Evolution of Conformity in America

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Myriah Weatherspoon

Evolution of Religious Conformity
Throughout American history, conformity has been used as a tool of deception to rob Americans of their individuality and freedom. From as early as European colonization in America to now, people have been forced to conform to the beliefs of mainstream society. It started with the Native Americans conforming to European culture, Puritans developing religion based societies, and the formation of antebellum America. Americans, now having complete freedom to do as we wish, are still pressured to pursue the American Dream, causing the American people to conform. The Europeans arrived in America in 1620 bringing along every religious belief and tradition they originally had. The Native Americans had no choice but to soon follow suit and face the destruction of life as they knew it. The Indians were forced to conform as seen in the age of Manifest Destiny that took place in the 1840's, killing many Indians and making others to convert to Christianity. By the 20th century, Native Americans were suffering from the effect of forced assimilation, as shown in Tonto and The Lone Ranger. The Puritan society used the Bible as their religious dogma. They conformed to Christianity and therefore tried to be perfect according to biblical standards, although by nature every individual sins. Eventually the religious views of the Puritans spread among Americans and were used as justification to form antebellum America between the 17th and 19th century. Americans started to believe that since we are all slaves to God, it was justified to have African slaves, which were in turn slaves to their masters. Throughout this time Christianity was imposed upon slaves because it was an inevitable factor of American culture. Although slaves could not read the bible, they were able to pray with their masters and expected to live as people of faith as seen in Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, “He would read his hymn, and nod at me...
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