Frontiers and contact in early America Types of sources Primary sources Secondary sources Strengths and weaknesses of both Colonial America ? background British settlements began in 1607 with Jamestown Settled much of the east coast Came into contact/conflict with Native Americans Where did Native Americans come from? Lost tribe of Israel? European roots? Separate race of people? Crossed land bridge at Bering Straits Boats from Asia Based on archaeological evidence Eve of contact Population of the Americas ? ~60-70M +7M lived North of Mexico Range of cultures and lifestyles Often based on environment Plains region ? more nomadic Farming widespread as well Defined gender roles Trade networks across the continent Imagining the Other Medieval travel accounts often offered descriptions of exotic ?peoples? Fascination with native peoples Mentioned frequently in letters Brought back to Europe Margarita Philosophica (1517) Stereotypes Settlers encountering virgin wilderness Caliban in The Tempest Barbaric and lacked civilization Nomads Hunter-gatherers Idolatrous/godless Lazy ? treated women poorly Who discovered who? Native civilizations encountered the new Europeans as well Handsome Lake?s account of creation Prophesies of European arrival Viewed them as different Pale Hairy Clothed Ability to resist disease Superior technology Expected Europeans to adhere to some of their traditions Early contact Followed the Spanish and the Black Legend English stance Segregation rather than living together Some efforts to assimilate/convert natives Mutual exchange Goods from both sides dramatically altered life Intermediaries Conflict Indian or white colonist? Who is this? Pocahontas ? Disney v. history Pocahontas ? real story Daughter of Powhatan Used in diplomacy ?saved? John Smith?s life Abducted and married John Rolfe Converted to Christianity Went to England and met the queen Smith?s A True Relation (1608) ?Powhatan understanding we detained certain Savages, sent his Daughter, a child of ten years old, which not only for feature, countenance, and proportion, much exceeded any of the rest of his people, but for wit, and spirit, the only Nonpareil of his Country.? Importance of the frontier Turner thesis Does it serve as a transformative feature Reality vs. perception ?White Indians? Effects of the frontier on early Americans?
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