it should be minimum 3 pages essay. I uploaded all the documents you need.There is one document which contains all requirements, and one document which contains all the lecture notes. The essay should be done and answered according to the lectures.
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Fall 2019
Please answer the following questions in a written essay:
1. How did the platforms of the parties compare in the First and Second party systems
(Democratic-Republicans vs. Federalists and Democrats and Whigs)? What were the
major issues and how did the parties address them?
2. What role did women, Native Americans, and African Americans play from 1789 to
Reconstruction? How did the status of these groups change throughout the period?
3. How did the westward expansion lead to the Civil War? Provide specific details to
answer this question.
1. This question is meant to flex your analytical muscles. To receive an “A,” you need to
do more than just leave an information dump. An “A” essay should grasp the major
themes of the course and use strategic detail. Ideally, the essay should be 3 pages or so,
but the ideal length depends on how concise the prose is.
2. Everything you need to answer this question is in the lecture notes. Take an extra close
look at the “observations” that the instructor made at the end of each week’s lecture.
The most direct and easiest way to answer the question is to recall lecture notes, which
you should be reading gradually according to the lecture schedule in the syllabus, and
look for specific details or points that answer this question. Googling the question will
lead you down various rabbit holes.
3. Stay calm! If you feel overwhelmed by this question, you are probably just overthinking
it. Look through your notes and, if necessary, email the instructor for tips.
4. This paper will be submitted as an assignment in Blackboard and will go through
plagiarism detection software.
5. Answer each question separately. It can go into various directions. Use your knowledge
and understanding of the class to answer the questions and then fill in with details. Two
“A” essays might be entirely different!
Introduction Numerous societies were present in the Americas before Europeans arrived.
Historically, they were depicted as a minor convenience, but now historians have come
to appreciate their contributions. This has happened as values have changed and as the
U.S. has come to value diversity. The naming conventions of Native Americans has been
controversial. Columbus arrived in the Americas and thought he was in India and thought
“these people must be Indians!” Well, the term sort of stuck. Other terms are Native
American and First American. Avoid “savages” and other derogatory terms. We also need
to be careful about “noble savage” trope. European intellectuals initially viewed Native
Americans as living in harmony with nature and in peace and that they were untainted by
“civilization.” This is not true. Native Americans altered and destroyed nature, as did
Europeans, and they had countless feuds with other each other, as did the Europeans
(English vs. French, vs Spanish…etc). Just keep this in mind, especially as we will see
that relationships were not strictly European vs. Native Americans. Native Settlements in
the Americas Archaeologists now believe that the first Americans came from Siberia, over
the land bridge in the Bering Straights, which was frozen solid at the time because of the
ice age. The Bering Sea land Bridge migration probably took place around 13,000 BC
and was in between Russia and Alaska. But scholars have found human remains from
around 15,000 BCE suggesting that some people reached the Americas even before the
Ice Age (possibly by sailing or drifting with the currents from NE Asia down the west coast
of N America). From there, they settled along the Pacific and spread across the Americas.
They had a common language group and it evolved into numerous languages. These first
inhabitants hunted megafauna (bison) but as temperatures warmed, they had to move to
hunting smaller animals. Bison went extinct. Natives also settled the soil and cultivated
the best seeds of corn so that teosinte grass became a staple. Potatoes, beans, squash,
and other foods were also grown in the Americas and would revolutionize world diets
once first contact was made, and corn is in everything today. People, like in Peru, built
dykes, canals, floating gardens; they reworked the Amazon rainforest and planted 70
different trees there. Millions of cubic feet of earth were moved to create cities such as
Cahokia. As you can see, Native Americans also altered their environments.
MesoAmerica (in Central America) had the most advanced civilizations. Corn played a
large role because it could be stored so people could settle. The Olmecs moved into
central America and constructed large pyramids in Yucatan. They had drainage systems,
grew beans, avocados, and corn. The Mayas built aqueducts, discovered zero, and made
an accurate calendar. Maya organized into city states like Tikal. They wanted captives in
war. They retreated around 800 CE back to jungle. We are unsure why. The Maya had
writing with syllables and practice shedding of blood as sacrifice to the gods. By the
1400s, the Aztecs had settled. North America was sparsely populated; the tech was not
there to plow or hunt Buffalo (need horses). Mexico had by far the biggest population.
Here the Aztecs ruled. The population was large because they could plant agriculture on
floating irrigated islands called Chinampas. This was a militaristic society though, and
they had conquered all these peoples and subjected them to tribute and human sacrifice.
They had to donate many people for labor but also for human sacrifices in which their
hearts were torn out and they were tortured to please the gods. Tenochtitlan was built on
islands in a lake; it had a temple to the gods, human sacrifices (because human blood
was necessary to get the sun to rise). This empire was not integrated. The Incas were
more integrated and they used colonists to spread their language, built roads, and did not
demand much tribute. In North America, the Pueblo peoples adopted corns and squash
and built masonry buildings with apartment structures. Along the East Coast, most lived
off animals, fish, and nuts. On the plains, they cultivate corn, squash and hunted
seasonable game. They trapped birds, snakes, elk. In the Pacific northwest, there was
no agriculture because fish, shellfish, and other products were available and this region
had a population of 130,000. In Alaska, the environment was not good for survival but
Eskimos harvested whales from umiaks and hunted fish. Also, along the east coast lived
people spoke an Iroquoian language with the Cherokee and Tuscarora in the south and
Iroquois in the North. They had small towns, hunting and gathering, and longhouses that
housed about 10 families. Those in New England and Virginia adopted agriculture but
those in the North relied more on hunting and fishing. The Taino lived in the Caribbean;
they had conquered this region and exacted tribute from the people living there. They
were the first ones enslaved by Columbus. By the 1400s, Native societies were not doing
so well. The Mayas Pueblos had collapsed and much of the population in North America
had declined. Many had to become nomads, living a precarious existence hunting and
foraging. The total population in the Americas was around 50- 112 million with only 5-10
million in North America. The global population was around 500 million, so the Old World
had higher populations, especially in China. Difference between Americas and Eurasia
The Americas had their ups and down like other societies. The Maya had stalled by 900
and Aztecs had been declining, just like the Greeks and Romans had declined by that
time. The Aztecs, like Old World societies, had a strict hierarchy, with the chief speaker
governing over the nobles, who held all positions of power. In the Pacific Northwest, a
noble class and slave class appeared. Women and children would be captured in slave
raids. However, some areas, such as in the Mississippi valley adopted egalitarianism and
confederacies that stressed individuality. Both worlds also molded nature to fit their
needs. What animals existed in the New World were domesticated, such as turkeys, dogs,
and the Llama or alpaca. Because no large animals existed, there was no need for the
wheel to use it in agriculture. As a result, the wheel did not exist in the Americas. But the
differences are going to be key. Think about it. Eurasia runs by longitude, east to west so
ideas and crops can spread and be compatible everywhere (because climate is roughly
similar east to west unlike north to south). In the Americas, it all runs north to south, so
you have to cross drastically different environments and barriers. This made
communication and innovation difficult in the Americas. Seasonal variations were similar
in Eurasia and within a 1000 years, agricultural developments were spread all over.
Innovations took much longer to spread in the Americas and often did not. Potatoes never
made it to Mexico for example. Squash took 3000 years to spread. Large animals were
largely not available. Yes, deer and moose were there but because of disposition and
rates of growth, they were not good for domestication. Another differences was that
Eurasia had large mammals, and mammals have diseases, which mutate and spread to
humans. Settled agriculture and crowded villages led to diseases spreading, and measles
and smallpox were some that came out of it. Smallpox was a terrible illness that is
thankfully wiped out. It was a big reason why around half of children died before the age
of 5 (spot on the arm for older people today who were vaccinated). However, over
generations, people in Eurasia had some immunity. Native Americans did not have this
immunity, which would have large consequences when Europeans showed up. Some
historians think that because the MesoAmericans didn’t have work animals or the wheel,
because they had to do everything by human power alone, that this is why they fell behind
(speaking only in terms of technology) the rest of the world. If you spend all of your time
dragging a plow, that doesn’t leave you a lot of time to ponder the deep philosophical
questions of the day. In addition, that leaves less time to build large cities or large political
organizations. Finally the Olmecs lacked any type of metallurgy – but for this, too, they
found a substitute, obsidian. Obsidian is a type of volcanic stone that can be sharpened
to a razor thin point. In fact, it is, in many ways, better that stone; it’s much sharper. But
this, of course, meant that the Olmecs and their successor civilizations never had to invent
techniques for extracting ore or smelting iron. Conclusion Numerous societies had
developed in North and South America, most of them were in Central America. Different
environments were most crucial reasons for the Old World conquest of the Americas,
which we will see in the next lecture. Natives lacked immunity to smallpox and lacked
large animals for settled agriculture.
First Contacts in a Global Perspective Introduction Europe was a weakling in 1500, a
backwater. Yet it would be the dominant region of the world from 1800-1945. In addition,
as we all know, the Europeans were the ones who conquered and settled the Americas,
beginning in the 1500s. Yet, China, the Middle East, and other regions had better
technology and were more powerful than European states. So why did the Europeans
settle and conquer the Americas? There were several reasons that we will see. The most
important was geography. Eurasia in the 15th Century If you could do a public opinion
poll in 1500, China would be the world power in 1500. People sought it out for spices,
porcelain, and silk. It had invented paper, the printing press, and gunpowder. The Chinese
trader, Zheng He sailed across the Indian Ocean to Africa with a magnificent fleet of 300
and 20,000 sailors, compared to the dinky ships Columbus had (see pic). However by
1450, China stopped because everyone was coming to China anyway and China
distrusted foreign trade. Chinese Confucianism taught that merchants were lowly
middlemen. Europe was fighting with the Islamic world and losing to the Ottoman Empire,
which several times had made it as far as Vienna and controlled much of Eastern Europe.
Europe was poor, had few exports, and was considered a backwater. It was also
structurally very unequal with nobles and clergy at the top, which dominated a weak
monarch. Artisans lived in cities and made things and formed guilds. 80% were peasants
who lived on the edge of a knife. Although it was Christian, it was still very superstitious,
and the average peasant believed in black magic and an enchanted world. These were
hardly auspicious conditions for exploration. European Explorations However, Europeans
proved very adept at sea exploration. It had several motivations. One was the Crusading
spirit. It desired to destroy Islam and sought any way to do so. Another was the desire for
trade and spices, which it had learned in the Crusades tasted pretty good. Around 1400
Prince Henry the navigator pushed expansion (1394-1460). He heard about the gold in
Timbuktu in Mali and wanted some. He wanted to sail around Africa. This would also
circumvent the Muslim world (in the Middle East) and allow direct access to India. Prince
Henry set up a sailing school at Sagre in Portugal; they went out, revised their ships, went
out further down Africa. This was really bold and courageous. The Atlantic Ocean was a
fearful place. Sailors who went out there never came back. See map of wind patterns.
These were crucial. The winds will carry sailors down to Africa but it was hard to sail back.
Most beached in Africa, near the Sahara desert, where they died. They found out they
can sail into the ocean where they pick up the gulf stream winds, which carry them back
(Volta do mar=return by sea); this is the biggest answer to how the Europeans succeed
in crossing the Atlantic. The wind patterns run in a clockwise motion allowing Europeans
to reach the Americas then come back. They also hit Africa. With this discovery, they
sailed further down, and once they crossed the equator, they figured out the winds go
counter clock wise, so they realize they have to sail out into the ocean. They use it to
attack Muslims in eastern Africa and Vasco de Gama reached India in 1498 by sailing
around the Horn of South Africa. However, Europeans could not set up colonies in Africa
because the technology was about equal and Europeans died of diseases there and
African kingdoms were well organized. A vibrant trade developed in gold, ivory, and other
things and helped Europeans to mint money. Europeans also bought into the African
slave trade. Slavery was a prominent features in most human societies. It was in Rome;
in Europe, many peasants were serfs who were legally tied to the land and enslaved to
the feudal lord. The Ottoman Empire raided for slaves. The Portuguese also set up sugar
plantations on several islands near Portugal and this required slavery because you had
to cut and harvest the sugar on the same day and soon African slaves were flooding into
Portugal. We will pick up this topic later. Spanish Explorations Spain would be the main
power in the Americas. It started with Columbus. He had been turned down by Portugal.
He thought he could reach India and China by going west. This would avoid having to go
through the Muslim Ottoman Empire, which charged outrageous tolls. In addition, he
thought he could find enough gold and raise money to lead a Crusade against the Muslim
world. Portugal thought he was nuts, so he went to Spain. Spain had just conquered what
is today Spain from the Muslims in what is called the Reconquista, and Ferdinand and
Isabella sent him on 3 fishing boats across the Atlantic. He soon reached the Bahamas
and Haiti and Cuba and said “ah, I must be in India and these people are Indians!” He
had several more voyages but was soon discredited and thrown in jail. People also figured
out that he had actually stumbled on some new continents and one of these guys was
Amerigo Vespucci and the name America stuck. The Spanish set up colonies in the
Americas. The Taino people in the Caribbean were enslaved and forced to work in mines.
They eventually went extinct. Columbus died but other Spanish explorations set sail. The
Spanish faned out from the Caribbean. The main conquest was Mexico in 1519-1521.
Cortes sailed with 450 Spaniards and within 2 years they subdued an empire of 14 million.
He succeeded because he had help from the other various peoples in Mexico whom the
Aztecs had subdued. Other tribes disliked Aztec rule. This conquest was, by no means,
a slam dunk. Guns played a role but weren’t decisive. It took longer to take the Inca and
Mayan empires. Pizarro landed in current-day Peru and conquered it by 1535. So what
was the deciding factor? Something else the reading points out was that a decisive
weapon was disease. This caused more devastation than anything else. The people on
the American side of the planet had no immunities to the viruses brought over by the
Spanish. Eurasia had interacted for so long meant that over time Eurasians had
immunities. Small pox and other things swept Latin America; it had an incubation time of
2 weeks, but people who fled carried it with them. It’s estimated that the native American
population was about 54 million at the time of the conquest and a hundred years later
was 5-6 million. This is the largest loss of life in world history. Those lucky enough to
survive were of course better off than before. After 1600 or so there was a slow recovery
The germs were the tip of the iceberg on the ecological changes. It was called ecological
imperialism. Europeans brought whole eco systems with them. One thing involved was
that in temperate climates (areas with mild climates), European flora took over, even in
Australia and New Zealand. The tropics are a different story. It meant that plants like
weeds took over and multiplied; oats, rye also did this. These plants helped European
animals who also spread. Pigs were running all over Mexico. Cattle herds did as well.
Last but not least was horses. Wild horses ran all over the plains of Argentina. Other flora
were adopted by Europeans in what is called the Columbian exchange: chocolate,
tomatoes, tobacco, corn, and potatoes came from America. This greatly improved
nutrition in Europe, China The Spanish built entirely new cities in the Americas and
brought people together in them. This also led to the importation of African slaves. You
get 3 major groups of Europeans, Natives, and Africans. But in many parts of South
America, like Central and the northern part of South America, few Europeans can survive
so few communities were set up. Thus it is mostly European men and few women so what
do they do? They marry indigenous peoples and you get many people called Mestizos
who are mixed Indian and White. Spanish discouraged too much intermarriage but
because there weren’t many female settlers, the opposite occurred. This leads to
mestizos, so Spanish society gets more layered. Africans came along too and diversified
it even more. How were the Spanish colonies governed? The conquistadors (Spanish
conquerors) obtained a well-deserved reputation for brutality as they sought out gold and
glory. There were many massacres, though disease was, by far, the greatest killer. Within
a few years, word of the atrocities filtered back to Spain, so the government stepped in.
The Church also helped mitigate atrocities and Jesuits even armed the Natives. They
took strong measures so by the middle of the century, there was centralized government,
run by Spain. Officials sent out from Spain were called peninsulares; criollos were those
born in the new world but of Spanish descent. They saw themselves as second class
citizens and there was some resentment. They had two viceroyals which were the top
spots (one for New Spain in Mexico and another for Peru). …
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