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Conflicting Interpretations of California Indian History

FFYS 1000: California Indian History, Rosenthal, Spring 2016
Midterm Exam. Since the beginning of this course, we have seen that historians often analyze the past in different and even conflicting ways.  In other words, historians can look at the same events and come up with very different interpretations. 
For example, John Steven McGroarty, in his 1933 textbook, California of the South, saw the Spanish Mission period as one in which heroic Spaniards brought the “blessings” of civilization to “crude and simple-minded” Indian peoples. 
 
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James Sandos, however, in the chapter that we read from his 2004 book, Converting California, characterized the period as one in which the Franciscans struggled to establish control over Native peoples, who in turn responded in complex ways.
 
Write an essay that compares and contrasts different narratives of California’s past through at least three of the following four periods: the Spanish period, Mexican period, early American period (1848-1880s), and early 20th century.
Your main sources are the readings for the class, in addition to the films that we watched, The Gold Rush (1998) and Ishi of Fire Mountain (1999) (both films are available for viewing at the Hannon Library). 
You may also use lecture material, although the majority of your evidence should be drawn from the readings and films.  Pay particular attention to the ways that each source assesses the role of California Indians in its narrative. 
Finally, in your conclusion, address these questions: what factors account for such widely different narratives of California’s past and in particular the place of California Indians in the region’s history?  What’s at stake in these debates about how to remember California’s past and the role of American Indians?
 
Please turn in a hard copy of your midterm by 3pm on February 24 to the appropriate box outside of Dr. Gosart’s office, UH 3221.  Your essay should be approximately eight pages, double-spaced, with 1-1.5 inch margins, in Times New Roman 12-point type. 
It should have a title that is descriptive of your subject or analysis and you should use page numbers.  There is no need for extra covers or folders; stapling your paper in the upper left-hand corner is sufficient.
 
Check your paper carefully for grammar, spelling, and awkward sentence constructions.  Titles of books and films should be underlined or italicized, while articles and chapters of books should be in quotation marks.  Never use the first person. 
Avoid contractions and ending sentences with prepositions.  Always write in the past tense.
 
Properly cite your sources using MLA style. Each time you draw upon a source, you should cite that source by the end of the paragraph.  Your paper should also have a Works Cited page.  For help with formatting, see: Citations
 
Finally, do not hesitate to consult the instructors as you are thinking through this assignment.  We are available during office hours, by appointment, and through email, and for quick queries, a few minutes before and after class.

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