In English we watched Aaron Huey’s TED Talk, “America’s Native Prisoners of War,” and discussed the consequences of white behavior toward native populations, and specifically the Lakota nation. This talk fits within the pillar of Communicate Ideas because of the very different historical narratives the Lakota people and non-native Americans hold, as well as the massive injustices the US government has enacted upon them. This presentation further supports the pillar in that it is an educational piece directed toward non-Native people in order to inform them on their own history and of a differing perspective. Click the button below to view the TED talk.
Huey, Aaron. “Lakota Natives on Horseback.” TED Ideas Worth
Sharing, TED, 2010, www.ted.com/talks/aaron_huey.
Accessed March 2018
In AP US History we wrote about relations between the North and the South, and compared the New England and Chesapeake regions in the time when they were first settled on by white colonists. This assignment fits within the pillar of Communicate Ideas because it compares early relations between the Native Americans and the colonists, as well as some of the first people they interacted with. This addresses my overall topic because it allows readers to witness the drastic change from traditional Native life to life living near the colonists.
AP US History- 3rd period
8 September, 2017
The New England and Chesapeake regions were the first colonial settlements in the New World. From the beginning, the intentions behind the original colonies- Jamestown, Virginia and Massachusetts Bay- were different. The Puritans settling in New England mainly sought the ideals held in Winthrop's “A Model of Christian Charity,” while Jamestown aimed to turn a profit. Through the discovery of cash crops and the popularity of slavery contrasted with strict Puritan morals, the north and south grew apart. The colonies were similar, prior to 1750, socially and politically but differed drastically when it came to economics. Socially the north and south befriended and eventually alienated the natives, following the same curve of mutual benefit and then land destruction. Politically the white, landowning males enjoyed voting rights, and both regions held assemblies and elections. Economically, New England enjoyed a diverse economy while Chesapeake region focused on cash crops, and after Bacon’s Rebellion their system relied on slave labor. This would lead to a drastic rift between the land areas that would define social structure and politics for years to come, eventually leading to civil war.
The New England and Chesapeake areas both befriended and struggled with natives in their regions. The New England colonists befriended Squanto while Jamestown settlers made alliances with Pocahontas and Powhatan. The natives taught both regions to grow food and a trading system that benefitted both parties flourished. This continues until the indigenous people died by the thousands of diseases such as smallpox and influenza and the colonists expanded further, creating conflict. The two regions are often viewed as very socially separate, however, because of the social structures the two valued. Virginia was ruled by the House of Burgesses: very wealthy, landowning, white men who defined the status quo. Meanwhile, Puritans looked at everyone as equals; educating women as well as men. This made them distinctly different because the north became widely educated and the House of Burgesses created laws that would aid them in maintaining power.
Politically, both the Chesapeake and New England colonies were similar because they expanded voter rights. Both allowed landowning white men (and in New England they must be church members) to vote in assemblies. Virginia created the House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in America, after Bacon’s Rebellion to suppress further uprisings, and in doing that increased slavery through racial laws and finding that it was cheaper than indentured servitude, thus creating the American Paradox: building freedom on the backs of those without liberties. The Puritans also enforced discriminatory laws for religious purposes. Without the Toleration Act, like in Maryland, they forced out religious radicals such as Ann Hutchens. This caused diversity between the regions because of the difference in racial and religious laws.
Economically, the regions blossomed in separate directions: New England through fishing, whaling, shipbuilding, and small farms, and Chesapeake through slavery and the cash crop tobacco. While both implemented slavery and participated heavily in the Atlantic trade (New England through molasses and and rum), the two participated differently when it came to economics. In New England, trades did not rely as heavily on the need for extremely cheap labor, nor did Puritans see money as a motivator larger than God. The Chesapeake area depended on the enslavement of Africans economically, and eventually their society and politics shaped around it as an institution. This fundamental economic difference lead to the incredibly visible rift between north and south.
The Chesapeake and New England colonists came searching for a fresh start in the New World, and while both encountered natives as well as other struggles in the beginning, America became distinct region to region. Voter rights developed closely while social structures built off them. The economy, affecting all other aspects of life and leading to revolt, rebellion, enslavement, and war.
In English we analyzed various videos that represented Native Americans problematically. This fits within the pillar of Communicate Ideas because it shows how white stereotypes and ways of thinking have pervaded many facets of the white media. Many of the videos we watched were presented to children, allowing white kids to see these harmful and racist stereotypes at a very young age. This supports my overarching question because it shows how white media creators are still oppressing Native communities and misrepresenting their culture.
“Dancing GIFs.” Tenor.com, Tenor, 23 June 2017,
disney-gif-9019451. Accessed April 2018
In US History we read about the relatively recent colonization of the Philippines after the Spanish-American war. We learned about the push to “civilize” as well as “christianize” the Filipino population who were largely indigenous. This was a incredibly familiar idea after learning about the same rhetoric used to oppress Native American communities. This fits into the pillar of Communicate Ideas because it was a time of rapid expansion via imperialism for the United States as they justified expansionism through the concept of spreading democracy as well as American ideals. This fits with the question because almost immediately a rift was formed between white colonists and the Filipino population.
Image courtesy of Ms. Whipple