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1.8.2: Reading and Review Questions
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- How, why, and to what effect does van der Donck assert the right of the Dutch to possess New Netherland? What assumptions about law and jurisdiction does he make, and why?
- What details of Dutch culture can be inferred by van der Donck’s description of the land, crops, and people in New Netherland? How does van der Donck’s description in this way differ from that of other New World accounts?
- Van der Donck records details of American Indian lives and culture to prevent regret over their inevitable disappearance. According to van der Donck, who will feel this regret? Why?
- Why did the Dutch “name” American Indians the “wilden?” How does van der Donck justify this name as appropriate, even as he acknowledges that different tribes and groups exist, each with their own distinct name?
- Van der Donck recounts an American Indian noting how the Christian God allows himself to be burnt (when a Christian altar and relics catch fire and burn). Van der Donck declares that the American Indian mocked the Christian God. Why does van der Donck recount this event and this so-called mockery? What do you think is van der Donck’s point?