Discussion Questions

Questions for Olympe de Gouges’ “Declaration for the Rights of Women.”

  1. Early in the document, Olympe de Gouges says that 18th century man is “Bizarre, blind, [and] bloated with science….” What does she mean by this?
  2. Later feminists have quarreled with Olympe de Gouges because of statements like the following:
  3. “[We are] the sex that is as superior in beauty as it is in courage during the suffering of maternity…”
  4. Can you guess what they might have objected to in this?
  5. If you were to think of all of the 14 articles (or points) that Olympes de Gouges makes, and then classify them into three or so types of point, how might you classify them?
  6. In what ways have women done more harm than good for their cause?


  1. On what basis does Charles Conant argue that imperialism must happen?
  2. Why does Henry Stanley complain about new European arrivals? What does his language tell you about his character and about how he saw his role as a colonizer?
  3. Discuss the audience for the texts.
  4. Compare the responses you read with that written by Hobson in Sources II.

Columbian Exchange.

  1. What is a cacique?
  2. List as many products as possible that arose from the contact between European and Aztec culture.
  3. What evidence can you find of an advanced society? Think in social, economic, and artistic terms.
  4. Why do you think Bernal Diaz spends so much time talking about the feast? (Don’t forget the time of writing and the audience)
  5. Whose perspective is missing from this collection of documents?
  6. Given that these documents are typical to what is usually assigned when First Contact is discussed, what does this omission tell you about our current cultural views of the Aztecs?



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