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Columbus Day (Grade 8)

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Columbus Day

Instructions: The first celebration of Columbus' legacy didn't take place until 1792, three centuries after his arrival in the New World. A group called the Columbian order organized a ceremony in New York. The next known commemoration did not take place until after the Civil War by Italian immigrants in New York. Individual states did not begin recognizing Columbus until 1905, when Colorado designated October 12 as Columbus Day. In 1937 President Roosevelt decreed October 12 a national holiday honoring the accomplishments of Columbus. In recent years some have called the celebration of Columbus' legacy into question, usually citing his questionable character and the colonization and genocide of the Native Americans that followed his arrival.

Answer the following questions about Christopher Columbus in observance of the holiday that bears his name.

Columbus sighted land in the Americas in:
  1. 1400
  2. 1492
  3. 1700
  4. 1792
What country financed Christopher Columbus' journey?
  1. Italy
  2. Spain
  3. Cuba
  4. France
Christopher Columbus was born in
  1. Spain
  2. Italy
  3. France
  4. England
What was Christopher Columbus looking for when he set sail across the ocean?
  1. a shorter route from Europe to America
  2. Native Americans
  3. a shorter route from Europe to Asia
  4. gold
Name two things that Columbus brought back to the King and Queen from his first journey.

The voyage of Columbus began which historical period?
  1. Age of Exploration
  2. Twentieth Century
  3. Industrialization
  4. Westward Expansion
Christopher Columbus's four voyages across the Atlantic led to
  1. a decline in Europe's population as a result of new diseases.
  2. an exchange of people, foods, and germs between Europe and the Americas.
  3. a race between Spain and India to claim large parts of the Americas.
  4. the introduction of slavery to Spain and other parts of Europe.
Nearly 300 million Native Americans on Hispaniola died within 50 years of Christopher Columbus's landing because of
  1. exposure to heat
  2. disease
  3. starvation
  4. overcrowded conditions
Who were the first European(s) to reach North America?
  1. The Vikings
  2. Christopher Columbus
  3. Amerigo Vespucci
  4. The Caravel
The primary goal of Spain's financial sponsorship of Columbus' initial explorations and later expeditions to the New World was to find a new source of gold and silver to boost Spain's economy. Spain, under the leadership of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella also felt they had another duty to perform in the New World.
The duty was to:
  1. Spread the new concept of democracy and constitutional rights to less enlightened civilizations.
  2. To map and chart the new lands they found
  3. To create new colonies and settlements in the New World
  4. Convert as many people as possible to Catholicism
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