TAH Exploration I. Background --biggest question is WHY? Why did Columbus "discover” America in 1492 rather than an Aztec Indian discover Europe in the fifteenth century? --students usually give answers like non-Euros did not have the technology, or they were too peaceful --let’s test that, though—those ideas presuppose that nonEuropeans were not smart enough to come up with the technology, or did not have motivation to expand --Arrival of Aztecs --in 1168 (by Aztec annals), new group presses down from north --was group of Nahuatl-speaking peoples the "Seven Tribes", claimed to have lived there before, reclaiming land --known as "Aztecs" or "Mexicas" --had been living under subjugation of another group, priest told them that their god had found them place to live, where they would rule --settled on island of Tenochtitlan in 1325 --formed alliance with city-state of Texcoco and Tlacopan, took over in 1430 --brought surrounding tribes under control --took captives for sacrifice (some maintained independence, others hatred--played important role in Conquest) --began process of land reclamation, aqueducts brought fresh water to city, drained salt water, made irrigation ditches, artificial islands --relied on tribute from surrounding subjugated tribes for most food--corn, beans, squash, etc --also had elaborate market system --developed complex legal code, tribunals, courts of appeal --by time Euros arrive (1520), Tenochtitlan huge city, over 200,000 people --by comparison, London had around 50,000 people in 1500, grew to 200,000 by 1600 --clearly, Aztecs were expansionistic, intelligent ?Why didn’t the Chinese discover America? --geographically close to west coast --had naval technology
--in 1418, fleet of Chinese treasure ships sail to East Africa --led by admiral Zheng He, interested in trade --had massive ships, some nine masts --armada had 28,000 sailors --biggest until World War I --treasure fleets sailed until 1433, when Chinese emperor ordered overseas travel to stop --executed any disobedient sailors or merchants --went into extreme isolation for next century --clearly, then, available technology is not the only explanation, otherwise Chinese would have led the way --need to look at forces pushing people out, pulling to America I. Ideology part of exploration drive came from crusade history --Pope Urban II called for 1st crusade in 1095 to recapture Holy Lands from Muslims, other crusades followed --wasn’t difficult to get volunteers to crusade --besides religious aspect, also promised great economic rewards --similar in later explorations, expectation was wealth --By 1100, European armies captured Jerusalem, starting to build states in eastern Med --rapid expansion after 1200, start heading to new places in Asia --by 1300, diplomats, missionaries, merchants in India and China --was height of Mongolian empire in China, hugely wealthy under the Great Khan, formed the image of what Asia was --accounts of Marco Polo and John Mandeville formed here (images from Mandeville’s travels, monsters) [PPT: Monsters 1-9 (ends with Amazons)] --by beginning of 14thc, Europeans had substantial knowledge of other worlds, had begun a world economy linking Asia, Africa, Europe --1415, Portuguese sailors invade North Africa, argue they are just having another crusade against Muslims
--brings them in contact with highly developed North African societies, lots of wealth --At same time, Spanish start new effort to conquer all of Iberian peninsula --Going after Muslims, Crown-sponsored, get pillage, etc --in 1492, win Granada, last Muslim stronghold
Intellectual Background a. Rise of Neoplatonism in 16thc Europe i. Believed no separation tween matter and spirit, everything linked organically 1. thus could study stars to predict behavior -even educated people held beliefs we would find odd today
--believed in existence of monsters and unicorns— universities held serious debates about existence of dragons well into 18 th century --believed comets and shooting stars were divine signals --in rural areas, farmers followed rituals to ensure harvest—sacrificed plants, buried potions in the ground, had view of world a lot like Native Americans b. magic, the Devil, mysterious births all part of normal culture i. fear of chaos central to identity—must try to tame it II. Human Unity a. Believed in universality of social norms/cultural unity of all peoples i. Thus distinguished people be term “nations,” not race yet ii.. in part, due to religious beliefs [ASK] --monegenesis, perhaps flood might have distributed [DISC: what would implications be for first contact?] --in theory, should be able to recognize other cultures, even communicate through gestures
Human Difference i. Recognized differences, explained through theory of diffusion 1. at one point, everyone lived together, were same
a. then started moving away, became increasingly corrupted b. could literally measure degree of culture’s corruption by distance from origin ii. For Europeans, decided center was Italy and Greece --would stand to reason then that monsters on other side of world b. but what to do about nearby people who were different? i. Answer: environment (impact of hot and cold) [ALL of this made them confident they could have some sense of what was awaiting them on other end of exploration] MAPS --?how can maps represent ideology, be source of power? [PPT: First, Upside Down Map of the World 1. T-O Map 2. T-O Map (pictures) 3. Lines of Latitude 4. Aztec Indian Map 5. Indian Map 6. Indian Map 6. Mercator Map of the world, invented 1596 to aid navigators --useful for navigation, cause lines of latitude and longitude ran at right angles --but not accurate in terms of land mass—trying to represent round thing on flat surface, leads to natural distortion farther away from equator, greater the distortion 7. “The Greenland Problem” Reality: Greenland: 0.8 million sq. miles, Africa: 11.6 million sq. miles
8. China Problem:-Greenland is 0.8 million square miles, China is 3.7 million square miles. --Mercator places Europe at center of World, but could just as easily be on
the edge II. Conditions Pushing People Out of Europe
--1347, bubonic plague makes appearance in Europe --as it spread, up to ½ continental pop. died --ASK: what would be the impact of losing 50% pop.? --severe food shortages, anarchy, political disarray--end of 15thc, pop began rebounding, economy grew, farmers produced more goods to sell on open market, creation of merchant class to handle trade --same time, overall pop growing in England: 3 mill in 1485 to 4 mill 1603 --poor country guys start flocking to cities --discuss image of poor: was not just a temporary condition, in most cases was something inherent --clothes different, language different, morals lagging --very few people in England educated --poor guys not doing well, but middle-class, merchants, making lots of $ --looking for place to invest, expeditions seemed good idea --dual function: make merchants and investors richer; get rid of excess pop III. Religion --availability of $ not good single explanation for expansion --Protestant Reformation began 1517, Martin Luther challenges Catholics --salvation through faith alone, not good works or institutions --meant a lot of religious dissidents at home, also an intense feeling of imminent apocalypse --Lots of European countries suddenly get interested in expansion --two agreed upon ways to establish “legal” right to new lands: --right of discovery --right by possession --the race begins in the late15thc Columbus: --Columbus (Genoese) comes to F&I to ask for permission and support to go on expedition to Far East [Discuss—what kind of guy?] C. is mystic, believes he was sent by God on his mission --God wanted him to open up unknown lands to the Gospel --believed (as did many others) Apocalypse was imminent, Reconquista was evidence, voyages were to provide wealth to finance expedition to Holy Land
-- argues that world is smaller than everyone else said it was --based on one renegade geographer's estimate, argues that Atlantic is smaller than imagined, it would be faster to get to Far East by going west --Crown makes small financial contribution, provides 3 ships --Columbus gets agreement that he will be hereditary viceroy and governor of any new found lands --insists also that he be named hereditary "admiral of the Ocean Sea" --to receive 10% of all profits II. First Voyage [PPT] --poorly equipped, 87 men, some recruited out of jail --took 33 days, arrived in Caribbean and C. claimed it was the Orient, though Cuba was China --Natives: islands were mostly Arawak --practiced agr, hunting, fishing --estimated pop. around 1 million --Columbus description
[ACTIVITY: First communication. Send 2 volunteer students out of the room. When they are gone, instruct the class that their job is to get the volunteers to perform a simple task (stand on a chair and clap 10 times, for example). There’s a catch—they cannot speak English, cannot write English (or another language), and cannot touch the volunteers). Bring the volunteers back in and let th confusion begin!] Begin discussion—what rituals do we follow when we meet someone new? --does age, sex, class, race of person change rituals? --how do we know what the other guy intends? --how would we figure this out if we couldn’t speak the language? [ III. Second Voyage --Crown supplies 17 ships, included group of friars to act as missionaries at expense of Crown --enterprise now raised to level of holy undertaking, provides moral justification --in reality, spent little time converting natives, --bring 1,200 men, designed to occupy land (include soldiers, artisans, farmers) no women --made men sign deposition stating that they had reached the mainland of the Orient --men started starving, gentlemen didn't want to work
--started trouble with Indians, accused them of stealing, demanded food and were obnoxious --meanwhile, other countries escalate activities: --Giovanni de Verrazzano, born in Tuscany, but hired by French to find NW passage, cruises coast of North America 1524. --March 25th, landed at what may have been MD Eastern shore and abducted a boy to take back to France --continued up to Newfoundland, then back to France Conquest of Mexico: --Hernando Cortes--was part of expedition to conquer Cuba --Velasquez decides to send Cortes, then decides maybe C was too ambitious, better rein him in, C takes off w/o permission w/11 ships, 508 soldiers, 110 sailors, 16 horses. --unlike earlier missions, Cortes going out to conquer --motives: Cortes declared that "I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold." --Military superiority: Spanish have horses, Steel swords, armor superior to Indians --diversity of natives worked to Spanish advantage: small, scattered groups unable to prevent Spanish march --helped by strangeness, esp riding on horses --shouldn't overestimate: most men armed with swords and pikes, only 13 muskets, 14 cannon --hindered by env, heat, strange diet (switch to native armor) Cortes and allies finally come to city, stand in awe of the elaborate construction --met along way by Moctezuma and royal court, exchange gifts (gold) --C says he is rep from great king (Charles V) --M replies by invoking story of Quetzacoatl, says legend told them that leader from far distant lands would one day return, and that they would all be his vassals --is also quick to point out that rumors of gold buildings, etc that other Indians had told Cortes were untrue --evidence that everyone knew what Spanish really wanted, were afraid of potential for destruction.
-C responds by essentially kidnapping M --high degree of organization of Aztec state made it easier for C to control, replace leader and society follows --problem came when Spanish challenged everything, esp religion: taking over temples challenged important priest caste, challenged entire belief system, upset Aztecs. Cortes shows up amidst confusion, try to get Moctezuma to calm things down by appearing on roof of palace --unclear what happens, M hit in head, dies 3 days later. --looks like good time to leave: June 30, 1520 "La Noche Triste" --start sneaking out of city in middle of night, are caught halfway out --hundreds of Spanish killed, thousands of native allies killed--many weighed down by gold they wouldn't leave, drown-[Cortes blockade and victory] So How Did They Win? --as much an internal revolt in Aztec empire as Spanish Conquest --military superiority --psychological edge: conquesting religion and materialism vs cyclical religion --disease --determination. English exploration: --Span Jesuits make first effort to establish residence in VA --1570, make mission (Ajacan) near where J-town would later show up --irritate Inds, are attacked and killed 1572 --ends Spanish efforts here, though they continued to complain, threaten attacks IV. Colonization in Ireland --1st English colonization effort in Ireland --believed Irish were ignorant savages (IMAGE) --couldn’t be civilized, so they had to be destroyed or controlled --fighting Irish, learned lessons for America: violence necessary, stay separate from savages or English might become savage.
--Military conquest would be permanent feature --was different philosophy from Spanish --Spanish believed they were superior, but worked w/in establish native society to maximize profit and maintain rule --were able to do so due to gov’t structure in Aztec and Inca societies --simply knocked off top leaders, kept rest --English wanted to avoid unnecessary contact w/natives, transplant English society --make little civilized islands in barbaric sea
Roanoke: --English in big battle with Spanish over supremacy --Spanish claim right to all of Americas by discovery --Eng claim right due to some shady claims of earlier discoveries --also Span were not in actual possession --1584, send reconnaissance voyage, identify NC Outer Banks as good location --seemed to be relatively uninhabited, nice weather. --KEY: would be perfect place to plunder Span treasure fleets --call it privateering to distinguish from pirates --whole intent then was for Roanoke to be parasitic ?DISC—based on that, how do you think this would shape colony?
--Reconnaissance mission recounted by Arthur Barlowe, one of leaders --described amazing env, where everything grew rapidly with no labor --positioned perfectly to attack Span in Caribbean, then hide --1585, send 1st group of colonists (107 of them) --were 3 types of people in colony: Gentlemen (who paid their way over), lower class (including soldiers), and “experts” --included scientists to determine what natural products available --most important was Thomas Harriot, a mathematician and scientist whose detailed observations of Indians are crucial to understanding of time --most of the soldiers had experience fighting in Ireland
*****This would lead to fatal flaw in colony --always met any resistance with overwhelming force, violence. Never tried peaceful negotiations --Indians: Were North Carolina Algonquians, at the time under growing pressure from expanding Powhatans to north, hemmed in on west by spreading Iroquois --had pop around 7,000 on Outer Banks and nearby mainland --lived in settlements of 1-200 people, in version of a “longhouse” --primary food source was corn, supplemented by fishing (not nomadic) --gov’t led by werowances—roughly equivalent to a chief --but did not have same power as kings in Europe --had to persuade other people—opinion held in high regard, but all major decisions had to be made by consensus --one main source of power was redistributing goods—essentially taxed people, then gave away to favored friends Early Relations with Indians: --had to establish power --at first, encouraged belief that white men were deities --showed off things like compass, guns, and books --big source of power was perceived ability to control disease --English noted that wherever they went, soon after Inds start dying --called it a “marvelous accident” and interpreted as sign from God that he intended them to settle there --Inds accuse Eng of “shooting invisible bullets” at them, believed Eng had power to make you sick or cure you. Decline of Anglo-Indian relationship: July 1585, Eng accuse Inds of stealing silver cup --Eng react by attacking Inds, burning down entire town --nearby Inds decide it is time to rid themselves of Eng ?DISC—what strategies might they employ? --simply abandon fields, and start starving Eng --forces colony to be abandoned 1586 1587 Colony:
--decide to learn from mistakes, send 110 colonists, including 17 women and 9 kids --led by Governor John White, notably indecisive --weren’t sure if Inds still mad, find out a week after landing --settler George Howe disobeyed orders, went crabbing alone --found him later shot with 16 arrows, head beaten in --send delegation of Eng to negotiate peace --doesn’t work, and Inds begin withholding supplies again --colonists decide to send White back to Eng to get supplies (1587) --White does, but is seriously delayed on return [ASK Why?] --Spanish Armada 1588 returns 1590, finds colony abandoned DISCUSS: What lesson should they have learned? Jamestown I Background 1606, James I charters Virginia Co. Joint-stock --2 divisions: London (colony tween 34th and 38th parallels); and Plymouth (41st-45th parallels --London Co. Gets group over in May, 1607 Jamestown Env seemed ideal: looking for place w/good harbor, but hidden from potential Spanish attack BUT, was a reason J-town only land nearby that Indians didn’t inhabit --surrounded by low marshes (seemed good, source of food for cattle), but breeding ground for disease --also James R trapped waste, was breeding ground for bacteria, salt poisoning John Smith --background as soldier of fortune, fought all over world --basic strategy w/natives--use strong discipline, violence if necessary, but only in small doses --had same strategy with English--discipline would be key --meets with Powhatan, known to students as Pocahontas’ dad!
--Powhatans expanding just as English arrive, had conquered Indian groups in surrounding regions, forced them to pay tribute --on Eastern Shore, had Accomac and Occohannock Inds who may have been part of empire, though under less direct control than other groups --English arrive and think they will make Powhatan their tributary, try bizarre coronation ceremony. --Indians match this with the whole Pocahontas and John Smith episode --likely was an adoption ceremony, though Smith didn’t realize --Smith resorts to “forced trade” to feed colony --Smith ends up irritating gentlemen with famous “no work, no food” policy, gets arrested and sent home after an accident with gunpowder --1609, colony descends into “starving time” --eat snakes, rats, shoes, eventually, dead bodies. --were about to abandon colony when new governor, De la Warr, and then Thomas Gates arrives --launch massive war against the Indians in 1611 Brought to temp end in 1614 w/marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas