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Early American History

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Essay title: Early American History

Early American History

Unity within colonies was extremely strong because it was assembled in a primal urge for survival. The colonists were in this entirely new land, so it was natural they would stick together to the familiar, and therefore build strong bonds and loyalty to their colony. Exclusion also excellently describes early America because of the way colonies expelled their own people if they did not follow the colony’s strict ‘rules’ of life. The primary source documents; “City upon a Hill”, “Ann Hutchinson’s Trial”, “Founding Of The Iroquois League”, and “The Mayflower Compact” are all brilliant examples of this contradictory yet surprisingly honest view of early American history. Early American History should be remembered as a time of exclusion and unity because of the exclusion of the crazed “pure” Christians, especially in the Massachusetts area, but also of unity because of the tight connection between each other that colonists needed to survive in this new world.

Early American History should be remembered as a time of exclusion because even though many of the people coming over here were victims of religious persecution, many still did not tolerate any other religions than their own. A prime example of this is the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. “We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God.” from “City upon a Hill” by John Winthrop. This quote demonstrates that the Puritans were of faith that any one who spoke ill of their belief and of their God, were their enemies and were the enemies of God. Thus excluding and prejudicing their colony against anyone of a different faith. In the primary source document “Ann Hutchinson’s Trial” there is a quote that states, “Governor: If they be the fathers of the commonwealth, and they of another religion, if you entertain them then you dishonour your parents and are justly punishable.” In this quote, Governor Winthrop is speaking to Ann Hutchinson during her trial, telling her what she has done wrong in the eyes of the Church. One must remember, thought, that in Puritan Massachusetts, the Church and the State were one. This is precisely why Ann Hutchinson is being tried in a state court for crossing Puritan doctrine. Governor John Winthrop is saying that, according to Puritan doctrine, to become acquainted with someone of a religion other than Puritanism, it puts to shame the parents of this sinner and the dishonors the whole Puritan colony. This is quite indicative of exclusion because the Puritans stopped everyone of their faith from friendly interaction with someone of a different faith. The unjust and severe punishment was that they were to be banished from the colony, their family, their friends, and their church. This is what happened to Ann Hutchinson. She was excluded from her whole life all because she quietly questioned some of the Church’s decisions and didn’t take kindly the spoon-fed Puritan principles.

Early American History should be remembered as a time of unity as well as exclusion because in each separate colony, they had to unite to stay alive. They united in grief over trials and tribulations, such as mass numbers of death, especially in the early colonies, and hunger. They also united in their joys, such as maybe a good harvest, and in their faith. Faith was a huge unison factor. The Iroquois League was based on unity, faith, and respect. But what the Iroquois different from other tribes of the time was the sophisticated unity. They combined 5 different nations into a working confederacy. “All the other chiefs and tribes have accepted the Great Law of Peace. They now live in peace with one another.” This is a quote from Hiawatha, one of the co-founders of the Iroquois League. The quote relates that with accepting peace, you can have unity. And when you have unity, you will have peace. That advanced cycle of cooperation is what made the Iroquois League survive for hundreds of years. We knows this because the “Founding of The Iroquois League” and the “Iroquois Constitution” were accomplished in the 15th /16th century and the Iroquois League was still strong in the 18th century. On the other hand, an example of colonist unity is from the primary source document the “Mayflower Compact”.

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