The Literature of Early America p. 1-5 1. The first Europeans to establish settlements on this continent did not call it America until the 18th century. What did these early settlers call it? The New World 2. The colonies that became the United States were – for the most part – inhabited by individuals from which European country? England 3. How much is known of the perspectives of the native inhabitants of this continent before the European arrival? Why? With the help of archaeologist, ethnographical, and oral materials much has been learned 4. What was the so-called Columbian Exchange, and what were the results?
The passing of biological matter between Native Americans and Europeans. The result is illness and death reduced to less than 10% of the original number 5. Although Leif Ericson first saw North America as early as 1000, and Columbus, of course, arrived in 1492, when did French and English colonization really begin to take hold? Early 1600s 6. After the Native American oral tradition, which writing could probably be considered the first “American” literature? American Literature 7. What three things set the stage for the seventeenth-century expansion of English colonization that would ultimately lead to the first United States?
1)The Reformation 2)English defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 3)emerging capitalist economies 8. Unlike the Spanish explorers who were financially supported by royalty, how were the English settlers supported? How did this affect the future of the colonies? English settlers were supported by banks & joint-stock companies. It moved it away from the old hierarchies of church & crown 9. What were the three general cultural/economic groups established in these early British colonies? Southern Colonies, Middle Colonies, New England 10. Which area was initially the most difficult to settle and why?
Southern Colony-malaria and starvation were rampant in the early 17th century 11. Which crop ultimately proved quite profitable to the southern colony in Virginia? tobacco 12. After the native populations had been decimated by disease and the brutality of enslavement, how did the English settlers respond to the demand for labor? Indentured servants 13. Which of the British settlements was the most ethnically and religiously diverse? Middle Colonies 14. Who were the first group of Europeans in America to denounce slavery? The Quakers 15.
Which group established the first permanent colony in New England? What was it called, and when was it established? Pilgrim settlement of Plymouth 1620 16. Which much larger Puritan settlement was established in New England ten years later? Puritan “Great Migration” 1630 17. What was the name of the first permanent English settlement in North America? Where was it located and when was it established? Est Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 Captain John Smith 18. What is the name of the English sea captain who wrote what is described as the first distinctly American writing in English?
Captain John Smith 19. In what way did Smith’s descriptions help lure the Pilgrims and the Puritans to this new land? He described as Paradise. His vision of a new & abundant world, along with his mapping 20. Smith also created maps of which area? New England Coast 21. Why did literature develop more slowly in the South? Towns were few, & farms were separated, urban audience for books and newspaper were scant 22. Which two movements greatly influenced the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay? Renaissance and Reformation 23.
Why is the Renaissance generally regarded as the beginning of modern civilization? It was the advancement of government, philosophy, and science 24. In what sense did firearms and books break down the social and political hierarchy? Books taught people to think for themselves, guns gave them the power to destroy body armor 25. In what sense does the work of Copernicus reflect the Renaissance’s break with tradition and authority? It questioned the pagan believes 26. A new spirit of scientific inquiry was inspired by the invention of which two scientific instruments? Gun power and printing press 27.
During the Reformation, what aspects of the Church did the religious reformers criticize? The authority of its spiritual leader, the pope and priest 28. How did “Protestants” earn that name? because of the protest against church doctrines, and the power of priest, and commands of bishops & popes ________________________________________ John Smith’s Biography p. 41-42 1. Why do you suppose the first permanent English colony was called Jamestown? Because King James I granted a royal charter to plant colonies in England’s North America Territories 2. Why was the settlement at Jamestown, initially, disastrous?
Jamestown was swampy, lacked steadfast leaders, didn’t build houses, plant crops, find gold. More than half died the 1st winter 3. What role did Smith assume? A leader, President 4. In Smith’s A Description of New England, published in 1616, he mapped the coast of New England. However, his trip to New England in 1614 wasn’t for that purpose. Why did he go? To search for jar gold called Jars 5. Which group of settlers purchased Smith’s maps of New England? Pilgrims 6. What was the first English book written in America? A True Relation of Occurrences and Accidents in Virginia 7.
In Smith’s most influential book The General History of Virginia (1624), how did he describe the New World? Riches and wilderness delights, place of freedom, joy, and abundance 8. Who named the area “New England”? Smith 9. Why do some question Smith’s romantic account of his rescue by the Indian princess Pocahontas? Because it was written seven years after Pocahontas’ death. He could have been adopted and not known 10. The Smith/Pocahontas tale is one of the earliest examples of what particular narrative form in early American literature? fable ________________________________________
John Smith – from A Description of New England (1616) p. 55-63 1. Although this work was published in 1616, it was based on Smith’s return trip to New England in what year? 1614 2. Why was his trip a financial failure? Looking for gold and copper and it wasn’t fish season 3. Why did Smith find it difficult to trade fish and furs in the area? Because Sir Francis Popham traded a lot and he got most of it 4. What characteristics does Smith say one must have to conquer this land and make it thrive? Ability to work 5. What do you think the following quote suggests to those reading his account back in England?
“… only here and there we touched or have seen a little [of] the edges of those large dominions which do stretch themselves into the main[land], God knows how many thousand miles… ” there is a lot more land to discover, don’t limit yourself 6. He describes the coast as being overgrown with [what] and an incredible abundance of… [what]? Good timber, most sorts of fish, fowl, and good fruits 7. As he discusses the abundance of fish, what European comparison does he make to elevate this lowly staple to something that can, in fact, build countries?
Which group (who settled here later in 1620) might this have appealed to? Hollanders 8. What does Smith use to lure people from England to the New World (see middle paragraph on page 58)? Men can be master of their own fate/no landlords 9. Smith mentions the fertile ground, but he also says that, if need be, one can trade with the natives for goods like corn. What does he say (and what tone does he use) about those “savages” who may be uncooperative? With 30 or 40 men sufficient to bring in line/disdain 10. Notice the way Smith begins each of the paragraphs on page 60: “Of mines of gold…
Of woods… The waters… The herbs and fruits… Oak… Eagles… Whales… Moose… ” What is he doing to try to lure the English to this new land? Painting a picture of abudance 11. What kind of individuals do you think Smith is targeting when he says, “Who can desire more content, that has small means or but only his merit to advance his fortune, than to tread and plant that ground he has purchased by the hazard of his life? ” The Common Man 12. What do you think of Smith’s reference to the holy quest some might take by making the journey to the New World?
: “If he have any grain of faith or zeal in religion, what can he do less hurtful to any or more agreeable to God than to seek to convert those poor savages to know Christ and humanity…? ” Crusaders 13. What emotions do you think Smith is tapping into when he says the following? : “What so truly suits with honor and honesty as the discovering things unknown, erecting towns, peopling countries, informing the ignorant, reforming things unjust, teaching virtue, and gain to our native mother-country a kingdom to attend her, find employment for those that are idle because they know not what to do?
” 14. On page 62, what does Smith say might be his role in helping these newcomers adjust to this new land? Do you see this as self-serving or sacrificial on Smith’s part? If he lied they can fault him/ self-serving 15. Smith has spoken of the rewards that will come from hard work. What does he say about the pleasures to be enjoyed in this new land? Hunting or hawking is great
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