History 1302, Section 8430, Fall 2010
Written Assignment 1
What I Have Learned This Semester
I must admit, when preparing to take History 1302, I was worried that I would find the
subject matter boring and uninteresting.
I could not have been more wrong.
The material this
semester has proven to be both interesting and revealing.
Here is just a small excerpt of what I
learned this semester in History 1302…
In the first discussion board assignment we discussed why it was that we hated history
and I was shocked to learn about all the changes, editing and inaccuracies that were taught to
us from our history books in elementary, middle school and high school history classes.
I always suspected that there were inaccuracies, but not to the lengths that were addressed in
our course’s reading assignments.
With this newfound enlightenment, I will now look at history
texts from a different perspective.
Also, during one of our first few discussion assignments, I
was surprised to learn just how many Native Americans lived in the Americas at the time of
Columbus' landing in 1492. I previously thought the Indians were savages and that they were
just a small group of half naked, whooping, hollering folks that danced around the fire,
constantly fighting and living in teepees. I was surprised to read just how advanced the Indians
were and the structure of their homes, the order of their civilization, do I dare say they were the
civilized ones, we, the Europeans, were uncivilized and savage. (Zinn, 15)
Further, I felt silly
and justifiably so for suggesting in one of our discussions that there were only 1,000 Native
Americans in 1492, when in fact there were about 120 million at the time of Columbus' journey.
I found it interesting that the Indian families were matrilineal, meaning the line
went down through its female members.
Husbands and sons joined their wives' families and