United States History. SERIOUS INQUIRY ONLY


Textbook: Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4 (for assignment and reference)

Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Pick one (1) of the following topics. Then, address the corresponding questions/prompts for your selected topic:

Option 1: Exploration and Effects on Native Americans

Explain what motivated the European world powers to explore the Americas.
Describe the economic effects of exploration based on the Colombian exchange.
Analyze the effects of exploration on Native Americans.
Based on research, analyze if Europeans might be held accountable for transmitting Old World diseases to people in the Western Hemisphere.
Option 2: Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude

Explain how and why slavery developed in the American colonies.
Describe in what ways the practice of slavery was different between each colonial region in British North America.
Analyze the differences between slaves and indentured servants.
Option 3: Women in Colonial America

Pick two colonies (New England, Middle, or Southern colonies) and explain how women’s roles differ in the two colonies of your choice.
Describe what legal rights women held during the colonial period.
Analyze how Native women’s lives were different from colonial women’s lives.

Length: 1-2 pages (not including title page or references page)
1-inch margins
Double spaced
12-point Times New Roman font
Title page
References page (minimum of 1 scholarly source)
No abstract is required
In-text citations that correspond with your end references

Option 1: Exploration and Effects on Native Americans

The European exploration and colonization of the Americas had a profound impact on the history of the continent. In this paper, we will explore the motivations behind European exploration, the economic effects of the Columbian exchange, the impact of exploration on Native Americans, and the question of whether Europeans can be held accountable for transmitting Old World diseases to people in the Western Hemisphere.

Motivations behind European Exploration
The primary motivations for European exploration of the Americas were economic. European nations were seeking to expand their empires and increase their wealth, and they believed that the Americas held vast untapped resources that could help them achieve these goals. Additionally, European nations were seeking to find new trade routes to Asia, which would allow them to bypass the Ottoman Empire and other Islamic powers that controlled traditional overland trade routes.

Economic Effects of Exploration
The Columbian exchange was the transfer of goods, crops, and people between the New World and the Old World that occurred after Columbus’s first voyage in 1492. The exchange had significant economic effects on both the Americas and Europe. European diseases such as smallpox devastated Native American populations, making it easier for European powers to conquer and colonize the Americas. In exchange, Europeans brought new crops, such as maize and potatoes, back to Europe, which helped to fuel population growth.

Impact of Exploration on Native Americans
The impact of exploration on Native Americans was largely negative. European powers, seeking to expand their empires, conquered and colonized Native American lands, often through violence and coercion. Native Americans were forced to relocate to reservations, where they suffered from poverty, disease, and cultural displacement. European colonizers also brought diseases such as smallpox, which killed large numbers of Native Americans and contributed to the decline of many Native American societies.

Accountability for Disease Transmission
Some scholars argue that Europeans can be held accountable for transmitting Old World diseases to people in the Western Hemisphere. The argument is based on the idea that Europeans knew that they were carrying diseases that were deadly to Native Americans but did not take adequate steps to prevent their spread. Additionally, some scholars argue that Europeans used disease as a deliberate tactic of warfare against Native American populations.

The impact of European exploration and colonization on the Americas was profound and continues to be felt to this day. While the economic benefits of exploration were significant, the cost to Native Americans was enormous. The question of whether Europeans can be held accountable for transmitting Old World diseases to people in the Western Hemisphere is a complex and controversial one, but it is clear that the impact of disease on Native American populations was devastating.