HIST 553 History of Colonial America

HIST 553 History of Colonial America

Week 1 Forum

1.1 Required Introductions

Introduce yourself in the class. Share where you work or plan to work after completing your program, your family, and any hobbies or special interests. Also tell us why you are taking this course and what you hope to gain from obtaining your degree. In addition, please take a look at the course objectives in the syllabus and discuss the relevance to your career goals.

1.2 Initial Week One Discussion Topic (Optional)

So…to move into actual course material, in the required reading for this week, Richter states, “In both North America and Western Europe, new, often brutal, cultural syntheses emerged during the Middle Ages to codify the distinctive forms of power that men and women wielded toward one another and toward the natural world, only to enter a period of crisis when the climate cooled. When people from the two continents met each other in the sixteenth century, the terms of engagement were determined by systems of power that their respective medieval progenitors had created.”

Against this backdrop, an optional “think about it” question: Do you feel it is fair to judge past historical actions (say, the initial Spanish interactions with the indigenous populations in North America) by contemporary standards? Briefly explain your answer from your own, individual point of view. (And no right or wrong answers…just an informal opinion.)