September 17, 2013
Key Words Notes
- North America
The period 1600 and 1700 is once which European settlements
take route along the North American Atlantic seaboard and in
which European colonies are permanently established. Beginning
of the period, north of Florida and Mexico there are no permanent
European settlements. The native nations of North America,
north Mexico were essentially undistributed. Although there
was trading activity that took place along the coast,
Newfoundland and what are now the Maritime Provinces.
Many of the native nations had some European contact.
Of course in the south from the Spanish colonies there was a huge
technological importation, which was the horse.
- The horse, although was a domesticated animal was brought
to the America’s as a domestic animal. However many horses
escaped and moved up the plains and so the native cultures of
middle north American (great plains) begin to feature
- That is an obvious example of European impact, but one
doesn’t happen at the particular time of the actual presence of
Europeans had some sense of colonies and colonization. The
colonization of the America was similar from one European
country to another. It is based essentially on the colonization
of Eastern Europe. That is the movement of settled Christian
kingdoms in the tribal areas in the Slavic land or around the
There was a sense of colonization, which involved a
imposition of economic system the imposition of a uniform
- Early colonization, in European experience involved both
of those things: economic exploitation, or the
establishment of economically viable entities,
- and either convergence to the catholic religion or
The Spanish had been engaged in a 700 years war with the
Muslims in the south of Spain. The Muslims had invaded in the 8
century and the Spanish gradually drove them back. This was not
a period of perpetual war, but it was a fairly constant phenomena.
The idea of a frontier that defines not only political jurisdiction
but also religious and ideological cultural difference is familiar.
In the 15 century the Spanish ventured into the Atlantic Ocean,
before Columbus and discovered the Canary islands. The Canary
Islands are a very direct prototype of what the Spanish would do
in the new world. The inhabitants of the Canary Islands, none of
them survived. Probably if we look at various molecules of the
current population we might find some traces, but essentially the population of the canary Islands vanished. Similar policy is taken
in West Indies. It isn’t as part north and in some respects it
spreads to the main land. When you get to Mexico and south
American, the native inhabits are too many to be exterminated
and therefore are converted and to some extent deprived of their
culture and language. And we know that the many populations in
Latin American that maintain to some extent their original
language and original culture.
The European model used by the Spanish the 16 century is
pretty drastic, but it is accompanied by something the
Europeans did not count on. It had to do with the early
success of the European success of the colonization. This was
disease. The Europeans brought disease. Of course they were
native disease back home, however they were the most deadly
disease they brought was small pox. It is estimated, that at a very
minimum 50% of the population of the Americas died. That is the
population in 1700 was less than 50% than that had been in the
1500. Disease not only depopulates, but also disturbs.
- If you got a new disease that will have drastic implications, and
one knows what to do, the effect is chaotic.
- Another is that renders populations vulnerable to domination
and to conquest. The single most important factor in what
happens in the Americas after the initial discovery is
In this area northern North America and central north America,
around the great lakes, st. Lawrence, New England, the number of
natives just collapses.
- In some cases whole villages and tribes disappear. Either
totally, killed off by disease,
- or so dismantled that they are absorbed into neighboring
When the Europeans established themselves o the coast, the
European impact proceeded much further than the actual
If you look at the great lake area in particular the most important
nation is the Iroquoian nation, which is of Iroquoian people
related to the 5 nations, the Iroquian who lived south of the great
lakes. The Huron’s in this period essentially disintegrate, they do
not disappear. There are Huron’s today. But as a confederacy
and a political entity, as an organized society they collapse. In
that collapse really it is small pox that did the damage.
The European when they push at the door of North America, they
are pushing at an open door. European cultural impact goes in fact
simple desemation. The European have a strong incentive to bring
their true revealed religion (Christianity) to the native people.
Automatic assumption that the European must be the better one.
So disease is accompanied by religion convergence
By the early 18 century, early 1700’s the majority of the
Iroquoian people would have converted to one form or another of
It was assumed very early in colonization that if religious convergence occurred, that in some way the converted could
be absorbed and live as equals with the Europeans settlement
that arrived. But that did not happen. There were some who
tried to make it happen on both sides, on the natives and
Europeans, but overall it was a policy that failed.
The state of Europe in the 17 century.
The richest and powerful country is France. It has the largest
population in Europe and that includes Russia. French population
in 1770 was greater than Russia’s.
Thanks to the outcome of the religious wars in France, which
end in 1598, the French monarchy established a centralized
and efficient state. That takes time, and the king of France does
not have infinite resources. That means that if the French
monarchy isn’t distracted it can have an impact in North America.
Furthermore, if you are looking at the balance of Europe in 1600-
1650 you would conclude that the French would the dominate
power in north America.
England is a maritime country that is surrounded by water, except
on one side where there is Scotland. And so England has an impact
- But England in the early 17 century is poor.
- It is under populated and has a 1/5 or less population of
- It exists in a state of civil distribution. Kings and pariliment are
a. In the 1640’s there is a civil war. The king of England tries
to assert certain constitutional doctritine which would
make allow him freedom to tax people, imposed policies
they had not okayed, and so on and so forth.
b. This civil war takes place between 1642-1649. At the end
of it Charles I has his head cut off.
- It does set a precedent to English consitioinal history. England
had a republic. Lasted from 1649 to 1660. Then the english
decided that they were not good republicans anymore, and
called back the son of Charles I, Charles II. The English
reasoned correctly that Charles II would look at his father, and
try not to imitate his path to the execution block.
England in this period, down to the 1670, 1680 is relatively badly
governed. It is quarrelsome, there are outbreaks and rebellion and
there is always the threat of civil war hanging over it. Europeans
usually looked at England as a bad example
Then there is Spain.
- It had only been unified as the late 15 century, early 16 th
- Had a complicated constitution. Spain, for a variety of
reasons, and definitely for the lack of polical coherence
and economic mismanagement is notthn expanding power
after the beginning of the 17 century. In Europe in this
period in the 17-18 century spain is looked at as a declining
- Nevertheless the Spanish still had their empire in latin America and for that reason alone we would have to pay
attention to spain and the Spanish empire at least until the
beginning of the 19 century. It is a strategic factor in how
North America is developing.
Then north of England is Scotland.
- It has 1/10 the population of England.
- If the English are quarrelsome the Scots take it to new heights.
They admire the idea of getting rid of their monarch and the
are distrusted by religious wars and so on.
- The Scots are also a colonizing power. And what they
colonized along with the English was the third kingdom of
British isles- that was Ireland.
a. Ireland is kind of a English possession. The English have
not quite dominated it, but pretended that they owned it
from the 12 century forward.
b. In the 16 century, for accidental reasons, Ireland did not
follow England and Scotland into Protestantism, it was
very largely catholic. As a result the European intuition of
religion war was imported into Ireland. Ireland was in a
state of continues war-like disruption. What interest us
that Ireland is a colony. And