1. The video clarifies that European attitudes towards the “New World” had elements of romanticism and a belief in riches. This was based largely on the belief that a new, unknown part of Asia had been discovered. Because the luxury goods and commodities came from Asia, it was logical to assume that these lands too had profitable resources. Columbus’s letter shows the attitude manifesting after the very first recorded European trip, which makes sense since it was based on assumptions which led to the first voyage. Columbus revealed in his letter that the area, and its people were exploitable and easily led.
For example, he stated:
They are content with whatever trifle of whatever kind it may be that is given to them, whether it be of value or valueless (Columbus, 4).
He then added:
I forbade that they should be given things so worthless as fragments of broken crockery, scraps of broken glass and ends of straps, although when they were able to get them, they fancied that they possessed the best jewel in the world (Columbus, 4).
Columbus also revealed a belief in the exotic alien understanding of the New World when he stated that “One of these provinces they call “Avan,” and there people are born with tails” (Columbus, 5). Later he added that “In another island, which they assure me is larger than Española, the people have no hair” (Columbus, 6).
2. The Colombian Exchange was the exchange of biological matter, including the introduction of diseases from Europe to South and North America. This exchange greatly benefited European colonization of the Americas by decimating the numbers of Indians who were in the Americas, reducing resistance. In addition to diseases, several new crops and plants were introduced to Europe, including tobacco. Tobacco and other new products were very profitable and therefore became a driving force for European colonization.
3. The Indians, especially the Algonquins, influenced the development of European colonies in eastern North American between 1607 and 1625 through alliances, trade and finding new roles to play in the European exploration of the continent. The Algonquins were middle men, who were able to extend trade networks far beyond the reaches of the area which was explored by the Europeans, and they were able to guide those explorers and traders who did want to penetrate the wilderness. The 1622 attack by the Indian Chief Opechancanough represented a changing dynamic between the settlers and the Indians, and the relationship was characterized by increasing conflict. War raged between the colonists and the Native American tribes throughout the colonial area from 1636-1644.
4. Between 1625 and 1640, the settlers who came to the colony were largely from religious groups who faced persecution. While they had considerable freedom in the new land, they also had incredible hardships as they attempted to build the infrastructure which they felt they needed for their households and the community. Seeking God, seizing land, and reaping conflict refers to the colonists’ beliefs, their behavior and the resulting problems which were created regarding the Indians. The Indian tribes were allied with various European nations, and this was mirrored in the issues of enmity between colonist groups. Conflict came in the form of Indians under land and resource pressure from colonists as well as competitive pressure from the colonists and explorers from the Netherlands, Spain and France.
5. The lives of English colonists and Native Americans changed between 1640 and 1660 because they were affected by political turmoil in England as well as increased conflict between one another. In addition, a new population was growing in the colonies, that of Africans who were typically slave laborers. It was the English Revolution, however, which had the most impact as there was uncertainty about British authority, and many male colonists returned to Great Britain to fight or become involved.
6. Slavery was established in Virginia and Barbados because the sugar, tobacco and other cash crops were very labor intensive, and there was a business case for employing slave labor. In Virginia and Barbados, plantation owners bought slaves through the growing transatlantic human trade, and attempted to establish profitable operations. This was somewhat different from South Carolina, because in fact the slavery operations which were found in South Carolina were successful operations which were transplanted from Barbados.
7. The English and Spanish imperialism and colonization of the New World shared features, but were also dissimilar in many ways. The two movements shared backing in the form of noble authority, and both were driven by the potential for profitable trade and new sources of natural resources. As the video points out, imperialism, settlement of the new lands and exploitation are another way to see these common characteristics. What was different was the religious nature of the British versus the Spanish authorities and colonies, as well as the type of settlement and exchange which occurred. A further difference was that the Spanish established themselves much earlier, in the 16th century, while British settlement did not really begin until the 17th century. The Spanish were Catholic, and they believed in spreading their faith, a practice which was instilled in conflicts against the spread of Islam.
The British were Christians, however there were diverse groups such as Puritans and Quakers. The Spanish who came were conquistadores, mostly men who were seeking battles, while the English colonists were mostly men seeking work, and families seeking freedom from oppression. The Spanish conquistadors sought plunder and personal profits, while the British sought community and land ownership. These issues of religion and objective shaped the impact on the local Native American population, as well as the extent to which the different groups were interconnected.