In the United States, the Columbus Day holiday was created to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s landing in the New World in 1492. While this was an achievement, Columbus has also come to negatively represent conquest and colonialism. The following resources provide a multifaceted view of Columbus’s New World encounters.
Global trade started with Columbus’s arrival in the New World. America’s History in the Making, unit 2, “Mapping Initial Encounters” details the trade practices that occurred between native peoples, Europeans, and Africans in theme 1 of the video. This unit also presents primary sources that illustrate different perspectives of these initial encounters.
Examine how archaeological and scientific evidence has changed the way Americans think about Columbus Day in Bridging World History, unit 2, “History and Memory,” video part 1, Commemorating Columbus. Columbus’s early image as an explorer and civilizer is contrasted with resulting conquest, colonialism, and the destruction of peoples and habitats.
American Passages, unit 1, “Native Voices,” Stories of the Beginning of the World presents the literary voices and oral traditions of Native Americans. How did the New World encounters influence the lives of Native Americans?
More resources for Columbus Day:
A Biography of America, program 1, “New World Encounters”
American Passages, unit 2, “Exploring Borderlands,” author Christopher Columbus
Social Studies in Action, grades 3-5, program 9, “Explorers in North America”