I’ll be raising a glass to the adventurer whose legacy shows how Hispanic culture and the United States are inseparable, in glory and in shame.

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I may be the only one to do so in Seattle — where last year the City Council unanimously voted to put Christopher Columbus in the doghouse — but this Oct. 12, even as power-hungry populists yap about building a wall with Mexico, I’ll be raising a glass to the adventurer whose legacy shows how Hispanic culture and the United States are inseparable, in glory and in shame.

Even the staunchest admirers of Columbus would admit that the admiral probably wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around. Greedy, pushy and despotic, the Genoese sailor bounced from court to court with his mad idea until the rulers of a land the Romans had called Hispania agreed to a venture-capital deal that was hugely lopsided in Columbus’ favor.

But King Ferdinand wanted gold. Queen Isabella, a fervent Catholic, wanted souls and liked Columbus’ chutzpah. Then there was the small matter of ancient prophecy.

For the Spanish-born philosopher, Seneca, Roman Emperor Nero’s tutor, had foretold that:

In the future the ocean shall loosen its bonds

and the world will be revealed in all its greatness.

Tethys shall recede to show new lands,

And remote Thule will no longer be the end of the earth.

So there. Ambition, faith and a belief in manifest destiny — that’s what brought Hispanics to this hemisphere, which they promptly drenched in the blood of the original inhabitants. Sound familiar?

It’s because this tragic epic is not too different from the 13 colonies’ Westward, Ho three centuries later. Save for the essential fact that many Conquistadors mixed their blood with that of the true Americans, and that of Africans, too. Thus they sowed the seeds of 20 nations, including the United States.

Yes, the United States. Its awesome wilderness was first charted by the likes of Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and Hernando de Soto. The first European cities in what today are the continental United States — Saint Augustine in Florida and Santa Fe in New Mexico  — were built by Hispanics. So were San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Spanish language lingers in toponyms from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to the San Juan Islands.

Spanish-American troops fought on the side of the U.S. in the Revolutionary War. The rich of Havana helped bankroll the Continental Army during the siege of Yorktown.

When the U.S. burst out of its Eastern Seaboard cradle and strode toward the Pacific Ocean, it did so on paths previously carved by Hispanic swords and plows. It was Tejanos who apprenticed Texans on the lariat and the love of ranching.

The Spanish language of settlers in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California receded before the irrepressible English-speaking republic. For history favors élan, and by the 19th century the Hispanic tree had withered.

But its roots clung to the land, now that tree flourishes again. Fifty-five million Latinos make the U.S. the second biggest Hispanic nation after Mexico, with more Spanish-speakers than modern-day Spain.

That means that, as a big stakeholder in the world’s most powerful country, Hispanic culture has a second shot at universal greatness. More so than on that August morning when, before sunrise, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria set sail.