European Roots On American Culture Essay

1140 words - 5 pages

NOTES on :EUROPEAN ROOTS OF AMERICAN CULTURE

Begins with my own, (American Studies) and our nation's education.

years of study, led by 20 years of different type of study
Seen only from the inside out
Idea of uniqueness
Mistakes--such as multiculturalism, isolationism, (anecdote about Kyle and map of Euope --more than 25 countries-- in school)
My students always ask: WHY haven't we heard this before?? And why do my foreign students actually make better grades in AM. History than do natives?
Then also the BIAS against Colonial History....

a. how we divide our history

b. Can we teach WWII even now?

THREE AREAS: Spain in the New World, England, and the West Indies.

SPAIN-- after all, it was the FIRST (not forgetting the Basques, St.

Brendan, and the Norse Vikings)

SPAIN--almost invisible to Americans--because we see Hispanic culture through the lens of Latin America. We do not teach Castilano in our schools, we teach Spanish, a language NOT spoken in Spain.

Also, possibly by Franco's regime in the modern era--counteracted by the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

SPAIN's position in historical terms--Mediterranean, Atlantic -as far West as Ireland//Europe, Africa -8 miles away. This is why Spain becomes the connector between the New World and the ancient world of Greece, Rome and later Islam.)

Size: second only to France, mountainous second only to Switzerland

Arid, sparse, Castille looks a great deal like New Mexico

Also urban

Explain--geo/political position of Portugal and Spain (as gateway to the Atlantic)

Empetus for exploration comes from here--and it's the vehicle for a combination of Mediterranean and Atlantic culture --for example, the CARAVEL (lateen Arab sail)

We all know the story of Columbus (and less so Amerigo Vespucci)

The story of 1492--

1. RECONQUESTA

Remarkable story of Moorish invasion, Galacian/Asturian resistance

800 years of war--story of intervals of warfare, or accommodation and of assimilation. (Moorish architecture, where Spanish learned about water, irrigation)

Over 2000 words of Castillan are Arab--including the words of orange naranja or chess ajedrez,

Using etymology, project ahead from Spanish words to English -- jerez =sherry,

Rodeo =rodeo, from juzgar =hoosegow (jail), and from canon =canyon.

SURRENDER in 1492 Granada January SANTE FE--all over the world.

One result from the Reconquista--the Spanish sense of Mission--vs. the infidel (jihad)

2. - Expulsion of the Jews in March--antisemitism. (Netanyehu)

Created not only a Brain Drain, but a diaspora to the reaches of the Spanish Empire--for instance, along the border of the River Grande in El Paso, Tejas.

3. "Discovery" of the Americas

Poor old Columbus: Columbus of 1792, 1892, and 1992.

COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE

1. Epidemiology took over 70% of those infected--est. to be from 40 to 60 millions--largest single loss of...

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