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Randel and Puglisi - Essay Example

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The essay "Randel and Puglisi" gives different accounts of the journey of John Smith, his attempts to woe the Indians and put them under King James I and the historical interaction with the native King of Powhatan Indian who was referred to as Wahunsonnacoc
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Randel and Puglisi
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RANDEL AND PUGLISI The articles give an overview of the genesis of European journey into the new lands of America which wasinhabited by the Native Indians. There has been significant challenge in validating the various accounts given by historical works on the approach and tactics used by Englishmen to conquer the Natives. It has been indicated that when the whites entered America, there were people living there as native Indians with a fully functional socio-economic and political structure under chieftaincy. At the centre of America exploration by English me is John smith who wrote several books thereafter in regard to his experience and reaction towards the native Indians that lived in America before its colonization by Britain. The two articles give different accounts of the journey of John smith, his attempts to woe the Indians and put them under King James I and the historic interaction with the native King of Powhatan Indian who was referred to as Wahunsonnacoc (William, 1939). Randel and Puglisi give contradicting accounts on some aspects but converge ideologically in other sections. Critical analysis of Puglisi article shows that the arrival of James Smith was coupled with hidden motives of confusing the Wahunsonnacoc to enter a peaceful agreement with England authorities under the guise of trade. It is however, clearly indicated that this Chief was also witty and outsmarted several attempts of John Smith in many occasions.
Puglisi demonstrates that Wahunsonnacoc had priorities that included expansion of his kingdom at the time James Smith arrived in Jamestown and accepted the trade gesture. This narration shows the extent of established government structure and organized social form of the native Indians. Puglisi gives a chronological order of events and discusses the progressive interaction between Wahunsonnacoc and James Smith until Captain Christopher Newport comes into the picture. On the other hand, Randel emphasizes the perception of John Smith towards the Indians. He gives a shallow detail on how John Smith interacted with the chief who controlled the existing native Indian Kingdom by that time (Michael, 1991). He rather emphasizes the experiences of John Smith in captivity with limited information on the socio-political significance attached to such an episode to the native Indians. Randel gives much attention to the view of John Smith as a sympathizer to the Native Indians after they were overwhelmed and colonized by the British. He focuses much on James town but fails to give a detailed order of event with particular involvement of the native chieftaincy during the colonization attempts.
There is significant line of similarity as far as the concept of ethno history is addressed by Randel and Puglisi. Evident misinterpretation between the John Smith as the Englishmen agent and the native chief Wahunsonnacoc seems to underlies the interaction of the two groups. Each side is presented as having planned agenda with significant deviation and battle for superiority. The two articles note that John Smith realized that the Native Indians were an organized lot with significant level of ancient civilization and were not easy to colonize without war. The two articles present John Smith as very tricky and a political schemer who survived the wrath of captivity but wittingly lured the native Indians to the bait of British colonialist at the reign of King James I
Michael J. Puglisi. EducationCapt. John Smith, Pocahontas and a Clash of Cultures: A Case for the EthnohistoricalPerspective. The History Teacher, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Nov., 1991), pp. 97-103
William Randel. Captain John Smiths Attitudes toward the Indians. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Jul., 1939), pp. 218-229 Read More
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