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NO101 September 19.docx

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North American Studies
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Bina Mehta

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NO101 September 19, 2012 Myths of Origin The Mayflower -1620s- Pilgrims sailed to the New World in search of religious freedoms -They landed at Plymouth Rock and befriended the local Natives (Wampancagos) -The Natives taught them how to plant corn -They celebrated the first Thanksgiving together -End of story The Pilgrims -English Puritans living in England and Holland -They separated from the Church of England- radical fringe of the protestant movement -They believed that a congregation began with a covenant between a group of believers and God -Taking their cue from scripture (Paul- “come out among them and be separate”) -They were weavers, wool carders, tailors and shoe makers who came to the American Wilderness -1600s -Church was corrupt -used the Bible (Paul) to decide to separate and justified through (Paul) -fled from England to Holland -in order to continue to continue their freedom they believed they must flee -unprepared for life in the wild (not campers) -they were contracted to develop the “new world” -bring 100 people but not all were of this religious group -should have gone to Virginia but landed in Massachusetts First Contact -meeting Natives – Natives ran away Mayflower Compact -The Pilgrims recognized that the only way for the settlement to succeed financially was if everyone worked together -They signed the Mayflower Compact, a civil covenant which would provide the basis for secular government in America (while still on the boat) -Ironies: document applying to a people who are 3000 miles from home; people who were more akin to a religious cult than a democratic society -“Having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and honour of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony [...], do these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation; and by virtue here of to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.” -take the grain (corn) from the Natives on the beach, use it, keep it and sell it back to the Natives -didn’t see Natives as equal to White men -wrote in the Compact that they will respect all laws/ rules upon arrival -determine how to self govern -the non-church group claims the contract between King of England and the group is void due to wrong arrival area (not Virginia) -smart people -“Just and equal” laws over/ between each other Massachusetts Bay Colony -Groups of settles set forth in 1629, settles in what is now Boston -Very similar to the Pilgrims in their beliefs (although they hoped that the Church of England could be purified from within) -Native populations encountered were sparse -Enclave mentality-they built their cities like fortresses always seeking to keep the Natives separate -Puritans -come to Boston -no mixing with the Natives -Speech- it is important people act properly- behave as people -we are an example for everyone below us * White men are above all -the underlined line (below) comes up in American politics regularly (ex John Edwards) -the US and White men are the people to settle the world (Manifest Destiny) -gets the American people going “City on a Hill” -“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely without God in this work we have undertaken...we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God... we shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us ‘til we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.” -John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity (1630) Jamestown -The flip side of New England settlements -Unstable and loosely-bound society whose main aim was profit -Known to you as the story of “Pocahontas”- 13 year old girl marries old White guy (John) -Colony was saved from starvation by tobacco cultivation -See Colin Farrell in The New World American Revolution 1776 -Resisting Britain and its unconstitutional taxes -Boston “Tea Party” -dress up as Indians and throw Tea in the Harbour Mad about taxes and Quebec Act (New France) -Race: Protestants and Catholics (as opposed to cultural or skin colour divisions) -not a people’s revolution, well educated people who were religious, a Bourgoise idea -wanted to create a revolutionary society -throwing off the mother country (England) -wanted their own government if they were going to be taxed -economic liberalism (see definition *not provided) -Appealing to “Natural Law”- based on morals, on God -New philosophy of economic liberalism (18 C movement of thought in Europe) American Revolution (Why?) -colonists sought land to develop farms; treaties negotiated between the British and Native people were an impediment to that development -colonists’ farming practices were market-oriented not subsistence-oriented (like in New France and New Spain) -Breaking free from British colonial control meant expansionary independent capitalist development -Two major obstacles to this capitalist development: 1)Indian and Mexican controlled land and 2)The Southern plantation economy -less idealistic and more materialistic reasons -Natives needed to move, the settlers needed the land and Natives weren’t using it -but they had signed treaties with the Natives to prevent huge farms -US currently had 13 colonies -Southern Plantation economy -eliminating a culture in the South that wasn’t the most economically profitable Plantation Society -tobacco -cotton (after Independence) -the plantation household- similar to the feudal household of New Spain (landlord had “access” to slave women) -little to no industries in the South -homeowner slept with the slave women to produce illegitimate children and more slaves Civil War -conflicts between industrial North and Plantation South (tariffs and railroad development) -Northern victory secures the South for full industrial development th -1865-13 Amendments of the American Constitution; abolishes slavery -23000 Americans died against each other in one battle (Americans vs Americans) – viewed each other as two separate countries
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