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3.6: Critical Thinking Exercises
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- Read the description of the experience of the Spanish adventurer Lope de Aguirre. Compare this narrative to the letter written by Philip II just two years later. How did the views of these two men differ when it came to the Spanish enterprise in the New World? Why do you think the accounts differed as much as they did?
- The treatment of the Indians by the Europeans and such systems as the encomienda was decried by reformers beginning in the early sixteenth century. What reforms were advocated by Bartholomew de las Casas? Was reform even possible, or were the conditions imposed on the Natives inevitable?
- Which of the crops that originated in the New World had the greatest impact on the diets of those in the Old World of Europe, Asia, and Africa? Support your answer with specifics on nutrition, degree of spread, and ease of growing.