ENG 2327
Janice Whitehead
Brief History
Spanish inquisition
Christian army forms to remove Moors from
Spain – Spain is comparable to Nazi Germany for
approximately 10 years. Natural Slavery becomes
the “norm.”
Many “flavors” of Catholicism develop
Aristotle on Natural Slavery
Slavery -- natural or conventional?
Aristole's theory of slavery is found in Book I, Chapters iii through vii of the
Politics. and in Book VII of the Nicomachean Ethics
Aristotle raises the question of whether slavery is natural or conventional. He
asserts that the former is the case. So, Aristotle's theory of slavery holds that some
people are naturally slaves and others are naturally masters. Thus he says:
But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave, and for whom such a
condition is expedient and right, or rather is not all slavery a violation of nature?
There is no difficulty in answering this question, on grounds both of reason and of
fact. For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but
expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others
for rule.
This suggests that anyone who is ruled must be a slave, which does not seem at all
right. Still, given that this is so he must state what characteristics a natural slave
must have -- so that he or she can be recognized as such a being. Who is marked out
for subjugation, and who for rule? This is where the concept of "barbarian" shows
up in Aristotle's account.
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. He loved the sea. He
became a sailor when he was fifteen years old.
After many years and many travels, Columbus became an excellent sea captain.
[He had many maps that showed that the earth was round. The maps showed
that it was possible to sail west to get to the East.]
Columbus's maps showed that Japan was across the Atlantic Ocean, 2,700
miles away. Columbus did not know that his maps were wrong. Japan is really
12,200 miles to the west! And North and South America are in the way.
Columbus asked King Henry of Portugal for ships and sailors to discover the
way to China and Japan. King Henry said no.
Then Columbus went to Spain and asked Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.
There was a war in Spain. "Wait until the war is over," Queen Isabella said.
Columbus had to wait many years. The war was over, at last, in 1492. Then
Queen Isabella said yes.
The city of Palos gave Columbus three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the
Santa Maria. Queen Isabella gave Columbus money and ninety sailors.
The three little ships sailed from Palos on August 3. First they stopped at
the Canary Islands for more food and water. They left the Canaries on
September 6.
The weather was good and the trip was easy. Columbus promised the
sailors that they would all become rich. At first the sailors were excited. But
day after day passed and they did not see land. The sailors became afraid.
After four weeks the sailors wanted to go back. They thought they would
die if they didn't turn around.
Columbus said, "If we don't find land in three days, we will go back." He offered
a prize to the first man to see land. Two times someone shouted, "Land!" but it
was a mistake.
At last, they saw some birds. They followed the birds. On the thirty-fifth day,
two hours after midnight, a sailor on the Pinta shouted "Land!" He could see
land by the light of the moon.
That morning, October 12, all the men went ashore. They were very happy to be
on land. They kissed the sand on the beach.
The people who lived on the island were the Arawak. They called their island
The Arawaks came to see the large ships and the sailors. They were amazed at
the sailors' strange clothes. They were amazed at the beards on the sailors' faces.
The Arawaks thought the ships and the men had sailed down from the sky. They
brought the sailors presents, food, and parrots.
Columbus and his men gave presents to the Arawaks, too. He tried to ask them if
this island was part of Japan. "They could only use sign language. Columbus
thought that he was in the Indies. He called the people Indians.
Columbus named the island San Salvador. He claimed San Salvador for the King
and Queen of Spain. He did not ask the Arawaks if they would like to belong to
Columbus sailed to other islands. He left forty sailors on the island of Hispaniola.
He returned home to Spain with just two ships. He took home many things to
show Queen Isabella. He brought parrots, pearls, gold, and six "Indians.“
When the two little ships returned, the people in Spain were very, very excited. As
the ships came into the port of Palos, cannons thundered, church bells clanged,
and people cheered.
Columbus: First American Hero
Often times, Columbus is presented as the first American
hero; his divinely inspired voyage romanticized by tales of
life-threatening storms, pending mutiny and 11th hour
salvation. Of the maiden discovery voyage itself, however as is the case for much of his early life - little is known.
Even the place of his birth is disputed (though it is widely
accepted by historians that Columbus was born in Genoa,
If not for Columbus, the World Would Still
be Flat
One of the biggest myths surrounding Columbus is the flat
earth theory and his being instrumental in disproving or
debunking that the world was flat. The fact is most people Europeans and Native Americans included - already knew
that the world was round and had known so for hundreds of
The popularity of the notion that Columbus was
instrumental in aiding to enlighten the world as to its
roundness can be accredited to Washington Irvin's best
selling 1828 Columbus biography. Anthropologist Jack
Weatherford states that there existed measurements of the
earth's diameter and circumference accredited to scientist
Erastosthenes dating to the 3rd century B.C.
Old World Exploitation of the New World
Recently, much has been written and opined on regarding Columbus'
exploitation of the native people of the Americas. James W. Loewen, in
Lies My Teacher Told Me, writes of the impact that Columbus had
regarding race relations as well as his influence over the transformation of
the New World. Loewen states that Christopher Columbus established
"two phenomena... the taking of land, wealth, and labor from the
Indigenous people" which lead to " their near extermination and the
transatlantic slave trade which created a social underclass".
How Columbus viewed the natives of the land he'd "discovered" went
from complimentary and positive to hostile and critical. In a journal entry
the day following his landing at Guanahani (now San Salvador), October
13, 1492, Columbus writes of the Arawak as being a fast-learning,
intelligent people. Columbus was also impressed by their physical
appearance referring to them as attractive and well built.
In his later writings, while trying to justify war and enslavement of the
natives, Columbus described them as cruel and stupid.
Two Perceptions of Columbus
James Muldoon's article in Berkshire Encyclopedia of World
History, expresses the duality behind the way Columbus has
been perceived, "people once saw him as initiating the
civilizing and Christianizing process in the Americas, but
now people condemn him for initiating slavery and
genocide." It is not impossible for both of these portraits of
Columbus to be accurate.
Whether viewed in a positive or negative light, Columbus'
voyage across the Atlantic not only expanded the empire of
Spain and opened trade routes, but it also divided time into
pre and post Columbian eras. It is not a matter of political
correctness to know and comprehend the conquering
European's treatment of the indigenous peoples of the
Caribbean. It is simply a matter of fact.
"Christopher Columbus". Funk & Wagnall's New World Encyclopedia. 2002
Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History
Textbook Got Wrong. Touchtone. New York. 2007
Muldoon, James. "Christopher Columbus". Berkshire Encyclopedia of World
History. 2005. Vol. 2 p390
Tunnell, Michael O. "Books in the Classroom: Columbus and Historical
Perspective". Horn Book Magazine. Mar92, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p244-247, 4p
Weatherford, Jack. "Examining the Reputation of Christopher Columbus".
Baltimore Evening Sun. Retrieved 2009-07-16
Read more at Suite101: Christopher Columbus: Little Known Facts Behind the
15th Century Explorer and His Voyage
Voyages of Columbus
1st voyage to Haiti and Dominican Republic – laid
foundation for Spain’s control
2nd voyage Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Jamaica,
Cuba, Lesser Antilles – established (attempted)
colony on Hispanola
3rd voyage Trinidad, Venezuela, Hispaniola –
arrested and sent back to Spain
4th voyage Central America – explored Central
Common cold kills 6,000 people
Ponce de Leon reaches Florida
Vasco Nunez de Balboa found Pacific Ocean
Cabrillo sailed California coast
De Soto discovered Mississippi River
Coronado explored the Southwest
Aztecs, Incas and Mayans wiped out within 10 years
1502 – first slave trade – Spanish brought 1st Africans to
work the West Indies plantations.
Moving on
1542 Forbidding the enslavement of Native Americans
1588 Spain loses control over seas to the west
1620 Pilgrims leave Holland and settle Plymouth
1630 Puritans leave England and settle Mass. Bay
New England communities successful
1. Brought women – ensuring population
2. Middle class willing to work
3. Wanted to build a “city on a hill.”
New World
Colonial period to 1700
4 to 6 million people residing in North America / speaking 1,000
languages + “otherness”
Settlers were Spanish, French, and English
Spanish and French came in to NA to change religion and take riches
people had deep roots in religion
women played important role in Native American cultures
oral traditions = performance
common thread with African Americans
Spanish – colonization – ruthless / colonizers
French – furs for trade / natural resources
English – religious / God’s Vision
New World Cultures
Go with your group
Polytheistic = many gods
•Iroquois gave women prominent
religious positions
•Mayan inventing writing, math, and
•Native stories were oral and acted out
New World Cultures
 Cabeza de Vaca – Lands in Florida and walks to New
 1st person to write American literature
Mestizo literature: merges captivity narrative w immigrant
 The apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe appears to a
poor Indian at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City
in 1531.
New World Cultures
 De la Cruz
 Writing involves Mexican motifs rather than Spanish or
 Chesapeake Bay Settlement
 John Smith = good organizer
Problem = no one wants to work
No work = no eat
Recognized fallacy of European views
 Frethorne account
Puritans / Pilgrims
Pilgrims were separatists who wanted to separate themselves from the
Church of England. They also wanted to separate themselves from those
who were not believers, the damned.
Pilgrims believed they were elected by God for salvation and they wanted
to worship only with other “saints” who had also been saved by God.
Puritans were followers of the teachings of Calvin and believed, like the
Separatists, that man was born in sin and they all bore the guilt of Adam
and Eve. To become saved, they would have to prove they were worthy
while here on earth. To be worthy one would prosper, be faithful, and
lead a successful life.
Instead of separating from the Church of England, they wanted to
“purify” the Church of the influence of the Catholic Church within the
Anglican (Episcopal) Church, thus the name, Puritans.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_Pilgrims_and_Puritans#ixzz18igrMNGa
The Puritans were radical Protestants, a group
that developed after the Reformation
 The Protestant Reformation, also called the Protestant Revolt
or simply The Reformation
was the European Christian reform movement that established
Protestantism as a constituent branch of contemporary Christianity.
It was led by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other Protestants. The selfdescribed "reformers" (who "protested") objected to the doctrines,
rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, and
created new national Protestant churches.
The Catholics responded with a Counter Reformation, led by the Jesuit
order, which reclaimed large parts of Europe, such as Poland.
In general, northern Europe turned Protestant, and southern Europe
remained Catholic, while fierce battles that turned into warfare took
place in the center.
The largest of the new denominations were the Anglicans (based in
England), the Lutherans (based in Germany and Scandinavia), and the
Reformed churches (based in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands
and Scotland).
Deeply Religious
 The Puritans were literate and well-educated, and
Puritan authors were respected and regularly
published in London. While the Bible was indeed their
primary reading material, they expounded upon its
themes through poetry and prose
Poetry: Judgment and Struggles
 Puritan poetry expressed themes such as:
 the unworthiness of mankind before God
 the meaninglessness of possessions
 the danger of vanity
 the difficulties of life in a frontier setting
Poetry: Judgment and Struggles
 Most important Puritan poets:
 Ann Bradstreet
 Michael Wigglesworth
In a poem dealing with a fire that consumed her home,
Bradstreet expressed the insignificance of material things.
Her later poetry reflects her personal struggles, such as the
loss of her grandson Simon and two other grandchildren.
Wigglesworth wrote "Day of Doom," which was the Puritan
equivalent of a best-seller. In this work, a "crude ballad
meter," Wigglesworth describes Judgment Day.
Prose: Judgment and Victory
Sermons and histories were the most popular forms of
Puritan prose, and these focused on theological themes as
 Jonathan Edwards
 Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is one
of the best-known sermons of all time. He employed the
natural and agricultural imagery with which his
audience was familiar to describe and communicate
God's wrath.
Prose: Judgment and Victory
Reverend Cotton Mather
 was one of the three judges at the Salem Witch Trials
 Among his 450 publications is "Magnalia Christi
Americana," an epic-style history listing and
describing "Christ's great works in America."
 Mather included quotations from classical Greek and
Roman authors in their native languages, as well as
scripture quotations in both Hebrew and English in
this lofty declaration of Christ's victories in the New
Nonfiction: God Versus Satan
 Cotton Mather also wrote "The Wonders of the Invisible World," an
account and defense of the Salem Witch Trials.
 Published in 1693
 considered nonfiction because it was an account of things
Mather saw as a judge presiding over the trials.
 Its major theme is the struggle of God against Satan. The concept of
spectral evidence---the effect that so-called witches had on others
in the courtroom---figures heavily into this work.
 The best-known sections are "The Trial of Bridget Bishop," an
excerpt detailing the trial of the first person to be accused, tried and
 and a section explaining the witch problem as Satan's wrath toward
the Puritans for bringing God into a formerly pagan land.
The Massachusetts Bay Frontier?
The first capital of the Massachusetts Colony established by
John Winthrop.
 Frontier towns were guarded by a garrison and soldiers.
 Beyond these demarcations, protection was not established
by the king.
 According to Jackson Turner in his publication "The First
Official Frontier of the Massachusetts Bay," the General Court
of Massachusetts from March 1694 to 1695 included Wells,
York, Kittery, Amesbury, Haverhill, Dunstable, Chelmsford,
Groton, Lancaster, Marlborough and Deerfield as frontier
towns. From 1699 to 1700, the General Court of Massachusetts
added Brookfield, Mendon, Woodstock, Salisbury, Andover,
Billerica, Hatfield, Hadley, Westfield and Northampton.
 The Massachusetts Bay Charter of 1629 established a
governing body that consisted of one governor, one
deputy governor, and 18 assistants.
 This body of legislators took care of general business
and governing the people.
 The people elected Thomas Goffe as deputy governor
and Mathewe Cradocke as first governor.
 The rules and regulations did not conflict with the
policies of Britain.
 The area covered by this would later become part of the
frontier of Massachusetts Bay.
King Charles, the son of James I, limited the power of
Parliament in Britain.
 As a result, a group of Puritan businessmen and Pilgrims
ventured to the New World to seek economic fortune
and religious freedom.
 The first colonies they founded in the late 1620s were
Salem and Cape Ann, both in Massachusetts.
The Cambridge Agreement of 1629 ensured these
voyagers would have control of the lands they settled,
and they would control trade.
First Governor
 In 1628, King Charles granted land to a group of Puritans under the leadership
of John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley. John Winthrop became the first
governor of Massachusetts Colony and he established Boston as its capital. An
ardent Puritan, he did not tolerate dissenters.
 Boston
 On March 4,1629, King Charles gave the Council at Plymouth the power to rule
and govern all the lands from 40 to 48 degrees latitude. This included the
ports, rivers, mines, islands and all resources in that area. King Charles also
granted Sir Henry Rosewell, Sir John Young, knights, Thomas Southcott, John
Humphrey, John Endecott, and Simon Whetcombe and their heirs the area
between Merrimack and the Charles River known as Massachusetts.
 Harvard University
 In 1636, the Great and General Council of the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted
to establish Harvard College, named after its first benefactor, John Harvard.
Students followed the course of study that resembled that of a British classic
education. Puritan philosophy also dictated the manner in which professors
instructed students. As of 2010, Harvard lists more than 40 Nobel laureates and
seven presidents among its graduates.
By Joy Gorence, eHow Contributor
updated: July 26, 2010

Intro to Puritan Literature