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Midterm Study Guide

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Be prepared to answer the following essay questions. Be sure to include specific examples that support your thesis and conclusions. Your response to each essay must be at least 500 words in length.

1. A series of events and conditions existed in the Old World at the dawn of the fifteenth century that made New World exploration not only possible but also desirable. Identify these events and conditions, and explain how each helped set the stage for exploration.

2. Despite Columbus’s lack of success in locating the Asian mainland by sailing west, his arrival in the Caribbean had a profound and lasting impact on both the Old and New Worlds. Discuss Columbus’s voyages. Discuss Spanish claims to the new lands in the West. Explain how Europeans’ understanding of world geography changed due to Columbus’s discoveries. Discuss the Columbian Exchange.

3. The labor system that existed in Virginia until the 1670s profoundly influenced nearly every feature of Chesapeake society. Identify the source of labor and explain the major characteristics of this labor system. Explain the conditions that caused this system to flourish. Discuss the effects of this system on Chesapeake society up to the 1670s.

4. The puritan faith community shaped the New England colonies in virtually every way during much of the seventeenth century. Discuss the ideas and religious principles that characterized Puritanism, and explore the significant differences between the Separatists led by William Bradford, who founded Plymouth colony, and the group of Puritans led by John Winthrop, who founded Massachusetts Bay colony.

5. The labor system of slavery transformed the South during the eighteenth century. Discuss the impact of slavery on the 2 economy of the South, as well as its impact on southern society and politics.

6. By the 1770s, many white Americans saw the British government as a source of efforts to enslave them, while many African-American slaves saw the British government as a potential source of freedom from slavery. Explain why these two groups held such fundamentally different views. Which groups view of the British was more legitimate?

7. In the Revolutionary War, American colonists fought each other as well as the British. How did the events of the war influence colonial Americans as they chose sides?

8. Discuss the events that led to Shays’s Rebellion, the revolt itself, and the outcome of the revolt.

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