Chapter 1:New world Beginnings, 33,000 B.C.-A.D. 1769
1. How did Indian societies of South and North America differ from European societies at the time the two came into contact? In What ways did Indians retain a “world view” different from that of the Europeans?
2. What role did disease and forced labor (including slavery) play in the early settlement of America? Is the view of Spanish and Portuguese as especially harsh conquerors and exploiters valid-or is this image just another version of the English “black legend” concerning the Spanish role in the Americas?
3. Are the differences between Latin America and North America due primarily to the differences between the respective Indian societies that existed in the two places, or to the disparity between Spanish and English culture? What would have happened if the English had conquered densely settled Mexico and Peru, and the Spanish had settled more thinly populated North America?
4. In What ways are the early (pre-1600) histories of Mexican and the present-day American Southwest understood differently now that the United States is being so substantially affected by Mexican and Latin American immigration and culture? To what extent should this now be regarded as part of our American history?
5. Why was the Old World able to dominate the New World? What were the strengths and weakness of the Old World? What were the strengths and weaknesses of the New World?
6. Should the Spanish Conquistadores be especially blamed for the cruelties and deaths (including those by disease) inflicted on the original Indian populations of the Americas? Is it possible to make such criticisms without falling into the traditional English fallacies of the “black legend”?
7. What is the long-term significance for Latin America of the “immorality” achieved by the...