World History Essay Answers – History is written with surviving documents …

Modules 2, 3 and 4 introduce you to the immediate aftermath of contact and
the development of the colonial system in the Americas. In this “new world” Europeans, indigenous people and African descendants willingly and
unwillingly created what would become Latin America. Your task is to respond
to this transformation using the materials presented to you in the lectures and
the materials folder. Below are three prompts – you must choose one. Each prompt roughly
overlaps with one of the modules, but you can bring readings and lectures from
each/any lecture to bear on your answer/argument. Prompt 1: History is written with surviving documents – how do the documents
that historians use to write the early history of Atlantic exploration and
“discovery” affect our understanding of this moment? What motivated early
explorers to cross the Atlantic – and how do we know this? What accounts to
we have that tell us about their experience and intentions – and what accounts
do we have that tell us about how they were received by indigenous
populations?
Prompt 2: The Spanish had a powerful and invisible ally in their conquest of
indigenous peoples – diseases that Europeans were immune to coursed
through the indigenous populations with fatal consequences. Using the
primary sources assigned in the materials ans the lectures,convey your
understanding of what indigenous societies were like before small pox & war
altered them forever. How do reports from the early conquest reflect on native
societies, and how does the scholarship on diseases and population help you
understand what early colonial life was like, both for Europeans who were
moving to New Spain after its conquest, and for the indigenous people that
survived?
Prompt 3: To say the Spanish considered themselves superior to the people
they colonized is obvious – that is what the conquest was. But marital/casual
alliances were also part of this process in the early phase (see Hernan Cortés
and Malintzin), so the the colonizers and colonized did not remain a distinct
group for long. In the years, decades and generations that followed this would
become ever more common, yet the ethnic hierarchy became embedded in
society. Different parts of the Americas experience and integrate this social
structure differently – but across Latin America social hierarchies of power &
privilege become attached to ethnic and racial signifiers. Using the materials
and lecture in module, explore and explain how this unfolded during the
colonial period

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