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the blacks of the west indies Early Europeans

EARLY EUROPEANS By: Travis H.

The first Europeans to arrive in North America were Norse, traveling west from Greenland, where Erik the Red had founded a settlement around the year 985. In 1001 his son Leif is thought to have explored the northeast coast of what is now Canada and spent at least one winter there.
While Norse sagas suggest that Viking sailors explored the Atlantic coast of North America down as far as the Bahamas, such claims remain unproven. In 1963, however, the ruins of some Norse houses dating from that era were discovered at L'Anse-aux-Meadows in northern Newfoundland, thus supporting at least some of the claims the Norse sagas make.
In 1497, just five years after Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean looking for a western route to Asia, a Venetian sailor named John Cabot arrived in Newfoundland on a mission for the British king. Although fairly quickly forgotten, Cabot's journey was later to provide the basis for British claims to North America. It also opened the way to the rich fishing grounds off George's Banks, to which European fishermen, particularly the Portuguese, were soon making regular visits.
Columbus, of course, never saw the mainland United States, but the first explorations of the continental United States were launched from the Spanish possessions that he helped establish. The first of these took place in 1513 when a group of men under Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the Florida coast near the present city of St. Augustine.
With the conquest of Mexico in 1522, the Spanish further solidified their position in the Western Hemisphere. The ensuing discoveries added to Europe's knowledge of what was now named America -- after the Italian Amerigo Vespucci, who wrote a widely popular account of his voyages to a "New World." By 1529 reliable maps of the Atlantic coastline from Labrador to Tierra del Fuego had been drawn up, although it would take more than another century before hope of discovering a "Northwest Passage" to Asia would be completely abandoned.
Among the most significant early Spanish explorations was that of Hernando De Soto, a veteran conquistador who had accompanied Francisco Pizzaro during the conquest of Peru. Leaving Havana in 1539, De Soto's expedition landed in Florida and ranged through the southeastern United States as far as the Mississippi River in search of riches.
Another Spaniard, Francisco Coronado, set out from Mexico in 1540 in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola. Coronado's travels took him to the Grand Canyon and Kansas, but failed to reveal the gold or treasure his men sought.
However, Coronado's party did leave the peoples of the region a remarkable, if unintended gift: enough horses escaped from his party to transform life on the Great Plains. Within a few generations, the Plains Indians had become masters of horsemanship, greatly expanding the range and scope of their activities.
While the Spanish were pushing up from the south, the northern portion of the present-day United States was slowly being revealed through the journeys of men such as Giovanni da Verrazano. A Florentine who sailed for the French, Verrazano made landfall in North Carolina in 1524, then sailed north along the Atlantic coast past what is now New York harbor.
A decade later, the Frenchman Jacques Cartier set sail with the hope -- like the other Europeans before him -- of finding a sea passage to Asia. Cartier's expeditions along the St. Lawrence River laid the foundations for the French claims to North America, which were to last until 1763.
Following the collapse of their first Quebec colony in the 1540s, French Huguenots attempted to settle the northern coast of Florida two decades later. The Spanish, viewing the French as a threat to their trade route along the Gulf Stream, destroyed the colony in 1565. Ironically, the leader of the Spanish forces, Pedro Menendez, would soon establish a town not far away -- St. Augustine. It was the first permanent European settlement in what would become the United States.
The great wealth that poured into Spain from the colonies in Mexico, the Caribbean and Peru provoked great interest on the part of the other European powers. With time, emerging maritime nations such as ... more

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Racism in America

Racism has taken on several forms in America over the past several hundred years.  The most substantial or well known is the plight of the African American slaves and the injustices they suffered.  Today, a new form of racism is developing; one that has always been around but has now entered the forefront of most Americans minds.  This new racism is against members of the Middle Eastern culture and religion.  The actions of September 11th have not created a new problem, they have just shed light on a problem that we have had for some time.   Racism is everywhere in one form or another.  To understand it, I think it is necessary to look at the history, causes, and ways to resolve it in detail.

HISTORY
Between 1450 and 1850, at least 12 million Africans were shipped from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean the notorious Middle Passage primarily to colonies in North America, South America and the West Indies. Eighty percent of these kidnapped Africans were transported during the 18th century. Ten percent to 20 percent of them died en route.
Unknown numbers of Africans, probably at least 4 million, died in slave wars and forced marches in Africa.  In 1619, a Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of Africans for food in Jamestown. The Africans became indentured servants, similar in legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded several years of labor for passage to America. The race-based slave system did not develop until the 1680s.  In 1638 an African man could be sold for about $27 and

serve his entire life as a slave. In contrast, an indentured European laborer could earn as much as 70 cents a day toward paying off his debt and ending his servitude.  In 1660 the trans-Atlantic slave trade begins, producing one of the largest forced migrations in history. From the early 16th to the mid-19th centuries, between 10 million and 11 million Africans were taken from their homes.
The American colonies began enacting laws that defined and regulated slave relations, including a provision that black slaves, and the children of women slaves, would serve for life.   Slave owners gave a great deal of attention to the education and training of the ideal slave. In general, there were five steps in molding the character of a slave: strict discipline, a sense of his own inferiority, belief in the masters superiority, acceptance of the masters standards and a deep sense of his own helplessness and dependence.
In 1797 George Washington writes, I wish from my soul that the legislature of [Virginia] could see a policy of a gradual abolition of slavery. Two years later, Washington revised his will, providing for his slaves to be freed after his death. Some 122 of the 314 slaves at Mount Vernon were freed; the others were Martha Washingtons and by law owned by her heirs. Washington left
instructions for the care and education of his former slaves, including financial support for the young and pensions for the elderly.
In 1865 on June 19, two years after President Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers land at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war

has ended and that the slaves are free. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.
After the Civil War, Congress authorized the creation of six segregated black regiments to serve in the peace-time army, under white officers. The Ninth and 10th cavalries and the 38th through 41st infantries were formed. The new cavalries were mainly stationed in the Southwest and the Great Plains, where it was their responsibility to build forts and maintain order on a frontier overrun by outlaws and occupied by Native Americans who were battling land-grabbing intruders.   The black troops earned the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" as much for their ability in battle as for their dark skin from the Cheyenne Indians.
In 1866 Congress overrides President Andrew Johnsons veto on April 9 and passes the Civil Rights Act, giving black Americans citizenship and equal rights.   On May 1-3, white civilians and police in Memphis, Tenn., kill 46 African Americans and injure many more, and burn 90 houses, 12 schools ... more

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