Homework One Model Answers

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers

American History Homework One Model Answers
Instructor: Andy Schlafly

1. Which time period or periods in American History do you expect to enjoy studying the most? Why?

I am really looking forward to studying the Pre-Civil War and Civil War periods. I want to learn more about what brought us to the brink of a civil war and learn from past mistakes. I am also looking forward to learning more about our government through the Jacksonian Democracy period and the Reagan Conservatism period. (Gabrielle)

2. When do you think Native Americans came here, and was it right for Europeans to settle here afterward?

I think that Native Americans have been here since the tower of Babel. There is a theory that all of the continents fit together like a puzzle and it formed a supercontinent called "Pangea" and it split when the tower of Babel happened. They split into seven pieces and the Native Americans went with North America. I think it was fine to settle here because there were no real colonies and they brought Christianity to the Americas. (Dylan)
I believe that when the continents split during the flood that covered the whole earth, the American Indians were there from that point on. They had not necessarily claimed the land though, so I see nothing wrong the Europeans settling there. And in some instances, the Europeans actually got along quite well the Indians. (Daniel N.)

3. Christopher Columbus: overrated, or not given enough credit? Explain.

Christopher Columbus is not given enough credit nowadays. people tend to focus on his bad aspects for political purposes, while not realizing all the good that he did by rediscovering America, and establishing it, in addition to playing a key role in bringing Christianity to America. (Joseph M.)
Christopher Columbus was a human being who actually existed. Sometimes he is treated like a mythological figure and it seems like everyone either hates him or adores him. The fact is, like all people he was part good and part bad. He was a Christian and seems to have genuinely wanted to spread the faith. He was a highly skilled navigator. However, it is generally acknowledged that he treated the natives he encountered quite harshly, forcing them to mine for gold and committing atrocities against them. Just because he may have done a lot of good, he is not a god. He simply did what he did. I do think that today he is probably criticized more than he deserves. (Addison)

4. True or false: the Puritans came to America in order to separate church from state (government). Explain.

False. They came to America to "purify" the Church and bring Christianity to a new place. Separating church from state was Roger Williams' intention, not the Puritan's. (Elise)

5. Why do you think Philadelphia became the most populated city in North America by the mid-1700s, and the second most populated city (after London) in the entire British Empire?

The exponential growth can be contributed to Philadelphia’s good harbor or the fertile lands nearby to feed the populace. Most of all it was William Penn’s ideals, such as how to treat the Native Americans or freedom of religion. (Anthony)
I think that Philadelphia was so successful because of its location on the Delaware River. It is not connected to the sea but is inland, which allows it to avoid coastal storms, and is located in Pennsylvania which was a successful colony. (Aran)

6. Pick one of the questions or topics from the lecture, and explain your view.

Q. Were the Puritans right to be strict and to expel people of other religions?
Answer: In current American culture it is unpopular to exclude people for any reason from anything, but that view isn't always correct. There comes a time (especially in religion) when lines must be drawn for the sake of the followers. In the Epistles of Paul it is written that a Christian fellowship must drive the immoral or lost from their "Fellowship." (1st Corinthians 5) One must understand that nowadays we view a Christian fellowship as a local church. These settlers, however, viewed their entire settlement as their fellowship and as such viewed any disagreeing denomination as a threat to their children and way of life. They had just left the religious nightmare of denominational Europe and now sought to keep their way of life secure in such a vulnerable time as when they settled in America. They saw other ideas and lifestyles as threatening and sought to shield themselves in their fellowship.
It must be noted that I completely disagree with them for their actions against those who disagreed with them. It is impossible to raise one hand in love for God while at the time bringing the sword down upon their fellow man. Love must be expressed by one's action and the Puritans defiantly showed a lack of love and respect for their neighbors. They stand as another poor witness of Christ to the world living in darkness. They left religious persecution in Europe only to bring it in many ways to America. (James G.)
Q. Did Europeans have a right to explore North America?
Answer: The Europeans had every right to explore North America! It would be like asking if we had the right to travel up into space and explore the moon. Of course we do. North America was waiting to be acknowledged by the rest of the world. The Europeans took the risk and consequently changed history by exploring North America. (Key word is Explore) (Kyle)

7. In what ways did the colonies help build the economic strength of England?

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. (Nathan)

8. Spain settled America before England did. So why is the United States an English-speaking nation, rather than a Spanish speaking one?

Spain only sent solders who left when they didn't find anything significant in the north. The English brought women with them and established lasting communities. (Evelyn)
Because William Penn advertised his land and said that there would be religious freedom for all as apposed to the puritans in Massachusetts who persecuted anyone who wasn't of their faith. (Sophia)

Honors Questions (answer any 3)

H1. Learning from the experience of the early settlements and colonies, how might our homeschooling community improve today?

I believe we as homeschoolers can, from looking at early settlements, learn that if the center of our homeschooling is personal gain (as in Jamestown), freedom from the government, or even striving for a better education than public schools, we will ultimately fail. But if we keep God in the center then I believe that we will not only prosper, but gain all the other benefits to a greater degree than if we had them at the center. (Jonathan S.)
The main focus of early settlements and colonies were frequently to be freed from religious persecution and to not compromise religious values, but the other theme of these colonies was simply survival, so this could be applied to the homeschooling community by saying that our focus should be on survival and expanding of our community but without compromising our values. (Paul R.)
Our homeschool community of today can learn from the early settlers to persevere even if we are persecuted. (Johnny)

H2. Was it expensive to establish a colony? If so, who paid for it?

It was very expensive to establish a colony. To begin with, a ship loaded with provisions for a transatlantic voyage needed to be put together. This was not the only cost, but was probably the major one. In one of the most successful means of establishing a colony, a joint-stock company or group of investors would all pay into the cost of starting a colony, and then would (hopefully) share the profits that the colony made if it became successful. In another sense, slaves “paid” for the cost of some colonies by their free labor. (Addison)

H3. Pick out any mystery of your choice prior to or during this period, such as whether "triangular trade" really existed or why the "Lost Colony" failed, and discuss it. Some examples are at:

I think the "Lost Colony" failed because of disease and illness, or perhaps by natural disasters. Due to its location, the colony could have been destroyed by a hurricane. Another possible explanation is the people could have perished because of it's swampy location. Infection and disease would have been highly probable. (Alexa)

H4. Identify one or more colonies for which the King of England revoked their charters and retook control over them. Why?

H4.Massachusetts was one that lost its charter and it has one of the more interesting reasons. The king revoked Massachusetts’s charter for rebellious actions around 1773. (Anthony)

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

Q. Were the Puritans right to be strict and to expel people of other religions?
Answer: The Puritans invested their lives into establishing their religious freedom. They acquired a charter and founded a colony that held their principles. They remembered their struggles and wanted to preserve their religious beliefs. Massachusetts Bay was their colony and they had the right to enforce what they thought would best preserve their colony. (Kyle)