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HIST321: Comparative New Worlds, 1400-1750

Unit 1: What Was the “New World”?   In the fifteenth century, the “New World” referred to the Americas.  When Columbus returned to Spain after his journey across the Atlantic Ocean, he was widely heralded as the discoverer of the “New World.”  Of course, the western hemisphere was only “new” to the Europeans.  Indigenous peoples had lived in North and South America for centuries, developing unique and varied cultures, societies, and civilizations there.
           
In this unit, we will examine how people defined the “New World” and why they considered it different from the “Old World.”  We will also consider the many different peoples who populated and exploited the Americas: merchants, native peoples, settlers, and slaves.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately eight hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 5 hours
☐    Reading: 5 hours (about 2.5 hours for each page range)
☐    Subunit 1.2: 2 hours
☐    Subunit 1.3: 1 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • define and analyze the “New World” in the 1400s; and
  • identify and describe Europeans’ view of the “New World.”

1.1 De Orbo Novo   - Reading: Archive.org: De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr d’Anghiera Link: Archive.org: De Orbe Novo, the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr d’Anghiera (HTML or PDF)
 
Also available in:

[EPub](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/HIST321-1.1.1-deorbenovoeightd01angh.epub)  
 [Google
Books](http://books.google.com/books?id=3eTSERWATC0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=De+orbe+novo,+the+eight+Decades+of+Peter+Martyr+d%27Anghera;&hl=en&ei=Pi-CTbKjIvOJ0QGr1dC_CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false)  
    
 Instructions: Please select a method of reading the text (PDF,
HTML, or other) from the selection on the left side under “View the
Book.”  Read pages 1-49 and 55-186.  In this 1530 text, Peter
Martyr, a Spanish historian, recounts the discovery and early
exploration of the Americas.  Martyr was one of the first observers
to coin the term “novi orbis,” meaning “New World” in Latin.  Martyr
composed his piece with the aid of information supplied by
Christopher Columbus and the reports of the Council of the Indies
(the administrative body that oversaw Spanish colonial endeavors).  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

1.2 Verrazano’s New World   - Reading: Barnard University: Lisa Gordis’ version of “The Written Record of the Voyage of 1524 of Giovanni da Verrazano as Recorded in a Letter to Francis I, King of France, July 8th, 1524” Link: Barnard University: Lisa Gordis’ version of “The Written Record of the Voyage of 1524 of Giovanni da Verrazano as Recorded in a Letter to Francis I, King of France, July 8th, 1524” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire letter.  Like Peter Martyr, the explorer Giovanni Verrazano applied the term “New World” to the newly discovered Americas.  This text was adapted from Susan Tarrow’s translation in the book The Voyages of Giovanni da Verrazano, 1524-1528, edited by Lawrence C. Wroth.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

1.3 Geography   - Reading: Concepción Saenz-Cambra’s “The Atlantic World, 1492-1600,” “The First Atlantic Encounters,” and “Discovery, Reconnaissance, and Expansion” and American History Online’s New World Maps: “Part 1,” “Part 2,” “Part 3,” and “Part 4” Link: Concepcion Saenz-Cambra’s, The Atlantic World, 1492-1600 “Introduction,” “The First Atlantic Encounters,” and “Discovery, Reconnaissance, and Expansion” (PDF) and American History Online’s New World Maps, “Part 1,” “Part 2,” “Part 3,” and “Part 4” (PDF).
 
Also available in:

[HTML](http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl?data=/home/www/data/gmd/gmd3/g3200/g3200/ct000725C.jp2&style=dsxpmap&itemLink=D?gmd:17:./temp/~ammem_sOb2::&title=Universalis%20cosmographia%20secundum%20Ptholomaei%20traditionem%20et%20Americi%20Vespucii%20alioru%5bm%5dque%20lustrationes)
(“Part 1”)  

[HTML](http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl?data=/home/www/data/gmd/gmd3/g3321/g3321p/ct001431.jp2&itemLink=D?gmd:1:./temp/~ammem_lz3e::&title=Descripsion+des+costs,+pts.,+rades,+illes+de+la+Nouuele+France+faict+selon+son+vray+m%26eacute;ridien+:+avec+la+d%26eacute;clinaison+de+la+ment+de+plussieurs+endrois+selon+que+le+sieur+de+Castes+le+franc+le+d%26eacute;montre+en+son+liure+de+la+m%26eacute;com%26eacute;trie+de+l%26%2339;emnt.+/+faict+et+observ%26eacute;+par+le+sr.+de+Champlain+1607.&style=gmd&legend)
(“Part 2”)  

[HTML](http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl?data=/home/www/data/gmd/gmd3/g3300/g3300/lh000029.jp2&style=gmd&itemLink=r?ammem/gmd:@field(NUMBER+@band(g3300+lh000029))&title=De%20Eylanden%20en%20Vastelanden%20van%20Westindien%20%2f%20bischrytven%20door%20Joan%20Vingboons)
(“Part 3”)  

[HTML](http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl?data=/home/www/data/gmd/gmd5/g5400/g5400/ct000634.jp2&style=dsxpmap&itemLink=D?gmd:9:./temp/~ammem_sOb2::&title=Brasilia)
(“Part 4”)  
    
 Instructions: Please read the text and view the images of early
mapping of the New World linked above and think about the following
questions: What landmasses and other geographical and topographical
features are included in the maps?  What consistencies exist among
the maps?  What differences exist?  Collectively, what do these maps
reveal about what explorers “discovered?”  What did explorers
miss?  

 Reading and viewing these images should take you approximately 15
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: *The Atlantic World, 1492-1600* has been reposted by
the kind permission of Concepcion Saenz-Cambra.  Please note that
this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any
capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.  The
*New World Maps* resources are in the public domain.