Julia Maxwell
Mrs. Wilburn
English 11 Honors
September 19th, 2016
One Nation, Under God and Nobody Else
Thousands of Native Americans were slaughtered "in the name of God." Puritans believed they were a superior race, and that God smiled down on them while they were massacring innocent people that were there first (We Shall Remain). The opposing cultures of the Puritans and the Native Americans led to their conflicts. The greatest contrast between the Puritans and the Native Americans was their polar opposite religions. Both of the ethnicities shared few parallel values, but mostly they differed from one another. The Puritans' technology was far more advanced and developed compared to the Native Americans', although the English would have never survived if it were not for the native peoples. These aspects lead to the depopulation of the Native Americans. Due to the Puritans' attitude of do as I say or be killed, the Native Americans' peaceful culture was disrupted; the Puritans are to blame for the conflicts, for they were blinded by religion and their own interests.
In the Native Americans' religion, the Great Spirit was viewed as welcoming and loving. Each tribe may have worshipped different gods, but they were "all children of the Great Spirit" (Tecumseh 1). The Great Spirit, or the Creator, unified Native Americans, and their religion preached friendship and forgiveness. Some tribes held a ceremony, the Green Corn Festival, at harvest time and invited enemy tribes to partake in song and celebration. They did this because "[they] believed everything [they] had was a gift from the Creator" (We Shall Remain). Their overall belief in the creator greatly tied to their well-founded values.
They held multiple things sacred, including family, the Earth and its features, and animals (Momaday 1-2). The native people held the world and everything in it sacred. Native Americans never wasted any part of animal because "[…] everything from the creator was a gift" (We Shall Remain). The tribes respected their leaders, who lead by example, and never betrayed them (We Shall Remain). Wampum were shells that Native Americans used as currency and to make agreements or firm promises. The tribes viewed wampum as spiritual and "[when] wampum was exchanged no one would break the agreement […] because it was so sacred, and [they didn't] go against the Creator" (We Shall Remain). They valued loving and loyal morals in the name of the Great Spirit. The peoples' ethics were a key to their society, which inspired their use of technology.
Even though their technology was not extremely developed, the Native Americans were outstandingly resourceful. They knew how to capitalize on the world around them. These people were agriculturally progressive and knew how to efficiently work the earth. The sacredness and knowledge they held for nature aided them in creating beneficial tools and other accommodating items (We Shall Remain). The Native Americans could adequately live, even if they were not as technologically advanced as the disrupting Puritans.
The Puritans had a fear of God attitude when it came to their religion, and their views were radical. They believed the extermination of Native Americans was "[…] God clearing the way for his chosen people" (We Shall Remain). The main inspiration for why anyone converted was fear of being damned straight to Hell by a wrathful, angry God (Edwards 1). The Puritans had praying towns in an effort to forcefully convert Native Americans (We Shall Remain). The Puritans were intolerant to every other religion and value, besides their own.
The English settlers valued religion and a uniform society, as well as dominance. The Puritans wanted everyone to follow the same religion and looked down on anyone who believed differently (We Shall Remain). They believed they were superior in race and religion, and that it was their moral obligation to impose their values on to anyone who did not already agree with them (We Shall Remain). The Puritans believed "[the] land was cleared of those pernicious creatures, so as to make way for a better growth," or the European Christian race (We Shall Remain). Their provincial values allowed no room for opposing ideas and their innovative technology helped them become even more dominant.
Compared to the Native Americans, the Puritans' technology was far more