Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Race In North America-The Growth of the English Ideology about Human Difference in America

In Chapter 4 we take a look at the stages in North American colonies and how those stages according to the English cultural standard were used to develop laws and the idea of race and races. We also see our basic history lesson with what the English wanted {spices} and how that brought them in contact with "Indians and Negroes". In Chapter 4 {Roanoke} there is also talk of how "native people"  were very handsome and goodly, hospitable, and their guest were entertained with "love and kindness" for the first six weeks. The Indians helped the English more but then the white man took advantage of the Indians and started to go and take their land which was not open to them. Then we see documentation that half would use force to get a resolution and then others who saw gentleness and friendship as an option.They also seem to justify the violence on their hardships, but if that was how we still did things we would be living in a constant "Purge" movie. This whole chapter just seems to be the white English taking advantage of the kindness of others and how violence became the way to handle things. All because we as humans do not always seem to take the time to get to know others and are able to be accepting of differences.

1 comment:

  1. In reading Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, it seems to me that the creation of the middle class as a result of the decline of the feudal society and the development of mercantilism and later capitalism gave rise to the concept of racism. Under the feudal system there were property owners and peasants. Mercantilism and capitalism require a labor force, which creates a chain of command. With the need for a labor force, a middle class evolved, leaving fewer peasants to do the actual work. The slave trade would provide England with the additional people needed to fill the gap. Exploration exposed Europeans to the diversity in people. English attitude that people “not like them” are uncivilized, explains England’s opinion regarding Africans and Native Americans. They became the uncivilized and the savage-like and prime candidates for a lower classification in the scheme of progression.

    This reminds me of the deviant theory proposed by Ruth Benedict: the discovery of distinct cultural patterns suggests that cultures are integrated based on their core ideals rather than on a random assortment of isolated traits. Simply creating a list of traits to identify a culture could mislead the interpretation of that culture. How bad would it be if one culture makes the effort to meet another based on a list of traits, to discover that their cultural patterns are nothing alike? What happens when one culture runs into another? I propose that the one with power establishes the control and affects this control the same as it has with other species, with an established hierarchy which includes the classification of race. At this point, it should be noted that racism is more than just a difference in skin color; it is more like a power play to control one’s society, politics, and economics. This is a play handed down and with the growth of the middle class has been challenged and to some degree improved. So now, the question is how important is the sustainability of the middle class? The last time I looked, the middle class is in decline.


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