Discuss the importance of land in Native American culture and—owing to that importance—describe land as a major cause of conflict between Natives and white settlers
Exercise: Filling Out the Picture
The essay on the previous page spelled out the importance of land in Native American culture and—owing to that importance—described land as a major cause of conflict between Natives and white settlers. In fact, it might be tempting to turn that description into a thesis statement for an essay on relations between Natives and white settlers. But is the following thesis statement really accurate? Does it tell the whole story?
Conflicts between Natives and white settlers in the early 19th century can be attributable to one overarching cause: disputes over land.
Historians generally agree that land disputes were a major source of friction between Natives and white settlers. But there were many other causes of conflict, as well. If you apply different historical lenses*—cultural, political, military, legal, or religious, among others—you can come up with a fuller picture of the relationship between Natives and settlers and a more complex explanation of why that relationship so often turned to violent conflict. (Take a moment to refresh your memory on the topic of historical lenses).
First, we’d like you to do some reading to gain a fuller picture of the relationship between Natives and settlers:
· And the Strife Never Ends: Indian-White Hostility As Seen By European Travelers in America, 1800 – 1860: A brief article about the way contemporary Europeans viewed the ongoing conflict between Natives and the American government. You can read it at this link. This reading is required. You will have to log into Shapiro Library with your SNHU credentials to access this article.
· Owning Red: A Theory of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation: An article about the long history of “cultural appropriation” of Native land, artifacts, property, and other cultural resources by white society. Section II, “Indian Appropriation” (pages 869 – 891) details the legal history of conflicts between Natives and non-Natives over land and other property. You can read it at this link. Pages 869 – 891 of this reading are required. You will have to log into Shapiro Library with your SNHU credentials to access this article.
Week 7 Short Responses
Based on these readings, and other academic knowledge of Native American history that you may have, please answer the following questions. The goal of this exercise is to demonstrate your understanding of the complexity of the Native American experience.
Week 7 Short Responses – Question 1 Name three historical lenses that you could apply to gain a fuller picture of the relationship between Natives and white settlers. Be sure to respond to this question in two to three sentences, using proper grammar.
Week 7 Short Responses – Question 2 Revise the thesis statement at the top of this page to reflect a more complex view of the relationship between Natives and white settlers. Your revised thesis statement should be longer than one sentence.
Thanksgiving: A Complex Story
Most Americans are familiar with the story of the first Thanksgiving: how a friendly Native named Squanto befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony, taught them how to plant corn, and introduced them to other Natives. After a difficult winter, the Pilgrims brought in a good harvest in 1621 and invited the Natives to join them in a great feast, to thank God for their survival.