New World

The New World
• Please pick up Focus 4 from the table and take out both
Homework 1 (to be checked) and your class notes from
our last class.
• Take the first 10 minutes of class to work with your
partner on Focus 4.
We will:
*describe and analyze the impact of the
Columbian Exchange
*complete our chronology of U.S. history
*identify the origins of racism in American
*preview our first quiz (given in our next class)
The New World
Three Worlds Meet:
Europe, Africa, &
the Americas
The Columbian Exchange
• 1492: Discovery of the New World by
Italian explorer Christopher Columbus
ushered in modern world history
• The Columbian Exchange represented
a massive transfer of plants, animals,
diseases, people, and cultures between
the Old and New Worlds
• By the 1700s, the entire globe was
connected through trade
• Western European nation-states such as
Spain, Portugal, England, France, and
the Netherlands dominated and profited
from this new global system
The Columbian Exchange
What motivated Europeans to explore
and colonize the New World?
• Western Europeans sought more direct routes to obtain
Oriental luxury goods such as silks and spices from China and
• Italian and Middle Eastern Muslim merchants dominated EastWest trade through the Mediterranean by the 1400s; Western
Europeans sought to get around these “middlemen”
• The Maritime Revolution, started by Portugal in the early
1400s, provided Europeans with the navigational technology
that made ocean-going exploration possible
What did Europeans gain?
• New colonies in the
Americas that served as the
foundation of global
commercial empires
• Trade goods that provided
new sources of wealth (gold
and silver) and food
(potatoes and corn)
• An outlet for excess
• Spread of European culture,
including religion, to the
New World
New World colonies by 1763
How were Native Americans affected?
• Collapse of the Aztec and Inca empires at the hands of
Spanish conquistadors (Cortez and Pizarro) by the 1530s
• The Spanish enslaved Native Americans to work in
mines and on encomiendas (large agricultural estates)
• Many Native Americans were forcibly converted to
Roman Catholicism and European language/customs
• By 1600, nearly 90% of the Native American population
perished as a result of a devastating smallpox epidemic,
against which Native Americans had no natural defenses
Left: Mural depiction
of Cortez meeting the
Aztec leadership
Right: Photo and
illustration of smallpox
How were Africans affected?
• As Native Americans perished,
Europeans looked for a new and cheap
source of labor and found it in the
form of the Atlantic slave trade
• Europeans traded rum and guns for
slaves, taking them across the Atlantic
via the infamous Middle Passage
• Over 10 million slaves were brought
to the New World from the 1500s to
the 1800s (10 million more likely died
on the voyage)
• Slaves worked mostly on plantations
that grew cash crops like sugar and
What made all of this possible?
• Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel
makes the case that European domination
of the New World and modern history
was the result of geography and biology,
NOT because of presumed European
racial superiority
• Western Europeans benefitted from trade
with Asia, which gave them an advantage
in technology and exposed them to
deadly diseases carried by domesticated
livestock and poultry
• Native American and African cultures
remained relatively isolated because of
geographic barriers such as deserts and
jungles and Native Americans had no
resistance to Old World diseases
Eurasians had a geographic
advantage because of living
along an East-West axis
with similar climate and
few geographic barriers
How did racism emerge from the
Columbian Exchange?
By the mid-1500s, Spaniards portrayed Native Americans as less than human:
Now compare these natural qualities of judgment, talent, magnanimity,
temperance, humanity, and religion [of the Spanish] with those of these pitiful
men [the Indians], in whom you will scarcely find any vestiges of humanness.
These people possess neither science nor even an alphabet, nor do they
preserve any monuments of their history…, nor do they have written laws, but
barbarous institutions and customs. In regard to their virtues, how much
restraint or gentleness are you to expect of men who are devoted to all kinds of
intemperate acts and abominable lewdness, including the eating of human
flesh? And you must realize that prior to the arrival of the Christians, … they
made war against one another continually and fiercely, with such fury that
victory was of no meaning if they did not satiate their monstrous hunger with
the flesh of their enemies. ...These Indians are so cowardly and timid that they
could scarcely resist the mere presence of our soldiers. Many times thousands
upon thousands of them scattered, fleeing like women before a very few
Spaniards. . .
--Juan de Sepulveda (1547)
Columbus – Hero or Invader?
• Should Columbus be celebrated as a hero for his discovery of
the New World or should he be remembered as setting in motion
the eventual destruction of Native American societies?
• A Native American perspective:
• Read the full text of S.J. Res. 14 (April 30, 2009):
• “To dignify Columbus and his legacy with parades, holidays,
and other celebrations is repugnant. As the original peoples of
this land, we cannot, and we will not, tolerate social and political
festivities that celebrate our genocide. We are committed to the
active, open, and public rejection of disrespect and racism in its
various forms—including Columbus Day and Columbus Day
--Open Letter from the American Indian Movement;
October 8, 1994
What is the perspective of the cartoon
with regard to today’s subject?
“Reclaim America”
by Steve Kelley for
the San Diego Union
Tribune (1994)
Another perspective…
European Empires in the New World
__________________ _____________________
South & Central
America; California and
Quebec, Great Lakes, &
Mississippi Valley
Virginia, New England
(Atlantic seaboard)
*wealth (“gold”)
*expansion of Roman
Catholicism (“God”)
*personal adventure and
advancement (“glory”)
*expansion of Roman
*religious freedom
*economic opportunity for
Economy &
*mining of silver/gold
*large agricultural estates
*hierarchical social
system with Europeans at
the top and mestizos and
slaves at the bottom
*fur trade with Native
*limited farming
*small population
dominated by
*agriculture – both large
plantations and small family
*timber and fishing
*growing population with
concentration of slaves in the
Southern colonies
with Native
*treated them as less than *treated them as equals
equal; often enslaved and and sought to convert
forcibly converted them
them peacefully
*sought to cooperate with
them to survive but also
fought with them when they
became an obstacle to growth
Before we leave…
• Remember to review for our first quiz on the
material in Chapter 1 and U.S. geography - focus
on physical features, regions, and major cities and
use the quiz preview as a guide
• Complete Homework 2 for next class
• If you have a U.S. map to turn in today, keep it to
study for the quiz – you can turn it in for credit
just before you take the quiz at the start of our
next class.