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Chapter 1 - The Meeting of Cultures

Chapter 1 - The Meeting of Cultures

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Published by David W.
Alan Brinkley: American History: A Survey (Eleventh Edition).
Alan Brinkley: American History: A Survey (Eleventh Edition).

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Published by: David W. on Mar 30, 2011
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The Meeting of Cultures
Chapter 1
Chapter Summary:
Before European explorers arrived in the Americas, Native Americans had developed manyforms of social organizations that differed from one another in their levels of achievement.Europeans, concerned first with exploiting the New World and its peoples, regarded the nativesas savages and set out to destroy their societies and replace them with a variation of Europeanculture. The biological disaster brought on by smallpox and other diseases made it easier forthe Europeans to conquer the tribes and civilizations, and to impose on the Native Americans anumber of different colonial systems. In the Spanish colonies the Catholic Church wasinstrumental in this effort. To help make up for the Native Americans’ labor lost through warsand epidemics, Europeans brought in African slaves, who added to the cultural diversity ofAmerica. Conflicts in the Old World spilled over into the new as different nations got into therace for colonies, and the many connections between events in the Americas and the rest ofthe world became apparent. By the end of the sixteenth century, the age of discovery was allbut over, and the great era of colonization, especially English colonization, was about to begin.
Points for Discussion:
1.
What was the nature of the Indian societies and their geographic distribution before thecoming of the European explorers? What relationship existed between their subsistencepatterns and their general culture?2.
What "discoveries" were made in America before 1600? Which of these led tocolonization and which did not? What contributed to the success of these colonizationefforts?3.
What did the Indian cultures contribute to the Europeans, and why, despite thesecontributions, did the invaders still think of the Native Americans as savages? (Thedocument in the Study Guide, in which John Smith describes his meeting with the Indianswill be useful in showing the attitude of Europeans toward Native American customs andvalues.)4.
How were the Spanish and English motives for colonization different? How were theysimilar? How were these motives reflected in the organization of the colonies theyestablished?5.
What was the social and cultural background of the Africans brought to America? How didthis background differ from that of the Indians? Europeans? In what ways were thebackgrounds of these people similar?6.
In what ways did England, Spain, and other European nations use the experience gainedin earlier exploration and colonization when they attempted to colonize America?7.
European colonization has often been said to have been motivated by "gold, God, andglory." Assess this interpretation of the motives behind the European colonization ofAmerica.8.
The arrival of Europeans in America resulted in a complex interaction of cultures. Explainhow this interaction was harmful and/or beneficial to both Europeans and NativeAmericans.9.
How did the cultural interaction mentioned in question number 8 change with the arrival ofAfrican slaves? Examine the origins of the African slave trade and the impact that Africanshad on the economy and culture of colonial America.10.
Who were the "positivists," and why has their approach to history been rejected by mostscholars today?
Main Themes:
1.
The colonization of the Americas was a collision of cultures
#
the European and NativeAmerican
#
that had been developing along completely different lines for thousands ofyears.AP US History WTW David WillmorePeriod 05
 
2
2.
A variety of ambitions and impulses (such as international rivalries, the quest for wealthand personal glory, and a desire to spread the Christian religion) moved individuals andnations to colonize the New World.3.
The motives of the colonizers and their experiences prior to immigrating shaped theirattitudes toward Native American cultures.
Key Terms and Concepts
: be able to identify and know the significance of the following:1. Mayans, Incas & Aztecs2. Woodlands Indians3. Cahokia4. Iroquois Confederation5. Five Civilized Tribes6. Nation-States
7. encomiendas
8. Ordinances of Discovery9. St. Augustine10. Pueblo Revolt (1680)11. Columbian Exchange12. African slave trade13. English Reformation14. Enclosure Movement15. Chartered companies16. Mercantilism17. English Reformation18. Puritan Separatists*19. Calvinist Puritans20. Church of England21. Plantation model (Ireland)
22. Coureurs de bois
23. New Amsterdam24. Spanish Armada25. Roanoke26. Black Death27. Mali28. Merchant capitalists29. Huguenots30. “Sea Dogs”31. Utopia
Important People
1. Richard Hakluyt2. Elizabeth I3. James I4. Sir Francis Drake5. Sir Walter Raleigh6. Prince Henry the Navigator7. Christopher Columbus8. John Cabot9. Amerigo Vespucci10. Don Juan de Ornate11. Francisco Pizarro12. Hernando Cortes13. Ferdinand Magellan14. John Cabot15. Henry Hudson16. Sir Walter Raleigh17. Sir Humphrey Gilbert18. Virginia Dare
Internet Resources
For Internet quizzes, resources, references to additional books and films, and more, consult thetext’s Online Learning Center atwww.mhhe.com/brinkley11.AP US History WTW David WillmorePeriod 05
 
3
Points for Discussion:
1. Answer2. Prior to 1600, several discoveries were made in the Americas, including the “discovery” ofthe continent itself, by early voyagers - such as Leif Eriksson in the eleventh century.Knowledge of the initial contact with the Americas did not become widespread; even if theknowledge of the continent’s existence had propagated, there would have been littlereason to follow the initial voyagers as European outlook was not yet focused outward. Bythe late 1400s, however, enough central power had developed in Europe that interest inexploration outward began to increase. Christopher Columbus sailed in hopes ofreaching Asia with the
Niña, Pinta
and
Santa María
in 1492. Instead of reaching his target -Japan - Columbus landed in the Bahamas. Pushing on to what he assumed to be China,Columbus then landed in Cuba. Returning again a year later, Columbus landed a colony onHispaniola. Additionally, in 1500, a fleet of Portuguese ships bound for India were blown offcourse and landed upon the coast of Brazil. Later, Hernando Cortés led, in 1518, a militaryexpedition into Mexico resulting in, at first, a failed assault. Due to the Aztec’s exposure tothe European assailants’ diseases, a smallpox epidemic ensued, allowing the Spanish toeasily capture Tenochtitlán. Much of the resulting colonization of the New World wasassisted by the practical absence of the indigenous peoples, due to the wide spread ofEuropean epidemics. After it was reported that silver could be found in Mexico, a rush ofconquistadores from the island colonies and Spain rushed to the new world, hoping to finda fortune, much comparable to the later gold rushes elsewhere in the Americas. In 1564,the first permanent settlement within the bounds of the present-day United States wasestablished at St. Augustine, Florida, serving as both a military outpost and administrativecenter for Spanish presence in the region.3. Answer4. Initially, many Spanish conquistadors arrived in the New World interested only in gettingrich. However, after the initial onslaught, many Spaniards emigrated to the Americas in thehopes of creating a profitable agricultural economy, helping to build the fundamentals ofEuropean culture and civilization in the Americas, altering both the landscape and socialstructures. Like the later British colonies to the North, the Spanish colonies were undercontrol of the thrown by the late 1500s. However, unlike the Spanish, the British weremostly unsuccessful in regard to extracting gold and silver, leading to a more agriculturebased society. Also in contrast, the British (as well as the Dutch and French colonies to theNorth) populated their own colonies by promoting family life, as opposed to the pittance ofsettlers sent from Europe to the colonies by Spain. Instead, the Spanish opted to create aruling class over the remaining indigenous population. Motivation for the British wascreated by what became known as the Enclosure Movement, which effectively evicted rent-paying tenants from their land, forcing them to find elsewhere to provide sustenance.Chartered companies, such as the Muscovy Company in 1555 or the East India Companyin 1600 were granted monopolies in specific regions for certain goods, resulting in fantasticprofits. These chartered companies were fundamentally based on the concept ofMercantilism, which assumed that the nation was the primary factor of an economy, asopposed to the individuals within it. Richard Hakluyt argued in favor of creating Britishcolonies, as they would become new markets for English goods in addition to relievingBritain of its overpopulation.5. Answer6. England based much of its philosophy of colonization on the earlier colonization of Ireland,in the mid-to-late 1500s. Learning from the effectiveness of vicious techniques to subduenative peoples, the British applied the same methodology used in Ireland to the Americas.Instead of attempting to integrate the existing indigenous society into their own (theSpanish technique), the British opted to create a completely new society basedfundamentally on their own. Assumptions that the native peoples, with their own language,religious beliefs and culture were barbaric influenced the British to screen them self off fromsuch “unrefined” peoples. The assumption that such people could not possibly be tamedor integrated into British society led to the belief that the entire native culture should simplybe subordinated.

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