Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas


NEW WORLD LANDS IN PRINT

Encisco Even as Europeans staked their claims to the lands of the Americas, discoveries forced Europe's intellectuals to rethink the geographical, cosmographical, and spatial categories in which they had conceived of their world. Print helped to diffuse these novel concepts, although it also sustained older traditions of picturing lands and their inhabitants. Nevertheless, by the 16th century, the new geographies created by Europeans had begun to attain wide circulation.
In the Americas, too, new definitions of land and territory competed with older ones. Europeans, employing written devices such as maps, charts, and treaties, often succeeded in compelling native populations to accept the dividing of territory among nations and among individual owners.

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