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Columbus


            Columbus and de Soto are often remembered not only for their expeditions, but for the heinous crimes the committed against the natives they encountered. In society today, do we still see the same forms of discrimination? By analyzing de Soto, Columubs, and hate crimes today, one can see that society today still has very similar notions of discrimination and has not improved much since the times of de Soto and Columubs.
             For both Soto and Moscoso, torture and violence constitute a spectacle where mutilated bodies are displayed. Violence is a fundamental part of the theater of war and conquest--needless to say, on the part of both combatants. Take the infliction of wounds explicitly carried out to set an example in the following military encounter, which occurs right before Soto's death: "About one hundred men were slain; many were allowed to get away badly wounded, that they might strike terror into those who were absent." According to the Relazam, the Christians generated so much fear that "the cries of the women and children were such as to deafen those who pursued them." This is one of those few passages where the Relazam deplores this abuse by the Christians. .
             Like Soto, Columbus's voyages mark the beginning of continuous European efforts to explore and colonize the Americas. During the 1980s and 90s, the image of Columbus as a hero was tarnished by criticism from Native Americans and revisionist historians. With the 500th anniversary of his first voyage in 1992, interpretations of his motives and impact varied. Although he was always judged to be vain, ambitious, greedy, and ruthless, traditional historians viewed his voyages as opening the New World to Western civilization and Christianity. For revisionist historians, however, his voyages symbolize the more brutal aspects of European colonization and represent the beginning of the destruction of Native American peoples and culture.


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