The Expectations of English Colonists in Chesapeake and New England.Captain John Smith had in fact challenged the rationale of the English attempt to Christianize, civilize, and educate Native American Indians. …
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Immediately after entering in 1607 the muddy outposts the English colonists referred to as Jamestown, Smith observed the inappropriateness of the orders given by the pioneers of the colony with the pressures of survival and endurance on the Anglo-American border. The Native American lands which the British colonists inhabited had corn, while the settlers gave in quickly to diseases as the quantity of their foods declined. Smith eventually initiated a strategy of threats and forced trade. In a matter of weeks Smith had forced from the chiefdom of Powhatan large quantities of corn. As Smith paraded all over the Chesapeake, he became a vicious onlooker of the Algonquian tribes he wanted to conquer. Already fascinated in the richness of human cultures, prior to his entrance to Virginia he had stumbled upon a diversity of peoples in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The biographers of Smith claim that his encounters with different human cultures put him in a good position to understand Indian culture and the native people than any other of his contemporaries. Hence, this essay will use the perspective of Captain John Smith to discuss the initial expectations of the English colonists with Chesapeake and New England and how they lived among the Native American Indians....
The forcefulness of the English border population devastated as well as the agenda of George Thorpe to acculturate and civilize the Powhatan Indians into a Christian and English New World realm. The demands of the border population generated the 1622 Indian rebellion, which hampered the development of the colony, sped up the collapse of the Virginia Company of London, and compelled elites to reject any idea of humanitarian Indian strategy. In defending the missionary attempts, the pioneers of the company dealt with the issue of the right of Englishmen to Indian lands. Some English scholars compared the Native American Indians to wild beasts who do not know private ownership. A report of the Virginia Company claimed that it is not illegal or immoral to take over the land of the Indians and inhabit them because there is no other reasonable alternative to discuss this matter with the natives but through coercion. The Virginia Company never reached, nor did it try, an ultimate resolution to the issue of aboriginal title. Only invasion, the pioneers argued, could not rationalize occupation of the Indian soil. Rather, the Company was predisposed to consider English occupation as an ‘irreversible deed’ and to defend its continuance on the basis that the Indians would give in to Christianity and dealt with compassionately. The process of conversion could, and ought to be, diplomatic. While the Spaniards invaded the West Indies with bloodshed and brutality, the English would employ humane and benevolent means, appropriate to the natural character of the English. An expectation that the Indians would willingly dispose of their own cultural
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