Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Prompt: Using Nathaniel Philbrick’s book Mayflower, complete a 5 page essay answering the following prompt: Nathanial Philbrick writes, "When Philip's warriors attacked in June of 1675, it was not because relentless and faceless forces had given the Indians no other choice. Those forces had existed from the beginning." (xiv) What forces lead to King Phillips war and how did those forces change the way historians have viewed the Pilgrim myth? Mayflower paper
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
by Nathaniel Philbrick discovers
the first fiftyfive years of the Pilgrims' life, and their journey to, and through the New World. Philbrick mainly focuses on the social and economic relationships between the English and their Native American neighbors. The two groups evolve from distrust to a cooperative alliance to a bloody war within this short time frame. On top of just focusing on the social and economic relationships, he used two men to describe what is going on in this time frame. As Philbrick states to cover his thesis about his book, “fifty – six – year intergenerational saga of discovery, accommodation, community, and war – a pattern that was repeated time and time again as the United States worked its way west 1
and ultimately into the world.”
Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community, and War (New York; Penguin Group. 2006) XV
A variety of forces helped to change the way that historians are viewing the Pilgrim myth, the view of the Pilgrims being a peaceful religious group in search of creating a place of free and secure worship but rather over time as a people who looked out for their own gain by taking any opportunity that was available to them. Personal ambitions were at the forefront of the colonization, but were not as prominent as they were to be seen in the later descendants. The early colonists were only thinking of their own survival in the New World, rather than looking for opportunities to realize personal ambitions. Unease between the two groups, colonial and natives, increased over time and origins were forgotten as the atmosphere grew tense with an impending outbreak of violence hung between them. Colonial greed, false accusations and social unrest were some of the leading forces that lead to the cause of King Phillip’s War, 16751678. The Pilgrim’s decedents came to expect more from the American way of life than their predecessors had. This over time would include more freedom and rights than what was prohibited in the mother country and would lead to another American conflict known as the American Revolution.
Land was a major thing in both instances, land was viewed as to be one of America’s greatest natural resources that were poorly utilized, i.e. the Native Americans who did not farm or cultivate it in recognizable English manner. These settlers wanted, needed and demanded more of this land, seeing it as their obligation to put the land to a better use than it was in and so they began to take away more of the Natives territory. “No longer mindful if the debt they owed the Pokanokets, without whom their parents would never have endured the first year in America, some of the Pilgrim’s children were less willing to treat Native leaders with the tolerance and
respect their parents had offered Massasiot.”2 The colonists begin venturing out more and more of the Natives land, pushing back these proud people into a smaller, cramped area, a fraction of what they originally had. They did not consider the damage that they were doing to the Natives way of life nor did they care. It was not an inquiry of the colonists, at the time for people to stop and consider much about the impact they were creating in the lives of those they considered below them. So blinded by greed they were, that when King Philip began selling off large ...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document