Unit 1 (Revised)

By , January 24, 2017 12:04 pm

Welcome to the new and improved Unit 1, 1450-1650. This course focuses on a thematic question: “how did we get here?”


In this unit, we’ll attempt to figure out, “what were they thinking?” They, meaning the people in that time period.


1. Mon. Feb. 4, Tues. Feb. 5: Intro to historical thinking, inquiry, and primary evidence.

Canada’s History


Mon.: How did we get here? First we need to think about where here is, meaning what is the state of the world today? This will nicely tie in to the course culminating essay in which you’ll take a current issue and trace its historical roots.

Tues.: Historical Thinking Concepts overview – first four pages in unit 1 handouts.


Wed./Thurs.:  Seven Cities – see below. Great Cities (PPT with instructions and questions)

Skill: Using criteria (one of the most important foundations of critical thinking). Criteria are standards – the standards by which you make decisions. For example, when you choose what to wear to school you may use criteria such as the weather, comfort level, style, etc.

Skill: asking inquiry questions. Use the grid below.

Inquiry Question Grid – to help you ask deeper questions.


2. Wed. Feb. 6, Thurs. Feb. 7, Fri. Feb. 8: Seven Cities in 1450

1450 – What was it like?

Beijing, Kyoto, Seville, Tenochtitlan, Constantinople, Venice, Timbuktu

Context_for_Spanish_Treatment_of_Aztecs (some background for Tenochtitlan)

Skill: Using criteria.

Criteria for greatness: if you don’t understand the concept of criteria, watch this video on criteria from the TC2 website (near the bottom of the page).

Fri: HTC journal entry – 7 Cities Reflection

  1. Write down your ranking of the 7 cities (based on your criteria).
  2. Explain/justify your #1 and # __ ranking using criteria. Make sure to explain, not just say/mention/assume.

Mon: improving use of criteria – make them precise (not just vague categories)

  • Tolerance = religious tolerance
  • Political equality
  • Level of violence = low level of violence
  • Intellectual achievements = high intellectual achievements
  • level of wealth = high level of wealth

Make sure to explain your ranking using details. Don’t just say that the city has a high level of tolerance. Show how it does.


3. Tues., Wed. Sept. 13, Thurs. Sept 14, Fri. Sept. 15, Mon. Sept. 18, Tues. Sept. 19: Social, economic and political context in 3 regions – What attitude did people have toward religious differences?

Columbus’ Voyages


Skill: learning to source, contextualize, and close read a PSD (see SHEG handout – pages 5 and 6 of the first section of the unit handouts)

  • we practiced with Columbus’s PSD (ship’s recorder) and we saw a quote from Las Casas about encomiendas in the Context for Spanish Conquest of the New World handout. CHY4U_Columbus_PSD (note the term “Eurocentric”)
  • encomienda was a system in the New  World in which the Spanish crown granted the labour of the Natives to the Spanish. The people were used to work the land.
  • Background on the Renaissance: The Middle Ages in Europe was a very sacred time (meaning almost everything related to religion – in this case Roman Catholicism). Some time toward the end of the late Middle Ages, especially in the wealthy Italian city states (such as Florence), educated and wealthy people began to be interested in more secular (not related to religion) matters such as philosophy, art, education, and classics (things from ancient Greece and Rome). This was called the Renaissance because it was considered (by later historians) to be the rebirth of interest in the classical world. During the Middle Ages, many regarded classical times as negative because they weren’t Christian – in fact, they called them pagan, a negative term applied to anyone non-Christian or who believed in more than one God. As we learn about the Protestant Reformation, it’s important to know that the criticism of the Catholic Church partially grew from this new way of thinking, often called Humanism.
  • Textbook pages 15-23 will help you become familiar with the Renaissance.

Mona Lisa by Da Vinci


Skill: learning to annotate a PSD – write little notes to yourself ON your document – do not leave a blank piece of paper. Be an active learner, not a passive body just sitting there in class.

HTCs: primary evidence, historical perspectives


Wed: Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

PSD: Luther’s 95 Theses


Producing indulgences


  • if you want to do background reading in the textbook on Luther and Protestantism, see pages 29-41.
  • Don’t forget that we connected the battle for souls in Europe (Catholic vs. Protestant) to the exploration of the New World and Asia and the missionaries that followed.


Voyages of Vasco de  Gama of Portugal


Thurs: Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches)

PSDs: Malleus Maleficarum – Table of Contents and Excerpts

Malleus_Mal_Notes (context for The Hammer of Witches PSD)

Women in Medieval Society (British Library) – find something specific on this webpage that gives context for something specific in Malleus (original sin)

Skill – contextualization of a PSD (what was going on at the time that may have influenced the writing of the PSD)


Witch-hunting in late 1500s, Britain


Fri: Japan – expulsion of the Christians from Japan, attitude toward women in Confucianism


  1. Edicts of Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Excerpts from Expulsion of Missionaries, 1587
  2. Great Learning of Women by Kaibara Ekken

Japan_Social_Structure (PPT) – note: this contains the two edicts from the 1630s that Ms. G read to you in class but are not in your handouts.

Japan+Christianity_Backgrounder (read the first paragraph of this to get some context on the rise of Christianity in Japan. Then read the rest AFTER you have read the 1587 Edict PSD.)


These websites on Japan are only for interest

Samurai Sisters (Women in World History)

Gender Differences in History: Women in China and Japan (Women in World History)

Japan, 1600-1800 (MetMuseum)

Tokugawa Shogunate Overview (Asia for Educators)


Mon: Aztecs and the Spanish



The Americas: Conquest of the Aztecs by the Spanish (already assigned to read)

What did the Aztecs make of the Spanish? (Mexicolore on YouTube) – watch in class or at your table and identify the different ways that Spanish and Aztecs looked at gods. (historical perspectives)

Websites for your interest:

Despite Similarities, Pocahantas Gets Love, La Malinche Gets Hate. Why? (NPR)

Conquistadors: Cortes (PBS)

Conquest of Mexico Paintings (Library of Congress)


Tues. Sept. 19: Quiz on PSDs (12-15 questions, knowledge mark) – will take the first 30 minutes of class. Then we will start the next activity.


4.Wed. Sept. 20, Thurs. Sept. 21, Fri. Sept. 22, Mon. Sept. 25, Tues. Sept. 26: Conflict and Cooperation – Trade and Interaction in 3 Regions

Skill: making inferences from objects

Conflict and Cooperation (PPT)

Overview_Spanish_New_World (contains the Columbus PSD excerpt we looked at previously)


Wed. Sept. 20 HW: come to class with some knowledge of Las Casas and encomienda tomorrow.


Spain and the Americas 

Las Casas


Las Casas and 500 Years of Racial Injustice (Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective)

Las Casas debates the Subjugation of the Indians, 1550 (Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)

Las Casas (Columbia College, Core Curriculum)


Portugal and Kongo 

Kongo court, late 1500s


Thurs. Sept. 21: Read the letter by King Afonso of Kongo to the king of Portugal. Read the summaries of political/economic/social/religious causes/consequences and try to find connections to the PSD.

What percent of responsibility for the slave trade do you ascribe to Portugal, Kongo and King Afonso?

African Christianity in Kongo (Metropolitan Museum)

Kongo activity (British Museum)


Fri. Sept. 22:

Read the first document on the Portuguese in Africa (sideways facing page entitled “Portuguese Slave Trade”. It was written BEFORE King Afonso’s letter to the king of Portugal. How does it provide context for the later situation in Kongo? (Skill: contexualization of PSD)

Assignment: Annotated Map of Influence (due Fri. Sept. 29).


see tip page


Europe and Japan

Monday Sept. 25: Read “Japan Conflict and Cooperation PSDs” in handouts.

Dutch  East India Company (AKA the VOC) – what is its political significance (internationally)?


‘The “trade pass” (Dutch: handelspas) issued in the name of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The text commands: “Dutch ships are allowed to travel to Japan, and they can disembark on any coast, without any reserve. From now on this regulation must be observed, and the Dutch left free to sail where they want throughout Japan. No offenses to them will be allowed, such as on previous occasions” – dated August 24, 1609 (Keichō 14, 25th day of the 6th month); n.b., the goshuin (御朱印) identifies this as an official document bearing the shogun’s scarlet seal.’ (Wikipedia, VOC Opperhoofden in Japan, July 2, 2017,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VOC_Opperhoofden_in_Japan)


Dejima – what does it tell you about isolation in Japan?


Scale model of Dejima Island


saltpeter – what is it? Why is it significant to the Portugal-Japan relationship?



1635 Closed Country Edict: (don’t forget this is in addition to 1587 edict).

  1. Japanese ships are strictly forbidden to leave for foreign countries.
  2. No Japanese is permitted to go abroad. If there is anyone who attempts to do so secretly, he must be executed….
  3. If any Japanese returns from overseas after residing there, he must be put to death.
  4. All incoming ships must be carefully searched for the followers of padres.

1639 edict – give evidence of “suspicious” behaviour by the Portuguese (according to Japan).



5. Wed. Sept. 27, Thurs. Sept. 28, Fri. Sept. 29: Expression and Historiography

Skill: historiography (theories of history, how history is written, approaches to history) – this time – ‘great man’ theory

Wed. Sept. 27:

Read the SPA criteria for great man theory.

a) La Malinche (translator for Cortes in the Aztec Empire (Diaz del Castillo PSD, art)) – read the blurb and the PSD.

Cortes and La Malinche


Hero or Traitor? (NPR)

Various ways she was portrayed over time: (4-6 ways)

Apply great man theory criteria to her: Overall scores?


Thurs. Sept. 28:



b) Galileo Galilei (Abjuration PSD)

Sci_Rev_PPT_Slides_March_2017 (PPT) for background


Apply great man theory to him using SPA criteria.


Fri. Sept. 29:

Annotated Maps of Influence are due today (email links to Ms. Gluskin at risa.gluskin@tdsb.on.ca by 1:45 pm today)

c) Matteo Ricci (Europe and China, map)



read and apply SPA criteria to Ricci.

Backgrounder on Ricci and China

The Great Universal Geographic Map (World Digital Library)

Ricci: Missionary-Scholar (University of Minnesota Libraries)

Matteo Ricci and the Ming Dynasty (audio – BBC Radio) – really interesting and crucial context – useful up to 27 mins.


The Great Man Theory

Great Man Theory (Villanova University)

Eight Lessons from the Great Man (or Woman) School of Leadership (Forbes)

Confronting Columbus: Revisionism Versus Reality (Hampton Institute) – a criticism of Great Man Theory


6. Mon Oct. 2, Tues. Oct. 3, Wed. Oct. 4, Thurs. Oct. 5, Tues. Oct. 10: Two Gatherings – of the influential and of the powerless (see attached tip page)

Preparation for the two conferences, writing of resolutions, introductions, etc.

HTC: Historical perspectives – writing perspective without being presentist

CHY4U_Two_Gatherings_Assignment_sem2_2018-19 (due Tues. Oct. 10)

Powerful Figures  and Corresponding Powerless Figures: 

  1. Eunuch or Mandarin in the Chinese court + Chinese peasant
  2. Askia Mohammad + people he conquered
  3. Mehmed II + non-Muslim citizens of Constantinople
  4. The Doge of Venice + _____________ (maybe a Venetian woman?)
  5. Ferdinand and Isabella + Moors and Jews
  6. Luther + Catholic People/ “Sheep” + Protestants
  7. Pope Leo X + Protestant Followers + Luther
  8. Inquisitor Kramer or Sprenger + Midwives/ Peasant Women/ Witches
  9. Columbus + Natives of Caribbean
  10. Cortes + Native Aztecs
  11. Las Casas + indigenous people of Hispaniola or Mexico
  12. Moctzeuma +  ordinary Aztecs
  13. Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi or Tokugawa Ieyasu or Tokugawa Iemitsu + Converted Japanese, ordinary peasants, women
  14. Daimyo +_____________
  15. Ricci + any other religions in China
  16. Wanli Emperor of China + _anyone with opposing beliefs/independent thought, not sinocentric
  17. Confucian Scholar + _____________
  18. King Manuel I of Portugal + Kongolese slaves, King Afonso
  19. Portuguese captain of the fort at Arguin + slave
  20. Galileo +Heliocentric believers  or Copernicus’ soul
  21. Pope Urban VIII + Galileo
  22. La Malinche + Native Aztecs
  23. King Afonso + his people (slaves involved in trade)
  24. Kongolese noble + slaves
  25. Medici rulers of Florence + servants (or Galileo)

It is to your disadvantage to choose a powerful and powerless figure from the same society. Your written work would just repeat itself, giving you fewer opportunities to demonstrate your learning.


Mon.- choose powerful figure,  choose powerless figure. Begin research/exploration into them. I showed you how to take notes in either the Column Method or the Heading Method. I have created templates for you. You may use computer note-taking for this assignment but not for future essay research. Always put bibliographic information at the top of your notes. See Documentation_for_history_essays_REVISED

Indentation Method of Note-Taking

Column Method of Note-Taking


Citation method: in-text for now 

Book: (Author, Title, page #)

Website: (Author, Title of page, url)


Tues- Thursday – work in class to prepare for the gatherings on Tues. Oct. 10. Bring laptop.

Tues. Oct. 10- the gatherings will take place – half of the students will speak as their powerful figure, half as their powerless figure. We will then switch roles. There will be lots of talking and interacting in role.





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