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Greed in History -- Key Moments That Changed the World

Updated on September 22, 2012

Drinking a cup of coffee came to my mind the word and how related it is to the fate of the world where we live. So many atrocities have been committed in less than 500 years that, we are lucky we are still sane a Society, or maybe not?

I'm a very visual person and have good memory of things. what first come to my mind are the bosses I dealt with. This young yuppie that was a Wall street trader, was recommended to work for us. Our Manager was his Father-in-law. He got promoted quickly and stepped in our shoes. There was no way to stop him. Until one day he came to work and, we knew he was overweight, and had a stroke. In a matter of months he lost the job for health Problems and personal issues with his now ex wife. That's just one example of how easily you can be on the top and the next minute you are back down to nothing. Let's recreate some moments in History since we can visualize things with our own knowledge.

William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror
The dead of a King
The dead of a King

As Duke of Normandy and King of England, William the Conqueror was at the top oh his reign. He initiated the first ever recount of the English Kingdom in this famous book that today we know it as the Domesday Book. He defeated King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Here we begin to see trouble; he was a bastard son and always thinking of you as his enemy. His heavy taxes, together with the exactions of the greedy Norman landlords he put in power, reduced the great mass of Anglo-Saxon freemen to serfdom. By 1086, the Domesday Book was finished. But let's fast forward a little more. Not happy with his possessions and having England by its throat, he decided to attack Mantes, a small city 30 miles west from Paris. We should remember that he didn't know English at all, and his Court and Erudite imposed the first Francaise words into our language.


On this very day, he has had an accident that he just overlooked; besieging the Town of Mantes, his Horse made a sudden stop and his big belly got literally crushed against his saddle pommel, and we believe that his intestines got the worst part. He fell from the horse in pain but, he was a King and composed himself and went back to his tent. Medicine was not even developed and Lister or Pauster were not in the picture yet. Just Merlin and Nostradamus.


After three day of pain and high fever this king died on his death bead at a convent in Rouen. It's said that his sons were enemies and left him there for days until his body got swollen up and like a rotten watermellon, burst against the stone sarcophagus and the monks that tried to push his putrefied body into the casket. What we see is how his Notary, his Bishops and some allies practically left him lifeless and took whatever they could. All the Battles and the glory for nothing.

Hernando De Soto

Hernando De Soto wanted to emulate and share the glory of Hernan Cortes who conquered Mexico in 1519, and Francisco Pizarro who defeated the last Inca in 1533. Hernando became wealthy from the gold from Inca Peru. King Charles V from Spain was worried about the dutch that were already trying to take possession of the lands up Florida. Hernando's greed forced him to offer his wealth(20million of today's dollars) to buy or built 9 ships or caravels, and claim whatever lands he could for 'Christendom' and his Beloved King.

MAY 1539

Hernando had been in Havana Cuba for three months and sails for "La Florida" in search of his own glory and personal satisfaction. He left his beautiful wife Isabella De Bobadilla as Governess of the Island of Cuba. Hernando finds and gets in touch with the first Amerindians from U.S. soils. His mistake was to get hostages as he moved up north and by the time he reach Georgia and then Mississippi, he was considered a living devil by the Aborigines.

May 21, 1542

It's been three years since he left Civilized Havana, and on this day he happens to have a high fever that will consume him until his last... bearable breathe...We know by now that Yellow fever was in vogue back then. Going through swamps and facing windy tornadoes by Louisiana, and the Indians behind his back took its toll. He had the guts to set his ships on fire so no one of them would have a chance to go back to Havana or Mexico. His comrades put his body inside a made up coffin from a log and sank his body on the Banks of the River that he is known for to have discovered. Native Americans from those years thought he was immortal and his burial, sadly, was carried in the middle of the night. Just a pray from his survivors and a very moving farewell was the last thing his spirit saw, when he left his material existence.

Location of his death:

Indian village of Guachoya (near present-day McArthur, Desha County, Arkansas)


Last words

Greed has been around since the dark ages, or Biblical times. We can talk about more cases, Like Joseph Stalin, or Hitler...or Sadam Hussein and Kaddafi and most of Dictators from hundred years ago. Seems that we found a pattern in here. Hernando's Parents belonged to a poor Hidalgo Family from Extremadura Spain. Steve Jobs' Father left this prodigy for adoption. At certain point in this people's life there was a chemical reaction in their brains that connected survival with greed and glory. We leave this thought for Psychologists to ponder. Leonardo Da Vinci didn't go that far, he just wanted to show his dad, how wrong he was for leaving Leonardo's mom ( a peasant) in misery...

Do you feel like a greedy type?

See results


Submit a Comment
  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    Thanks for your words Sunnie,

    You have said so much with a few words.

    Have a nice one dear friend!


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    Hi Ardie,

    Well, seems aht we haven't learned so much. Is like we just live the moment and we wait until things happen for good of maybe for worst.


  • profile image

    Sunnie Day 

    7 years ago

    This was very good lord. I learned a lot by reading this tonight. Reminds me of the parable of the talents..Greed has been around since the beginning of time..Open hands open heart is what I truly believe..Thank you for sharing an awesome hub,

    God bless,


  • Ardie profile image


    7 years ago from Neverland

    So it turns out we really will not learn from history. Its said one should study history to avoid making the same mistakes but...has that been done? I don't think it has. I enjoyed this side of you - the serious historian :) Great hub as usual Lord!

  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    Mary 615,

    You always being flattering to us. Glad to meet you and take care my friend. This story was just a rant from our History lessons. Take care and enjoy!


  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    7 years ago from Florida

    You know, the longer I know you, the more respect I have for your knowledge and your ability to put it all "on paper". You amaze me all the time. This isn't just flattery, I hope you know! I have to bookmark so I can come back and spend more time. Have a great day.

  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    You know what Poetvix, We didn't want to approach it to an eye for an eye..and the rest. But history has shown us over and over that, what goes around comes around, that simple. Thanks for your opinion and glad to see you in here!


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    Hi Gypsy Rose Lee,

    There is something in our genes that look for it, like a sin that we cannot avoid and want more until we get filled..not a psychologist but, is still among us.


  • poetvix profile image


    7 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

    I love the historical approach to a problem that still runs rampant today. I think the lesson you show so well is that all of this greed in the end leads to a lonely death met with cheers from the oppressed. You can't take it with you and getting it for a short time only makes you hated and despised.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 

    7 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Fascinating hub. Maybe to some people greed is like a poison which takes over their entire being and they cannot be any different.

  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    Thanks for stopping by Debbie!

    You always following us with your loyalty, that's why I have to write interesting stuff!


  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 

    7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    What a great history lesson.. I am book marking this...

    Wonderful HUB. I sure hope I am not greedy.

    Have a wonderful evening Mr. Lord


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    7 years ago from New York

    Exactly Pickles&rufus.

    Haven't mention, corporate America, Lehman Brothers or even the whole structure of our own Government. Greed must be a hidden last name that we carry in our own lives. Thanks for commenting my friend.


  • picklesandrufus profile image


    7 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

    very good historical accounting. Yes, greed has been and may always lead people astray....maybe one day we will learn. Vote up!


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