1. In which ways might the Native American societies before the arrival of Europeans be considered democratic? What forces shaped their societies?
2. How did Europeans’ prior experiences affect their actions in the New World? In which ways did they adapt to new circumstances?
3. What made conquest possible? What different forms did it take? What role did gender play in conquest?
4. What were the intended and unintended consequences of conquest?
5. Consider the development of Indian civilizations in Central and North America from
Archaic times until 1500. What were the major forces of change within these early
6. What were the forces that led Europeans, and particularly Spain, to explore the
7. What was the impact of European conquest on the population and environment of
the New World?
8. Compare older ways of explaining the conquest (such as Moctezuma’s supposed
belief that Hernando Cortés was a god) with scholars’ more recent explanations.
What beliefs about Native Americans does each set of explanations reflect?
9. How would Native American men and women have experienced conquest
10.Compare Spain’s treatment of Muslims and Jews in Spain following the reconquista
with the country’s later treatment of conquered Native Americans in the New World.
Do you think these groups received similar or different treatment? Why?