Christopher Columbus’ monumental 1492 voyage to the Americas
In Topics #1 and #2, we examined the origins and events of European exploration in the Americas. We traced which European nations explored and colonized different parts of the Americas. For Discussion Board #1, write a post where you address one of the following questions about Christopher Columbus, the Spanish conquistadores or the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Just select one of the questions for the basis of your post. Do not try to answer all. After your initial post, you may write and reply to other posts if you are interested in exploring additional questions. Here are the questions you can address in your post:
1) Since Christopher Columbus’ monumental 1492 voyage to the Americas, different generations have interpreted in many different ways the Italian explorer’s life, actions and historical legacy. In the 19th century, Columbus was seen as heroic and visionary, the brave intrepid explorer who crossed the Atlantic and brought the Americas to the attention of the Europeans. This subsequently brought European colonization to the Americas, eventual new nations, and future globalization bringing an end to the isolated and fragmented pre-modern world. However, in the late 20th and early 21stcentury, views of Columbus have dramatically shifted. Columbus was now portrayed as a villain, a destroyer, even invader, who brought more harm than good to history and our own time. Destruction of Native American peoples and the inception of African slavery in the Americas are referenced as more destructive consequences of Columbus’ 1492 arrival.
Therefore based on this present-day view of Columbus, write a post addressing one of these two questions or you may combine both:
a. Since Christopher Columbus typifies such a major historical figure whose actions changed the lives and destinies of hundreds of millions of people, how do we assess, if possible, his accurate historical legacy? Should we judge his actions based on the values and attitudes of his time (15th and 16thcenturies)? Or should we assess his actions on how we feel about him today, through the lens of our current values, feelings and attitudes? This question of course plays into the challenge that historians face when establishing criteria to assess historical figures who lived so long ago.
b. Offer your own interpretation of Columbus’ historical legacy. Is it an overall positive or overall negative legacy? Or do you believe it is a combination of both? Provide as much support and reasoning with your response as possible.
2. Historians have offered various reasons explaining why the Spanish conquistadores conquered and overwhelmed the Native American peoples and their land with stunning speed. These reasons include guns, horses, technological superiority, diseases, treachery, greed, religious zeal, nationalist aspirations, etc. What do you believe is the dominant reason and why? Or do you believe there is no dominant reason but a multiplicity of factors? Provide your best assessment with insightful support. You may expand on what was covered in the online lecture or offer new ideas and interpretations.
3. Based on the story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke covered in the online lecture “Elizabethan England and Early English Colonization,” what do you believe happened to the missing colonists? Offer your best reasoning and explanation with insightful support.
Here are your instructions and criteria for this Discussion Board:
- Your post should clearly reflect that you are answering one (1) of the three questions. Do not attempt to answer them all.
- Provide insightful and well-reasoned support in your post. Show serious reflection of thought.
- Your written post should be between 75-150 words. You may write more, but don’t be excessive; don’t write less than this word minimum; this word range should be enough to develop your ideas concisely.
- Remember don’t copy and paste material from the internet. The post must be your own original writing.
- Keep in mind that you must post first before seeing other classmates’ posts. To begin your post, point and click on Reply and a text box will appear. Then after you have reviewed what you written, then you can click Post Reply. Then you’ll be able to read your classmates’ posts.
- Remember to follow the rules of civility and proper academic conduct in your posts. Discussing Columbus and the Spanish conquistadores can be a very sensitive topic. Write your post with maturity and serious reflection. Avoid vulgarity, rudeness, and insensitive language. You may disagree with someone in a reply, but be respectful. And above all else, DO NOT PERSONALLY ATTACK anyone for their views.
- You are responsible for creating your original post. For that, you will receive five (5) points. You then have the option of responding to other student posts as many times as you like. But keep in mind you will only for this Discussion Board receive credit for one (1) post for five (5) points.