Midterm Exam Short and Long Essay

Midterm Exam Short and Long Essay - 1 European explorers...

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1) European explorers and conquistadors who traveled to the Americas after the Columbus excursion in 1492 expected lands filled with riches such as gold, natural resources, and a population willing to convert. The Spanish and French empires in the 17 th and 18 th century are prime examples of two nations who sought similar goals, but acted dissimilar in their imperial approach. While the French imperial practice involved incorporation of Natives, The Spanish practiced a method of conversion in order to remain connected with the Indians. The French expansion was motivated by a desire for a water route to the Pacific and Asia (NEAW), for economic windfalls from the fur trade and untapped markets for French goods, as well as Christianization of what they regarded as heathen populations (NEAW). In fact, in 1611 and 1764 an estimated three hundred Jesuits came to North America from France to work with Indians (The West) such as Jacques Marquette (Native Ground). But, it wasn’t the conversion process that highlights the French imperial system. The French, above all were exploring the Mid Atlantic to enhance the fur market. Established in Quebec by Samuel De’ Champlain as well as in The Ohio Valley Region and land claims in the region between St. Larence and Mississippi River, the French wanted “to expand down the Mississippi River, hoping to make profit and fend off English designs” (The West). In order to do this they had to set up temporary trading posts, in addition to staying in respectable relation with the Indians through
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“reciprocity diplomatic relations” by being “generous with presents” (Native Grounds). The Spanish, unlike the French, acted in a more direct and forceful manner in order to succeed in their aspiration. The Mission system, which could be found from Florida to California across the Spanish empire in North America, “reflected Spain’s interwoven imperial and religious aims” (The West). The Spanish intended to convert Native Americans into tax paying Christians in order to become a supreme power in the continent. Beginning in 1513, the Spanish tried to force their religion and ideology with royal proclamations such as the Requerimento which said that if they did not convert, “with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can,” (The West). This method of violence was also found in viewing Conquistadors like Hernan De’ Soto who “lied, murdered, and stole” (Native Ground). Despite extreme violence towards Indians they were unsuccessful in converting many Natives.
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Midterm Exam Short and Long Essay - 1 European explorers...

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