The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices from Early America Short Essay - Answer Key

Colin G. Calloway
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1. How does the author describe the Eurocentric view of America's discovery versus the reality of Indian culture in the Introduction?

While the Euro-centric narrative insists that Europeans "discovered" America, America was in fact full of relatively advanced Indian nations, complete with unique art, mythologies, complex political systems, irrigation networks, architecture, etc. Europeans called different peoples "tribes," but in fact identity often shifted because societies were in flux.

2. How did smallpox impact the Native American peoples, as discussed in the Introduction?

The Indian people were devastated by all the diseases, like smallpox, Europeans brought over from the Old World. Many tribes were wiped out entirely, while others lost 50 percent or more of their population. Europeans like the Pilgrims attributed the epidemic to God's will.

3. How did European trade impact the Native American peoples, as discussed in the Introduction?

Indians were very damaged by European trade. They became dependent on manufactured goods, and thus dependent on Europeans. Often, Indians would fall into debt to buy goods. Alcohol and the resulting alcoholism was also a devastating effect of the European influence.

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