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HIST221: Colonial Latin and South America

Unit 1: The Atlantic World in the Late 15th Century   The late 15th century was a time of great political, military, and economic activity across the Iberian Peninsula, the geographical region that now encompasses the modern-day nations of Spain and Portugal.    The marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile in 1479 united the two major Spanish kingdoms of the peninsula and allowed both states to pool their resources in order to conquer the remaining Muslim strongholds in southern Spain in the early 1490s.  In the kingdom of Portugal, Prince Henry the Navigator developed sophisticated navigation equipment that enabled Portuguese mariners to explore coastal Africa and establish a trade route across the Indian Ocean to the East Indies in the later 15th century.  In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella funded the Christopher Columbus’ expedition to find a western trade route to the East Indies that would cross the Atlantic Ocean.  Columbus’ expedition led to the first European contact with the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and established the kingdom of Spain’s claim to all the land in this vast, unexplored territory.  In this unit, we will evaluate the political, economic, and social contexts of Iberian exploration in the Atlantic Ocean in the late 15th century and examine the civilizations that Spanish and Portuguese explorers encountered in Africa and the Americas. 

Unit 1 Time Advisory
Time Estimate: This unit will take you 5.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.3: 2.5 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to: - Think critically about the history of Europe, Africa, and the Americas in the pre-colonial period. - Compare and contrast the political, economic, and social practices of the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula, Africa, and the Americas in the pre-colonial period.

1.1 Iberia   - Reading: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Camba’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the sections titled “Introduction” and “The First Atlantic Encounters: Discovery, Reconnaissance, and Expansion” in their entirety.  These readings will help you gain an understanding of the circumstances that led to one of the momentous times in history, the opening of the Atlantic World, and the subsequent discovery of the New World. 

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kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Camba.  Please note that this
material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity
without explicit permission from the copyright holder.  

1.1.1 The Reconquista of Spain and Portugal   - Reading: The Library of Iberian Resources Online’s version of Charles Julian Bishko’s “The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, 1095-1492” Link: The Library of Iberian Resources Online’s version of Charles Julian Bishko’s “The Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest, 1095-1492

                                                                             
 Instructions: Please read this text in its entirety.  This reading
offers an overview of the Christian crusades in the Iberian
Peninsula, also known as the *Reconquista* [Reconquest].  
    
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displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.2 Revolution in Maritime Technology   - Web Media: University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “Technical Advances in Shipbuilding and Navigation” Link: University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “Technical Advances in Shipbuilding and Navigation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please be sure to click "Proceed with the Tutorial" and read the text page as well.  This site focuses on advances in European maritime technology.
  
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.3 Movements West   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “The Age of Discovery” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: “The Age of Discovery” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the webpage in order to get a sense of why European explorers took to the high seas in the 15and 16th centuries.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “Christopher Columbus” Link: UC College Prep’s: “Christopher Columbus” (Adobe Flash)

    Instructions: Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 2 of Lesson 1–Discovery and Settlement of the New World). This session will give you an excellent introduction to Christopher Columbus’ voyages to the New World. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.

    Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML). It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here.

  • Reading: Fordham University's Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Christopher Columbus' "Letter to the King and Queen of Spain" Link: Fordham University's Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Christopher Columbus' "Letter to the King and Queen of Spain"
     
    Instructions: Read Columbus' "Letter to the King and Queen of Spain" for an understanding of Columbus' motives and what he believed he found on the voyage of 1492-1494.  In 1494, Christopher Columbus sent a letter to Spain describing his discovery of the islands of Hispaniola.  In this text, Columbus outlines the prospects for Spanish colonization and trade in the islands.  He believes a gold trade could be created, towns built, and the native peoples converted to Catholicism.  Please note that this website is maintained by Paul Halsall at Fordham University.
     
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  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Study Questions: Christopher Columbus” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Study Questions: Christopher Columbus” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please complete the entire assessment.  You can check your answers against the Saylor Foundation’s Reading Guide. (PDF)

1.2 Africa   - Web Media: University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “The European Voyages of Exploration: Africa” Link:  University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “The European Voyages of Exploration: Africa” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please be sure to click "Proceed with the Tutorial" and read the text page as well.  This site will provide you with some insight into Europe’s relations with Africa in the 15th century.
 
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1.2.1 Religion and Trade   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas' “Trade and the Spread of Islam in Africa” Link:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas' “Trade and the Spread of Islam in Africa” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please read the entirety of the webpage to gain an understanding of the intricate relations between the spread of the Islam and trading.
 
The Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas of The Metropolitan Museum of Art created this online text as a thematic essay for their Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.
 
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1.2.2 European Trade and Colonization   - Web Media: University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “Prince Henry the Navigator: The Lure of Trade” Link:  University of Calgary’s Multimedia History Tutorials: “Prince Henry the Navigator: The Lure of Trade” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire text and be sure to click "Proceed with the Tutorial.”  This site will provide you with a solid overview of the expansion of European trading routes in Africa.
 
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1.2.3 Development of Slave Trade   - Web Media: HowStuffWorks, Inc.: “American History: The African Slave Trade” Link:  HowStuffWorks, Inc.: “American History: The African Slave Trade” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions:  Please watch the entirety of this video (approximately 4 minutes) for an overview of the complex and exploitative nature of the African slave trade.
 
This video segment was produced by Cosmeo, which is a website containing educational videos as supplemental resources.  Cosmeo is a division of Discovery Communications, Inc., which produces the Discovery Channel.
                       
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1.3 The Americas   - Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “Pre-Columbian Era” Link: UC College Prep’s: “Pre-Columbian Era” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 1 of Lesson 1–Discovery and Settlement of the New World). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the history of the native populations in Pre-Columbian America. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML). It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here (HTML).

1.3.1 Amerindian Civilizations   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Amerindian Civilizations” Links: The Saylor Foundation’s “Amerindian Civilizations” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of these pages to gain an understanding of the Amerindian civilizations before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.  
 
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. (HTML)

1.3.2 Initial Encounters With European Explorers   - Reading: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Daniel Richter’s “Native American Discoveries of Europe” Link: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Daniel Richter’s “Native American Discoveries of Europe” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article which discusses Native Americans’ perceptions of and reactions to European settlers and explorers.
 
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