When studying the early colonization of the Caribbean, students will gain a deeper, more nuanced, understanding of the institution of slavery by examining Spanish colonial documents and comparing them with documents from the antebellum U.S. South.
Two key maps that show the known world from the European perspective before Christopher Columbus's voyages illustrate the knowledge of intellectuals of that period and reveal tales of exploration, conflict, and change.
Approaching the encounter between Europe and the Americas as an intellectual rather than a physical discovery enables students to go beyond memorization to gain an understanding of Medieval and Renaissance ways of acquiring knowledge.
Standard accounts of U.S. history present a chronology of events that begins in the East and moves west. An alternative approach traces Spanish exploration and settlement in what is now the American Southwest..