brilliant sense of humor) or Thomas Payne Day (for his inspirational philosophical thinking.) Is Columbus' adventurousness enough to justify making a holiday for him? Let's remember that there were plenty of explorers at that time who were most likely just as adverturous.

---
In conclusion...
The opponent has not yet made a valid argument for why we should celebrate Columbus Day.

Thank you.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://bruceruiz.net...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
ConservativePolitico

Pro

I thank my opponent for a concise and precise response.

1) I am sorry if my source was not clear enough, allow me to back this up.

"It was the Genoese seaman, explorer and adventurer Christopher Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), who discovered the trade winds. These winds carried his three modest-size sailing vessels all across the Atlantic at its widest, from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas, a distance of 5400 miles, in 36 days, in 1492. " [1]

As you can see from this source, which backs up my original claim, that Columbus did indeed discover the trade winds of the mid-Atlantic.

While this may not have been intentional I do not appreciate you avoiding to refute a point in the second round because now you have a chance to refute an original point without allowing an opportunity for a counter statement.

This discovery was an important and key discovery for the navigation of the Atlantic.

2) While there were explorers that came before Columbus, Columbus made the largest contribution to the movement and launched a series of subsequent explorations to the America's that never would have happened without Columbus. He contributed the largest discovery of the time which then launched a series of events leading to the founding of America.

i. My opponent has chosen to focus on the negatives of the events of the Columbian Exchange but in this case the negatives do not outweigh the sheer weight of the event in question.

"And yet the Columbian Exchange just may be the single most important event in the modern history of the world."
[2]

It was one of the most important events in the history of the modern world, this is something that can't be ignored. Every event has negatives to it but that doesn't mean we shouldn't celebrate them. The American Revolution obviously had negatives that effected British Americans and loyalists yet we still celebrate that event. Can you provide documentation or a source that shows profound outrage by Native Americans in reaction to Columbus?

"If you don't understand the Columbian Exchange, you cannot truly understand the forces that shape the world we live in today. You cannot understand why you speak the language you speak, why you live in the nation you live in, or even why you eat the food you eat." [2]

This event was simply too monument's to ignore.

ii. My opponent has certainly pointed out a whole host of ingenious and adventurous people who do not have holiday's named after them. However, my opponent has failed to address the fact that Columbus was both adventurous and led the foundation of the United States through the events that Columbus set off. Columbus deserves to be celebrated in the United States because his contribution to exploration led to the United States being founded.

Columbus should be celebrated because he made significant contributions to the Age of Discovery which led to the foundation of the United States while exhibiting the traits that Americans exemplify. This combination is more than enough evidence to justify acknowledging Columbus and his achievements on a day in October.

I find myself a little insulted that my opponent has made the statement that I did not supply any valid arguments.

Thank you, please take all these factors into consideration and vote Pro.

[1] http://earthguide.ucsd.edu...
[2] http://www.shmoop.com...





InVinoVeritas

Con

1) I thank my opponent for taking time to provide a valid source.

Let it be known that very few credible sources attribute trade winds to Columbus. And it is certainly not a well-known fact in the public eye.

There were many more well-known discoveries, such as Newton's discovery of gravity and Franklin's discovery of electricity. However, we do not celebrate Isaac Newton Day or Ben Franklin day. Columbus' discovery of trade winds, something which few people know of and which is quesionable (due to the support of such few sources), should hence not be a holiday.

2) The opponent has dropped his claim "Columbus launched the Age of Discovery." This statement was a fabrication that was not upheld by his given source, so I thank my opponent for dropping it.

Whether or not Columbus "made the largest contribution to the movement" is a completely subjective matter. I could just as well say that Bartolomew Dias' discovery of an Indian sea trade route was the most important contribution to the movement. The opponent's opinion is not a criterion for whether or not a holiday should exist. The same goes for the statement "He contributed the largest discovery of the time..." These are strictly the opponent's opinions.

i. The opponent believes the Columbian exchange should be celebrated, despite the large number of Native American deaths it caused, because "[i]t was one of the most important events in the history of the modern world." The Holocaust and 9/11 were "important" and "monumental" events, but we do not celebrate them as a holiday. Celebrating the period in history that led to the loss of countless lives would be immoral and offensive. In fact, South Dakota changed Columbus Day to Native American Day [1], in order to placate tensions arising from the unforgiving Native Americans.

ii. Some of the opposition against Columbus Day actually stems from Columbus' personality, which the opponent depicts as admirable.

The Columbus wrote in his logbook (about the American Indians):
"They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance.... They would make fine servants.... With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want." [2] (He was ready to take advantage of the Native Americans and exploit them for his own benefit.)

Columbus was, according to documents, far too "ambitious," ready to do terribly immoral things just to reach his goals:

"While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing— not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting Biblical scripture— to advance his ambitions…," states a pundit researching documents from Columbus' era. [2]

---

An Overview:

1. Columbus' discovery of trade winds is questionable and relatively insignificant when compared to other major discoveries in history (a vast majority of which do not have holidays.)

2. The opponent's attempts to state that Columbus' voyages were the highlight of the Age of Discovery. This is completely a matter of opinion.

i. The opponent states that Columbus Day should be celebrated because of the importance of the Columbian Exchange. The genocide of Native Americans (which happened as a direct result of the Exchange), however, is certainly not a matter that should be celebrated as a U.S. holiday, just as Germany does not have a holiday for the Holocaust.

ii. The opponent's perceptions of Columbus' personality mostly consist of speculation. According to document, Columbus was ruthless, willing to enslave Native Americans and exploit others for the purpose of reaching his goals.

---
Conclusion:

Therefore, Columbus Day should not be a holiday. The opponent's reasoning for why it should be a holiday has been effectively countered, and his arguments are null.

---

As an aside, I would like to note my opponent's use of blatantly fabricated statements (e.g., "Columbus launched the Age of Discovery") in his argument that were not supported by his sources.

Thank you.

---

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
For big topics such as Columbus discovering America...something a lot of people look at...wikipedia is a very accurate source.

For something technical or not so common it will not be an accurate source.
Posted by royalpaladin 5 years ago
royalpaladin
16kadams, Wikipedia is not necessarily worse than a .edu site. The amount of editing and redaction on Wikipedia as well as the institution of the locking function has rendered it of a higher quality than most "educational sites."
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Well you dropped a point in the last round. Just saying.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
youngpolitic, why are you votebombing against me? I'm pretty sure I never even voted on any of your debates. :D

ConservativePolitico, you probably shouldn't debate in the comments section. "Just saying."
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
hmm while I don't know if they were necessarily vote bombing me thanks for the support youngpolitic...

You should debate more, I see you haven't done one in over a year.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
*founding of America
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Point dropped: Columbus led to the Discovery of America. Just saying.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
You say that on a lot of debate lol
Posted by UnStupendousMan 5 years ago
UnStupendousMan
I am tempted to take it...
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Yes lol I never said that he did. There are other reasons to be celebrated for. Want to accept it?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
ConservativePoliticoInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Vino won the debate, but sourcing was very lacking. Conservo had better sourcing, but the arguments were weak to say the least.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
ConservativePoliticoInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: cons genocide argument still stood in the end. Also though, pro had an .edu site which trumps Wikipedia only (and one other fishy looking one) so sources pro.
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 5 years ago
royalpaladin
ConservativePoliticoInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Negative wins the genocide argument. Celebrating genocide is immoral.
Vote Placed by youngpolitic 5 years ago
youngpolitic
ConservativePoliticoInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: hmm so much votebombing... I don't think Pro deserves NO points... so counter vote bomb based on Pro's arguments and the fact that he was once celebrated.
Vote Placed by aubrey20042 5 years ago
aubrey20042
ConservativePoliticoInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Though Pro supported his case, none of the evidence he gave was compelling enough to show Columbus should still be celebrated. Con points this out and addresses valid reasons as to why Columbus should not be celebrated. Both opponents were amiable, had good spelling/grammar, and used the same kinds of sources (wikipedia was used heavily by both parties).
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
ConservativePoliticoInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con refuted Pro's arguments and was correct in his own assertions.