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England II - Puritans And Indians

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England II - Puritans And Indians

  1. 1. Puritans and Indians
  2. 2. Settling • The Puritans believed that the untamed nature was both evil and seductive, and exposure to it would transform a man into an Indian • Colonists worked hard to transform the landscape to resemble England, which they regarded as God’s blueprint for human- improved nature • The natives were highly effective at horticulture, using the squashes to protect vines, and corn stalks to grow beans up • To ease hunting, the Indians would burn the forest twice a year, much less damaging than present day wildfires. This is because regular burning clears deadwood, as well as makes it easier to track and hunt prey, or ride through the forest
  3. 3. Labor • Algonquin labor division was based on gender, not class. Men would hunt, fish, go to war, and make tools, whereas women would farm, gather, raise children, and build and maintain their homes. In fact, native women spent less time working than colonial women • Compared with colonists, the natives demanded little from nature, and extracted much less from their environment • The Natives were mobile, and moved cyclically with the year, whereas the colonists were sedentary and needed space to rear livestock • Puritans believed that their god gave them the land, and the Indians were to be expelled for their “pagan indolence”
  4. 4. Contracts • Leading colonists offered goods to the Indians in exchange for them signing deeds to their land away • Natives and colonists did not view the deeds the same way, colonists were to take the land, and the Indians believed they meant an offer to share the land • The natives expected to continue to hunt and fish the way that they always had • While some Indians were tried for killing and eating livestock from the colonists farms, the colonists never recognized the Indian’s corn fields as belonging to the native people