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Christopher Columbus - Submitted by Natasha Margulis, European History Teacher
October 2003

Christopher Columbus

I have used Pastwatch when teaching European History (1500-1800) with great success. I coupled a chapter from Pastwatch with a letter from Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabel. The students reacted very positively towards this information ≠ in fact, none of them knew that what they had read from Pastwatch was a work of fiction.

Pages from Pastwatch 173-179
Letter from Columbus to Spain

The students came away with a clearer understanding of Columbusís motives for undertaking his journey. Instead of condemning him for his actions, as recent trends in society and history have tended to do, they were able to critically analyze his motives, which were given in his letter to the Spanish monarchs. The discussion that came out of these writings was exciting, as it touched on religion, exploration/colonization, and power.

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