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IAH 202a: Early Modern Europeans And Cultural Differences (Essay Sample)


IAH 202a: Europe and the World

Professor Liam M. Brockey

Essay Assignment 1


Please read and contemplate the following questions. Answer one (1) of them in a 4 to 5 page paper. Submissions should be no shorter than four pages and no longer than five pages.  Document formatting should be as follows: 1” (one inch) margins on all sides, double spacing, 12 point type, no title page, no “works cited”/bibliography/footnotes. Remember to proofread your work. It is in your best interest to make an outline of your response prior to writing, since your papers will be judged on the basis of clarity and coherence. In general, it is best to begin each paragraph of your paper with a topic sentence and conclude each paragraph with a citation of evidence that supports the assertion you made in your topic sentence. No outside sources are necessary for this project. Cite only the sources we have read for this course. (Attention! Do not cite the professor’s lectures!) Parenthetical references should be used: e.g. (Brockey, p. 7). Please avoid unnecessarily abstract language; the questions are specific, so please make your answers specific. Papers will be due in class on Thursday, February 16. All papers must be stapled when delivered.

Early Modern Europeans And Cultural Differences
The authors of the play Merchant of Venice, François Pyrard’s travel account, and Ruiz-de-Montoya’s Spiritual Conquest have written descriptive works about their interactions with other cultures. The diversity and differences of cultural practices and conflicts give a vivid picture of the nature of cultural interactions of Europeans and other nations around the world. Each of these interactions portrays a picture through which the author views cultural differences and how cultural interactions have shaped their missions and society. Themes such as religion, dress, habits, or gender relations take center stage in showing the nature of these interactions by modern Europeans and how they dealt with cultural differences. In this article, extensive discussions on how the authors have described cultural interactions in their works are described in detail.
Ruiz-de-Montoya’s Spiritual Conquest describes a detailed account of how the priests went on to spread the Gospel in the remote villages of Loreto and San Ignacio. Their approach to spreading the gospel to a community deeply rooted in cultural practices and rituals met a fair share of resistance. The deployed methods such as establish learning centers and for children and adults to get a formal education. Though the locals slowly converted to Christianity, though some of their cultural practices never died. They even encouraged the priest to marry and start families to be ‘complete’ CITATION Mon39 \l 1033 (Montana, 1639). Some locals threatened them for defiling their purity and advocating for monogamy. The locals defended their culture and traditional religion that they argued was the way of life for their ancestors and they ought to follow in it.
Ruiz-de-Montoya’s accounts of how to spread the gospel. He and other priests give chilling encounters for the resistance they encountered and needed them to devise mechanisms to survive and reach more people. Chapter sixteen in the book describes how a secular priest in Loreto attempted to expel the fathers. Most people had their beliefs entangled with culture and disentangling them to teach them a new way of life and Christianity was a herculean task.
In the Merchant of Venice, the ruling on the Antonio-Shylock agreement was construed to favor the Christians by implying that Shylock was intentionally aiming to kill a Venetian and a Christian. Religion plays a central role in determining the parameters for interactions among many characters in the play. Shylock laments ‘Yes—to smell pork, to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.’
The François Pyrard’s travel account describes a detailed account of how the Maldivian people dressed. He analyzed their dressing customs from a European perspective. He noted that they all seem to be well separated from their gender and class. The Royal hood wears more silk and gold to affirm their social status while the poor dress to cover their bodies. Women clothing differs from men’s clothing. Women are more dressed to impress with well-plaited hair to cap their beauty while men sometimes dress to cover their groin area. All men carry knives with them around their waist and conside...
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