Puritans vs. Native Americans Essay

In 1608. a group of Christian separationists from the Church of England fled to the Netherlands and so to the “New World” in hunt of the freedom to pattern their fundamentalist signifier of Christianity ( dubbed Puritanism ) . The group of people known as the Native Americans ( or American Indians ) are the Aboriginal dwellers of the Northern and Southern American continents who are believed to hold migrated across the Bering land span from Asia around 30. 000 old ages ago. When these two societies collided. old ages of implemented political orientation. subjugation and guerilla warfare were begun.

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The great barriers of faith. moralss and world-views are the three largest factors which lead to the civilization clang between the Puritans and the Native Americans. Religion played a really of import function in both Puritan and Native American society. though their political orientations differed greatly. Harmonizing to Puritan beliefs. God had chosen a choice figure of people to fall in him in Eden as his chosen. The Native Americans. on the other manus. believed that everyone was the same ; no 1 was better than anyone else. As Siting Bull one time said. “Each adult male is good in [ the Great Spirit’s ] sight. ( Quotes from our Native Past ) .

This theory was in direct struggle with the Puritan’s position. The means through which the beliefs of these two groups were carried on besides differed greatly. The Puritans had their Bible which detailed their full faith and held the replies to all possible inquiries. The Native Americans on the other manus relied on unwritten transmittal of their divinity. Therefore. while the Puritans had a changeless topographic point to turn to when they wanted to calculate out what they believed. Native Americans were forced to make full in the spaces between narratives they had heard when it came to their basic ideals. This facet made them both unable to associate to one another.

The most outstanding difference between the two faiths were their Gods. The Puritans believed in one God and one God merely. The Native Americans. though besides idolizing their ain Godhead “Great Spirit. ” took farther fear for all life ( and one time populating ) things. idolizing the trees and their ascendants every bit good as their omnipotent Tirawa ( or Wakan Tanka ) . The Puritans. keeping all facets of the Bible actual and as godly authorization. saw this worship of existences other than their God as devotion ( which was in clear misdemeanor of the first commandment ) . Therefore. the Puritans held the Native American society as a society wallowing in wickedness.

Sin was the footing for another large hurdle in Puritan/Indian dealingss ; their differing sets of moral and ethical values. The Puritans valued their religion above anything else. They believed that their strong belief for God held precedency over anything else. Even their actions were of less effect than their religion. The Native Americans. on the other manus. lived their religion and used their actions as tools of their beliefs. Rituals like nutrient readying and dance were all actions giving fear to the liquors of nature. Puritans besides believed in the purchasing and merchandising of land. a pattern wholly foreign to the Native Americans.

As Crazy Horse said. “One does non sell the land people walk on” ( Quotation marks from out Native Past ) . As for the augmentation of terrain. use of natural resources and “beautification” of the land ( which the Puritans took portion of and advocated ) . the Paiute Indian Wovoka was quoted. “You ask me to plough the land. Shall I take a knife and tear at my mother’s bosom? Then when I die she will non take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to delve for rocks! Shall I dig under her tegument for castanetss? Then when I die I can non come in her organic structure to be born once more.

You ask me to cut the grass and do hay and sell it and be rich like white work forces. but how daring I cut my mother’s hair? ” ( Quotes from our Native Past ) The Puritans were unable to understand why the Indians viewed their cultivation of the land as brutality. and the Native Americans were besides unable to understand why the Puritans viewed their deficiency of vesture and deficiency of forced organized worship as savageness. The concluding. and arguably most of import. of the factors taking to the Native American and Puritan civilization clang was the struggle of ego and universe positions held by the two groups. The Puritans viewed themselves as flawed and ( fundamentally ) immorality.

Harmonizing to Eagle Chief. a Pawnee Indian. “In our heads we are two. good and evil. ” ( Quotes from our Native Past ) . Besides. the Puritans believed that the mortal universe was impermanent and of small effect. They believed that the lone topographic point of significance was the following universe ; Heaven or Hell. The Native Americans. on the other manus. believed that the universe they inhabited was the following universe. They thought that by deceasing. they merely returned to the Earth. With this train of idea. it seems improbable that they would be forced into worship through fright if they knew that they were headed place no affair what patterns they held in life.

The Puritans believed in a specific set of spiritual ideals. while the Native Americans had a less conformist position of worship. The Puritans held things like religion and usage of the land over the Native Americans’ day-to-day ritual and fear for nature. The Puritans considered themselves all immoralities and considered life as a fleeting passage. while the Indians idea of themselves as equal halves of good and evil and mortal life ( and its logical replacement ) as basically the same thing. These three things all contributed to the cultural struggle that plagued the Native Americans and Caucasians for old ages.

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