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American History and Christianity - Essay Example

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In order to justify their colonial settlements in the New World it can be shown that many nations who emigrated justified their place in the name of God. Their attitudes towards the Native Americans were similar in that they were all deemed to be heathens and savages and were to be converted to Christianity, the attitudes of how this conversion should occur though were quite different as will be shown.
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American History and Christianity

Download file to see previous pages... Their justification of this in the name of God was because "Of all these nations God our Lord gave charge to one man St Peter, that he should be Lord and Superior of all men in the world and that he should be the head of all human race" (Rushforth & Mapp, p31). In their view if this was indeed the case then what the Pope said was absolute. The document goes on to state that any delay in refusing to convert to the Holy Catholic Faith will bare the consequences of war, a war that God would assist with.
The Huron Indians were allies of the French. The French Canadians had been keen to develop trade relations with the Native Americans and when they were asked for help in a raid against the Iroquois tribe saw an opportunity to build relations (Calloway, p119). Father Jean Brebeuf was a French Jesuit missionary; the Jesuit order like the Spanish wished to convert the Native Americans to Christianity but did so in a very different manner to the Spanish. Whilst the Spanish colonized the Native American lands with aggressive tones in the name of God the French Jesuits introduced Christianity whilst being respectful of Native American own identities. Brebeuf lived with the Indians and like other Jesuits learned their language and studied their way of life and whilst may not have agreed with appreciated their customs. The Huron's tolerated the Jesuits as they wished to remain allies with the French and maintain trade relations but resented their criticism of their ideals, customs and lifestyles (Calloway, p121). In comparison to the Spanish who threatened violence through non-conformity the Jesuits believed that the natives would and could conform if they were shown compassion. When disease struck in 1640 many Huron Indians blamed the Shamans for not protecting the people and turned to Christianity due to the Jesuits being unaffected by the small pox epidemic. The Jesuits had succeeded in their mission but had assisted in destroying a way of life that had sustained a culture for centuries.

John Winthrop's Christian Charity speaks of unity and conformity and is quite authoritarian in its narrative. Whilst traveling to New England onboard the Arbella he
Lisa Haddon
12th November 2008
wrote and preached the now famous sermon A Model of Christian Charity. The puritans on board were fleeing England in pursuit of individualism and spiritual freedom from the Church of England which they felt was a derivative of the Roman Catholic Church, Winthrop feared that the pursuit of this individualism would drive them apart once landing in New England or even worse in to the hostile hands of the natives and sought to hold the people together on board through the word of god.

He begins his sermon by listing three reasons god made people different the first reason showing a preference for difference over uniformity. His second reason is "He might have the more occasions to manifest the work of His Spirit: first upon the wicked in moderating and restraining them, so that the rich and mighty should not eat up the poor, nor the poor and despised rise up against their superiors and shake off their yoke." (Rushforth & Mapp, p126). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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