Lecture Outlines

Week 1 – January 9-11 [link to notes & lectures: Jan. 8-11]

I. Review

II. Concepts and Terminology

a) Discussion: What is History?

[History is:]

  • [an intellectual exercise]
  • “Philosophy teaching by example” [Thucydides, c. 411 BC]
  • “a trick we play on the dead” [Carl L. Becker, 1960]
  • [“nought but a fussed-with heap one makes of the dead” Voltaire, 1757]
  • “gossip well told” [Elbert Hubbard]-[more examples of history quips]
  • “the sum total of the things that could have been avoided” [Konrad Adenauer]-[first Chancellor of West Germany, between the wars]
  • “a subject, what has happened, and the process of recounting and analyzing that subject” [Norman J. Wilson]-[author of History in crisis?: recent directions in historiography (Prentice Hall, 1999)]
  • “like a forensic science” [me, yesterday]-[why ‘dead people’ did what they did, where they did things, and how they did that when they were alive]
  • Critical Thinking

— question the ‘facts’

— historical honesty [reflexive]

[who is this history for? = political]

b) Vocabulary — terminology — jargon

The Big Three

1) History [different from the past] [what people recount about the past]

2) the Past [real, physical lived-in world experienced by people now dead]

3) Historiography [historio: history + graphy: writing]

[a short list of]

— Common Terms: [meaning commonly encountered while studying History]

1) reflexive

2) research [recercher – seek out]

3) etymology

4) science/scientific

5) theory/theorize

6) experience

7) forensic [judge, establish probable cause/effect, right/wrong, correct/justify status quo]

8) political [contest for power to control ‘knowledge’] [nb: the smiley face is a gratuitous feature, set by wordpress code: an ‘8’ + a ‘)’ → 8) … somewhat ironical]

9) [not] ingemination

10) discourse

11) evidence [historical evidence ≠scientific evidence]

12) facts [historical facts are mutable]

13) construct

14) knowledge [Harold Innis, The Bias of Communication; Michel Foucault]

15) postmodernism

16) context [set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event]

17) epistemology

18) ontology

19) truth claims

20) meta-narrative/Grand Narrative

21) hegemony

22) othering

23) discontinuity


Week 2 – January 15-18 [link to lecture]

Readings to date:

  • Conrad & Hiller, Chapters 1 & 2, and pages 22-27 (’06 edition) [pages 36-40 (’01 edition)].
  • Pastor, Trigger, & Leacock.

Discussion question: What obstacles confront historians of First Nations peoples? What role did contact with Europeans play in establishing differences among Aboriginal groups?

The Backstory: Natives, Newcomers and Contact in the North-Eastern North American Atlantic Region to 1500.

I) Introduction:

a) contact

b) dating

II) Terminology:

a) Indian

b) Native and native

c) Amerindian

d) aboriginal and Aboriginal

e) First Nations

f) peoples* [= groups with social and political organization that may have distinct cultural practices]

III) Newcomers’ legendary* preliminary voyages     [*two ‘great unknowns’ before 1500]

a) Irish

b) Welsh [not Atlantic Canada]

c) Scottish

d) Portuguese**

e) Bristol** [**Considered ‘more plausible’]

f) Farley Mowat’s ‘inventions’ [but may yet become ‘traditional’ to Newfoundland]

IV) More supportable instances of 1st contact

[nb: by ‘more’ I do not mean additional, I mean believed by historians to be more credible, because

– more written documentation exists

– backed up by more archeological findings, and

– more historians are satisfied that the evidence is satisfactory.]

V) Neighbours native to the region

[nb: Aboriginal populations were highly mobile with shifting geographical and social boundaries, so their identities, as ascribed by historians, archeologists, anthropologists etc. are of unknown accuracy, and ought to be considered theoretical.]

a) Innu

b) Mi’kmaq

c) Abenacki

d) Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, & Penobscot

e) Iroquois

VI) Newcomers of the 2nd round of contact

a) Zuan Giovanni Cabotot a.k.a. John Cabot

b) Jão/Joad Fernandes

c) Corte-Real family

d) Basque, Norman, & Breton fishers

e) Bristol voyages

[Assume 1st contact to be c. AD 1000; 2nd contact about 500 years later]


Week 3, Jan 22 – 25: Context: Consumption, Territory, & Trade

I. Introduction: [Link to lecture notes]

A. Context: Reading list Q & A

B. Q of the week: What benefits were derived from 100 years of Newcomer activity [1500-1600]? What were the downsides?

C. Consumption:

II. ‘Consumption’, population & territory:

A. ‘European’ — Europa

B. ‘Americans’ — Amerigo / Americke

C. Epidemic disease

1. — demographic devastation

a. Europe

b. America

c. immunity & differential responses to disease

(1) past explanations

(2) present explanation

2. — Smallpox [English] or omikéwin / pekopuyéwin [Algonkian]

3. — Great Pox

III. Territory and conceptual differences [Link to lecture notes]

A. Europeans and land ownership

1. — the Pope and the division of the world / spoils of conquest

2. — ‘Non-Christian princes’

B. Aboriginal peoples and communal lands

IV. Ownership and consumption

A. Aboriginal reciprocity

B. European competition for commodities and control of consumption

C. Reciprocity vs. competition in the [our] Atlantic Region

1. fur

a. European Sumptuary Laws

b. fur trade value

2. food

a. European Food Laws

b. Cod

(1) Eating Fish

(2) Faith & Fish

(3) Fishers

c. Salt

(1) Significance

(2) Salt Fish

— wet

— dry

V. Conclusion


Lectures Week 4

I. Review, Week 3

II. Part 1, Week 4

Q: Why are early attempts to settle Europeans in the Atlantic Region generally considered to have been failures?

A. Early Settlement

1. Prominent areas of European settlement:

a. Intro.

2. Prominent approaches to historical analysis:

a. ‘view from the top’

1) historical source base

2) prominent historiographical points of interest:

— warfare

— conclusion: vulnerability & instability

b. economic or developmental view

1) historical source base

2) prominent historiographical points of interest:

— merchant activity & government involvement

— France

— England

3) conclusion: colonial desire for political economic development not satisfied

c. ‘view from below’ (social history)

1) historical source base

2) prominent historiographical interest:

— ‘agency’ of ordinary people

3) conclusion: complex interplay of factors; precarious circumstances; but tenacious people

3. Newfoundland / Labrador Settlement History

a. Basque intentions: seasonal

b. English intentions: permanent

1) factors: fiscal motivations and limitations

2) trials:

— Newfoundland Company:

— John Guy (Cuper’s Cove/Cupids)

— John Mason (ditto)

— Regional Proprietorships:

— Sir William Vaughan (New Cambriol/Renews)

— Sir George Calvert (Ferryland)

— David Kirke (Ferryland/Colony of Avalon)

— William Payne (St. John’s)

4. La Cadie/Acadie/Acadia Settlement Hist.

a. Official French approach to Settlement

b. “La Cadie” Settlement Phase 1

— Cartier (New France)

— Marquis de la Roche (Ile de Sable)

— Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts (Ile Ste.-Croix)

— du Gua & Samuel de Champlain (Port Royal [1st & 2nd] )

— Jean de Poutrincourt et Sainte-Juste (Sainte-Saveur)

c. ‘New Scotland’ ‘Nova Scotia’ Settlement Phase 1

— Sir Wm. Alexander (Cape Breton)

nn(Port Royal [3rd])

d. “Acadie” Settlement Phase 2

1) French vs French contests

— Isaac Razilly (La Hève)

+ Nicholas Denys

+ Chas. de Menou d’Aulney

+ / vs

Chas. de Sainte-Etienne de la Tour

(+ Denys)


Emmanuel Le Borgne

2) French vs English contests

— La Tour


— Robert Sedgewick

e. ‘Nova Scotia’ Phase 2

— Gov. Thos. Temple


— Gov. Le Borgne

f. ‘Acadia’ Phase 3

— trade

— blended community

— population growth

— settlement expansion

— subsistence agriculture & fishing

[5. Digression: Plaisance Newfoundland]

[back to 4.]

g. ‘Nova Scotia’ Phase 3


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