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American History 9/6/16

by: Max Skidelsky

American History 9/6/16 HIST 1310

Max Skidelsky
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These notes cover what was discussed in the lecture, and can be used to supplant a potential paper.
Intro to American History
Class Notes
american, history




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Max Skidelsky on Friday September 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 1310 at George Washington University taught by Silverman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Intro to American History in American History at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 09/23/16
American History 9/6/16 Among the first famous English explorers was Thomas Dermer, who in 1619, settled upon Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. There, he came upon a Native American, Epenow, who, to Thomas’ surprise, spoke broken English. Evidently Epenow had trained as an interpreter in England under Sir Perdinando Gorges—Thomas’ employer. Originally kidnapped, Epenow eventually came to grasp the English language, as well as the cultures of the Europeans. In 1614, he tricked his captors into returning him back to Massachusetts with the promises of gold—a false claim that nevertheless drew support from English nobles. Upon returning, Epenow tricked his captors (and later Dermer by rerouting him through Virginia) and killed them all with a tribal ambush. To the surprise of the average settler, English had become fairly well known in tribal circles, since 2,000 Native Americans had crossed over to Europe before the founding of the Plymouth Colony in 1620. Hence, Native Americans did not tend to think of Europeans as gods whose every order should be obeyed, but rather they had a deeper understanding of a foreign people. There is a common misconception that Europeans alone were the discoveries of a new world. However, Native Americans also discovered a new people, and were intrigued to learn more about them, especially when it came to trade. However, this intrigue did not always translate into peaceful interaction. Spain took the lead in exploring the Americas, setting off voyages in the 1520s, among the first around Florida. The Spanish hunt for gold, though driven to excess, was in fairness relatively well- grounded. Among the many discoveries the Spanish made, particularly in present-day Mexico and across South America, included the vast gold reserves and treasures of the Incan and Aztec Empires. This rush for gold spirited the Spanish to travel all across the continent in search of it, and thus required Native American assistance. However, because of a lack of interpreters, with an inaccessible language barrier, Native Americans simply pointed the Spanish away (whether towards treasure or simply to get them to leave is arguable). Believing the gesture to be the latter, the Spanish rampaged throughout Native American communities and decimated tight-knit communities with their advanced technologies (including horses), which inevitably derailed Native American relations. The Spanish did not colonize for 40 years, focusing more on exploration in search of gold, and invariably attacking Native American tribes. This pattern of violence deteriorated into retaliation and provocation, until Spanish brutality all but guaranteed complete misinformation and constant hostility from thousands of Native Americans along the coasts of Florida, Texas, and parts of Mexico. When the French settled along the Southeastern coast, it convinced the Spanish to protect their ships from pirates by building settlements. Among other settlers were Spanish Jesuits who were convinced missions should take place away from St. Augustine—closer to Chesapeake Bay. Juan Baptista, a Jesuit who later taught English in Jamestown, introduced Native Americans to European ideas and cultures, giving them a sense before the English themselves arrived. Understand that despite the difficulties incurred, Spanish territories covered huge stretches, and so by European standards their states fared relatively well, even in comparison to Virginia or Massachusetts. On the whole, European powers set out to colonize because of a number of internal problems The need to reach out and expand was in an effort to solve these problems, among them religious, monarchial, and economic disputes. Other world powers such as China or the Ottoman Empire were already extremely wealthy and content to remain in control of their own possessions, and were uninterested in colonialism to the degree that Western Europe was. Early English settlers faced many problems, particularly because they were not hard working, and refused to reciprocate trade with the Native Americans in Rowanoak, who had actually provided them food. Later the coloth was found abandoned, its inhabitants suspected of returning to Croatoan, sometime in the 16 century. By comparison, European exploration and settlement was more peaceful in the Northeast than in the South, especially considering French attention to trade and not land. Early trade with the Native Americans was difficult, if ever established in some parts. When Verrazano discovered New York in 1524, the Native Americans were highly disdainful in an attempt to coax him to leave. When Cartier traveled northwards into Canada on behalf of the French, he found that Native Americans were careful to have him trade exclusively with them, and not their neighboring tribes or rivals. Other disputes involve accounts of Native Americans who returned, dressed as Europeans, only to arouse discontent and upset the local populations. Overall, conflicts and problems either drove Europeans and Native Americans apart, and motivated them to attack or kidnap each other. These earlier periods when Native Americans gained a moderate understanding of Europeans had consequences for later colonies and settlements. However, Native Americans eventually allowed larger settlements for trade, as well as to aid in tribal warfare.


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