HIST 4510-01

Midterm Exam

 

Overview: This is a take-home essay exam over material from the first half of the semester, covering the period from just before Columbusís initial voyage to the early period of conquest and settlement by the Iberian powers.

 

Topics: This exam covers the following lecture and discussion topics.

Readings:  This exam covers all readings handed out in class.

 

Instructions: You will write two essays, chosen from the questions below. Be sure to consider all parts of the question, and to use concrete details in your answers. I will assume that you have done the appropriate readings when grading these exams. Each essay should be 500-800 words long. Any source other than lectures, handouts, or the textbook must be cited.

 

DUE DATE: This essay is due Wednesday, March 27. There will be a dropbox available in eLearn. Realistically, I need it by March 2 if you want  a midterm grade.

 

Essay Questions:

 

1.       Examine Iberian and Amerindian society on the in the late 1400s and early 1500s. What factors can you identify that would have enhanced the ability of the Iberians to carry out successful conquest, and what weaknesses limited their efforts in conquest and colonization?  For the Amerindians, what factors can you identify that left them vulnerable to conquest, and what factors aided them in resistance to conquest?

2.    Discuss the conquest from the Amerindian point of view. How did the indigenous peoples of the Americas experience the conquest? What did the see as their role in it? Consider that different groups and different individuals had different experiences. 

3.   In what way was the conquest actually a conquest? How complete was it? In what ways was it incomplete?

4.       Discuss the techniques the Spanish and Portuguese used in early conquest and settlement. What patterns emerged? What techniques tended to be repeated? What differences emerged in different areas (such as distinctions between what happened in rural areas vs. urbanized regions, or between early conquests in the islands vs. later conquests on the mainland)?

5.        What role did land distribution play in the early colonial period? How did it shape patterns of settlement and conquest? What role(s) did it play in shaping the relationship between the Europeans and the Amerindians (notably in the desire of various people to obtain and/or hold on to land)?

6.    Discuss how Portuguese and Spanish history prior to 1492/1500 shaped the coming empires. Think about their interactions with other societies, such as Africa, the Muslim world, and the Mediterranean, and about their self-identities.

The questions below were originally part of the exam, but I realized they were based on a book I did not order for this class. You conceivably do them based in the textbook or outside readings. Remember, as with the essays above, if you use any source other than textbook, handout, or lecture material, you must cite it.

 

1.   Compare the roles of women in Amerindian, Iberian, and  West African societies as they existed on the eve of European conquest in the Americas (that is, before 1492).  To be precise, identify the most important similarities and differences found in these cultures that would contribute to the construction of Latin American culture.

2.    Discuss the role of women in the Spanish and Portuguese conquests of and early colonization in the Americas. What roles did they play in assisting and/or resisting conquest?

3.     Consider how race and gender shaped economic opportunities in colonial Latin America? What limitations fell on women and people of color, and what roles were open to them? How did factors like class and geographical location shape these opportunities? 

 

Consider how race and gender shaped economic opportunities in colonial Latin America? What limitations fell on women and people of color, and what roles were open to them? How did factors like class and geographical location shape these opportunities?