HIST 215
Modern World History
Go Back to the Syllabus ADMN 200
MWF 1:45 PM — 2:50 PM

The subject of the close reading exercise will be father Barthelemy Vimont's account of the Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France, 1642 in the Jesuit Relation. This exercise asks you to assemble as much historical evidence as you can from the text in 600 – 900 words. Your aim here is to answer the following question

Based on this account of the activities of the Jesuit mission in 1642, what can we learn about the the society of the native inhabitants of the Great Lakes region in the mid-seventeenth century, and the nature of the French colonization effort in ``New France''?

For any deductions you might make about this world, you must explain why you think the evidence means what you say it does: Consider for example, that the author was a Jesuit superior, was not present at the events he describes, and is writing a summary report for his provincial superior in France. Consider too that Jean Nicollet, who is the subject of much of this account, was not himself a Jesuit.

Do not distain the obvious in favor of the subtle, but don't be afraid to make broader assertions about this world as long as you can show that your assertions are well supported by the evidence at hand.

Direct quotations will be necessarily short in view of the length of the paper. All quotations or direct references to the text can be cited "relation 1642" followed by a paragraph number. You are welcome to make use of the whole Jesuit Relation which is on-line at http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/relations/, but you should concentrate on the exerpt at hand. Again, this exercise is really too short to adduce evidence from other sources, but if you do, make sure you cite them appropriately using a consistent style like MLA or Chicago.

Nota Bene: because you are confining your analysis to what's in this primary source does not mean you should forget or ignore all of the historical context you have learned from the textbook! Before you begin writing, make sure you have familiarized yourself with the relevant portions of the textbook. Which portions of Fernández-Armesto's text are relevant is left up to your good historical judgement.

This paper is due in class on Monday, October 22.

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