Monday, August 27, 2007

Blog 2-The "Tempest" In the wilderness

Blog 2- The “Tempest” In the wilderness

I believe the Authors thesis is “All Indians, regardless of whether they were farmers or hunters, were subject to removal, even extermination, if they continued in their “barbarism.” Should any tribe be foolhardy enough to take up the hatchet against the United States, the president wrote Governor Harrison, the federal government should seize the whole country of that tribe and drive them across the Mississippi as the only condition of peace. During a conflict between the United States and England in 1809, President Jefferson warned his Indian “children”: “If you love the land in which you were born, if you wish to inhabit the earth which covers the bones of your fathers, take up part in the war between the English and US…[T]he tribe which shall begin an unprovoked war against us, we will extirpate form the earth, or drive to such a distance as they shall never again be able to strike us” stated Takaki.
I believe Takaki’s argument is that throughout the time frame the English viewed Indians as savages and they were kicked out of their land and treated unfairly. The English wanted to take over. The Indians soon had nothing. The English thought of the Indians as inhuman. Takaki states, “Indians seemed to lack everything the English identified as civilized- Christianity, cities, letters, clothing, and swords” (31). In Virginia the initial encounters between the English and the Indians opened possibilities for friendship, but Indians began to doubt that two different people could live together in peace (33). I believe that Takaki is trying to state the facts about how the Indians where treated unfairly, and the reasons why.
The author’s argument how the Indians were kicked off land, treated unfairly and like savages is correct. The English invaded the Indians home, made them slaves, and killed their families. There is a lot to this chapter on how the war was going on between the US and the English and Jefferson warned the Indians to stay away form the war because he was trying to help them. The question is why were the Indians treated this way? In the reasoning there really isn’t anything that tells me why the English would treat the Indians so unfairly besides the land. What exactly did the English have against the Indians?
I thought the reading was very interesting. I agree with Takaki, I felt bad for the Indians at certain points in the reading. I thought that making them the savages because of their way of life was absolutely wrong! But I still don’t understand the reasoning behind it all. Why were the Indians the main target? Was it because they had land before others? I am still unclear about the reading it was confusing at points but I just know that the Indians were targeted a lot and treated unfairly.

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