Essay Review Questions

4116 WordsOct 6, 201117 Pages
Give Me Liberty! Eric Foner Focus Questions Chapter One: -What impelled European explorers to look west across the Atlantic? The European conquest of America began as an offshoot of the quest for a sea route to India, China, and the islands of the East Indies, the source of the silk, tea, spices, porcelain, and other luxury goods on which international trade in the early modern era centered. Profit and piety-the desire to eliminate Islamic middlemen and win control of the lucrative trade for Christian Western Europe-combined to inspire the quest for a direct route to Asia. Long before Columbus sailed, Europeans had dreamed of a land of abundance, riches, and ease beyond the western horizon. They hoped America would bring them a…show more content…
Convinced of the superiority of Catholicism to all other religions, Spain insisted that the primary goal of colonization was to save the Indians from heathenism and prevent them from falling under the sway of Protestantism. The aim was neither to exterminate nor to remove the Indians, but to transform them into obedient Christian subjects of the crown. To the Spanish colonizers, the large native populations of the Americas were not only souls to be saved but also a labor force to be organized to extract gold and silver that would enrich their mother country. Las Casas’ writings and the abuses they exposed contributed to the spread of the Black Legend-the image of Spain as a uniquely brutal and exploitative colonizer. This would provide of a potent justification for other European powers to challenge Spain’s predominance in the New World. -What were the major patterns of Native American life in North America when Europeans arrived? Indian civilizations in North America had not developed the scale, grandeur, or centralized organization of the Aztec and Inca to their south. North American Indians lacked the technologies Europeans had mastered, such as metal tools and machines, gunpowder, written languages, and the scientific knowledge necessary for long-distance navigation. They also lacked wheeled vehicles, since they had no domestic animals like horses or oxen to pull them. But, over time, Indian societies had perfected techniques of farming,

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