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The Contender
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Columbus Day

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 636 times Debate No: 95008
Debate Rounds (3)
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This debate is about whether Columbus Day should be a national holiday in the United States. I believe that either the holiday should be abolished or that it should be renamed. Columbus' treatment of the natives was inhumane as his men murdered and raped members of the native tribes. In this country, we should categorize men like this as a murderer instead of a national hero.

Let's begin by looking at how this became a was a celebration by certain members of society because he was Italian and Catholic. His accomplishment of reaching America made him a hero in those communities. But how did he go from being a hero in the Italian and Catholic groups to being a hero in the United States? First of all, he did not "discover" America. Unless you ignore world history until this point, you know that there were native tribes living in the Americas for centuries before Columbus landed, so how can you "discover" something when there is already someone living there. Not only that, he never even touched down into the modern-day United States. He explored islands in the Caribbean and in central America, not in the present day United States. To give credit where credit is due, his explorations led to other European nations exploring the Americas and led to the colonizing of the Americas. However, that is not how Columbus is perceived is most parts of our society.

My final point in this round is that there are only two holidays here in the United States that are named after individuals; Columbus Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Washington's birthday has been reduced to an overall President's Day. It appalls me that Columbus has a holiday named after him, but Washington, the father of our country, Lincoln, who in a round about way ended slavery, nor heroes like Pat Tillman have holidays named after know, TRUE HEROES!


Good morning, noon, or evening!

My name is arrowjaw. Today I will be participating in a debate in which I am the Pro, or the Affirmative. I am for the resolution. It is my burden to prove to you, the voter, that the resolution is true or should be carried out. It is also my burden to refute the arguments of the Con, or the Negative, who is against the resolution. Similarly, the opposition must prove to the voter that the resolution is false or should not be carried out.

This debate has the following resolution:

Should Columbus day be a national holiday in the United States

My opponent has set the character limit to 3,000, so I cannot structure an adequate debate. I will, thus, respond to my opponent only.

My opponent begins by saying that Columbus day is a holiday because "he was Italian and Catholic". Italians and Catholics first lobbied for Columbus Day to become a federal holiday in the United States. This is in no a way a detriment to Columbus day. African-Americans were proud to be of the same heritage of M.L.K., and the rest of America admired him for his achievements. Columbus is the same. Just because his holiday was first urged on by members of his heritage does not mean that it should not be a federal holiday.

My opponent says that "[Columbus] did not discover America...there were native tribes living in the Americas for centuries before Columbus landed". When people say 'Columbus discovered America', they are referencing that he discovered it for the more civilized and more technologically advanced part of the world: Eurasia and Africa. This is frankly a ridiculous and ignorant attempt to discredit Columbus for a monumental achievement.

My opponent said that "[Columbus] never touched down in the modern-day United States". How can you blame him directly, place only the blame on him for all the deaths of the Natives of the Americas if, in your own words, he never even landed there. He paved the way for the colonization of the New World. He is not, however, responsible for the disgusting way in which the New World was conquered and colonized.

My opponent then goes on to consent that "his exploration led to other European nations exploring the Americas and led to the colonizing of the Americas." If that is not an achievement worthy of a holiday I do not know what is.

My opponent has contradicted himself and consented, in his own words, that Columbus completed a monumental achievement, which is obviously worthy of, at least, a federal holiday.
The Spanish Conquistadors may have killed millions in their conquests of South and Meso America, but that does not mean that Columbus is responsible for those deaths. Just as Karl Benz created the car but is not blamed for automobile-related deaths, Columbus should not be blamed for the horrific actions of others whom he had no control over.

Debate Round No. 1


I will continue my argument by responding to my opponent's statements from the last round.

I agree that just because a certain group (in this case Italians and Catholics) lobbies for a holiday to be named after someone, it doesn't mean that they do not deserve it. However, when I look at how Martin Luther King lived and how Christopher Columbus lived, there is no comparison. King fought for the rights of a race that had been oppressed since Africans first came to the Americas. He protested peacefully, never harming a soul, and was successful in bringing many reforms during the Civil Rights era. Columbus did not set out to help people, but rather for his own glory. During this Age of Exploration, his voyage was more for personal greed to try find the quickest route to Asia. Besides his intentions for his voyage, his treatment of the natives was cruel and inhumane. I find it hard to believe that Native Americans see Columbus as a hero. But as with the rest of U.S. History, we fail to realize or even care about the natives and how they were effected.

When I spoke of the deaths of the natives, I was referring to the natives on the islands that he conquered, not the natives of the modern-day United States. Of course I do not blame him for the invasions by the British, Cortes, or any other group of people. There are first hand accounts of murder, rape, and slavery of the natives by the Columbus' men. I have heard the arguments "Columbus did not actually commit these acts was his men." Columbus may have not partaken of these acts himself, but he definitely oversaw them. He did nothing to stop the abuse against the natives. Hitler never personally killed the Jews, so why do most people call him a murderer? Because he oversaw it, approved of it, and never stopped it. Columbus did the same. He may have not participated himself, but he never did anything to stop it. After all, he was the man in charge. If he had not approved, he could have stopped these acts at any time. In this regard, Columbus is no better of a man that Hitler or Saddam Hussein.

Besides these horrible acts, Columbus set off to conquer this land, not share it. He renamed the islands in the name of the Spanish and turned many of the natives into slaves. If he had come to bridge the gap between the two worlds, his accomplishment would be worthy of praise. However, he came to conquer. There has been proof in recent years that the Vikings arrived in the Americas long before Columbus, but they did not even stay to conquer the land. It is pretty bad when the Vikings are more humane than this man we "celebrate".
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by senshred19 2 years ago
My history IS right. Read my second argument in regards to Columbus' "innocence". Just because Columbus supposedly did not commit the acts himself, it did not excuse him permitting the actions. That is a pathetic excuse to justify his actions. He was the leader, so he had the ability at any time to stop the murder, rape, and slavery of the natives. Even the Spanish realized how poor of a leader he was and removed him from the Americas. His actions (or lack thereof) led to the natives rebelling and fighting back against the tyrannical rule of him and his men. I will give you some credit, disease did kill most of the natives. However, the barbaric rule of Columbus and the conquistadors killed thousands more. Your last sentence is flat out naive and ignorant. I will not give any man a break that condones the actions of him and his men. We even have laws in our society that puts blame on someone who sees a crime such as murder and rape happen and does nothing to stop it...we call it accessory. Quit making excuses to glorify this animal. If you truly feel sympathy that we are not called the Columbias, then YOU need to get YOUR history right!
Posted by KZC 2 years ago
senshred19, get your history right! Even though Columbus's men did do those things, Columbus didn't do it and also, the natives died mostly because of diseases. In addition, give Columbus a break, it was sad enough that the New World was named the Columbias but the Americas.
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