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The Indian Dilemma

Autor:   •  March 26, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,104 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,003 Views

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The Indian dilemma

Jimmy Bailey

As the population of the colonies continues to rise, so does the turmoil that accompanies the lifestyles of the Europeans. The colonists that live in close proximity of the natives soon begin to take advantage of the natives, such as the Wampanoags who lived in close proximity to the colonies as allies. The colonists used the proximity to the natives as a way to try and convert them to their standard of living. They used violent altercations when the natives make an error according to the colonist's rules, they also used other means to convince the natives that adopting their ways was best by forcing those considered savage individuals into slaves. Natives, such as William Nahaton, who embrace the colonist's religion and lifestyle were given the privilege to petition on the behalf of, what was considered to be, his savage relative of her innocence pleading on her behalf for her freedom. As these kinds of practices continued to be understood by the Natives, altercations between them became more devastating leading to a war-like status.

The colonists in New England in the 1680's held religion and religious practices at the center point in their society. The colonist used their religion to explain positive occurrences, just as Mary Rowlandson did in her book that narrated her captivity by the Wampanoags. She says in her book on multiple accounts that events and circumstances occurred because it was god's will. For instance, in her book when she crossed the river on a raft and did not get wet, she thanked god and used the quote "When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee," Isai. 43.2. She then goes on to say," That God did not give the English the courage or activity to go over after us" (Nourse p. 63). This kind of behavior is noted to be typical in this colonial society where published works such as these proved to be enormously popular. The fact that the colonists hold their religious practices to such a high respect puts people of other faiths in a difficult position in this society.

This is evident in the way that the Indians are treated when the colonists try to convert them to Christianity, when they refused they were treated more harshly. The fact of the religious differences between the Indians and the colonists seemed to frustrate the colonists because there was this whole group of people that refused to accept Christianity and yet are able to flourish and thrive. As the colonists and Indians continued to live side by side some Indians became devout Christians, such as William Nahaton . The mentioning of William Nahaton's religious status as Christian, (Hewitt & Lawson p.61) along with his petition to try and save his female relative from a life as a slave shows that the fact that he was a Christian Indian

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