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Oct 20, 2023

Problem: American Literature

Write 200 words response to the following discussion activity. Use specific references and direct quotes from our readings this week to illustrate and support your view/s. Attached is a European map of the world made in the 1550s, well after European nations had come into contact with native peoples of the Americas. Note the people in the lower left corner -- what are they doing to make Europeans identify them as monstrous? A map made by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain that depicts important resources of New France and New England, including cod, minx, beavers, seals, and whales. Why would a French map of the New World include so many pictures of its natural resources? A Dutch map showing sea routes of the slave trade from Africa to the New World. In 1501, less than ten years after Columbus first landed in the New World, the first African slaves arrived in the Americas. Initially, Columbus had wanted to use Native Americans as slaves, but the Europeans soon realized that the Native Americans knew the land too well (obviously!) and could escape and survive easily. The native populations also succumbed to European diseases in high numbers as they had no immunities to European diseases whereas Africans tended to survive longer and were less likely to run away, as they didn`t know how to survive in the unfamiliar land. Today, it is difficult to understand how Europeans could justify enslaving other human beings and practicing an often brutal form of colonization, including the extraction of natural resources from lands that did not belong to them. Thinking about the images illustrated in these maps, what do the maps reveal about the European worldview that would enable them to justify their actions in the New World?

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