Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gold Mine

When I saw the chapter title "Puritans and Indians 1600 - 1700" I knew I was in for some doozies. I stopped a lot more in this chapter, but most of them would have just been something like "what the fuck... way to go Puritans". Well, here it goes.

"Suspecting that the wilderness was seductive as well as evil, Puritan leaders feared that their own people would degenerate into Indians from prolonged contact with native ways and the native land." There's a reason they're called "tree huggers", after all.

"The Indians regarded most colonists as mean and stingy, enslaved by their property and their longings for more." So... nothing has changed?

"The New English disdained the Indians as "Lazy Drones [who] live Idleness Exceedingly" for failing to create more property from their abundant nature." I just thought Idleness Exceeding would be an awesome band name.

"Contrary to the first Thanksgiving myth of mutual trust, the Plymouth colonists regarded the Indians as, in Bradford's words, 'savage people, who are cruel, barbarous, and most treacherous.'" What about the corn and the turkey? And every one sitting on one side of the long table, all smiling and happy? Next thing you're going to tell me is that Pocahontas and John Smith weren't actually a couple... oh no... My childhood is gone forever! *sobs*

"Regarding war as a test of their godliness, the Puritans interpreted their especially bloody victory as compelling proof that God had found them worthy." I'm sorry, but I get the image of blood-soaked men on bended knee. It's the Crusades all over again, which were also a bad idea, by the way.

"Stung by rebukes from their godly friends at home, especially over the Pequot slaughter, some of the New English belatedly turned their attention to evangelizing the Indians." Oh, NOW they do something that doesn't involving killing people. Well done. *facepalm*

"Comfortable in their own culture, most Indians balked at converting to English ways and beliefs." Well no shit. That does beg the question, however: were there some Indians who thought to themselves "Hey, I would like to work my ass off for something I'll never see, and smell and be hairy and wear too many clothes when it's 90 degrees and humid as shit. That sounds like a good plan, let's get on that"?

"John Cotton, Jr.,... had become a missionary as an act of atonement when caught in adultery with a colonial woman. Was it then simply an innocent question when an Indian asked him 'whether any man that hath committed Adultery may go to heaven'? Cotton did not record his answer." Oh snap! You tell him, random Indian convert person!

"The best colonial commanders abandoned European military tactics, based upon masses of men engaged in complicated maneuvers to deliver volleys of gunfire. Instead, they adopted the Indian tactics of dispersion, stealth, ambush, and individual marksmanship." Well no shit. How do you expect to actually win a battle if you stand your dudes face to face and say bang? Especially when one side has lots more guns than the other side. Oh wait... right.... that was their advantage... Anyway, this just makes me think of "The Patriot", when Mel Gibson goes all Cherokee on the redcoats. That's what happened... right? Right!?

That's all for this chapter. I'm really having fun with this little series by the way. :)

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