HIS311Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Great Lakes, Terra Nullius, Thrice

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2 Nov 2015
- Sovereignty
o“Terra nullins”
- England
- France
- Spain (Castile)
oSanto Dominigo
- Portugal
- Algonkin
- Iroquois (5 Nations)
- Innuit
- North-West Passage
- Focus on Europe;
- China the richest and most populated country in the 15th century; the likely colonizer of
North America should have been China; but did not happen; this event that did not
happen, means European focus; China and the orient re-emerges in the 19th century;
- Having said that, the Americas already populated; the people in North America were
populated from Siberia; most of the inhabitants came in North America around 13,000 to
15,000 years ago;
- We tend to believe they came over a land-bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska;
- The Ice-Age covered most of North America; people emigrating to Americas moved
south; some time later they moved north; by this time, Baringia was out;
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- The Appaches in Arizona are linguistically similar to the peoples of Alaska and the
northern valleys;
- The three linguistic groups first encountered by Europeans in the 15th and 16th century
were the Algonquins (Northwest to the prairies); the eastern Great lakes, Mohawk valley
the Iroquois Confederacy (5 Nations) mostly in Ontario; Toronto populated by Iroquois;
even Montreal and Quebec; centre of Iroquois nations the Mohawk valley between
Albany and ???
- Innuit – successive waves passing along the Arctic; of all the ethnic groups the Innuit are
the most widespread and the ones who have international connections; they did contact
the Nordic people (Vikings); Vikings set off from Iceland to Greenland (cutting down
trees and populating); at the end of 10th century climax of climate change having a
considerable impact on the Norse (global warming); they sailed across the Atlantic and
settled in Newfoundland; contact between Greenland and North America continued for
200 years; by late 13th century, the climate much colder and the Greenland colony
shrank; it was also attacked by the Innuit; and by middle fo 15th century this colony
perished; however, songs, stories, and sagas to the existence of Greenland colony and
possible land west, coupled with huge fish reserves; fish an important European diet;
around 1470-1480, fishing fleets from England, Spain, France and Portugal began
travelling very far across Atlantic arriving around Newfoundland;
- Canada first discovered around 1480 – most probable;
- Christopher Columbus: possible that he got his ideas going west from fishermen; from
that, in the year 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and reached the Bahamas; what
he did do was claim this new land for the King and Queen of Spain;
- The Atlantic enterprise mostly associated with Castile (still a separate country in 1492);
as such, King and Queen of Spain and Castile important;
- European continent known to extend to the Arctic; Russia was understood as a
European country; the Middle East very well known; North Africa within European
consciousness; that’s all they knew; but it was known that there was this place called
China, and as the most populous and richest country; establishing contacts with China
seemed highly desirable; this associated with adventures of Marco Polo; in the
European mind, there was this conception of richest of the East;
- If one believed that the world was a globe, it was followed that if you set sail west, you’d
end up in east;
- If you discovered a new land, not China; not a country that cannot resist you, what do
you do?
- Europeans had a Modus Operandii; Europe had a frontier in the east, who were non-
Christians; part of their expansion was into Pagan territory; this is the precedent to
Christianize as they had done the pagan peoples of the East (Poles, Russians, etc); this
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