Review Questions Essay

4106 Words Oct 2nd, 2011 17 Pages
Give Me Liberty!
Eric Foner
Focus Questions

Chapter One:
-What impelled European explorers to look west across the Atlantic?
The European conquest of America began as an offshoot of the quest for a sea route to India, China, and the islands of the East Indies, the source of the silk, tea, spices, porcelain, and other luxury goods on which international trade in the early modern era centered. Profit and piety-the desire to eliminate Islamic middlemen and win control of the lucrative trade for Christian Western Europe-combined to inspire the quest for a direct route to Asia. Long before Columbus sailed, Europeans had dreamed of a land of abundance, riches, and ease beyond the western horizon. They hoped America would bring them a
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The most striking feature of Native American society at the time Europeans arrived was its sheer diversity. Each group had its own political system and set of religious beliefs, and North America was home to literally hundreds of mutually unintelligible languages. Indians had no sense of “America” as a continent or hemisphere. They did not think of themselves as a single people, an idea invented by Europeans and only many years later adopted by Indians themselves. Indian identity centered on the immediate social group-a tribe, village, chiefdom, or confederacy. Indeed, when Europeans arrived, many Indians sought to use the newcomers to enhance their standing in relation to other native peoples, rather than to unite against them.
The diverse Indian societies of North America did share common characteristics. Their lives were steeped in religious ceremonies often directly related to farming and hunting. The world, they believed, was suffused with spiritual power and sacred spirits could be found in all kinds of living and inanimate things. In all Indian societies, those who seemed to possess special abilities to invoke supernatural powers-shamans, medicine men, and other religious leaders-held position of respect and authority.
Indian religion did not pose a sharp distinction between the natural and supernatural, or secular and religious activities. In some respects, however, Indian religion was not that different from

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