Unit One
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From Contact to Independence:
The Colonial Period

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Unit Outline
    Introduction to the course: Old and New Worlds
Day One
Intoduction to the course: The Use and Abuse of History 

Why is history most often told from the perspective of the victor?  What problems does this create?  What special burden does this place on us as historians? 

primary source, secondary source, historiography, traditional interpretation, revisionist interpretation

Day Two
Native Americans: Nation v. Tribe? 

Divine, pages 2-8 
Supplement: Native Americans: Nation v. Tribe? 
Write out homework questions 1 and 6. 

How can we classify Native American societies?  Why is it important to understand Native American nations as separate and distinct in the context of the oncoming conquest? 

Bering strait, Eastern Woodland cultures, ethnocentrism, Sioux and Osage creation myths, nation, tribe, Aztecs 

   1. What factors account for the remarkable diversity among Native American societies before Columbus?  How might this diversity have affected their response to European settlement? 

   2.  In what ways did contact with Europeans transform Native American societies? 

   3. How did Native Americans perceive the arrival of the Europeans? How did Europeans perceive the Native Americans? How did European perceptions of Native Americans differ? 

   4.  How are the Sioux and Osage creation myths different?  Similar? 

   5. What impact did European contact have on Native American culture? To what extent did Indians embrace or reject European influence? What impact did contact with Native Americans have on Europeans? 

   6. How did Native American and European attitudes toward land and commerce differ? (text page 8 and refer to Supplement)  How did these differences undermine Native American independence?  To what extent and in what ways did Native Americans become dependent on Europeans?

Day Three
Interpreting History: The Legacy of Columbus  

Divine, pages 12-21 
Supplement: Wilford, "Discovering Columbus" 
How have historical interpretations of Christopher Columbus changed over time? Why? What does this indicate about the study of history? 

Leif Erikson, Renaissance, feudalism, nation-state, Johann Gutenberg, Spanish Inquisition (Reconquista), conquistador, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci,   Hernán Cortés, Montezuma, encomíenda system, John Cabot 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. The book talks of “weaving a narrative” that “no longer seems adequate” to describe European colonization of the “New World.” (p.2) If history is made up of facts, then where’s the weaving? If it is not, then isn’t one story just as good as any other? 

  2. Why did Spain take the lead in European exploration of the New World? What did   the Spanish seek to gain from the New World? 

  3. What areas of the New World did the Spanish colonize? 

  4. What relationship developed between the Spanish and the Native Americans? 
  5. What did the French seek to gain from the New World? What areas of the New World did they colonize? Why did their influence in the New World remain limited? 

  6. How did the French relationship with the Native Americans differ from that of the Spanish? 

  7. Why did the English lag behind the French and Spanish in their colonization of the New World? 

Day Four
The Problem of Columbus 

Supplement:  Howard Zinn "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress" 
Debate:  How can we classify Columbus?  Hero?  Villain?  Neither? 

In preparation for the debate outline ten points that support your assigned position. 

Arawak, Columbus, Hispaniola, encomiendas, Bartolomé de las Casas, Samuel Eliot Morison, Hernando Cortés, Montezuma 

Homework Questions: 
   1.  What motivated the Spanish monarchs to send Columbus to the "New World"?  What motivated Columbus himself? 

   2.  How does Las Casas depict the native populations? 

   3.  Contrast the presentations of Columbus's conquests as told by Bartolomeo de las Casas and Samuel Eliot Morrison.  How might we account for these differing stories? 

   4.  If Zinn's point is not to "condemn Columbus in absentia," then what is his point? 

   5.  What two interpretations about settlers and natives does Zinn present?  To which one do you subscribe, if any? 

   6.  What is your definition of progress? How did Europeans define progress?  According to Zinn, is "progress" an absolute good?  Support your response with evidence from the text.

Day Five
Settling the Chesapeake: A Precarious Paradise 
Divine, skim pages 26-28 and 32-34, read 34-39 (bottom), skim 39-42, and read 70-73 
What attracted settlers to the Chesapeake region? How did Chesapeake society reflect its settlers' goals in coming to the New World? 
Walter Raleigh, Roanoke, Richard Hakluyt, Anglican Church (Church of England), joint-stock company, London (Virginia) Company, Jamestown, John Smith, Powhatans, Pochahantas, John Rolfe, the “starving time”, tobacco, House of Burgesses, headright system, indentured servant, George Calvert, Maryland, “Act Concerning Religion”, planter, freeman, Creole 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. How did the writings of Hakluyt and others influence England to colonize the New World? 

  2. In general, what inspired people to leave England and venture to the New World? 

  3. What factors combined to encourage James I to issue a charter to the London Company for the settlement of Virginia? 

  4. What specifically attracted individuals to the Virginia settlement of Jamestown? 

  5. What hardships did early Virginians face? What caused some of these hardships? 

  6. In what ways did tobacco “save” the Virginia colony? 

  7. What were the patterns of migration to the Chesapeake? What types of people were attracted to the Chesapeake colony? What impact did this have on the composition of Virginian society? 

  8. What was an indentured servant? What was his/her legal and social status? 

  9. In what sense did Maryland resemble Virginia, its Chesapeake neighbor? In what sense did its early history differ from that of Virginia? 

  10. How did the demographics of Virginia affect family structure? 

  11. How did tobacco shape the social structure of Virginia? What main social classes constituted Virginian society? What were the distinguishing characteristics of each? 

  12. To what degree was social mobility possible in Virginia? 

  13. Why were social institutions (schools, churches) slow to develop prominence in Virginia? Why were cities and towns also slow to develop? 

Day Six
Slavery, Servitude and Class Conflict in Chesapeake Society 
Divine, pages 73-75, 76-77, and 82-84 (on Bacon's rebellion) 
Supplement: Morgan, "Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox" 
Write out answer to homework question 5 and 6 
What factors led to the development of slavery in the American colonies? 
How did slavery and freedom coexist in the colonial Chesapeake? 

slave, slave trade, freedman, planter, William Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon, Bacon's Rebellion, 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. What led to the introduction of slavery in colonial Virginia in 1619? 

  2. What was the status of blacks in early 17th century Virginia? What does the example of Anthony Johnson indicate about the status of blacks, and about the foundations of racial slavery in colonial America? 

  3.  What is a paradox?  What is the central paradox with which Edmund Morgan (author of the supplement) wrestles? 

  4.  Explain how overpopulation in seventeenth century England contributes to the eventual rise of slavery in America. 

  5.  What were the complaints of Bacon and his followers?  In what sense might these complaints be seen as class-based? How might the rebellion be viewed as a class conflict? 

  6.  How does Morgan answer the following questions?  Why did racial slavery begin to replace indentured servitude as the main source of plantation labor? Why and in what ways does the legal status of black people in the South change toward the end of the late seventeenth century? 

  7.  How might you argue, based on Morgan's analysis, that radical democracy in the seventeenth century depended upon slavery? 

  8.  Was slavery caused by racism?  If not, than what did cause slavery, and how do you explain the present reality of racism?

Day Seven
Puritan New England: Building a City on a Hill  
Divine, pages  42-45, 48-50 
Supplement: Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity" 
Supplement: "Anne Hutchinson is Banished" 

What was the overriding purpose of the Puritan settlement of New England? How did the society the Puritans created reflect the reason the came to New England? 

Separatists (Pilgrims), Mayflower Compact, Plymouth, William Bradford, Protestant Reformation, John Calvin, Puritans, predestination, elect, John Winthrop, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Congregationalism, City on a Hill, Massachusetts “Lawes and Liberties”, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, Rhode Island, antinomianism 
  Homework Questions: 
  1. What led the Pilgrim Separatists to leave Europe and come to wilderness of the New World? 

  2. Why did they form the Mayflower Compact?  What is its significance? 

  3. In what way did Puritan religious beliefs diverge from those of the Anglican Church (Church of England)?  What were their criticism of the Anglican Church?  Why did   they see America as attractive alternative to life in England? 

  4. What were the patterns of Puritan migration to Massachusetts Bay?  How did Puritan migration differ from migration to the Chesapeake colonies? 

  5. How does the structure and membership of Massachusetts churches reflect Puritan values and beliefs? 

  6. How "democratic" was Puritan society? To what degree was it egalitarian? 

  7. How did the Puritans of Massachusetts deal with those who challenged Puritan ideals?  Why? 

  8.  In what ways did the foundations of Rhode Island differ from that of its Puritan New England neighbors? 

  9. How does John Winthrop depict the Puritan settlers of Massachusetts Bay in his sermon "A Model of Christian Charity"?  How does the sermon reflect Puritan values? 

Day Eight
Where the Secular and Sacred Meet:  Wealth and the Puritan Ethic 
Divine, pages 64-70 

In class slides: New Haven - Commerce and Christianity 

How did the Puritans view the wilderness which surrounded them? To what degree and in what sense were the Puritans interested in material success? What is the relationship between their interest in material success and their religious views? 
nuclear family, patriarch, Half-Way Covenant, sumptuary laws 

Homework Questions: 
   1.  How are religion and commerce linked in the colonists reasons for migrating to the "New World"? 

   2. What was the role of the family in Puritan New England?  How did its importance and structure reflect their religious values? 

   3. Why was schooling so important to Puritan New Englanders?  Why were Massachusetts citizens required to pay taxes to support public schools?  Why was schooling so much more important in Puritan New England than in the Chesapeake colonies? 

   4. What was the role of women in Puritan New England?  How did their rights and responsibilities differ from those of their male counterparts? 

   5. In what ways was the social hierarchy of Puritan New England different from that of England? In what ways was it similar? 

   6. Whom did the Puritans select as their leaders?  Why were these people seen as more fit to lead? 

   7. To what degree was social mobility possible in New England?  How do the sumptuary laws reinforce class distinctions? 

   8. How did the upper classes of New England view their social inferiors?  How did the lower classes view their social betters?

Day Nine
Comparing Colonial Societies 
Divine, pages 50-61 
Prepare presentation for "SOAP Convention" 
Bring to class, Supplement: DBQ on New England and Chesapeake 
What was the cause of the differences between New England and Chesapeake societies and The Middle Colonies?  How can one use primary source documents to construct an essay answering this question? 

New Netherlands (New York), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Quakers (Friends), William   Penn, Carolinas, Georgia, James Oglethorpe 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. Make a list of the different attributes of the three colonial areas in British North American (New England, The Chesapeake, The Middle Colonies).  Compare the who, what and why? 

  2. How did the Dutch colony of New Netherlands become the English colony of New York? 

  3. How did Quaker religious beliefs differ from those of members of the Anglican church? 

  4. Why did the colony of Pennsylvania attract such a diverse group of settlers?  How did Pennsylvania’s government encourage such diversity?  How might the Quaker beliefs of Pennsylvania’s founders have contributed to the diversity of the colony? 

  5. What influence did the English colonists of Barbados have on the economic and social structure of the Carolinas? 

  6. What were the original purposes of the Georgia colony?  What types of Englishmen settled there?  Over time, in what sense did the economic and social structure of Georgia become similar to the Carolinas, its neighbor?

Day Ten
Society of American Pioneers Convention 

The year is 1760 and the Society of American Pioneers (SOAP) is looking for a site for their first-ever convention.  Its decision will have a large impact on the local economy, especially since many members are considering relocating permanently to the new world.  Your mission is to help them make their decision by preparing a brief (five minute) presentation reviewing some of the major events since 1607 and touting the advantages of your colony.  The director of SOAP will be in town, so you will able to make your case to him directly. 

GROUP ONE:  CHESAPEAKE (Virginia and Maryland) pp. 34-42 


Mission:  To stress the advantages of Virginia and the disadvantages of your main rival, Massachusetts. 

GROUP TWO:  NEW ENGLAND (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticutt) pp. 42-50 


Mission:  To stress the advantages of Massachusetts and the disadvantages of your main rival, Virginia. 

GROUP THREE:  THE DISSENTERS ( Dutch New Netherland, Quaker Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Carolinas and Georgia) pp. 50-60 


Mission:  To stress the advantages of any colony you choose and the disadvantages of your two main rivals, Massachusetts and Virginia. 

Divine, pp. 32-61 
The American Spirit, Vol. 1, pp. 3-42

Day Eleven
Markets, Mercantilism and Material Culture 

Divine, pages 79-82 and 110-111 
Supplement: William Cronon, "That Wilderness Should Turn a Mart" 
Map Assignment #1: The American Colonies due 

How do New Englanders turn wilderness into a mart?  What impact did Britain’s mercantilist policies have on the relationship between Britain and the American colonies? 

Adam Smith, mercantilism, Navigation Acts, triangular trade, favorable balance of trade, enumerated goods, Lords of Trade (Board of Trade) 

Homework Questions: 
1. What was mercantilism? What led the British to create a mercantilist system? What type of relationship did it create between Britain and the American colonies? 

2.  What were the Navigation Acts? What did they do? How did they support the goals of the mercantilist system? 

3. How did Americans respond to the Navigation Acts? 

4. How did capitalism transform the North American environment? 

5.  How do the Navigation Acts tie Colonial trade to England?  How does this affect American "material culture"? 

Day Twelve
Colonial Society: British or American - Material Culture and Imperial Wars 

Divine, pages 112-113 and 120-128 
Supplement: The Quest for Gentility in Prerevolutionary America 
In class slides: Gentility 

In what ways do the colonists see themselves as British, during the first half of the eighteenth century?  How do the Imperial Wars lead to the creation of an American identity? 

material culture, Georgian architecture, Chippendale furniture, gentility 
imperial wars, King William’s War (War of the League of Augsburg), Queen Anne’s War (War of the Spanish Succession), King George’s War (War of the Austrian Succession), Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle, Louisbourg, Albany Plan, William Pitt, Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War) 

Homework Questions: 
1. In what ways, both material and social, did Americans try to emulate British culture? 

2.  Why did upper-class Colonial Americans see the need to create/maintain visible class distinctions?  How did the upper class attempt to maintain class distinctions? 

3. What were the causes of the imperial wars of the late 17th and early 18th centuries? 

4. Why did the colonists develop their own names for these conflicts? What might this indicate about their attitude towards these wars? 

5. How might American colonists have viewed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle? In their minds, what was its significance? 

6. What was the Albany plan? What does its failure indicate about intercolonial attitudes and British attitudes towards the colonies? 

7. How were British attitudes towards America in the Seven Years’ War different from their attitudes towards America in the previous wars? 

8. What were the provisions of the Peace of Paris? 

9. How did the Seven Years’ War impact the way Americans viewed their relationship with Britain? How did it impact the way the colonies viewed each other? How did the Seven Years’ War impact the way the British viewed the American colonies? 

Day Thirteen
Test on Unit One