Warm-Up: This morning let's begin by forming small groups of three or four. Discuss your Seminar experiences from last semester together. Start thinking about some 'rules' you would like to implement in order to make this semester as helpful and meaningful as possible. Have one of your group members jot these down. I will collect them, post them online, and we can use them to refer back to and keep us focused throughout the semester.


  • What did you make of the article on the Columbian Exchange? Thoughts, ideas, impressions?
  • What is the Columbian Exchange and why is it 'is one of the more spectacular and significant ecological events of the past millennium?'
  • Why do the Amerindians call Plantago major by the name "Englishman's foot"?
  • What happens to the native flora on the Eastern coast? What were the intended and unintended consequences of these agricultural settlements?
  • Alfred W. Crosby writes, 'Indigenous peoples suffered from white brutality, alcoholism, the killing and driving off of game, and the expropriation of farmland, but all these together are insufficient to explain the degree of their defeat.' What does he cite as the source of their defeat?
  • Of the smallpox pandemic among the Algonquin of Massachusetts in the early 1630s: William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation wrote that the victims “fell down so generally of this disease as they were in the end not able to help one another, no not to make a fire nor fetch a little water to drink, nor any to bury the dead.” What type of source is this? Why do you think it was written? How would a historian use it?
  • The young women in the picture above have smallpox. Smallpox ravages and decimates whole populations of Native Americans.

HOMEWORK: Next time we meet, we will have a more formal discussion circle. Our focus will be the section of Professor Martin's Blackboard reading entitled, 'Indians and Europeans: New World Encounters.' Read it carefully and use the Critical Questions to guide you. Come prepared to share your answers.