Ceremonies of Possession

Discussion Questions

  1. Both historical documents in this unit claim parts of North America for either France or England. In what ways has each author done so?
  2. Patricia Seed suggests that Europeans developed different practices for claiming Indigenous lands. How would you describe the differences between France’s and England’s approaches, as reflected in these documents?
  3. Jennifer Reid well outlines how the “Doctrine of Discovery” has shaped and determined international and North American jurisprudence. In what ways do you see this doctrine at work in the historical documents associated with this module?
  4. What are the cultural assumptions Champlain and Winthrop have brought with them to North America? How is this reflected in their writing?
  5. Drawing on Belshaw’s third chapter, in what ways did Europe’s sixteenth century shape the ways in which Champlain and Winthrop situated themselves in North America?