SECTION 2 HISTORICAL THINKING PROMPTS

European Exploration, Perception of the Other, and the Columbian Exchange

How did Europeans perceive the new people they encountered and how were they in turn perceived?

  1. Myscofski, Trigger, and Carpenter all indicate that changes took place over time in the European and native perception of one another. How does each author explain the changes that took place? Which primary sources seem to support this argument about a change of attitudes? Is any one interpretation of change more convincing? Might all of them have applied? Use specific arguments and details from the documents to support your answer.
  2. What preconceptions and expectations did Europeans have about the new peoples and lands they encountered? How did European expectations influence their treatment of the native population? What preexisting cultural beliefs did the native population use to comprehend the arrival of the Europeans? How did this affect their first encounters? Use specific arguments and details from authors Seed, Trigger, and Myscofski in your answer as well as at least two primary sources.
  3. What do the primary and visual sources suggest about how the Europeans viewed the native populations they encountered? How were they perceived by the native peoples? Use details from several primary and visual sources in your answer.