Olwell – HIS 315K – Spring 2023
Olwell – HIS 315K – Spring 2023
You will have until midnight on Monday, February 13, to submit your exam (as a single worddoc) on to the course canvas page. At the top of the first page, please write your name, then
“Olwell – HIS 315k – Spring 2023,” and “First Exam”.
Part I: Expository Essay (750-1000 words, 50 points)
Select one of the following four questions and write an expository essay in answer to it. Your
answer should use complete sentences and contain paragraphs, an introduction, and a conclusion.
Support your points and arguments with specific evidence and examples taken from the lectures
and readings whenever possible. In particular, you should draw upon the primary readings
contained in the Presence of Past, and to quote or paraphrase short (no more than one sentence)
passages from these documents as appropriate. Since you will have four and half days to write your
essay, you may use this time to consult the readings, look over your notes, and also review any of
the recorded lectures (or just the relevant parts of them). However, no additional research beyond
the material provided in class is required. All submitted essays will be evaluated by the “turn-it-in”
software included on canvas. Essays that show a strong correlation to others submitted in the class
or to sources on the inter-net will be flagged. Your completed essay should be between 750 and 1000
words long. It should be added to your answer to the primary passage analysis (see below) to form
a single word-document and submitted onto canvas no later than midnight Monday, February 13.
1. Explain how the changes that had occurred in England over the course of the 16th-century both
inspired and were reflected in Richard Hakluyt’s promotional pamphlet: “Inducements for the Liking
of the Voyage Intended Towards Virginia.” How did Hakluyt’s plan as to how the English should
colonize America draw upon England’s particular “skill-set” (or culture) as opposed to the “skills”
that the Spanish brought to their own colonization enterprise? What part were the natives supposed to
play in Hakluyt’s original scheme for Virginia and in the initial business model adopted by the Virginia
Company of London? How might the images contained in John White and Theodore DeBry’s book:
“The True Pictures and Fashions of the People in That Part of America Now Called Virginia” seem to
validate these hopes and plans? Use the historical events that ensued in both Virginia and, later, in
New England, to evaluate the possibility of trade as a means to peacefully “civilize” (and colonize)
natives. Ultimately, was trade just another mode of conquest? Why? Why not?
2. As they landed in America, both Spanish Conquistadores and English Puritans published (or
pronounced) documents that explained and justified what they were doing in terms that were religious
but also legal and contractual. Describe the historical circumstances that inspired the creation of both
the “Requerimiento” and the “Modell of Christian Charitie.” How did each document reflect the plans
and world-view of the people who wrote and/or published them? What was the ostensible purpose of
and audience for each document? Do you think this may have differed from their actual audience and
purpose? If so, how? If we read each document as a “contract,” how would you describe their various
“legal” claims and requirements? What role was accorded to God in each “contract”? What were the
proscribed rights and duties of the documents’ publishers (Conquistador or Puritan)? Where did the
natives fit in? If the ensuing colonial project did not go well, on whom did each document place the
blame, and who would be “justly” subject to punishment?
3. Explain why, beginning in 1618, there was a great demand for labor in colonial Virginia. Why
was “unfree labor” best able to satisfy the need (or greed) of Virginia tobacco planters? Describe the
system of unfree labor which supplied most of Virginia’s tobacco workers for the next fifty years.
How did this system meet the basic requirements (or hopes) of both planters and workers? Describe
several of the factors: demographic, economic, political, and/or cultural, that persuaded wealthy
Virginia planters to begin to shift toward using enslaved Africans as their main source of labor after
1660 or so. Give specific examples of some of the laws that were passed by the Virginia elite in this
decade to create the legal “chains” by which some people (and their children) were to be defined as
the perpetual property of others. Do you think Edmund Morgan, in his essay “Slavery and Freedom
the American Paradox,” adopts a Marxist (materialist) or the Hegelian (idealist) approach to history
when he suggests that slavery came before racism in Virginia? Explain.
4.) What was at stake when the Virginia court asked Thomas(ine) Hall in 1629: “Whether he were
man or woman?”? Describe the early modern concept of patriarchy and how it drew upon both the
bible and the family to justify and conflate the rule of men over women and the king over his subjects.
What was a woman’s role according to English law and custom? (Explain what that legal custom was
called, and why.) When Englishmen sought to transplant their ideas and practices about gender to
America, their cultural “seed” spilled onto very different ground and produced different results. What
factors: demographic, religious, and/or economic, reinforced or undermined the power of patriarchs
in early Virginia and New England? Why were women “the usual suspects” in witchcraft cases? How
was the witch, as depicted in popular belief, the antithesis of the “Good Wife”? Using patriarchal
criteria, how (when) was Mary Rowlandson, as she describes herself and her actions in her captivity
narrative, behaving as a dutiful “Good Wife”? How (when) was she out of her “proper place”?
Part Two: Primary Document Analysis (c. 500-750 words, 50 points)
Brief extracts taken from four of the primary documents that we have examined in class are printed
below. First, choose one of them, identify it and describe its historic context (that is: explain when,
where, why, and by whom it was made). Then, focus upon a specific section (a single sentence or
short phrase) from your chosen passage and explain how it is particularly revealing about the goals
and ideas of the person (or people) that wrote it.
First Document Extract:
. . . They neither carry nor know anything of arms, for I showed them swords, and they
took them by the blade and cut themselves through ignorance. They have no iron, their darts
being wands without iron, some of them have fish’s tooth at the end, and others being pointed in
various ways. They are all of fair stature and size, with good faces, and well made. I saw some
with marks of wounds on their bodies, and I made signs to ask what it was, and they gave me to
understand that people from other adjacent islands came with the intention of seizing them, and
that they defended themselves. I believed, and still believe, that they came here from the main
land to take them prisoners. They should be good servants and intelligent, for I observed that
they quickly took in what was said to them, and I believe that they would easily be made
Christians, as it appeared to me that they had no religion. I, our Lord being pleased, will take
hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for your Highnesses, that they may learn to speak.
Second Document Extract:
… But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with
the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in
all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church
and of their Highnesses; we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall
make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command;
and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as
to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we
protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their
Highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us. And that we have said this to you
and made this Requisition, we request the notary here present to give us his testimony in writing,
and we ask the rest who are present that they should be witnesses of this Requisition.
Third Document Extract:
…. For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are
upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so
cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through
the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors
for God’s sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their
prayers to be turned into curses upon us till wee be consumed out of the good land whither we are
Fourth Document Extract:
… Whereas the only law in force for the punishment of refractory servants resisting their
master, mistress, or overseer cannot be inflicted upon Negroes, nor the obstinacy of many of them
be suppressed by other than violent means, be it enacted and declared by this Grand Assembly if
any slave resists his master (or other by his master’s order correcting him) and by the extremity of
the correction should chance to die, that his death shall not be accounted a felony, but the master
(or that other person appointed by the master to punish him) be acquitted from molestation, since
it cannot be presumed that premeditated malice (which alone makes murder a felony) should
induce any man to destroy his own estate.
To answer the selected question, you should follow this general structure:
Provide a brief overview of the topic and state the thesis statement.
Mention Richard Hakluyt and his promotional pamphlet.
Discuss the changes that occurred in England during the 16th century.
Describe how the changes inspired and reflected in Richard Hakluyt’s promotional pamphlet.
Discuss how Hakluyt’s plan for colonizing America was different from the Spanish colonization.
Explain the role of natives in Hakluyt’s original scheme and the initial business model of the Virginia Company of London.
Evaluate the possibility of trade as a means to peacefully colonize and “civilize” natives.
Use historical events to support the arguments.
Summarize the key points discussed in the essay.
Re-state the thesis statement.
Provide final thoughts and insights on the topic.