The Powhatans and the English in the Seventeenth Century Chesapeake is a module in Oxford University Press’s new series, Debating American History. This series embraces an argument-based model for teaching history and encourages students to participate in a contested, evidence-based discourse about the human past. The series rejects the idea of history as an undisputed narrative and instead presents the past as understood through the direct engagement with historical evidence. This book asks a question that historians debate—How were the English able to displace the thriving Powhatan people from their Chesapeake homelands in the seventeenth century?—and provides abundant primary sources so that students can make their own efforts at interpreting the evidence. They can then use that analysis to construct answers to the key question and argue in support of their position. Through this process, students develop the dispositions and habits of mind that are central to the discipline of history.
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