Instigator / Pro

The Europeans were justified in conquering the Americas in the name of progress


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After 5 votes and with 14 points ahead, the winner is...

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Round 1
First point to make is that without European colonization, there wouldn't be an explosion of innovation with industry (cotton gin), firearms and transportation. (1) If the Native Americans were still ruling their lands, they would still be living in stick houses and small villages. Also, there wouldn't be a railway system or cars in the Americas. For the hundreds of years the Native Americans lived in their lands, they were still in the Stone Age. (2) When Europe and Africa were ruled by the Roman Empire, the Native Americans were still behind technologically. (3)


Round 2
Justification should, if in past tense, occur at the time of the act or just prior to it. One cannot say something was justified by what unintentionally happened after it. The Europeans never ever invaded the 'Americas' to help the natives and all inventions linked to in the source of Pro came decades after the invasions.

The Europeans thought it was India they were invading at first and engaged in a lot of rape, slaughter and desecration of the natives. They never had to justify it and never could, it was crimes against humanity that stemmed from Columbus being an egomaniac sociopath/psychopath with his crew of Spanish rapists alongside him etc.

1) Columbus kidnapped a Carib woman and gave her to a crew member to rape
Bergreen quotes Michele de Cuneo, who participated in Columbus's second expedition to the Americas (page 143):
While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful woman, whom the Lord Admiral [Columbus] gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked — as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears. Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought she had been brought up in a school for whores.
2) On Hispaniola, a member of Columbus's crew publicly cut off an Indian's ears to shock others into submission
Hispaniola, now divided between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
 NASA/JPL/SRTMAfter an attack by more than 2,000 Indians, Columbus had an underling, Alonso de Ojeda, bring him three Indian leaders, whom Columbus then ordered publicly beheaded. Ojeda also ordered his men to grab another Indian, bring him to the middle of his village, and "'cut off his ears' in retribution for the Indians' failing to be helpful to the Spaniards when fording a stream." (Bergreen, 170-171)

3) Columbus kidnapped and enslaved more than a thousand people on Hispaniola
According to Cuneo, Columbus ordered 1,500 men and women seized, letting 400 go and condemning 500 to be sent to Spain, and another 600 to be enslaved by Spanish men remaining on the island. About 200 of the 500 sent to Spain died on the voyage, and were thrown by the Spanish into the Atlantic. (Bergreen, 196-197)
4) Columbus forced Indians to collect gold for him or else die
Columbus ordered every Indian over 14 to give a large quantity of gold to the Spanish, on pain of death. Those in regions without much gold were allowed to give cotton instead. Participants in this system were given a "stamped copper or brass token to wear around their necks in what became a symbol of intolerable shame." (Bergreen, 203)

5) About 50,000 Indians committed mass suicide rather than comply with the Spanish
Bergreen explains, page 204:
The Indians destroyed their stores of bread so that neither they nor the invaders would be able to eat it. They plunged off cliffs, they poisoned themselves with roots, and they starved themselves to death. Oppressed by the impossible requirement to deliver tributes of gold, the Indians were no longer able to tend their fields, or care for their sick, children, and elderly. They had given up and committed mass suicide to avoid being killed or captured by Christians, and to avoid sharing their land with them, their fields, groves, beaches, forests, and women: the future of their people.
6) 56 years after Columbus's first voyage, only 500 out of 300,000 Indians remained on Hispaniola
Population figures from 500 years ago are necessarily imprecise, but Bergreen estimates that there were about 300,000 inhabitants of Hispaniola in 1492. Between 1494 and 1496, 100,000 died, half due to mass suicide. In 1508, the population was down to 60,000. By 1548, it was estimated to be only 500.
Understandably, some natives fled to the mountains to avoid the Spanish troops, only to have dogs set upon them by Columbus's men. (Bergreen, 205)
7) Columbus was also horrible to the Spanish under his rule
Bartolomé de Las Casas, one of the primary chroniclers of Columbus’s crimes. 
Antonio LaraWhile paling in comparison to his crimes against Caribs and Taino Indians, Columbus's rule over Spanish settlers was also brutal. He ordered at least a dozen Spaniards "to be whipped in public, tied by the neck, and bound together by the feet" for trading gold for food to avoid starvation. He ordered a woman's tongue cut out for having "spoken ill of the Admiral and his brothers."
Another woman was "stripped and placed on the back of a donkey … to be whipped" as punishment for falsely claiming to be pregnant. He "ordered Spaniards to be hanged for stealing bread" (Bergreen, 315-316). Bergreen continues:
He even ordered the ears and nose cut off one miscreant, who was also whipped, shackled, and banished from the island. He ordered a cabin boy's hand nailed in public to the spot where he had pulled a trap from a river and caught a fish. Whippings for minor infractions occurred with alarming frequency. Columbus ordered one wrongdoer to receive a hundred lashes — which could be fatal — for stealing sheep, and another for lying about the incident. An unlucky fellow named Juan Moreno received a hundred lashes for failing to gather enough food for Columbus's pantry.
8) Settlers under Columbus sold 9- and 10-year-old girls into sexual slavery
This one he admitted himself in a letter to Doña Juana de la Torre, a friend of the Spanish queen: "There are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand, and for all ages a good price must be paid."
9) Indian slaves were beheaded when their Spanish captors couldn't be bothered to untie them
Benjamin Keen, a historian of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, noted that multiple sources confirmed accounts of "exhausted Indian carriers, chained by the neck, whose heads the Spaniards severed from their bodies so they might not have to stop to untie them."

This was all justified, according to Pro, by accidental 'progress' later that they never once used to justify it at the time and which can't even be rationally weighed against it.

The American invaders from Europe never cared for the natives at all:

According to historical records and media reports, since its founding, the United States has systematically deprived Indians of their rights to life and basic political, economic, and cultural rights through killings, displacements, and forced assimilation, in an attempt to physically and culturally eradicate this group. Even today, Indians still face a serious existential crisis.

According to international law and its domestic law, what the United States did to the Indians covers all the acts that define genocide and indisputably constitutes genocide. The American magazine Foreign Policy commented that the crimes against Native Americans are fully consistent with the definition of genocide under current international law.

The profound sin of genocide is a historical stain that the United States can never clear, and the painful tragedy of Indians is a historical lesson that should never be forgotten.
I. Evidence on U.S. government’s genocide against Indians

1. Government-led action
On July 4, 1776, the United States of America was founded with the Declaration of Independence, which openly stated that “He (the British King) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages”, and slandered Native Americans as “the merciless Indian Savages”.
The U.S. government and leaders treated Native Americans with a belief in white superiority and supremacy, set out to annihilate the Indians and attempted to eradicate the race through “cultural genocide”.

During the American War of Independence (1775-1783), the Second War of Independence (1812-1815) and the Civil War (1861-1865), the U.S. leaders, eager to transform its plantation economy as an adjunct to European colonialism and to expand their territories, coveted the vast Indian lands and launched thousands of attacks on Indian tribes, slaughtering Indian chiefs, soldiers and even civilians, and taking Indian lands for themselves.

In 1862, the United States enacted the Homestead Act, which provided that every American citizen above the age of 21, with a mere registration fee of 10 U.S. dollars, could acquire no more than 160 acres (about 64.75 hectares) of land in the west. Lured by the land, the white people swarmed into the Indian areas and started a massacre that resulted in the death of thousands of Indians.

Leaders of the U.S. government at that time openly claimed that the skin of Indians could be peeled off to make tall boots,that Indians must be annihilated or driven to places that no one would go, that Indians had to be wiped out swiftly, and that only dead Indians are good Indians. American soldiers saw the slaughter of Indians as natural, even an honor, and would not rest until they were all killed. Similar hate rhetoric and atrocities abound, and are well documented in many Native American extermination monographs.

2. Bloody massacres and atrocities
Since the colonists set foot in North America, they had systematically and extensively hunted American bison, cutting off the source of food and basic livelihood of the Indians, and causing their death from starvation in large numbers.

Round 3
Round 4
Even though genocide occurred, it was definitely part of the evolution of humanity who needed to become less barbaric. The destruction of the natives by the Europeans was the natural order of conquest. You don't take over land and resources by holding hands. Native Americans prior to the Spaniard conquest were sacrificing people for their own gods or killing each other for land. (2) Barbarism was the standard for the time for everyone who wanted to conquer land. If you actually truly believed that it was better off to leave the natives alone, it wasn't going to happen. Someone else besides the Europeans would have committed the same atrocities to make them submit. (1) The world in general is a dog eat dog world. There is nothing in history that says that a country or people will survive long if it is weak. Without the conquest of the natives, there would be no America. Without the United States, the world could have been very different when WWI or WWII occurred. People like to constantly bash the United States for all its wrongdoing but that's in the past. If any real progress can occur, they need to look forward and without hesistation. The United States has done alot more good for humanity than they have in causing sufferage. The Native Americans could not have invented any of these because they were isolated from Europe and Asia. Innovation in medicine (3), appliances and space travel have all made our lives better and closer to becoming an advanced species. Despite the fact that my opponent points out genocide and slavery as the overwhelming point that makes humanity's progress immoral, it was a lesson that would make us better. In our current state, genocide and slavery doesn't exist in developed countries. They only still exist in South America, Africa, parts of Asia and the Ukrainian War. The U.S. and Europe has learned to know that genocide and slavery is not okay. Therefore, it was a painful history lesson that happened in order to make us a better people. Progress doesn't happen with bloodless revolutions, it was forged with blood. The sooner people accept that it is a part of life, the better off we'll be. Humanity has prevented a world war from occurring for nearly seven decades. However, in the future the next great fight for resources will happen, whether you are ready for it or not. The weak will fall to the blade and the strong will rise above the ashes. 


Round 5
In closing, my opponent has said that genocide and slavery is an effect of European colonization. However, it is not the whole truth of humanity's constant struggle to better themselves.

In my first argument, I talked about the innovation that came from the establishment of the United States. Despite the destruction wrought on the natives by the United States, we did grow as a country to be more accepting of other people. We became the shining beacon to fight against Nazism and Communism. We cannot forget that progress comes with time and that it isn't always thru peace.

In my second argument, it wasn't only the Europeans that had to bring death and destruction for their own means. The Aztec Empire and many native tribes had to wage war and committed atrocities against one another. It was common place for the Mesoamerican tribes to sacrifice people for their gods. If it wasn't the Europeans that would have pillaged and relocated the natives, it would have been other tribes.

Would I say that it was justified for Europe to colonize the Americas in the name of progress? I would say yes because it is the natural order of the world like Charles Darwin points out with natural selection. In order for humanity to move forward with true liberal values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must go forward with the best that humanity can offer. The ignorant and stubborn of humanity who fear change will fall and wither thru the natural order.