Back by popular demand…

Sometimes my students make me feel proud to be their teacher because of the way they discuss, explain, or challenge existing interpretations.  Other times, I wonder if they are attending the same class that I am teaching.  Recently, I had my students in the United States History to 1877 survey complete a take-home exam that involved three essay questions (they had to answer one of them) and ten short answer/identification (they had to answer five of them).  The grades ranged from 20 to 99, and 25% of the students earned A’s or B’s.  However, it was quite evident that some of the students who attempted the exam had some difficulty with historical accuracy, as evidenced by these responses (the original spelling and punctuation have been maintained):

When Pennsylvania was established in 1644, That when the colonists idea of a colony changed forever and was transformed into the many systems and codes that we still follow today.  The Colonist gained their independence through strength courage, steadfastness, and determination.  The Broke away from England and changed their view from the “the King and I” to “We the people” With constant struggles they created something that was just for them.

Squanto died in 1622 by a disease contracted by the Europeans.

Spain’s relations with the natives fell somewhere in between those of the French and the English.  While some natives remained friendly, others were not afraid to dine on the Spanish warriors that came by their land.

The English settled along the Potomac River in Maine where they were known for trading furs.

The Treaty of Paris was in 1763.  It was a pattern of war between England and France.  Many wars happened before starting with King William’s War and ending with the French and Indian War, which started because of George Washington.  This formally ended the Revolutionary War.

Lost colony of Roanoke:  nobody really understands what happened to it.  Speculation is that the settlement could have been killed off by natives or themselves by going to cannibalism.

Squanto:  he was the leader of the Algonquin’s and helped the pilgrims.  He also went back to England as ambassador.

Squanto is well known for saving the Pilgrims from starvation and also for his encounter against Christopher Columbus, who which he battle with a group of Patuxets.

(about colonizing North America):  England was trying to gain control on Ireland in order to take their turn on going towards America.  This would help them establish colonies.  The Irish did take back what the English had taken from them which set back the English after their hard work of plantations.

The English settled in New England in 1630, they were known as the Native American, Algonquian.

Proclamation of 1763:  This was established for the British to trade with North America and to take the French territory.

Squanto (Tisquantum):  Was of the Algonquin tribe he was known to the first settlers as a friend because he saved them and made the first thanksgiving.  Later he would be captured and sent to Spain to the slave market where he would somehow avoid slavery and make his way to England learn to speak English and then go back to Americas as an interrupter for the English.

The Spaniards included Indians in their culture.  They married the Indians and used them for labor.

The journey of the Spanish began with Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the new World in 1992.

The French or Europeans were among the first to try to colonize this New World, known as vikings “Norse” came over approximately around 1490s.  There colonies survived for a couple years, the most powerful and most longevity was known as Greenland.  Although they were among the first their colonies were short lived compared to today’s settlements.  When the Spanish came forth, a Spanish born son known as Christopher Columbus looking for a short cut to India accidentally landed on this unmarked land labeled as the New World.

The English on the other hand encountered the Indians first hand, they saw the Indians as a threat and were ordered to kill any Indian they saw.  Little did they know the Indians out numbered them greatly, as the English began building homes and setting up the Indians could pick them off one by one with very accurate archers.

Jamestown is where the English settled and built one of the first forts to keep the Indians out, throughout the building of the fort many lives were lost to disease such as West Nile from misquotes.

Squanto taught the English many of the essential skills they would need to survivor here.  How to hunt, fish, and plant maze were just some of the skills.  He was also a guide and interrupter for the English.

Spain colonized Florida in search of the Holy Grail.

In Texas, Spain was able to set up towns of forts to protect them from the Mexicans.

The French were allied with the natives in the French and Indian war yet were their enemy in the seven years’ war.

Squanto (Tisquantum):  Squanto was a sort of savior for the people of Jamestown.  While Jamestown was going through a tough cold winter, Squanto taught the Englishman how to fish, hunt and harvest property.  While the population was dying from sickness, Squanto played a big role in trying to turn things around in the new colonies.

The Quartering Act proved to be another tax that the colonists were not happy with at all.  This Act gave the right for foreign troops to live with colonists and not have to pay for their expenses.  One reason this bothered the colonists was the fact that it invaded their sense of privacy.

Navigation Acts:  Prohibited the shipping for trade between Britain and its colonies.

Benjamin Franklin was the one who proposed the Townshend Duties.

Sir Walter Raleigh set out to search for a northwest passage, the ship landed on the Roanoke Island.

Tisquantum was a Native American still celebrated every Thanksgiving for his help to the natives.

After the Treaty of Paris was signed, Britain acquired U.S. independence.

The brining of slaves to America had a profound effect and plagued the country until the end of the Civil War.

The Proclamation of 1763 was an act that was put into effect to limit the amount of colonizing in America.  I believe this led to the dream of travelling West that many people took after the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Parliament perused mercantilism through a series of Navigation Acts.

Navigation Acts were a series of doings that forbid merchants from trading with England.

Richard Hakluyt stood up for the Indians in saying that they would not be able to enjoy America unless England gave them more liberty.

The Sugar Act consists on the unloading and loading of trading vessels.

In 1767 the Townshend Act forced taxes on British manufactured goods to make the cost of colonial administration cheaper.  It was valid because there was no rebellion against this act.

The empire appointed agents to go around and collect the tax from their fellow colonists, anyone who did not refuse to follow through with their new duty was physically attacked by the colonists, and some were tarred and feathered if they had refused.


About Karen

History Professor. Baseball fan. Author of two books, one of which I force my students to buy and read. You want me on your Trivial Pursuit team.
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5 Responses to Back by popular demand…

  1. That Squanto deserves his own comic book series. Maybe he could even cure West Nile and other diseases caused by misquotes. 🙂

    Maybe it’s because I’m a Texan, but I would have to say, out of this bunch, the winner is:

    “In Texas, Spain was able to set up towns of forts to protect them from the Mexicans.”


  2. Larry Collins says:

    And this was take-home? I’d hate to see the end result if this were an in-class exam.

    • Karen says:

      Yes, it was take home. I’m still a bit stunned at the students who chose to write essay answers and didn’t address any of the three questions that were asked.

  3. Kate Sanders says:

    This has to be the best batch yet. The amount of sheer, to be blunt, stupidity, is astounding. Did you have a low attendance rate for class this semester because, if not, then I fear for the future of this generation. It is quite obvious that those who scored in the 20s deserved it.

    I still can not believe some of those answers…I have to say, one of my favorites is, “The English settled in New England in 1630, they were known as the Native American, Algonquian.”


    • Karen says:

      The student who earned a 20 only attempted two of the five short answer/identification and did not attempt the essay. So yes, he deserved that score; I certainly won’t award an A to someone who only attempts 20% of the exam.

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