Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth


Please read the following:

Misa, Chapter 4

Russell, Edmund, Chapter 9 of Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth (2011) (Available on Blackboard Learn in the additional readings folder)

Please review the Overview link on the Syllabus for Bartolome de las Casas’ A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.

Based on the readings by Misa, Russell, and de las Casas, as well as the in-class presentations, please discuss the following four (4) points in a well-written, 300-400 word essay (feel free to exceed that amount if you have more to say):

1. Why did Bartolome de las Casas write and publish his account of the events that took place in the “new world” when the Spanish arrived? What was he attempting to accomplish by doing so?

2. Of the many technologies of imperialism, how did the technologies of cinchona bark and maps enable the success of European imperial ventures?

3. In chapter 4 of his book, Thomas Misa discusses the differences between British railway technology expansion in India and American railway technology expansion in North America. Identify at least two (2) key differences between each system and explain why they evolved as they did.

4. During the U.S. Civil War, cotton exports to the Manchester textile mills declined considerably — resulting in what many in England called the “cotton famine.” According to Russell, why did the search for an alternative to American sourced cotton prove to be so difficult — even futile?

In this essay, as in all essays for this course, use examples from the readings and class lectures to support your arguments. When quoting text, always include the author’s name and page number where you found the quote. For example: Misa, p. 119; or Russell, p. 121.

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