In Chapter 1: The Collision of Cultures in the 16th Century

1.    Review in general the settlement of the New World. Focus on pre-Columbian Native Americas and in general their wide variation from Central and South America to North America across its breath before the coming of Columbus. Notice these peoples in this section and in the section of the textbook where they encounter Europeans:

·         Aztecs and Incas – in Chapter 1

·         Algonquians and Iroquois – in Chapter 2

2.    Examine the expansion of Europe. To help you recognize the periods covered use the quiz on the major eras and the link at the top of Figuring It Out (Learning is More Than Memorizing).
Notice how different the world is:

·         From feudalism and serfs bound to the land and nobles owning that land

·         To the rise of a “middle class” and of towns and cities

·         To the Renaissance after the 1300s and its focus on science and tools for exploration

3.    Notice Columbus and Spain’s activities to the West
Tip: Do not assume about this era of exploration. Where was Columbus born and for what nation did he sail. What does that tell you about this era.

4.    Notice the Treaty of Tordesillas (also known as the Line of Demarcation) and its purpose and consequences

5.    Examine the changes in religion from Roman Catholicism to the Protestant Reformation. Notice:

·         Martin Luther

·         John Calvin

To help you recognize the differences in religion, their leadership, and their locations in Europe and in the New World, use the link at the top of Figuring It Out (Learning is More Than Memorizing).

6.    Notice the Spanish actions in the new world:

·         The Spanish and the conquistadores, including Cortés, and the Aztecs

·         The Spanish and the Incas

·         The Spanish and the introduction of the encomienda (a feudal system which they applied to the new world)

·         The method used to control the Native Americans and the introduction of slavery of Africans

Caution: Read the primary for Chapter 1 to notice many things about this era, including slavery, vassalage, war, nation-state, religion.

7.    Look with care at the term the Columbian Exchange. Notice not just the exchange of crops and foods and animals and the introduction of the horse to the New World, but also the 90% death rate of Native Americans from encounters with European diseases.

8.    Notice the expansion of the Spanish conquest, where it occurred, the role of the monarchy, and religion (including with violence against the Pueblos).

9.    Notice the French, one of the other new nations trying to gain a foothold in the New World .Notice where they went and their very different and limited approach. (The textbook will complete their history in Chapter 4, beginning on page 108. It is not covered in this chapter but they will later turn to the fur trade and become England’s prominent enemy in the mid-1700s.

10. Notice also the Dutch (the name for people from The Netherlands) and the English—both Protestant nations and both having citizens (with the English term being “sea dogs”) turning to piracy of Spanish vessels heading from their gold mines in the Americans back to Spain.

The shift of power begins with the defeat of the Spanish Invincible Armada. Notice Queen Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh, and “lost colony” at Roanoke.


11. Look carefully. What weakened the Spanish empire and what strengthened the English one.



Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2015


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