Homework One Answers - Student Eleven
1. I expect to enjoy studying the World War II period the most, because it was the era of greatest political, military, and social upheaval throughout the world.
- Many other students are picking the same fascinating period. We'll spend much time on it later in the course.
2. I agree with the majority of paleontologists, who think that most Native Americans came from across the Bering straight from northern Asia. At the time the Indians crossed the straight, (at least 12,000 years ago), sea levels would have been significantly lower and there would have been an actual land bridge over what is now the Bering straight. Also there would have been an ice-free corridor through the otherwise frozen northern regions of America (what is now Canada) through which the migrants would have dispersed southwards. This dispersion is supported archeological artifacts such as arrow heads; the oldest ones are found in the northern climes, and moving southwards the oldest artifacts found are more recent. In fact, the Inuit Indians are known to have crossed the frozen Bering straight relatively recently as opposed to the other American Indians, and originate from Siberia; they resemble Chinese people closely.
Furthermore, the information contained in the text, that “Some claim they migrated from Asia, but that makes little sense because American Indians are very different in many ways from Chinese and Asian Indians. Even their blood types are typically different” is incorrect. Since the migration took place a minimum of thousands of years ago, it is not to be expected that the two peoples would look exactly identical, since isolated populations naturally diversify. Besides, “blood type” is actually a very poor to forensically determine the genealogical origins of an ethnicity; scientists use DNA analysis to determine ethnicity (perhaps this is what is meant). But the most recent research shows that the DNA of most American Indian tribes are all descended from a common ancestor, and that they are all very closely related to the DNA of residents of the Bering Strait:
Now, after painstakingly comparing DNA samples from people in dozens of modern-day Native American and Eurasian groups, an international team of scientists thinks it can put the matter to rest: Virtually without exception the new evidence supports the single ancestral population theory.
“Our work provides strong evidence that, in general, Native Americans are more closely related to each other than to any other existing Asian populations, except those that live at the very edge of the Bering Strait,” said Kari Britt Schroeder, a lecturer at the University of California, Davis, and the first author on the paper describing the study. (From UC Davis publication)
There are numerous theories pertaining to the origin of the Native Americans, ranging from the plausible, such as the crossing of the Pacific in rafts and colonization of South America, to the ridiculous, such as the descent of all Native Americans from Israeli tribes, a theory espoused by the many Mormons. But the most plausible seems to be the prehistoric crossing of the Bering Straight.
- Your answer is well-researched but overlooks the atheistic bias of the authorities you rely upon. Nearly all paleontologists reject the Bible and strive to find any theory other than history as described in the Bible. That doesn't mean the paleontologists are automatically wrong, but it does mean that their bias needs to be considered when relying on their opinion.
- The theory that Native Americans descended from Asians has been around a long time, but so many fundamental characteristics are different (in addition to blood type) that it seems like a theory in search of evidence to support it. DNA is common across all humans and even many animals, and if that is used to draw conclusions, then it should be added that Native American DNA is very similar to, for example, peoples of South Africa too.
3. Christopher Columbus is probably overrated; although his achievement was impressive, many other explorers of his time made similar and much more difficult voyages which were not admired as much because Columbus happened to inadvertently discover America; alternate routes to India had been discovered before with less fanfare, and Columbus’s inadvertent discovery was only really appreciated retrospectively when people realized he had discovered a new continent.
- Good answer.
4. False. The puritans came to America in order to seek the freedom to establish their own church-dominated state.
- Right. Very well put. May use as a model.
7. The Colonies helped England’s economy in many ways; they provided a spillover for excess of trouble-making residents of England, they exported cheap raw goods at low prices to England, and they paid high prices for English commodities.
- Superb answer that includes how troublemakers from England were exiled to the colonies. I may use this as a model answer.
8. Firstly, the English actually settled the North American Coast before England did; Spain concentrated it’s efforts in South and Central America, although they did extend up to South Carolina; many of these regions still speak Spanish today. Secondly, the English emphasized self-sustaining colonization, while the Spanish strategy was to plunder, extort, and create huge plantations for the natives to work on, the produce of which was shipped back to spain.
- Spain settled North America well before the English did, as in St. Augustine and Pensacola (in present-day Florida) and in the Southwest. (Minus 1) Otherwise your answer is excellent.
H2. Yes, it was expensive; expenses included chartering the ships, obtaining permits from the government, purchasing equipment for the new settlement, possibly paying the settlers, and re-provisioning the colony periodically. Colonies were paid for either by the government, corporations, rich individuals, or collective groups of people who wished to create a colony (often for religious or political reasons).
- Superb answer.
H3. “Did the puritans allow dancing?” I selected this topic because it seems out of place on the list; the puritans didn’t allow dancing, and the issue really does not seem particularly significant or mysterious.
- Not true, and your answer seems to jump to a superficial conclusion too quickly, causing a loss in two points. (Minus 2) The Puritans did allow dancing. "There were in the Boston area a number of "dancing masters" who gave a more professional level of instruction. From the formal gavotte, minuet and bourròe to the circle and squares for eight, dancing was always popular among all classes of people in the colonies. Just as the basic dances were imported from the old world, so were the lively tunes to which they danced."  Also note that one of the accused in the Salem Witch Trials was a tavern owner.
H5. Were the puritans right to expel people who disagreed with their religion? Trying to apply our own ethical paradigms to this issue is a bad idea; obviously, unless you are actually puritan, you probably don’t agree with the religious ideas of the puritans, so of course you would have to answer “no” from your own religious perspective, because you would never do something like that. And by believing in your own religion, you probably think that the puritans were “wrong” to be puritans in the first place, instead of believing in what you believe in. So really this question is not significant, and is completely dependent on the subjective views of who you ask it to.
- But isn't it important to respect freedom of association? Surely a church can expel members without any valid objections by non-church-members. Your opinion is fine here but it does not seem to fully address the rights of a community. (Minus 1)
- Grade: 86/90. Great start!--Andy Schlafly 10:20, 13 February 2011 (EST)