Essay on The Great Discovery Of America

762 Words Jun 22nd, 2016 4 Pages
When asked about Christopher Columbus and 1492, seventh grade students are likely going to recite the standard “history” of Columbus and his great discovery of America. Everyone knows, “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” to prove the world was round and to get spices from the West Indies. Rather than landing in the West Indies, he found the “New World.” It was this great discovery that paved the way for Europeans tired of monarch rule and religious oppression to travel to and settle this “New World.” And the rest is “history,” so to speak. This story is neat and tidy and contributes easily to multiple-choice tests. Good educators, however, should recognize that most seventh graders are old enough to understand the more complex history and accept that history is not objective, contrary to popular belief. As identified by James West Davidson and Mark H. Lytle in their textbook After the Fact, “history is not a set of facts, but a series of arguments, issues, and controversies” (Loewen 41). Archaeologists, historians, and biologists find new evidence and information that challenge old “knowledge” and change the way history is understood (41). After a history lesson about 1492, seventh grades students should be able to identify that those events are more complicated than the simple answers provided by elementary school books and that history really depends on the perspective of the historian. Most accounts in American history textbooks are written from a Eurocentric…

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