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Week 3

Page history last edited by mwitgen@... 4 years, 9 months ago

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Native North America and the Atlantic World

 

September 17: The Native New World 

 

We will expand on the idea of the Atlantic World (a creation of the transatlantic exchange of ideas, peoples, goods, and institutions) during this class. Also, we will consider the "Native New World": Native spaces connected to empire through trade and alliances but still distinctly (and often demographically) Native and politically autonomous from empire. While many places were affected by European diseases and indirectly by goods and ideas, they were part of a larger continent where the Atlantic World did not always reach. Here we will think about what the concepts of an Atlantic New World and Native New World bring to our study of this history.    

 

Richter's  and Perrot's document continue discussions from the last class session's material. Since the members of the Iroquois Confederacy were no longer fighting each other, they were able to expand their territory and often negotiated with Europeans from a position of strength. Perrot discusses the warfare between the Iroquois and other Indian nations, such as the Huron, Illinois, and Anishinaabe peoples (such as the Ojibweg and Odawaag). This document also discusses the importance of trade and the alliances between the French and Great Lakes Indian groups. 

 

Audio File: Context for today's class: http://youtu.be/NZvJbBxS4RU

 

Readings

 

 

 

Study Questions

 

  1. How did Iroquoian warfare differ from European warfare? What was its purpose?
  2. How were Iroquois politics and economics affected by the Europeans? How did the conflict between the French and English affect Iroquoian mourning wars? How did the mourning wars and other cultural rituals help the Iroquois navigate the changing landscapes?
  3. What role did the Iroquois play in French relations with other Indians, especially Algonquian-speaking groups around the Great Lakes and Hudson's Bay? What kind of alliances did the French have with the people of these areas? What does this tell us about their relationships with the missionaries? In other words, how might they have viewed French missionaries who talked about the Iroquois and Onontio (this term was given to the governor of New France who was known as father in the alliance system)?
  4. How did the Indians react to the Jesuit missionary? How do we see the institutions of the Atlantic World moving through this part of North America--what effects did these institutions and goods have on the Native New World? 
  5. What is the importance of trade in intertribal warfare? What types of trading relationships are being established and maintained in these texts, especially in Perrot's Memoir? 

 


September 19: The Middle Ground, Part One

 

These readings explore the region the French called the pays d'en haut, meaning upper country. The pays d'en haut encompassed the land around the Great Lakes and beyond, to the Mississippi, and also the lands bordering the rivers that flowed into the northern Great Lakes. To describe encounter in this region, the historian Richard White developed the concept of the middle ground; a term he uses to analyze the social and cultural world that was created around the French alliance with Algonquian-speaking peoples. 

 

Both classes for this week include readings from the Jesuit Relations. These documents were compiled by the Jesuit missionaries in New France as they reported to their superiors in Quebec or France. The Jesuit Relations detail early contact between Europeans and Native peoples as the Jesuit missionaries moved through the pays d'en haut and met with and observed many Algonquian speaking peoples, such as the Sauteurs (people of the Sault, a phrase the French used to reserve to many different Ojibwe peoples).  

 

Audio File: Context for week four 

 http://youtu.be/i2howwfIE7g

 

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Readings

 

 

 

Study Questions 

 

  1. Richard White uses the concept of the middle ground to describe the pays d'en haut. What was the middle ground and how did it work? While Although I am Dead, I am not Really Dead defines the middle ground, also consider how this concept helps explain what is happening in the other texts, such as the murders punished by Du Luth (see question 5).
  2. How did the construction of self affect relations on the middle ground? How does White define self and what are the necessary components of self that helped create the middle ground?
  3. What is the Feast of the Dead? How did the missionaries near Lake Nipissing take part in this ceremony. Can it be placed within the context of the middle ground or is this a Native space and ceremony?
  4. Of the Mission of the Holy Ghost among the Algonquians is from the Jesuit RelationsConsidering the missionaries' goals to convert Native peoples, what were their motives in writing these texts and how might that have affected how they portrayed the Indian Catholics and prospective converts? What type of language does the author use to describe the Feast of the Dead? Do we only see the French Catholic perspective in this text or are we able to get a glimpse of an Algonquian perspective?
  5. How does the Du Luth murder case demonstrate how the middle ground worked? What were the power dynamics in this situation? Did the French exert as much influence as Du Luth tells the governor? Consider the multiple perspectives and customs influencing this event and pull examples from the text to support your answer.
  6. What is covering the dead? Was it an integral part of the middle ground and if so, how?

 

 

 

 

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