American History 2008 Homework One Answers - Model

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers


1. List the order in which the English, French and Spanish settled in the New World.

Spanish, English, French (Kara H.)

2. What do you find most inspiring about Christopher Columbus?

Christopher Columbus exhibited an inspiring picture of faith and confidence in his journey across the Atlantic Ocean. He had faith in two ideas—the generally-accepted idea that the world was round and his own personal belief that Asia was close enough to reach by sailing west. Contrary to popular belief, the former was generally accepted in his time, but the latter was unproven. Despite the fact that he could not see irrefutable proof for either idea, his faith in them was so firm that he decided to gamble his career, his reputation, even his very life upon them. I find this very inspiring. In our day of “relative truth” and tolerance for all beliefs it is easy to be passive in our ideas and believe only in opinions, not in truth. Yet this is so wrong. Like Columbus, we should let our beliefs define our lives. (Rachel N.)
I was inspired how Christopher Columbus was able to figure out the patterns of the Atlantic trade winds so that he would not run out of necessary provisions while he sailed his ships to and fro. (Veronika F.)
Columbus' most inspiring trait was his courage to hold to his beliefs through scorn and criticism. Many others, under pressure from critics, have retracted their beliefs. Not Columbus. (Duncan B.)

3. Why do you think several early settlements in America failed?

Some socialistic farming policies failed to motivate the settlers to work. (Steve M.)
The reasons that some of the early settlements in America failed could have varied, but probably the underlying cause was probably lack of being prepared. Not being prepared for the climate, the environment, or the natives, probably caused the demise of most of these early settlements. Naturally the results would have been specific depending on the colony, such as the settlers of Jamestown having initially been on the verge of starvation due to being too lazy to actually work. (Joe B.)
The reason that many of the early settlements in America failed was because they lacked strong leadership. For example, in 1492, Columbus started a settlement in Haiti. However, he left the settlement without a good leader and it eventually died off. In contrast, Jamestown had a strong leader: John Smith, who kept Jamestown alive. (Ruth L.)

4. What was the motivation for the first settlements in the Massachusetts area? Include mention of how the Pilgrims differed from the mainstream Puritans.

When the Pilgrims and Puritans settled in Massachusetts they were not happy with the direction the church of England was headed. Both felt as if it was becoming too close to the Catholic religion. Therefore the Pilgrims separated themselves completely from the church with hopes to have more freedom of religion, while the Puritans stayed within the church to purify it. (Amanda S.)

5. Explain how William Penn was remarkable.

William Penn was not only the founder of Pennsylvania; he was the hero of democracy and religious freedom. He stood up to England, even after being arrested. He was known for the peace he created with the Indians. He planned and developed Philadelphia. He also encouraged unity among the English colonies. (Natalie D.)
William Penn was able to practice an illegal religion in England and was caught and prosecuted, but not convicted. He settled the land the king gave him and advertised religious freedom in Europe. He attracted many people of many nationalities in addition to the English. (Matthew N.)
"... Pennsylvania was one of only two colonies to survive without aid from England." (Zachary C.)

6. What were the four types of colonies, and (if possible) give an example of each.

'Joint-Stock Colony' - Massachusetts Bay, and Virginia.
'Charter Colony' - Rhode Island.
'Proprietary Colony - New York, Maryland, and Delaware.
'Royal Colony' - Virginia. (Jessie H.)

7. Briefly discuss (in a few sentences) any of the debate or discussion topics from the lecture. Were the Puritans right to be strict and to expel people of other religions?

It is difficult to judge a people who lived in such a different world than we do today. It is easy now to point our fingers and call the Puritans “hypocrites” for denying others exactly what they themselves had wanted so desperately and “ignorant” for ignoring many of the teachings of their own Bible. Yet while their failure to allow religious freedom was wrong, both Biblically and ethically, they were justified. Religious freedom is a very new concept. Up until the past few centuries, almost all civilizations have been built upon a common religion. The Puritans did not have any reason to believe that it was even possible for people of different religions to live in peace, side-by-side. To the best of my knowledge, it had never been done before, and if it had, it’s unlikely that the Puritans would have known of or given much thought to such a phenomenon. Considering the world they lived in, the Puritans were justified. (Rachel N.)

H1. What problems do you think a colony based on a particular religion or religious ideal might encounter? Do you think it can survive and thrive? Give at least one example.

Problems that a colony based on religious ideals might encounter are: 1. People of other religions might try to convert them. 2. Some of these people who have broken off could cause internal issues. No, I do not think it can survive. I think a good example would be the country of Iraq with all the various Muslim sects. Even the Puritan colonies in this country had to give in eventually and let people of other religions move in. (Mark DeJ.)

H2. Explain what the Massachusetts Bay Company did, and how it was financed and managed.

The Massachusetts Bay Company was a joint stock company when established by royal charter in 1629. Its purpose was to encourage colonization and trade along the Merrimack and Charles rivers in New England. The Company's Puritan stockholders soon had total control and elected John Winthrop as the Governor. The Massachusetts Bay Company and the Massachusetts Bay Colony became the same thing. (Jess S.)
The Massachusetts Bay Company obtained a royal charter and sent a group of Puritans to settle in New England. They hoped to purify the Church of England with a more perfect community than in England itself. It was financed and led by John Winthrop. (Nathanael H.)

H3. Pick out any mystery of your choice prior to or during this period and suggest an explanation for it.

Mystery: "How was Christopher Columbus able to navigate himself across the Atlantic Ocean on his second voyage to find the precise same location that he colonized on his first voyage?"
In 1493, Christopher Columbus sailed with three ships into the Caribbean Sea and discovered new land. The first island he found was San Salvador, which he immediately claimed for Spain. Soon after this, he sighted Cuba and Hispaniola. On Christmas Eve, the Santa Maria was destroyed off the north coast of Hispaniola. Columbus left forty men on the island to start a colony. Upon his hasty arrival back home, he was made “admiral of the ocean” and given seventeen ships for his fleet. Almost one year later, Columbus set sail for Hispaniola, the island he had found on his first voyage, in hopes of seeing how the forty men he had left the previous January fared. Columbus soon arrived off the coast of Hispaniola, only to find the colony had been destroyed by natives. Was Columbus’ second arrival in the Caribbean a coincidence, luck, or providence? 127 years into the future, English Separatists, or Pilgrims, would sail across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in hope of settling in the mouth of the Hudson River. Since navigation techniques improved over time, the Pilgrims’ would have far better navigational methods than Christopher Columbus. Yet the Pilgrims were still unable to reach their destination. When Christopher Columbus arrived off the coast Hispaniola for a second time, it was not a coincidence or even luck, it was providence. Without the Lord’s guidance and involvement, Columbus may never have found his way back to the Hispaniola and the islands surrounding it. (Bethany S.)

H4. Explain mercantilism and add a sentence or two describing your view of it.

Mercantilism can be briefly described as a system in which a mother country restricts imports and maximizes exports. The mother country would import raw materials from its colony, and would then produce finished products at minimal cost. Then they would sell the products to other countries it traded with, and even back to the original colony. My view of mercantilism is that it was essentially a very good idea, created by someone who had a head for good business and knew how to make money. However, to me the mother country is exploiting the colony by taking the raw materials for so little and then selling the finished product for a good percentage more. (Katie B.)
Mercantilism is an economic system which limits imports from other countries and maximizes exports to other countries. This would guarantee that more money would would come in than would go out. Another aspect of Mercantilism is to use colonies to supply raw materials at a very low cost to the Mother Country who, in turn could use the materials to produce products to sell to the world. In theory, Mercantilism is a good idea. However, obvious problems occur. Sometimes items from other countries are cheaper. Also, the colonies might want more of the money being made by the Mother Country. (Nick DeJ.)

H5. Discuss any of the debate or discussion topics from the lecture.

I feel that the Puritans were wrong in their methods of ridding their settlement of those who didn't agree with their religion. Murder is never acceptable, even if it is for so-called "religious reasons. (Christina F.)
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