Christopher Columbus and the Enterprise of the Indies: A Brief History with Documents (Paperback)

A Brief History with Documents

By Geoffrey Symcox, Blair Sullivan

Bedford Books, 9780312410216, 200pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2005



In 1492, previously separate worlds collided and began to merge, often painfully, into the world-system in which we live today. Columbus's four Atlantic voyages (1492-1504) helped link Africa, Europe, and the Americas in a conflicted economic and cultural symbiosis. These carefully selected documents describe the voyages and their immediate impact on Europe and the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. Geoffrey Symcox and Blair Sullivan's engaging introduction presents Columbus as neither hero nor villain, but as a significant historical actor who improvised responses to a changed world. Document headnotes provide context for understanding Columbus's voyages within the broader context of fifteenth-century Europe and the policies of the Spanish crown. Maps, illustrations, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography invite students to analyze and interpret the documents.

About the Author

GEOFFREY SYMCOX is professor of history at University of California, Los Angeles and general editor of the Repertorium Columbianum, a multi-volume series of original sources dealing with different aspects of the Columbian voyages. Professor Symcox received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1967 and works in early modern European history, up to and including the French Revolution. His books include The Crisis of French Sea Power 1688-1697 (1974) and Victor Amadeus II: Absolutism in the Savoyard State 1675-1730 (1983). BLAIR SULLIVAN is director of publications at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at University of California, Los Angeles and associate editor of the Repertorium Columbianum.