October 1

Blog #2 – Pick a topic to blog

Choose one of the following questions and answer it by Monday, October 4th. 

200 words minimum. 

1. Were the Spanish just in their attempt to Christianize the Native Americans?  Why or why not?

2. Why was there so much tension between the religious groups in America?  Why were so many of them intolerant of others?

3. What are the risks and benefits of refusing to conform with society if you diagree with its principles?  Do you think it’s worth it today?  Why or why not? 

4. How would our population be distributed differently if the Mayfower had landed in Virginia (where it was supposed to land)?  How might this have affected the American Revolution (or would there have even been one)?

5. Do you think that bad people can improve given a second chance?  Take into account the history of Georgia. 

6. Why do you think religious extremists are still present in today’s society?  In what ways do these groups compare to the Separatists / Pilgrims?puritans

7. With the New England education system, independent thinking appeared to have been discouraged.  What do you think this meant for education institutions back then?  What must it have been like to have been a student back then?

8. What were the European explorers’ reactions to the unbounded nature of the New World?

9. If Europeans hadn’t settled the Americas, how do you think the U.S. would look like today?

10. If Powhatan hadn’t intervened in the fate of Jamestown’s “starving time”, what might have happened to the colony?

11. How did a person suddenly come up with a new version of Christianity? 

12. Would people have migrated to America if King Henry VIII hadn’t broken from the Roman Catholic Church?  Why or why not?

13. Was it hypocritical for the Puritans to persecute the Quakers, especially after they were persecuted in England?

14. Were the Wampanoags and other Indian tribes justified in their reasoning for launching King Philip’s War (to stop the spread of the English onto their land) and the death and injury of several hundred English men and women?  Why or why not?  king philip

15. Why did the Europeans treat the natives so poorly when many of them were helpful and peaceful at first?

16. Do you think Father Bartoleme de Las Casas’ idea to use Africans instead of Indians as slaves in the New World was a major factor in the establishment of African slavery in America?  Why or why not?

17. How were the European explorers able to communicate with the Native Americans when they first arrived?

18. If people like John Smith hadn’t helped the settlers survive, what do you think would have happened to the new colonies?

19. What gave certain people or religion the right to pass discriminatory laws?

20. Why did the English monarch send Edmund Andros over to lead the Dominion of New England instead of appointing someone from the colonies?  What would have happened if a New Englander had been in charge?

21. Often times, it’s been said that one leader completely helped a colony to survive;  do you think that it is a fair statement to give one person sole responsibility for the success of a colony (Peter Stuyvesant, John Smith, Miles Standish)?

22. Would Americans have been as religiously tolerant today if the Quakers and Puritans actually had gotten along back in the 17th Century?  Why or why not? 

23. If you were Peter Stuyvesant, would you have given up New York without a fight?  Why or why not? 

24. Do you think the “visible saints” actually believed that they had been chosen by God or do you think that they faked it for the social acceptance and enhanced social standing?

25. How do you think American (and Virginian) history would have been different if John Rolfe hadn’t developed a better, less bitter strain of tobacco to export to Europe?

26. Which of the early American colonies would you have liked to have lived in?  Why?

27. What do you think led Roger Williams to develop his “radical” views on religion?  roger williams

28. Everyone has their own interpretation of religion, so why does that have to affect the way that they live and treat others?

29. Which person that we’ve studied so far was the most democratic?  How about the most aristocratic?  Why?

30. Why do you think the Roanoke settlement disappeared?

31. What changes do you think would have occurred in the progression of colonial society if colonists were less hostile towards Native Americans?

32. During the African slave trade, how could African leaders have so easily sold other Africans into slavery?

33. If you were to start a new colony somewhere, what kinds of principles would you build it upon and why?  Think about religion, education, government, philosophy, morals, etc.

34. How do you think a 17th Century Puritan would react to our society today?  (Think of common behaviors, style of dress, religious attitudes, freedom, technology, etc.).

35. Which of the original 13 colonies do you think best represents America today?  Why?

36. How do you think Old World Europeans viewed those people who left their country and headed out to the unknown New World?

37. Do you think Puritan women felt discriminated against when they weren’t allowed any say-so in law making or decision-making?  Or do you think they accepted their role / fate as what God had wanted?  Why?

38. Why, during the Great Awakening, did slave-owners decide to teach their slaves about Christianity, when they did not even consider them human beings deserving of natural rights (in essence, by recognizing that slaves have a soul to save from hell, it’s a recognition of their humanity – something that had been denied them)?

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Posted October 1, 2010 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

57 thoughts on “Blog #2 – Pick a topic to blog

  1. Meredith Starkman

    23. If you were Peter Stuyvesant, would yo23. If you were Peter Stuyvesant, would you have given up New York without a fight? Why or why not?

    If I were Peter Stuyvesant, I would not have given up New York without a fight. Despite my not necessarily agreeing with certain things Stuyvesant did, I do think that he had a right to fight for the colony he had been in charge of. Not only had he been in charge of the colony, in fact, he also brought order to the city and built a wall to keep out hostile Indians/English. (Now, known as Wallstreet) He cleaned New York up by enforcing strict laws prohibiting drinking that were widely protested. He also enacted strict fines for missing church. Although he disagreed with the immigration of the Jews to New York, his ruling was disregarded and the colony decided that it would let anyone in who was willing to work. This created a very capitalistic economy and a thriving market. New York largely benefitted from the rule of Peter Stuyvesant. What he did for the colony was revolutionary, especially for the times, and thus if I were him, I would not have given up New York without a fight.

    Meredith Starkman 4th hour

  2. Justice Echols

    15. Why did the Europeans treat the natives so poorly when many of them were helpful and peaceful at first?
    When the Europeans first met the natives of America, they were extremely helpful and were part of the reason the Europeans were able to survive in the New World. The Europeans probably saw how successful the natives were, how smart they were, and how many natives outnumbered the Europeans and thought they had to suppress the natives to get full power of the New World. After all the main reason for the Europeans travel was to gain more power. The Europeans were also ignorant of the Natives culture and way of life. The Europeans saw the natives as barbaric and uncivilized people. As shown in history, Europeans didn’t have a great track record of accepting people that don’t resemble the “civilized” European culture. They felt that natives weren’t worthy of holding power in the New World or the World period. Religious beliefs along with people opinions added to the non-acceptance of the native’s differences. To the whites, the only way the New World would reach its highest potential was if they ran it with no interference from the Native people. The white men believed they were higher in ranking in Gods eyes and the natives were only good at working for them. This white supremacy attitude continued on in America for hundreds of years to come.

  3. Leah D.

    I think the “visible saints” were faking it to enhance their social standing. There was no clear way to tell if you actually were a visible saint, so I think those people had to have faked it. Being a visible saint allowed you to go to church and be able to vote, so if anyone wanted to have a voice in the community being a visible saint was the only way to do it. People lie all the time to get in good social standing, so this situation is no different. It isn’t hard to believe that the “visible saints” would lie. There was a lot of pressure in Puritan society to conform. If you didn’t conform there were consequences, so many of them probably did it because of the amount of pressure. If they lied and claimed they were “visible saints”, no one could really tell them they weren’t because there was no way to tell. I am sure there would have been people who actually believed they were visible saints, but there is more of a chance that people faked it to enhance their social life. Combining all of these factors, it is probable that most of the “visible saints” were just trying to conform to Puritanical society and reap all of the social benefits that came with being visible saints.

  4. Adam Green

    24. Do you think the “visible saints” actually believed that they had been chosen by God or do you think that they faked it for the social acceptance and enhanced social standing?

    No, I do not think that the “visible saints” actually believed that they were chosen by God. The Puritan beliefs, at least in today’s society, seem incredibly far fetched, and it seems like there is no way that anyone could truly believe that they were predetermined to get into heaven. However, the Puritan people wanted to gain social standing, and use that social standing to possibly gain more material possessions down the road. With the beliefs of the Puritans, the only way that one could have any chance of gaining a high social ground was to tell everyone around you that you are the “chosen people” of God. With Puritan society the way it was, the people would always believe your claims, even if they were not backed up with any kind of evidence whatsoever. Obviously, if you could gain social acceptance with all of your peers by just saying a few false words about how you have spoken to a higher power, than why wouldn’t you do it? Although the “visible saints” did believe in Puritanism to a certain extent, it is foolish to think that they actually believed that they were chosen by God.

  5. Will T.

    3. What are the risks and benefits of refusing to conform with society if you diagree with its principles? Do you think it’s worth it today? Why or why not?
    When not conforming to society, there are numerous risks that come with it. Being excluded and even punished usually come along if the thing you are going against is big. Usually the risks outweigh the benefits physically. No matter what, you will usually feel really good about what you did, especially if it involved something to do with morals. So the benefits emotionally usually always outweigh the risks. In today’s society it is much more worth it. It is much less riskier to be more individualistic than it used to be. With many of the religious groups in the colonies, if you didn’t follow their ways you were heavily excluded or punished. But today it is much safer to go out and defend your belief of atheism or Judaism against something else. Of course that may mean that you do not feel as much satisfied. One problem though with not conforming today though, is that we tend to be more conformed to all of the media. Before, there might have been some conformity within each colony, but each colony didn’t know much of the other. Today, with internet and T.V. we tend to have one American ideal that everybody tries to obtain. When you don’t conform now a days you tend to stick out, and sometimes the pressure you feel from society is too much.

  6. Meghan Marx

    34. How do you think a 17th Century Puritan would react to our society today? (Think of common behaviors, style of dress, religious attitudes, freedom, technology, etc.).

    These kinds of questions always wander into my mind. When a new piece of technology comes out, something new is discovered, or something controversial happens, i wonder what historical figures would think of what is happening. I would like to think that they would be fascinated and intrested, however, it is very possible that their reaction would be one of fear and distrust. If a 17th century Protestant were to see me right now typing this answer, they would probably try to destroy my computer. (WITCHCRAFT!!!) Their reaction to government would be very intereseting. Though colonial governments were could be argued as liberal by the standards of the time, they were not democratic. Today’s government is such a drastic leap from what could even be imagined in the 17th century that I’m sure the reaction would be horror, disgust, and confusion.

  7. L Driscoll

    I would like to comment on number 6, are there religious extremists in today’s society?

    Notice, if you will, the close parallel seen by what the early colonists endured in terms of religious intolerance, as a “newly arrived populace”, and to what we’ve seen as we traverse the Muslim world during the conduct of our war on terror. We believe ourselves to be superior from an educational standpoint, and the differences between our cultures which is bred through our own arrogance and religious intolerance on both sides proves that extremist mentality still pervades human culture. The Indians surely must have been in awe at the sight of the settlers, as were the Arabs and Afghan tribes when we marched into hamlets that hadn’t changed since the advent of Christ. We saw ourselves as superior, considering what we saw as the indigenous population living in squalor…never paying heed that they had existed in this manner for time untold…their mullahs said our modern ways were of evil origin, while we were detached from their Islamic belief….I’ll wager this is VERY similar to what transpired in early America. The Taliban, Al-Queda, and other groups use religious rhetoric to influence people to do teir bidding….didn’t the Puritans do the same-despite the fact they themselves were persecuted in England? I am dismayed that so many in power refuse to look at the lessons so plainly seen in history…to our eventual ruin. Religion has been a constant crack in the common foundation of humanity, and a definitive tool for subjugation of people.

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