The Columbian Exchange Webquest:

  1. Bullet Introduction -- Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers who arrived first in the New World sought Gold and God.  Both unintentionally and intentionally, the European explorers spread disease and perpetrated acts of violence against the Native populations that resulted in the enslavement and death of untold millions.  You will explore some competing ideas on Columbus, his motives, and his legacy.

  2. Bullet Process:

  3. 1. Get into groups of 2-3

  4. 2. Click here to read a section from Columbus’ diary

  5. 3. Click here to download and read Bartolome de las Casas’ account of the devastation of Hispaniola (he traveled to the New World and witnessed many of the events described)

  6. 4. Click on this link to view the video about some of the effects of Columbus’ first expeditions

  7. 5. Click here to view the Map of the Columbian Exchange

  8. 6. Click here to read a summary of the Columbian Exchange, its meaning and importance

  9. 7. Answer the summary questions on your own sheet of paper (or type your response)


  1. Bullet Summary Questions (Due TUESDAY, SEPT 2):

  2. 1. What were Columbus’ initial motives?

  3. 2. What has been his legacy (how history remembers him) as a result of his exploration and “discovery” of the New World?

  4. 3. According to Barolome de las Casas, what happened in the New World as a result of the European arrival?  Describe examples.

  5. 4. How does Bartolome de las Casas’ account shed new light on what happened after Columbus’ arrival in the New World?

  6. 5. Does this collision of two worlds (between Europe and Native Americans) make it so that conflict between Europeans and Native Americans would be inevitable?  Why or why not?

  7. 6. Are there positive benefits to the “Columbian Exchange”?

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