Since the settling of the English colonies in the early 17th century, pioneers have been destined to expand into the North American frontier and to domesticate it with their Christian faith and progressive nature. In their exploration of the frontier, however, the Puritan colonists often encountered Indians whose savagery challenged their discipline and morals. Just as the colonists expanded, Indians also saw their native lands of many years vanish. The situation naturally compelled the Puritans and the Indians to fight each other for their mutual interests. Thus, while most accounts of Western history focus on the heathen threat, both Indians and colonists experienced the harshness of the captivity myth and its evolution into other mythology that defined American history.
Any discussion of the American culture and its development has to include mythology, because that is where most of the information about early America is found. Mythology is a unique source in that it gives a shared understanding that people have with regard to some aspect of their world. The most important experience for American frontiersmen is the challenge to the “myth of the frontier” that they believed in – “the conception of America as a wide-open land of unlimited opportunity for the strong, ambitious, self-reliant individual to thrust his way to the top.” (Slotkin, 5) In particular, the challenge came from Indians and from the wilderness that they inhabited.
The colonists who first arrived in America came to this land because they saw an opportunity to regenerate their religion and to live according to it without subjugation. The immense size of the land sugge...
... middle of paper ...
...ard expansion, a person finds information about the essence of American culture. Though the English colonists came to America expecting to renew their lives through the Puritan faith, they instead found their faith and, indeed, their very society in danger from the heathen Indian presence in the surrounding wilderness. But while the Indians threatened the core of the colonials’ lives, the presence of the colonists and their westerly expansion threatened the lives and land that the Indians had held for many years. American history thus began in violence that has no single source, but rather is derived from the Puritans and Indians both fighting for and protecting their mutual interests and desires.
Slotkin, R. Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier 1600-1860. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1973.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- American Indians have had health disparities as result of unmet needs and historical traumatic experiences that have lasted over 500 hundred years.1(p99) Since first contact American Indians have been exposed to infectious disease and death2(p19), more importantly, a legacy of genocide, legislated forcible removal, reservation, termination, allotment, and assimilation3. This catastrophic history had led to generational historical traumas and contributes to the worst health in the United States.2 American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) represent 0.9 percent of the United States population4(p3) or 1.9 million AI/AN of 566 federally recognized tribes/nations.5 American Indians/Alaska Native... [tags: alaska natives, american indians, health]
1153 words (3.3 pages)
- As stated in the research questions the Native American are referred to and their involvement in the western plains. Native Americans and American Indians will be used into changeably throughout this work. In order to demonstrate the view that has been portrayed of them in this myth of the dangerous frontier, and to disprove their overarching place in the myth. The Jackson Turner commentary furthers the myth that Native Americans were the epicentre of the fears of the Frontier. The ideas of Frederick Jackson Turner in the later nineteenth century can be compared with the modern perceptions of borderlands encouraged by Patricia Nelson Limerick and Pekka Hamalianen, for example.... [tags: Native Americans in the United States]
1635 words (4.7 pages)
- Effects of Colonisation on North American Indians Since the Europeans set foot on North American soil in 1620,they have had a devastating effect on the native population. I will be discussing the long term effect of North American colonisation on the Native Americans, focusing on such issues as employment opportunities, the environment, culture and traditions, health, as well as social justice. I will begin with the important issue of employment opportunities. The unemployment rate for Native Americans is a staggering 49%.... [tags: native americans, indians, colonial america]
1035 words (3 pages)
- Indians and the Frontier The frontier after the Civil War was changed just like the rest of America. Immigrants flocked here from all over the globe. This led to huge population increases, which meant that more land was to be used. The frontier was slowly divided among the masses, and people began claiming their stakes. With the land being devoured, the Indians felt that they were being denied the rights to what was theirs. The Indians were greatly outnumbered, and out skilled. In one of the last deciding battles, Wounded Knee, the Indians lost one-hundred and forty-six dead, and fifty-one injured, where as the U.S.... [tags: Papers]
482 words (1.4 pages)
- My essay will have an outlook of the history of the first Americans “Indians” and how they’ve adapted with their religion, subsistence strategy, social organization, and material culture. Over the years things have change in the history of Native Americans, prior to the reconstruction period, Native Americans knew who they were and what they lived for. Before the Europeans came and changed their living they one with nature and the land they’ve came to know. They believe that America was there’s and they lived free.... [tags: American Indians, Native Americans, Colonies]
964 words (2.8 pages)
- Subculture Assignment The American Indians are also known as Native Americans who are present within the United States and comprise varying ethnic groups and tribes and hold distinctive attributes which makes them different from the white Americans who are present in the society of the United States. The immigration to the US started from the 15th century due to which the society of the United States was seen to be holding distinctive tribes and immigrants who formed groups in the US and started achieving recognition in the US society.... [tags: Native Americans, Ethnic Groups. Tribes]
1151 words (3.3 pages)
- One of the largest issues facing American Indian's today One of the largest issues facing American Indian's today One of the largest issues facing the American Indian's today is that health care. As tribes and urban Indian health centers struggle along with the rest of the country to address the growing numbers of Elders in their communities. There are key issues and special considerations that must be addressed to ensure American Indian Elders are not forgotten in any proposed reform or redesign proposals that the newly formed Medicaid Commission or Congress put forth.... [tags: Native American Indians]
1151 words (3.3 pages)
- Frontier Expansion vs. the American Bison “The wilderness masters the colonist. It finds him a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought. It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe. It strips off the garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasin. It puts him in the log cabin.... Before long he has gone to planting Indian corn and plowing with a sharp stick.... In short, at the frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man.... [tags: American America History]
881 words (2.5 pages)
- American Indians form one of the minorities groups in America. Yet their native soil has the leading population in the world. America was inclined by their viewpoint before the first settler. Many of the Indians came to America as early as the turn of the century, in which they were deprived of residency until a congressional act was approved in 1946(Lee 106). Most Indians have supplied abundant assistance to the culture and flawless being of US; majorities of these donations regulate to the science field.... [tags: Native Americans, American History]
895 words (2.6 pages)
- The American Indians Between 1609 To 1865 The Native Americans or American Indians, once occupied all of the entire region of the United States. They were composed of many different groups, who speaked hundreds of languages and dialects. The Indians from the Southwest used to live in large built terraced communities and their way of sustain was from the agriculture where they planted squash, pumpkins, beans and corn crops. Trades between neighboring tribes were common, this brought in additional goods and also some raw materials such as gems, cooper.... [tags: essays research papers Native American Indian]
1645 words (4.7 pages)
- Perpetuation of Native American Stereotypes in Children's Literature
- The Failure of the Pony Express Communication System in America
- Argument - The Voting Age Must be Lowered
- The Merging of Cultures During the New World Discovery
- The Plight of the Black Seminoles
- Vasco da Gama's Exploration of India and Portuguese Voyages of Discovery