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Week 4

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The Middle Ground and French Colonization, Spanish Colonization and the Borderlands




September 24: The Middle Ground, Part Two


In the 1670s, the developing fur trade of New France--dependent on the French alliance with Native peoples--had to compete with the trading network being established by the English of the Hudson's Bay Company. This competition and Native peoples increased access to English trade goods, meant the French had to negotiate and work harder to try and create and maintain stable social relations with their Native allies. At the same time that the two European powers competed for economic resources, a diversity of Native peoples had their own enemies and allies. For example, conflicts between the Nadouessi (the Dakota (Sioux)) and the Anishinaabeg (Algonquian speaking peoples, such as the Odawaag and Ojibweg) over hunting territories and resources in the western Great Lakes affected Native alliances with Europeans.







Study Questions 


  1. What is your impression of this region after reading the description of the area around Sault Ste. Marie? What was this space like in the 17th century? Consider the Jesuit map, which Claude Dablon included next to his narratives about the Outaouac (Ottawa/Odawa). How does he portray this space? Compare this map to Nouvelle France and the documents from this class and last class to think about how maps were used as part of European projects to claim space in North America.
  2.  What do you think of Le Sieur de St. Lusson's ceremony? Juxtapose the account of his speech with the preceding account of the peoples who live in this region--how might this speech have been received? How does Claude Allouez, the Jesuit translating Lusson's speech, depict the King of France to his Native audience?
  3.  What does the account of the massacre at Sault Ste. Marie tell about French power in the region? In the last class, Richard White illustrates how Onontio, the French governor, was portrayed in kinship terms as a father in the Native-French alliance--if the role of the French was that of a father or a mediator, what does this event demonstrate about the alliance, situation on the ground, and French versus Algonquian power [the French were allied with Algonquian speaking peoples, many of whom were speakers of Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) who self identified as Anishinaabeg]?
  4.  Considering the documents from this week, how would you summarize the kind of power the French had in the upper Great Lakes region? 



September 26: Spanish Colonization



Spanish colonization of the American southwest involved expedition leaders like Francisco Vásquez de Coronado who were looking for the next Aztec empire. Eventually, it became characterized by Spanish determination to settle and exploit Native peoples' resources and labor. Franciscan missionaries became militant in their efforts to convert Native peoples to Catholicism, which helped to inspire rebellions against Spanish authority. In the following documents, pay attention to who has control of necessary resources and how different groups are interdependent. Also, be aware of key terms like territoriality and sovereignty.







Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, governor of a province of northern New Spain, set out to locate the fabled Seven Cities of Cíbola. His journey lasted from 1540-1542, traveling through present Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Along the way he depended on the guidance of local Native peoples, as well as captured slaves, to help him in his quest for riches. He did not find the next Aztec empire as he hoped and instead raided and looted Pueblo towns along the Rio Grande. Documents of the Coronado Expedition, 1539-1542: They Were Not Familiar with His Majesty, nor Did They Wish to Be His Subjects  (Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint.)




Study Questions


  1. Was the North American continent an "uncharted wilderness"? Consider Juliana Barr's article and the three maps to help formulate your response. 
  2. Who exhibited notions of territoriality and borders in the Spanish borderlands? What is the evidence of territoriality? Give specific examples--for instance, how did the Hasinai indicate their borders and define boundaries?
  3. Consider the different Native peoples described in the Relación del Suceso and the types of interactions they had with the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado. How did different Pueblo groups react to the Spanish? Even though this is a document written by a Spanish individual connected with Coronado's expedition, do you get a sense of what motivated the various reactions to Coronado's expedition? In general, how would you describe this encounter between Native peoples and Europeans? Who had access to the most resources or power? 
  4. Examine the "Declaration of the Indian Juan." How did the Pueblo respond to Spanish colonization? What were some of the reasons behind the Pueblo Revolt of 1680? 
  5. How would you characterize the Pueblo Revolt of 1696? Was it connected with the Pueblo Revolt of 1680? Can it be depicted as a Spanish versus Indian conflict or was it more complicated? Explain.



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