Speaking of America Assignment1

Speaking of America Assignment1 - 1 Speaking of America...

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1 Speaking of America Assignment #1 History 1103 Dr. Belmonte January 19, 2006
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2 Section 1.1- Christopher Columbus, Journal 1.) In Columbus’s journal, he describes his first interaction with the Indians as somewhat peaceful. It was probably a good experience because he immediately gave small gifts to the Indians, and they in return gave him things like “parrots and cotton thread in balls and javelins and many other things” 1 . Their first encounter may also have been peaceful because the Indians didn’t know what Columbus and the other Europeans’ plans were. From the very beginning, they planned on taking the land that was clearly the Indian’s home. This became obvious when the Admiral announced upon seeing the land that he was going to take it for Kind Ferdinand and Queen Isabella 2 . Basically, from the way that Columbus describes meeting and giving gifts to the Indians we can see that he has an ulterior motive. For example, he describes how the Indians seem athletic and healthy, yet he says later that they will make good servants 3 . 2.) There are many instances when ethnocentric remarks are made by Columbus. When he says, “But it seemed to me that they were a people very poor in everything”, it shows that since he lived in a materialistic society that he saw the Indians as poor because they didn’t value the same things as the Europeans 4 . When Columbus proudly explains that he recognizes that the Indians would more easily be “converted to our Holy Father by love than by force”, it proves that he feels that his religion is the only religion 5 . Also, he talks about how he will take six of the Indians (like they are objects) to the King and Queen so they can “learn to speak” 6 . By Columbus choosing those words it implies that he thinks that his language is the superior and only true language. Section 1.2- Bartoleme de Las Casas
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3 1.) In the beginning, Las Casas describes the Indians almost as helpless, innocent babies. He says that they are “weak and complaisant”, and that they would surely die if required to do heavy labor 7 . He speaks of them like they’re servants to the Spanish Christians. Las Casas also says that they are particularly excited to learn about Catholicism from the missionaries 8 . 2.) Las Casas’s description of the Spaniards treatment of the Indians is a gruesome one. He says the Spaniards treated them horribly, and “tortured and destroyed the native peoples” 9 . According to Las Casas, the Spaniards greed resulted in them slaying the natives and keeping the rest as their slaves 10 . Later the Indians began to defend themselves, but with weak weapons they lost 11 .After the Indians’ defeat they were left with a very small percentage of the original population and were sent into slavery. The remaining women and men were separated; therefore, they were not able to procreate which left an even fewer amount of Indians after a while 12 . Section 1.3- Captain John Smith
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Speaking of America Assignment1 - 1 Speaking of America...

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