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Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands

St. Hughs High School


Assessment Test # 1

October 15, 2008

History Unit 1: Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic world


This paper consists of TWO sections. Do two questions from section A, one
of which must be a document based-question, and ALL questions in section
B.
Section A
1.

Discuss the evidence presented to support the claims of West


African and Viking presence in the Americas in the pre-Columbian
period.
(20 marks)

2.

Discuss the factors that facilitated the development of advanced


social and political structures among some Native American
groups in the period before contact with the Europeans.
(20 marks)

3.

Explain the measures of control used by the early Spanish colonists


against indigenous populations in the Caribbean.
(20 marks)

Question 1.
Study the documents below, on Spanish settlements in the Caribbean, and answer
questions (a) to (e) that follow.

Document 1
Their [the Kalinagos] arms are arrows, in the place of iron weaponssome of them
point their arrows with tortoise-shell, and others make their arrow heads of fish spines,
which are naturally barbed like coarse saws: these prove dangerous weapons to a naked
people like the Indians, and may inflict severe injury, but to men of our nation are very
formidable.
Letters from Dr Chanca, Physician to Columbuss fleet (1494)
In R. Augier and S.Gordon,
Sources of West Indian History
(London : Longman Group Ltd., 1962), p. 2.
DOCUMENT II
The Spaniards, seeing that the Indians were dying and declining in numbers .. and concerned
only with their worldly loss and the reduction of their profits thought that it would be a good
idea to replace the natives of Hispaniola.. with Indians from other islands.
Bartolome de Las Casas,
Historia de las Indias (1559) in E. Williams,
Documents of West Indian History, Vol 1
(Trinidad: PNM Publishing Ltd., 1963), p. 65
DOCUMENT III
On this island there is so much [sugar] and it is so good although it was so recently introduced
the fertility of the land and the abundant supply of water and the great forests that provide
wood are all so suitable.
G.F. Oviedo, General and natural History of the Indies (1535)
Quoted in S. Gordon, Caribbean Generations
(London: Longman Group Ltd., 1986), p 12.
DOCUMENT IV
As the report spread that there was gold, those settlers and soldiers in the Island (Cuba) who
possessed no Indians were eager and greedy to go. So we quickly collected two hundred and
forty companions.
Bernal Diaz, The Conquest of New Spain (1576) in
S. Gordon, Caribbean Generations, p. 13

a.

With reference to Document I, explain why it was difficult for the indigenous people
to successfully resist the Spaniards.
4 marks

b.

i) With reference to Document II, explain why the Indigenous population in


Hispaniola declined.
3 marks
ii) Which were the other islands referred to in Document II?
1 mark

c.

With reference to Document III, explain why 1535, after the decline of the
indigenous population, African slaves supplied the labour for sugar cultivation in
Hispaniola.
4 marks

d.

With reference to Document IV, comment on the composition of the expedition from
Cuba that conquered Mexico in 1521, and on the motives of the persons involved in
the expedition.
4 marks

e.

What do Documents I to IV suggest about the nature of Spanish settlement in the


Caribbean?
4 marks
Total 20 marks

Question 2
Study the documents below on Spanish colonization, and answer (a) to (e) that follow.
DOCUMENT I

Not content with what the Indians freely gave, they took their wretched subsistence from
them, and some, going further, chased after their wives and daughters, for this is and
always has been the Spaniards common custom in these Indies.
Bartolom de Las Casas, The Conquest of Cuba, (1552). In George Sangerlin (ed.),

Witness: Writings Of Bartolom de Las Casas, New York:


Orbis Books, 1992, p. 49.
DOCUMENT II
For since he [Las Casas] later observed and found out that the Negroes captivity was as unjust
as the Indians, the remedy he had recommended to bring Negroes in order to free the Indians
was not a prudent one, although he then supposed that the Negroes had been made captive justly.

George Sanderlin (ed.),


Witness: Writings of Bartolome de Las Casas, p. 86

DOCUMENT III
God has created all these numberless people to be quite the simplest, without malice or duplicity,
most obedient, most faithful to their natural lords, and to the Christians, whom they serve.... They
are likewise the most delicate people, weak and or feeble constitution, and less than any other can
they bear fatigue
Bartolome de Las Casas, A Very Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies, (1552).
In George Sanderlin (ed.),
Witness: Writings of Bartolome de Las Casas, p. 144
DOCUMENT IV
Spaniards who hold Indians in encomiendas and wish to keep them as vassels usually say and
argue that if the Indians are taken away from the Spaniards will be unable to live in the land.
They say that if the Indians remain by themselves, your Majestys dominion over them and,
consequently, the Catholic faith, would be endangeredand they would go to hell..
Bartolome de Las Casas, Among the Remedies, (1552).
In George Sanderlin (ed.),
Witness: Writings of Bartolome de Las Casas, p. 157
a.

With reference to Document I, what evidence suggests Las Casas disapproval of the
Spanish treatment of the Indigenous people?
3 marks

b.

What may be inferred from Document II regarding Las Casas opinion on black
enslavement in the Americas?
4 marks

c.

What does Document III suggests about the behaviour of the Indigenous people?
5 marks

d.

With reference to Document IV, how did Spanish colonists justify the subjugation of
the indigenous people?
4 marks
Explain briefly the reference to
i. Christians in Document III
2 marks
ii. encomiendas in Document IV
2 marks

e.

Total 20 marks

Section B
DO ALL questions in the space provided.
1.

Briefly compare Two features of the political structures of the Maya and
Taino up to 1492.

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(6 marks)
2. Briefly describe TWO methods of resistance used by indigenous Americans
against Spanish conquest.
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(4 marks)
3.Explain TWO reasons for Spains rapid conquest of Mexico and Peru.
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(8 marks)

End of test