Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Atahualpa Looks for the Truth

                Atahualpa was the leader of the Inca village that the Spaniards arrived in. The Inca saw Atahualpa as the son of the sun, so they treated him like a god. The Spanish came to the Inca village with the goal of converting the Incas to Christianity in mind. They confronted Atahualpa in front off thousands of Incas and declare their proposal. There are many different sources that have been written that explain the popes encounter with Atahualpa. In theses sources they all tell different stories. Some of which make no sense and are based off biased point of views and some that tell the complete story accurately. It can be hard to find which source is accurately telling the events of this meeting between Atahualpa and the Spanish pope. In class we did an activity with three different sources on this event. We used the textbook's point of view and two other documents one taken from the account of a Spanish explorer and one account from Pizarro. Our class split up into three groups; each group was assigned one of the sources, then we had to come up with a skit that explained what happened in the document. Once everybody was ready we presented the skits and compared them in a whole class discussion. After we had created the closest story we could we watched a short video of the accurate story of Atahualpa and the Spaniards encounter.
                   The textbook is not a reliable source for information on this topic. The textbook states "Atahualpa held the book to his ear and listened to it. When the book didn't speak, he threw it on the ground." This is not what happened when Atahualpa received the book from the Spanish Friar. This account doesn't even make sense. Atahualpa knew that this book wasn't going to speak to him he just didn't know how to open it. Atahualpa and the Inca's didn't have a written language so they had never seen a
book before. Document A was a reliable source when looking at this event. It accurately explains what Atahualpa did with the bible. "Atahualpa asked for the Book, that he might look at it, and the priest gave it to him closed. Atahualpa did not know how to open it...........Then he opened it himself, and, without any astonishment at the letters and paper, he threw it away from him five or six steps" Atahualpa didn't try to listen to the book. Atahualpa struggled with opening the book then when he got it open the words didn't make sense to him so he threw it on the ground thinking it was worthless. Also in the Textbook version of this story they make it seem like the attacking started right away. While the Spanish Pope had to go and tell Pizarro, who then ordered his men to attack. This is states correctly in Document A and document B. These sources all tell different stories because some are biased and are in favor of one of theses groups. The textbook is biased and is on the side of the Spaniards. It said that Atahualpa held the book to his ear to make him seem dumb and unintelligent while he just didn't have the knowledge on that certain object. Many sources can be biased to support what a group of people does or says. Some sources are based of Primary sources that didn't actually know what happened at the time and made up the story that they had written. Primary sources can't always be relied on and you have to be careful about what sources to use. 
                Through this lesson I have learned to try and base my research off of multiple sources. It is important to have one source from each point of view, so in this case one source from the Spaniards and one source from the Inca's, but because they didn't have a written language a source from someone that could write that was in favor of the Inca's. Although the textbook is supposed to be a reliable source it really isn't. The textbook bases their information off of one source that may not be all that accurate. However, people have learned  to only believe what is in the textbook which is not a smart thing. We have to use the textbook then use other sources and decide if the textbook is telling the right story or not. In theses sources you should be able to identify the perspective it is from. You have to think of who the document is in favor of. If you read all documents in favor of one side and none from the other side you could be reading multiple sources and still not get the correct story. So you have to be able to identify the biased and use that information to find the next source and decide the true story for yourself. When researching history it can be hard to find good reliable sources, but if you don't your story could be completely different from what actually happened. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A World of Inequality all the Way Back to 1492

The Colombian Exchange
The Colombian exchange is the exchange of diseases, food crops, populations (people and animals), and cultures between the New World and Old World after the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The Colombian Exchange began when Christopher Columbus first arrived in America in 1492. He had brought horses and other animals and food with him that were new to the Indians. This began the exchange because the Europeans were bringing over goods to the Natives while the Native were also trading things with the Europeans. Both the Americas and the Europeans had begun the exchange of goods which soon led into the exchange of diseases and people along with the plants. animals, and food. The New World (the Americas) however didn't benefit as much as the Old World (Europe, Asia, and Africa)  did form this exchange.

The Old World had more benefits from this exchange then the New World. They received cash crops from the Natives that lived in the Americas. Some of these cash crops were sugar and tobacco. These were very valuable to the Europeans because they could not grow this on their own at the time, so there value was ranked highly. There was a demand for theses crops by the people because they needed theses crops that they hadn't known about. Also they could starts growing them in Europe once they got them from the Natives. The Natives also received crops like bananas, coffee beans, and grapes but the suffering was larger then the profit form the goods they received. 

The Great Dying
The New World suffered through this exchange. The Europeans and others were bringing diseases with them to the New World hen they came. The New World had never experienced theses symptoms and diseases before. All of theses things were new to them. So they didn't have experience with curing them. The Old World kept on bringing new diseases every time they came. They tried to stop people from coming once they found out that the people from the Old World were causing it. However, they didn't have the power to stop people from sailing and settling on their land. This lead to the Great Dying. The Natives went through suffering like aching bones, small pox, burning chest, and high fever. Typical Native American societies lost 90% of there population in the years following Christopher Columbus's expedition.

Triangular Trade

This Colombian Exchange is also know as the unequal exchange because of the suffering in the New
World and the benefits in the Old World. It is known as the unequal exchange because the Old World hurt the New World population with bringing in diseases while the Old World was receiving money and power from selling the crops they were receiving form the Old World. These exchange had brought success for most of the world at one point, but when people began the exchange of disease and other people it hurt the New World and kill off most of it's original inhabitants. The Colombian exchange was the exchange of benefits to the New World and suffering to the Old World.

Link to Resources on the Colombian Exchange: