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Analysis of the Making of the Myth of Columbus

Introduction and Thesis Statement

This assignment is worth 5% of your grade and will be graded out of 100.  The breakdown of marks is given below.  It is due on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 on e-class. The submission site will close at 11:59 p.m. on November 9.  The accommodation site will open on Wednesday, November 10 at midnight and close on Friday, November 12 at 11:59 p.m.  Even if you have accommodation, you can still submit on the regular site IF you submit before that site closes.  There is no research required for this essay.  No bibliography is required.  Do not consult sources other than those given below in the instructions.  Use of sources other than the approved ones will lose you marks.

Each of these should be in a separate paragraph no longer than ½ page each, double spaced.  Discuss these in essay format. Ideally, you should try to link the paragraphs with a connecting phrase or sentence.  Be careful, some of these points include specific dates (centuries).  Make sure that you only discuss the centuries that are specified.  Organize your analysis and discussion of each of the points in the same order as below in order to present a unified essay.  

1. Introduction: In your first paragraph, state the author’s (Heike Paul) thesis in your own words.  A thesis is a statement (not a question) of what the author says they are going to prove in the text.  Be concise – no more than two sentences.   Explain how she says she will prove this thesis.  (Worth up to 10 marks)

2. Paragraph 2: Paul identifies “four Phases” in the making of the myth of Columbus.  Concisely outline what these are and explain the evidence she gives to prove each of them. (Worth up to 40 marks – 10 marks each phase)

3. Paragraph 3: Discuss the method used by one of the Columbus “apologists” in the 16th and 17th centuries in order to sanitize Columbus’ involvement in the enslavement and genocide of Indigenous peoples and to shift the blame to other colonizers.  (There are several apologists discussed, choose one).  Keep in mind, Columbus enslaved indigenous people and personally “owned” slaves. (Worth up to 10 marks)

4. Paragraph 4: The author believes that the myth of Columbus as a “founding father” for Americans begins at the time of the American War of Independence in spite

Four Phases in the Making of the Myth of Columbus

of the fact that Columbus was Italian and never set foot on the American continent.   Provide two examples of how American writers and historians during the early 19th century “Americanized” Columbus.  What does Paul see as their motive for this?  (Worth up to 10 marks)

5. Paragraph 5: Discuss why and how the wave of Italian immigrants that came to America in the late 19th century changed the meaning and interpretation of the importance of Columbus to American. Explain why these immigrants adopted Columbus as their hero at a time when other Americans were beginning to be lukewarm about the myth. (Worth up to 10 marks) 
6. Paragraph 6: The author concludes by saying that Columbus is “a seminal figure in the history of colonialism” since generations of Americans have been fed the myth of Eurocentrism thus continuing the racist ideologies that we see in the U.S. today.  How does his conclusion relate to the protests in U.S. cities in the 21st century where statues of not only Columbus but also slave owners are being vandalized and/or torn down?  (Worth up to 10 marks)

Give your opinion on whether Heike proved her thesis?  You can take either side on this, but you must support your opinion by explaining why you took that position.  Use these comments as the concluding paragraph to your essay. (Worth up to 10 marks).

The essay must be submitted either as a Word docx or pdf file.  Word count should fall between 1000 and 1200 words.  Include the word count on the title page.  Provide a title page with your name, student I.D., tutorial number, T.A. name and word count.

The essay should be in Arial font, 12 pt. or equivalent, and double spaced, with a 2.54 cm. margin on all four sides of the page.  Use separate paragraphs for each major point you make and number your pages. Do not use direct quotes or directly paraphrase (i.e. substitute other words within the structure of the original sentence).   All the ideas you write must be expressed in your own words and be based on what you understand of the author’s ideas. 

You have already done this reading to prepare for the tutorials the week of September 30. You may want to reread the chapter and any notes that you made at the time to refresh your memory.You can also look at the power points and the Tutorial Guide for that week for context, but do not refer to them for the essay points. The essay must be based on the Heike Paul reading only.

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