What else can be added to this statement (below) about relations between the Pilgrims and the Indians?Over time Pilgrims and Indians participated in significant cultural exchanges. Both parties saw...
What else can be added to this statement (below) about relations between the Pilgrims and the Indians?
Over time Pilgrims and Indians participated in significant cultural exchanges. Both parties saw these exchanges as a way of protection and unity. At the time the Indians outnumbered the Pilgrims, Pilgrims were dying from hunger and lack of resources. When the Indians saw this, they saw that the pilgrims were no threat to them. They began to exchange tools that were useful to both groups and the Indians taught the pilgrims how to attain food. It was a significant exchange because the groups were teaching each other everything they knew. The Indians saw the exchange as a friendship and security that was their way to communicate between tribes. The Pilgrims saw the exchange as a way of survival, and latter on began to see trade as a way to make a profit by exchanging with other colonies. The Pilgrims soon noticed this is how they would gain the Indians trust, and they began to learn other ways that the Indians behaved.
One thing that I would add to this is more of an emphasis on the selfish goals that underlay the actions of both sides. To me, the paragraph you have provided portrays the interactions as motivated mainly by altruism. However, I would argue that both sides were looking out for their own interests and were trying to exploit the other.
The Pilgrims' goals are the more obvious ones. We know that they eventually pushed the Indians off the land, often in very bloody ways. But the Indians were also out to gain. They hoped to use the Pilgrims to strengthen themselves. The Indians wanted the Pilgrims' technology and their goods to help make them stronger and richer relative to rival tribes. They were not just trying to help the Pilgrims out of kindness.
Please don't forget the reason that they were able to befriend the Wapanoag tribe is that they had fled England for Holland and the Dutch had really welcomed them while they lived there aprox. 20 years prior to this. They were able to look beyond the Calvinist predestination of people and recognisz a need for the indians and their knowledge of the land.