Goodbye Columbus? Canada's chains of history
Barry Gough offers a Canada-eye-view on the commemorations and controversy of the Columbus Quincentenary.
With relief some historians are glad that 1992 is now a thing of the past, for the year carried with it all the apparent guilt of five centuries of European expansion and all the unanswered charges of the tyranny of imperialism. 1992 was the year of rhetoric. Columbus has been vilified, whereas a century ago he was a hero. His voyages of discovery have been discounted as to their value. His findings, scientific and navigational, have been minimised or dismissed as of little account. No longer a heroic symbol of progress of an enlightened Europe, Columbus is now discounted in the journals and politically correct articles as an imperialist and a brute.