Here are 3 readings, you can read and help me answer the question in folder I attached.
1. Indigenous AmericaTo the people who had lived in the Americas for millennia, the idea that theirs was a “New World” would have seemed strange. Scientists continue to debate when the first people arrived in the Americas from Asia, but estimates range from between 40,000 and 14,000 years ago. In the millennia that followed, the peoples of the Americas fanned out and established a range of societies.
Yet to the Europeans who arrived in the Americas toward the end of the fifteenth century, America was indeed a “brave new world,” as William Shakespeare wrote, inhabited by exotic plants, animals, and peoples. In images and words, Europeans portrayed this extraordinary land in the most fantastic terms. Some accounts spoke of America as an Eden-like earthly paradise inhabited by good-natured, but primitive, peoples. Others emphasized themes like those featured in the below engraving, Amerigo Vespucci Awakens a Sleeping America.
Vespucci, an Italian-Spanish navigator from whose first name the New World came to be called the Americas, gazes upon a naked native woman rising from her hammock. Her nudity symbolizes the wild sexuality Europeans believed characterized the native inhabitants of the Americas. The cannibals behind her, devouring human flesh, represent savagery, a second prominent element of the European vision of the New World. Neither vision of the Americas was accurate, but both would greatly complicate Europeans’ understanding of the American civilizations they encountered, leading to a legacy of violence, exploitation, and conquest.
The European arrival in the Americas was part of a process of exploration and colonization pursued primarily by Portugal, Spain, France, and England. This impulse was driven both by a hunger for riches as well as by profound changes in European society, religion, economics, and politics brought on by the Renaissance and Reformation. Africa was eventually drawn into this vast trading network encompassing the entire Atlantic world. Colonization almost always involved the severe exploitation of native peoples, including dispossession of land and coerced labor. Eventually, Europeans turned to the international slave trade and the labor of enslaved Africans to draw wealth from the mines and fields of the New World.
2. Colliding CulturesSpain’s opening ventures in the Americas had been wildly successful, making the Iberian kingdom the envy of the world. Hoping to cash in on the bounty, other European nations challenged Spain’s monopoly on American colonization, creating an outward explosion. Although slow to consolidate an imperial presence in North America, England was the first to confront the Spanish in force, wounding them severely. France and the Netherlands took advantage of the situation and also began building their own American empires.
For Native Americans, the entry of Europeans into their realms combined with other forces created an air of crisis. Presented with a series of new challenges, Indians sought new ways to solve their problems and created altogether new societies. This often involved difficult choices: perhaps allying with the newcomers, resisting them, or fleeing. As different groups exercised different options, the outcome was a historically dynamic world of interaction involving all of the societies that were coming together in North America.
This dynamic interaction yielded interesting fruit. In New Spain, New France, New Netherlands, and New England, truly cosmopolitan societies emerged. Bearing cultural traits and material goods from throughout the world, these new transatlantic societies set the tone for future development in North America.
3. British North AmericaIn 1607, the English created their first permanent colony at Jamestown. By 1732, thirteen English colonies hugged the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Some, like Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, were founded as religious refugees; others were founded for profit. Three distinct regions soon emerged, based primarily on how the settlers made their living.
Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia made up the Southern colonial region, Here tobacco shaped every aspect of life. Thousands of poor young Englishmen were brought over to work in the tobacco fields. They came as indentured servants, working without pay in exchange for passage to America. Few women were recruited, and the combination of an unbalanced sex ratio and frequent deaths caused by an unhealthy climate, grueling labor, and poor diet led the southern colonies to use African slave labor, which resulted in the plantation owners becoming the richest group in British North America.
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and later New Hampshire made up the New England colonies, with their small farms and shipping and lumbering industries. Here the earliest dissenters sought religious freedom and by 1630, they demanded conformity to their Puritan religious views and drove out those who challenged them, especially Quakers. In 1691, Massachusetts was taken over by the King, and the Puritans’ religious experiment ended. The anxiety produced by this political change coupled with economic tensions and Indian attacks on the frontier all contributed to the Salem witch hunts of 1691.
The Middle colonial region was originally settled by the Dutch and the Swedes, but the English seized the area in 1664. New Sweden and New Netherlands became New Jersey and New York. In 1681 William Penn created the colony of Pennsylvania, west of New Jersey, as a home for Quakers. Unlike the Puritans of New England, however, he welcomed people of all faiths into his “holy experiment.” The Middle Colonies were noted for their diverse populations and policies of religious tolerance.