MLA Format and can use sources, 2 pages long- Contrary to what our grandparents—and perhaps our parents—were taught, Christopher Columbus did not discover America in 1492. The land had been inhabited for centuries, and other explorers from Europe, Asia, and Africa had already landed here.
Neither were his voyages decisive straws breaking the back of the flat earth myth. There are still people today who believe the earth is flat.
Broadly speaking, the narrative of Columbus is one of unintended consequences. Columbus set out to find a western route to Asia. Instead, the timing of his four voyages opened the New World to Europeans during an era of growing imperialism and trade expansion
Before I give you your writing prompt, consider a couple of rhetorical questions (that you don’t have to include in your answer):
Why is Columbus one of only two individuals with his own federal holiday in America? (Martin Luther King, Jr., of course, is the other).
Why are cities, streets, and schools named after Columbus, and why do memorials to him appear in every state in the country?
He is still kind of a big deal, but now for mixed reasons. Over the centuries, Italian Americans, Catholic and Protestant religious groups, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, and government bodies and more have seen Christopher Columbus as a symbol of unity, point of opposition, or of power.
The umbrella of Columbus Day hosts this variety of political and ethnic groups who have mobilized to create celebrations and traditions that reinforce and legitimize their own perspectives and experiences in relation to him. Many of these are counter-celebrations.
Although many in America honor the contributions of Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, a growing number of cities/towns/states celebrate Indigenous People’s Day, in recognition of Native Americans and the negative impacts of Columbus’ discovery of the New World.
Now you have two questions to answer in your first Think Piece:
1) Was the discovery and conquest of America by Europeans the greatest feat of the Christian West or one of history’s monumental crimes? Why or why not?
2) Where do you stand on the replacement of Columbus Day in favor of a federal holiday, not just a state one, called Indigenous People’s Day?
Set up your positions in your intro, and organize your Think Piece to cover both questions with well-considered responses that extend at least 2 pages and follow expected formatting guidelines.
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