Exploration and Conquest Stories of Indigenous Peoples: With Student Study Guide


Featuring:

  1. Vocabulary Development
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Written Expression
  4. Core Curriculum Concepts
  5. An Integrated Workbook
  6. Pictures Highlighting Key History Figures And Events

A Book For High School Students: Exploration And Conquest Stories Of Indigenous Peoples

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This book takes the student around the globe and across the centuries with a pictorial odyssey.  Six continents are covered, as are island nations.   Twenty-two anecdotes are labeled “Did You Know?” Each of these has a vivid photo associated and a dramatic story.  For example:  Vietnamese villages are shown kowtowing to French invaders; indigenous Putumayo are shown chained as slave laborers on South American rubber plantations; and junks are shown burning off the coast of Canton during the Opium Wars.

A special feature is the “Useful Terms” section, which offers simple explanations for challenging words that appear in the text.  Also, in the “Student Study Guide” (incorporated into the book), there is an exercise in map reading.  There are, additionally,  vocabulary and reading comprehension questions, as well as a suggested essay in the Guide.

The book is suitable for high school or upper middle school.  Upon completion of the book, students will have learned how Europe’s Age of Exploration affected indigenous peoples around the world.

The photo below illustrates how the images in “Exploration and Conquest” capture dramatic moments in history.  Photos, such as the one featured here, will hold students’ attention and will help them understand critical concepts.

Ethiopian Resistance Fighters
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This photo was taken between 1935 and 1940 by an unknown author.  The men were part of organized resistance to Mussolini as he sought to expand his African colonies.
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Haiti: How Colonial Powers Stole Opportunity

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Haiti’s first flag, 1803.  Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean.

By A. G. Moore

(This is a reblog from a 2011 post that appeared on noplaceforrumors.com.)

It is true that Haiti lies on an earthquake fault and in a tropical storm zone.  From time to time the tiny country  is struck by natural calamity of epic proportions.  This is one of those times. However, it is not Haiti’s geography which has been the nation’s undoing:  it  was greed that did it in, the greed of neighbors and overseers who robbed Haiti of its civic and economic legacy before the nation had a chance to claim its future.

Domingue (the name was changed to Haiti after independence in 1804) was a French colony; sugar and tobacco plantations provided a great income stream to France.  The economy of the island was predicated on slave labor, which was imported in such numbers as to exceed the slave trade in all other territories in the western hemisphere, except Jamaica.  Because of the brutal conditions in which the slaves of Domingue were kept, death rates were very high and there was a constant importation of new captives from Africa.

By the late 1700’s Haiti was not a peaceful place.  Recent African immigrants were not as tractable as second generation slaves might have been and the brutality of the conditions in which the slaves were maintained contributed to the unrest.

By 1791, revolution broke out.  Led by Toussaint Louverture, the goal of the revolution initially was not independence but the abolition of slavery.   Louverture led a successful campaign against the French, but eventually was defeated by treachery.  He ended up in a French prison, where he died of pneumonia in 1803.

Perhaps if Louverture had lived, and been allowed to govern, Haiti might have had a chance.  But that’s not likely.  Because, not only had the arrival of colonialists brought death to the indigenous people (the Tainos) of the island,  not only had these colonialists kept their slaves in such barbarous conditions as to deny the slaves’ very humanity (stories are told of slaves being set upon by dogs; of slaves being boiled in vats of molasses; of slaves being buried alive in ant hills), but the French decided, after Haiti became an independent country, that a debt was owed.  Not by the French to the Haitians, but by the Haitians to the French.

At first, in defiance of this demand from France,  Haiti endured an embargo which denied it the opportunity to benefit from trade of its rich produce.  Eventually, the Haitians submitted and agreed to pay France  to  compensate the former slave owners for the loss of their property.  Haiti was handed a bill and that bill was not cancelled until 1947.  One of the reasons for the prolonged debt service was the conditions of payment.  France insisted that the debt be financed through a French bank, which unilaterally set interest rates and terms.

So much for what France owes to the Haitians.

As to Haiti’s northern neighbor, the U. S.:  from the moment  it became an independent country, Haiti was an irritation to the United States.  For one thing, Haiti presented an example to slaves in the U.S.  that a successful rebellion was possible. Plantation owners in the southern part of the United States were unsettled by this dynamic. Insurrections among U. S slaves, especially in Louisiana, were blamed on the Haitian influence.  U.S.  Assistant Secretary of State Alvey Adee summed it up in 1888 when he called Haiti a “public nuisance at our door”.

The U.S. intervened in Haitian affairs numerous times over the years and U. S. corporations found Haiti a profitable place in which to invest their capital.  By 1915 this investment was so significant that when it appeared to be threatened, Woodrow Wilson, the proponent of “self-determination” for European nations, sent an army into Haiti to secure  U.S. interests.  While the stated aim of the invasion was to neutralize German influence on the Island, subsequent actions of the U. S. government belie this claim.  $500,000 was appropriated from the Haitian National Bank, “for safekeeping”; the U.S. took over all the Customs Houses and ports;  it created a national guard which was an arm of the U.S. government.  Finally, Haitians were prevented from passing a constitution unless that constitution allowed for foreign ownership of property.

So…while it was still saddled with a hundred-year-old debt to France, Haiti found itself straddled by an overlord who extracted essentially whatever profits remained.  Any pretext at self government was denied as the U. S. routinely replaced Haitian leaders who did not endorse U. S. policy.

Haiti never had a chance. If there had been a plan to sabotage its future, to deny it the basic opportunity to rule itself and enjoy the benefits of its own  resources, the plan could not have been more thoroughly realized than it is today.

Besides the ruinous appropriation of Haiti’s revenue,  France and the U.S. were guilty of another at least as injurious a theft:  the theft of governance.  Never in Haiti’s history was it allowed to develop a civic organization which was entirely self-engendered and which acted only in the interests of the Haitian people.  Crop development, land management, trade negotiations:  nothing was left  to the Haitians.  Everything was engineered to profit first France and then the U.S.

Today Haiti is beleaguered by depleted soil, antiquated infrastructure (what remains after the last earthquake), a poorly educated citizenry and an almost total lack of governance. Haiti’s desperate state is not an act of God nor an accident of nature.  It is the result of plunder.   Those who have plundered are responsible.

I don’t know how to fix Haiti.  The amount of money necessary to do that may be more than the U. S. and France think they can afford in this difficult financial climate.  But whatever the endeavor costs, it must be done.  For Haiti is a living legacy of French colonialism and U.S. imperialism.  Like any victim of imprisonment and theft, Haiti has a right to compensation and rehabilitation, no matter the price.

Exploration and Conquest: Stories of Indigenous Peoples

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This post is adapted from the Introduction to the book.

Cave dwellers told their stories with vivid imagery. Through lively scenes, artists reached across ages and revealed themselves.  This was history, the story of people, of what they did and of what happened to them.

Exploration and Conquest: Stories of Indigenous Peoples is like a cave painting. It tells about people and what happened to them. The book, like the paintings, is rich in imagery. These images help readers to visualize events they have not personally witnessed.

Almost two centuries are covered in Exploration and Conquest: Stories of Indigenous Peoples. The book does not offer a detailed explanation and description of European Colonialism. What it does offer is an impression of how colonization of Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas altered the destinies of millions of people. 

Exploration and Conquest takes the reader around the world. This is a fascinating and often tragic journey, a brief but riveting chapter in the continuing saga of humankind.

Below is one story out of many that are told in the book:

The French Keep a Foothold in Pondicherry, India

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Albumen photograph by Bourne & Shepherd Studio, Calcutta, 1890, Copyright expired

 

While the British controlled India, the French still maintained a presence there. Called French India, the colony consisted of five small territories spread along two coasts. The largest of these was Pondicherry (today called Puducherry), on the Indian Ocean. The picture above shows French colonials as they navigate the city in carriages that use the energy of local residents, Indians, to propel them.

The French presence in Pondicherry dated back to 1672, when an agent of the French East India Company, M. Martin, bought a piece of land from the King of Bejapoor.  Martin promptly built a factory.  After that, Pondicherry was taken by the Dutch, retaken by the French, taken by the British a couple of times, and then returned to French control, where it remained until 1954.

The town was designed with a canal running down the middle. One side, called White Town, was reserved for the French and the other side, called Black Town, was reserved for Indians.

A. G. Moore   9/2016