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ERIC Number: ED310974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Christopher Columbus: The Hero and the Historians.
Nader, Helen
Social historians are taught that historical changes are caused by large social and economic forces, rather than great individuals; and so they study groups of people, broad economic movements, and underlying institutional structures that change slowly over time. But the general public demands information about the individual person told through historical narrative. Through this method, historians can still raise important and stimulating questions of broad significance. By studying Christopher Columbus as an individual, one can better understand how the United States evolved from the encounter between the Old World and the New and the great social and economic changes that this encounter began. Accurate translations of the documents that were written at the time of the Columbian voyages have not been widely available heretofore, but are presented here in condensed form so that teachers can use the information when interpreting the past to students. If having access to these documents in reliable editions and translations changes the way Columbus is seen as a hero and makes possible new interpretations, then the historical consequences of his enterprise can become a new adventure of discovery. Columbus's youth and early career as a wool entrepreneur are discussed. He traveled in and beyond the Mediterranean and eventually he became an agent of the Spanish monarchy. A discussion of the "Book of Privileges," a collection of royal documents relating to his contracts and negotiations with the monarchy and selected by Columbus himself, is presented at length. A list of seven recommended books written in English and a genealogy of Columbus conclude the document. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A