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The Era of European Exploration, 1500-1821

Gastil and Harris, Section II:  The Era of European Exploration, 1500-1821

Please read the intro to the section to answer these questions.  I have noted which documents relate to some of the questions, in case you want to explore a topic in more depth.  (You will read the selections you find most interesting for your Reading Journal activity coming up.)

Explain how the Spanish conquest of Mexico set off a series of events that shaped California.  (43)

Comment:  “The Spanish were active in North America for about 250 years before they began to settle the area we now call California.”  (43)

What place did Cortez name “California”?  Why did people think it was an island?  (43)

How did a myth about “California” exist in European literature before any European saw the place?  (44, Selections I and II)

What do you find remarkable about the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan in 1519?  (44, Selection 3)

How was Spain’s early interest in California related to the Philippines?  Why were some Filipinos possibly mistaken for California Indians?  (44-45, Selection 4)

What do you find notable in the voyages of Cabrillo and Drake?  Why do you suppose neither of these voyages actually led to any European settlement in California?  (45, Selections 5 and 6)

Why is Vizcaíno’s voyage arguably more important to California history than earlier voyages?  What did he see at the place he named Monterey?  (45-46, Selections 7 and 8)

What does the Argüello expedition in 1821 tell us about the cultures he visited?  (46, Selection 9)

By 1821 the Spanish had established 20 missions.  How is it possible that in some native villages nobody had seen a European?  


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