A People's History of the United States Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How do we know the details of Christopher Columbus’s first encounter with the Arawak people? How does the author describe Columbus’s views of the people in Chapter 1?

Columbus detailed his meeting with the Arawak in his ship's log, describing them as a people that would make fine slaves due to their ignorance. Columbus took some of the natives by force because he wanted to know where to find gold.

2. Where did Christopher Columbus intend to travel when he “discovered” the Americas? Where does the author assert he actually landed in Chapter 1?

Columbus intended to travel around the earth to Asia but he had miscalculated the size of the world. Experts say Columbus would have been lost at sea. Columbus had landed on the Canary Islands before making his way to the Bahamas in October 1492.

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