Chapter 1 Lecture. Essential Question: What happens when cultures collide?. The Big Idea. Everything you learn in class will be organized under an essential question – the big idea. As you read chapter 1 and watch this PowerPoint, consider the essential question from the first slide.
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What happens when cultures collide?
Dude, Indians are innocent and noble.
These two guys were the ones who came up with the different views of Native Americans.
De Las Casas
Two Franciscan monks in Spain, De Las Casas and Sepulveda, migrated to South America. They had a bro-mance until their views of Native Americans made them into “frenemies.”
De Las Casas’ view was popular in England because he said the Spanish killed, tortured, and stole in the Americas, while contributing nothing good. This became known as the Black Legend.
Of course, England would believe anything that made Spain look bad, since Spain and England did not like each other.
De Las Casas
So, who is more correct, De Las Casas or Sepulveda?
The Indian peoples of the Americas were divided into many diverse cultures speaking more than two thousand different languages.
Native Americans in North and South America had complex societies with alliances and enemies, just like the Europeans.
One example is the Iroquois Confederacy.
Five Indian nations created a military alliance and promised to help each other in order to defeat their enemies.
The Confederacy remained strong until the American Revolution in 1776!
Another example were the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan Empires waged large-scale wars, created alliances, and greatly altered the environment.
The Christian Crusaders brought back to Europe a taste for the silks and spices of Asia.
You studied the Crusades way back in World History class – remember?
Who was that cute guy I sat next to?
Spain kicks out Muslim invaders and unifies itself as a country.
Unite all the kingdoms under one king and queen. Wad ya say y’all?
Spain is unified under one queen. This allows them to concentrate their efforts on exploration instead of political infighting.
Spain becomes the most powerful country in Europe because the rest of Europe is still fighting with one another.
Christopher Columbus thinks there’s a shorter route to all those riches in Asia; he sails West from the newly unified country of Spain.
Spices and silks from Asia were transported by ship around Africa back to Europe– way lame.
Columbus thinks he’s in India (hence the term “Indians”).
He expects to find gold, jewels, silk, and spices.
Where’s the love bro?
The Norse got to North America before Columbus, but they don’t get the credit.
Many Indians loved squash but it’s not popular in Europe
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter the slave trade and establish large-scale plantations using slave labor.
Columbus totally copies the Portuguese.
The natives of these Islands were enslaved by the Portuguese
Portugal was an early colonial competitor to Spain.
The encomiendas grew the veggies and spices Europe demanded.
Encomiendas also supplied the food and resting areas for Conquistadors going to South America.
Umm… yea.. about that…
De Las Casas sees this and eventually flips out. He wrote a book about what he saw.
The Conquistadors set sail from the Caribbean encomiendasand began to conquer Central and South America.
Hernan Cortez conquered the Aztecs because the Aztec ruler Montezuma believed the Conquistadors were gods. What an epic fail.
“La Malinche” was born to a small , fearful tribe between the mighty Aztec and Mayan empires. She spoke many languages and served Cortes (even had a baby with Cortes!) in his conquest of the Aztecs. Pay-backs are a b**ch!
Much worse than European conquest, colonization, and encomiendas to the Indians were their lack of resistance to diseases like malaria and smallpox.
The initial number of Native Americans in the Americas is debatable, so it’s difficult to determine exactly how many Native Americans were killed by European contact, but as much as 90% of some Native populations died from disease.