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Social Stuides Essay

831 words - 4 pages

In this week’s set of readings, the general theme is teaching about the political sensitive event of Columbus Day and the Historical Encounter of Europeans and Native Peoples of the Americas. Teaching this topic for many years in America was one sided. This was teaching the students about the struggles the Europeans overcame to come to the Americans and settle here. The teachers completely left out the view points of the Native Americans or called them salvages and not civilized peoples. In both the Loewen and Columbia article deal in explaining this idea of one sided historical account. While, in the last reading title Broken Spears we see completely the other side of story from the Aztecs’ point of view.
The first article is the True Importance of Christopher Columbus by James Loewen; he explains that Columbus is the first great hero that students encounter during their schooling. Many historians based on their biases and motives to tell the “best story” and made up details about the voyage to make a better story. The reason for this is to humanize Columbus, so the readers will identify and relate to him. It is also to show the point that Loewen makes that, “he was good and so are we.” People in the Italian community want to relate to this man, because he shares the same heritage as them. They do not want someone that would give a bad mark on their heritage. However, as many know Columbus was not a great person, he had many flaws and did terrible things to the native populations he meet during his voyages. Loewen talks about the destruction of the native population on the island of Haiti as Columbus and his men search for gold and other valuables.
In the second article titled, Columbia, Columbus, and Columbianism, talks about the importance of the lady Columbia and Columbus have on this nation. Columbia is the nickname for America and the basis for patriotism and love for the country. She is considered the symbol of liberty and progress, while Columbus is a symbol for Manifest Destiny, Western expansion, and pride for a large group of people living in American in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Both of these images and people see an explosion of their use during this time by being Columbianism. This would be the creation of memorials, holidays, and images all across the country. It was an attempt that tried to involve cultural and political hegemony with the various ethnic and religious identities...

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