The Lancaster Treaty of 1744
Agency is the ability to control one’s own life. It also means to be able to effect changes in the environment you live in and to be able express your own culture. Having control of one’s own life also includes having the power to influence the life of others, who participate in this environment. Nowadays we usually think that European Colonialists had control over the environment Native Americans occupied. Since the Europeans had the agency in this relationship, they oppressed them, which included that they could not express their culture. They were thought of as other-directed, passive and powerless. Contrary to this Native Americans had agency, which is shown in the treaty of Lancaster of 1744 and in the meeting with the Onondaga in 1743. In the speeches, the Native Americans have always shown autonomy in the way they spoke to the Europeans and in the way of expressing their own culture. In relation to that, the responses of the European Colonialists was mostly very polite, even more flattering and it seemed like they were submissive in front of the Native Americans.
One of the main reasons why the Europeans feared the Native Americans was their political and military power, which is often expressed in the Treaty. An example is, when the Colonialist Thomas asks the Onondaga nervously, if he would join the French in a case of a war between the British and the French . He asks this because normally the Native Americans mostly took part on the French side. The fact that the Governor Thomas worries about the Indians taking part of the French shows the enormous respect the Colonialists had for the Native Americans. The word “nervous” shows that it is not only respect they had for the Indians, but even more fear, how I would interpret it. In the whole behavior the Native Americans must have been much more powerful and sure than the British, who nearly seem doubtful in front and compared to the Indians.
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