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First Encounters

Pre-Columbian & Colonial America
by

Ashley Nation

on 21 January 2016

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Transcript of First Encounters

Literature and the Language Arts: The American Tradition. Ed. Laurie Skiba.
2nd edition. St. Paul: EMC/Paradigm, 2003. 80-85. Print.
Literature: The American Experience. Ed. Grant Wiggins. Upper Saddle
River: Pearson, 2010. 2-14. Print.
Works Consulted
Unique Set of Circumstances, Unique Set of Themes:
Encountered by Puritan settlers to New England
Wampanoag

From Jamestown: Promise of economic opportunity, wealth; chance for "glory" - individual achievment, success.

From Puritans: The "Puritan Ethic" - strict moral & religious values, importance of education, importance of community - the greater good!

Both: necessity of hard work, courage
1620 – Plymouth Colony (Mayflower)
1630 – Massachusetts Bay Colony
Seeking religious freedom
Wampanoag Indians help them survive first year
New England – Pilgrims & Puritans
1607 - first English colony to survive in America
Settled by middle/upper-class men seeking fortune
Tobacco plantations rather than small farms
First African slaves arrive, Fort Monroe, Virginia – 1619
Settlement would not have survived without help from Powhatans
Territory stretched along Virginia coast
Encountered by John Smith and Jamestown settlers
Powhatan
Algonquin couple, 18th century
Algonquin
Atlantic coast – large family of tribes, New England to North Carolina ...
First Americans  12 – 70,000 years ago

Wide variety of culture, religions, languages, political organizations

Common reverence for/connection with land, natural world

Oral myths, legends, songs – our earliest literature

Pre-Columbian Cultures
Penn’s Treaty with the Indians
Edward Hicks, c.1840
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!

Jamestown – Origins of Plantation System
Columbus lands in Americas – 17th century drawing
Arrival of Europeans –
15th-17th centuries

Their constitution was a model for US Constitution
Iroquois Village, 1720
American Legend:
Captain John Smith & Pocahontas
Two main groups encountered by early European settlers:
Iroquois & Algonquin

Iroquois - Family of Tribes, Great Lakes Region
2 halves of the "American Dream"
vs
American Legend: the "First Thanksgiving"
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM:
The belief that here = different, special (better?)
"New" World
Nature/Wilderness
Individuality
Power
Struggle
Community
Freedom
Fight to succeed
Fight to survive
Place of WONDER, MAGIC, MYSTERY
Great adventure - EXPLORATION, DISCOVERY!
Great DANGER
A sacred trust? Shared responsibility?
A bounty, gift - something to enjoy?
Something to fear and tame?
Duty to conquer, civilize?
Who deserves power?
How do you get it?
What is the relationship of the conqueror
to the conquered?
What responsibilities come with power?
Heroism, leadership - chance for individual distinction,glory
Self-reliance, independence
The "greater good."
What are our responsibilities to our family, friends, neighbors?
Sense of being "in it together" - sharing.
What does it mean to be free?
Who deserves freedom?
Pre-Columbian population of United States - widely varying estimates: 2.1 million - 18 million or more.
By 1900 - population about 250,000 - 300,000.
The culprits: EUROPEAN DISEASES (smallpox, measles, plague, influenza --> no natural immunity); FORCED LABOR, WAR, POPULATION RELOCATION ...
Opportunity
Financial/Material
Spiritual/Emotional
Quality of life
Miranda, from THE TEMPEST
--William Shakespeare
Full transcript