Please critique these paragaphs about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.Massasoit was a peaceful leader, he established a friendly relationship between his tribe and the pilgrims, he saw the...

Please critique these paragaphs about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.

Massasoit was a peaceful leader, he established a friendly relationship between his tribe and the pilgrims, he saw the struggles they had to survive and offered to teach them the techniques of planting, fishing and cooking for them to survive, in exchange to defend each other from their enemies. Contrary with the European Kings who only wanted the resources and the land in the new world, by any means necessary, they considered native Indians as savages, as an obstacle that needed to be removed.

That was the way the colonists and citizen view the relationship between them and the native Indians, if they did not integrated to the new culture and become like the English, they will be eliminated. The native Indians were to be pushed away in order to take their land since they really not owned it. The relationship between both sides brought lots of war, death and the almost total annihilation of the American Indian race.

Asked on by barbiedot

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I have a couple of comments on this.  One is about the content and one is about the writing.

As to the writing, I think you should make the main point of these paragraphs more clearly.  I think that your main idea here is that the Indians were peaceful and benign while the Europeans were greedy and selfish.  If this is what you are arguing, make it clear.  Start your first paragraph by saying something like "When the Native Americans and Pilgrims first came into contact with one another, the Indians acted kindly towards the Pligrims, only to be exploited and eventually destroyed."  This makes your point clear and helps your reader to know where you are heading with your argument.

As to the content, I think that you are being too idealistic about the Native Americans.  For example, you say that the Indians wanted to be friendly with the Pilgrims, in part, to be protected from enemies.  But you don't explore that idea at all.  If Massasoit was so peaceful, why did he have enemies?  Was he the one good guy among the Indians of the area, all of whom were just trying to oppress him?  That does not seem likely.

I would argue that it is more realistic to look at the Indians as people who were likely to be no better or worse (morally) than the Pilgrims.  They were embroiled in their own power struggles and were trying to use the Pilgrims to increase their own power.  This was not a situation where innocent Indians just wanted to help the Pilgrims and got annihilated for their troubles.

mrsbibb's profile pic

mrsbibb | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Research the Pequot War in 1637 or the battles of King Phillip's War in the 1670's.  There was a great difference between Virginia and Massachusettes colonies.

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