Today we learned a lot from our tour guide, Sylvie, especially about 18th Century history! Overall, it was great to see more of Ireland and talking about some of the uncomfortable issues Ireland has faced.
One thing I find particularly embarrassing in U.S. history is the Christopher Columbus controversy. As you all know, Columbus most certainly did not discover N. America and was quite an awful person. Despite this, we still dedicate an entire holiday to him. Not only that, but in middle/high school, overall, we do not do a great job of explaining the injustices that Native Americans faced when Columbus and his gang took over.
A better way to explain this situation in a few bullet points is:
– Millions of people were already living in North America in 1492
– Columbus was very greedy and struck a lucrative deal with the Spanish to keep 10% of whatever he found
– He enslaved and mutilated native people
– Between the brutal treatment and disease, within decades the Taino (original Native people) population was decimated
– Columbus burned bridges with the Spanish government and English monarchs because he was the WORST