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The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
Richard W. Bulliet, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, David Northrup
History WIRED

The Diversity of American Colonial Societies, 1530-1770


Colonial North America
This is another superb site from the University of Calgary that contains numerous maps from the colonial era.  Its primary focus is North America.

European Voyages Exploration
Also from the University of Calgary, this excellent resource offers several maps of early European colonization in the Americas.

Spanish Viceroyalties in South America

Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks - Eastern U.S.

North America: Exploration and Settlement from 1675-1800


Colonial North America
There are numerous images of the colonial period in the Americas contained within this excellent site.

Africans in the Americas
This is another comprehensive site that offers numerous images of the African experience in the Americas.  Its primary focus is North America and the Caribbean

Columbian Exchange
This interesting site contains many images of the flora and fauna exchanged between the Old and New Worlds after 1492.

Brooklyn College History Department Image Bank
Click on "Varieties of Imperialism" for a few images of colonial America.

New Spain: The Frontiers of Faith
This is an interesting site that provides several paintings and prints depicting the Spanish effort to convert Amerindians to Catholicism and Western methods of government and economics.

Crossroads of Empire: Early Printed Maps of Texas and the Southwest
This is an interesting site that provides several paintings and prints depicting the Spanish effort to convert Amerindians to Catholicism and Western methods of government and economics.

Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries
This is a comprehensive site that includes many images from the colonial era in Mexico. Border Studies Slideshows You can download three excellent slide shows that explore the early encounters between the Spanish and the Mesoamericans.  An ISDN connection is required.

San Antonio Missions: Spanish Influence of Texas
This site offers several images of the ruins of these Spanish Catholic missions in modern-day Texas.

Cultural Readings: Colonization and Print in the Americas
This is a unique site that offers many images of rare printed and manuscript material from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America.

Potosi, Bolivia
This site offers contemporary photographs of silver mining in the Potosi region of Bolivia.

Construction and Design of a Spanish Galleon
This site presents several images of these famous ships that carried early goods from the Americas to Europe and Asia during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Jamestown Fort Rediscovered: The Things
Several images of artifacts from the first successful English settlement in North America can be viewed at this site.

Virtual Jamestown
Click on "Maps and Images" for visual material.  This site also presents a panoramic view of the fort at Jamestown by using Quicktime technology.

Plimouth on the Web
Within this comprehensive site are numerous images of this early English settlement in North America.

The Virtual Museum of New France

Activity One

Analyze the following statement:
The most important legacy of the Age of Exploration was Christopher Columbus's accidental voyage to the Americas.  Though not the first European to explore the Americas, Columbus established a permanent link between the peoples of the Americas and the rest of the world.  Most United States history classes you might have taken in the past probably focused on the consequences of this development on the Americas and Europe.  In reality, the legacy of Columbus is best understood in a global context.

Do you agree with this statement or not?  Explain your answer.

Define Columbian Exchange after checking page 472 in Bulliet, et al., The Earth and Its Peoples (Second Edition).  To explore the term's multifaceted dimensions, go to Seeds of Change Garden, The European Voyages of Exploration: The Sugar and Slave Trades, and The Euro-biomedical Impact on the American Indian.

  After familiarizing yourself with the biological nature of the Columbian Exchange, discuss how this globalization of flora, fauna, and disease changed world history. Be exhaustive in your response and consider this phenomenon's effect on every continent.

After brainstorming, create a chart, list, map, or other tool that demonstrates how the Columbian Exchange altered world history. Then write an essay that analyzes your original response.

Activity Two:

Any historians refer to the centuries after Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492 as the encounter period.  During this era, Europeans, Amerindians, and Africans established various methods for living together in both North and South America.  The lessons learned during this encounter period helped to shape the various colonial societies that emerged in these lands.  In many areas, missionaries established the first sustained contact between Europeans and Amerindians.  In what is now the state of Texas, the first European outposts were missions established by Franciscan monks.  To learn more about these early settlements go to San Antonio Missions National Historic Park and tour the missions virtually by clicking on "History."  Be sure to visit the links "Mission Community" and "Mission Frontier" at the top of the page; then return to the home page and continue your tour by clicking on the name of each mission.  You should also review the maps, images, and brief essays at San Antonio Missions: Spanish Influence in Texas.  At the table of contents, click on "Setting the Stage" and continue until you reach "Putting It All Together."  After examining these sites, you should be able to complete the following tasks.

    Describe the frontier society of eighteenth-century Texas.  What kinds of social structures existed within the missions, and how diverse were they?  Which Amerindians participated in the mission settlements, and which did not?  Why did some Amerindians choose to live within the missions while others rejected this lifestyle?

    Write about the economy of this frontier society.  What kinds of goods were exchanged, and what primary products were produced?  What kinds of economic institutions and networks of exchange had emerged?

    Explain the governing structure of this society.  How much influence did the Spanish government have over this region?  Did the Amerindians retain their political and military strength?  Why or why not?

    How did the missions create cross-cultural exchanges?  In other words, how did the Spanish and Amerindians influence each other throughout this prolonged period of contact?  Review Old World Contacts: Cultural Conversion from Chapter 8, Networks of Communication and Exchange, 300 B.C.E.-1100 C.E. in Activity Four.  Describe the cultural conversion that took place in the missions.  Then debate whether syncretism, or the creation of a new cultural arrangement, emerged.

    Activity Three:

    Although Spanish, Portuguese, and French Roman Catholic missionaries often initiated many of the early encounters between Europeans and Amerindians in the Americas, other groups were also involved.   French coureurs des bois (literally "runners of the woods"), or fur traders, were responsible for much of the initial contact between the Amerindians of the St. Lawrence River Valley, the Great Lakes region, and the Mississippi River Valley of North America.  To review material about these areas, go to Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks - Eastern U.S.  Also examine the material at The Fur Trade in New France: Les Coureurs des Bois and click on the hyperlink "Fur for Trade."  Continue through this site by clicking the arrow in the bottom right-hand corner in each window until you reach the end.  You can also enlarge many of the images by clicking on them.  After completing this task, go to The Fur Trade in New France: Voyageurs and Hired Men. Begin your tour of this site by clicking on the hyperlink "Short and Long Journeys;" then follow the same instructions that you did for the previous site.  After examining these sites, complete the following tasks:  Describe the process by which the coureurs des bois and Amerindians interacted in North America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  What kinds of cross-cultural exchange developed as a result of this interaction?  For example, what products or commodities did they exchange?  Was there any technological diffusion between the two cultures?  What motives existed on both sides for this relationship?  Debate which side benefited more from this contact.  How did it affect Amerindians, particularly in their relationships with the different sides?  How did the relationship affect French efforts to establish permanent settlements in the Americas?

    Activity Four:

    In the settlements of Texas and New France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Europeans and Amerindians found ways to accommodate each other.  However, this scenario did not emerge in the English settlements of North America.  Go to Colonial North America: The Seventeenth Century, New Patterns.  Read this essay; then click on "European Settlements" on the left-hand side.  Explain the differences between plantation colonies and settlement colonies and give examples of each.  Next, go to History of King Philip's War and Bacon's Rebellion.  Discuss the sources of these conflicts between Europeans and Amerindians in these settler and plantation colonies.  Why did the conditions that allowed for relatively peaceful coexistence in Texas and New France not exist in New England and Virginia?  Describe the societies that emerged  after these conflicts.  Consider what roles Amerindians played in these evolving societies and what other groups were present.