Monday, September 01, 2014

Hero of History: Columbus or de las Casas?

Essential Question: Which should be a 'Hero of History", Christopher Columbus or Bartolomé de las Casas?

You will be researching both Christopher Columbus and Bartolomé de las Casas as their stories intersect through the 'discovery' and occupation of the Americas. As you research ask yourself the questions:

  1. Are my sources reliable
  2. Is there corroboration between my sources?
  3. Who is more believable as a storyteller?
  4. Since de las Casas is responsible for the only surviving journal information from Columbus' voyages, how reliable are those journals knowing de las Casas' prejudices?
  5. Which one, in your opinion, is most moral? 
  6. Is it appropriate for us to judge either Columbus or de las Casas today?
  7. Who would you choose as your 'Hero of History'? 


Create a poster of your "Hero of History". The poster must include facts that you uncover through your research as well as drawings that back your choice. You will not be allowed to use printed pictures. You may choose either men, but your facts must back your claim. 

All sources you use must be cited on your poster. is a great resource for how to cite your sources.


Here are some references to get you started. You will also need to find two more sources of information not on this page. Remember, we need corroboration before we can draw conclusions. 

Bartolomé de las Casas

Extracts from the journal of Christopher Columbus:

Viggo Mortensen reads Bartolome de las Casas in Spanish and English:

Washington Irving's biography of Columbus

You may also want to read Chapter 2 of Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen. I have a copy you can use. 

You may also want to scan through Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. I have a copy if you wish to peruse it.

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