Length: 6 Pages 1601 Words

“The mythic origin of ‘the country we now know as the United States’ is at Plymouth Rock, and the year is 1620.” James W. Loewen stresses this origin as mythic due to the fact that for thousands of years humans had inhabited the land now known as America. Loewen goes on to describe the horrors the native peoples of America went through due to the diseases and other such terrible things the white “settlers” brought to the “New World.” However, it is barely mentioned in Loewen’s book, The Lies My Teacher Told Me, that the Separatists were acting upon a word of God, or Manifest Destiny. If Manifest Destiny were taken into account more, one would be able to provide a legitimate argument in favor of the Pilgrims’ intent. (Loewen, 77) The Separatists were members of a radical religious movement in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. William Brewster, in 1606, led a portion of this group to Leiden, the Netherlands, to avoid further religious oppression from the English government. Some members of this Separatist group then voted, ten years later, to relocate to America. In order for them to afford such a journey, the Separatists received funding from a group of London investors, in return for produce fro Continue...

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One that was the driving cause for these settlers to travel across the Atlantic ocean and settle into "wild and "virgin land. (Encarta, "Manifest Destiny) The Pilgrims' separatist movement is based upon Calvinism, founded by John Calvin (1509-1564). Loewen does briefly mention the fact that the Pilgrims had Manifest Destiny in mind when he said, "The English Separatists had already seen their lives as a divinely inspired morality play... (Loewen, 81, 91, 93) However, this is the only mentioning Loewen does of the actual intentions of the settlers. If they felt they were in the moral right for coming to America in 1620, is it right of us to judge them now for actions they did in another time and culture Of course not. (Encarta, "Pilgrims) The Indians native to this area were called the Patuxet tribe. Loewen realizes this, and views these negative areas of European settlement in general. (Linda Scott, Lecture) Predestination was a large part of the Pilgrims' belief system. (Johnson, "Common Mayflower Myths) This is important in considering the actual detrimental effects of the Pilgrims' actions. However, in order to better understand the point of view from which the Pilgrims were seeing, one must first have a picture of what their religious beliefs entailed. Therefore, Manifest Destiny and the Puritan's belief in predestination provide a legitimate argument for the pilgrims and settlers. Loewen's entire purpose of the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, is to eliminate the misconceptions that most of today's history textbooks give our students. And so, in living in a completely different culture, we are not in the position to negatively judge the actions of this religious group if there is even a chance that their intentions were innocent.


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