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Read the following primary sources from the travels of John mandeville and hernan cortess letter to Charles V, listed below. Then write a paper 1300-1500 words with a STRONG thesis statement and argument backed up with evidence from the primary sources. Your paper will be a response to one of the questions provided, with your answer serving as a thesis statement.

1. There are things that are obviously untrue in each of these documents. Identify one element that is untrue or highly exaggerated in both documents (that is, one exaggeration you find in BOTH documents). Why is there this similarity in the texts? That is, what does this exaggeration or false information tell us about what Europeans believed to be beyond Europe?

HINT: you want your answer to address the what (was exaggerated or untrue in both documents) and why (was this false information included in both documents). So your thesis will look something like: Both Mandeville and Cortes  mention purple monsters in their text because Europeans believed that purple monsters represented the opposite of humanity.

2. Europeans, and especially the Spanish, justified conquest in Christian religious terms, arguing that conquest was intended to spread Christianity or unite Christians. Look at how both texts discuss religion and look for similarities and differences. Is religion the primary motivating factor? If not, what is the motivating factor and what role did religion play?

HINT: you may argue that it is, that it was a factor but that something else was the primary factor, that something else far outweighed religion, or any number of things. DO mention religion, and why it is included, but it doesnt need to be the main focus of the paper if you think something else is more important.

Citing evidence: it is important for you to ground your argument in evidence from both primary sources. Incorporate the source material into your own writing by paraphrasing or quoting. It is best to use parenthetical citation rather than Chicago style citation. Example of parenthetical citation: (Cortes) or (mandeville). Do not use any other source but the tow provided.

 

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